Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel Exclusive Interview – “I Define Hardships As Blessings-in-Disguise”
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Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel is the Chief Passion Officer of The XauSky Group, a firm co-founded with her daughter Xauskya, to help small and medium-sized businesses find and fuel their passions by providing organizational development, coaching, consulting, and culturally relevant training offerings.

TheCelebrityOnline Magazine has recently interviewed this wonderful figure and below is a fruitful Q&A session we had with Dr. Xaulanda.

TheCelebrity.Online: In which positions have you served so far?

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: With over twenty years of professional experience in leadership, business administration, and consulting experience, I have served at the leadership level of organizations with the Caribbean and the U.S. mainland. At the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, I was a member of the Executive Management team for over a decade in roles including Project Manager of the $24 million Virgin Islands Cardiac Center project, Vice President (VP) of Materials Management, VP of Strategic Planning & Marketing, VP of Support Services and Regulatory Affairs as well as the Chief of Communications and Community Connectivity.

On the U.S. mainland, I continued to work in the healthcare field in positions, such as the Chief of Systems Services at a university and Branch Manager at a home health agency. During my time there, I discovered my passion for coaching and leveraging the strengths of each team member to create thriving workplace environments. As such, I successfully completed my Life Coach Practitioner and Mastery Level Certification from Learning Journeys International School of Coaching, which complimented my transformational leadership style.

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel As Cover Feature – TheCelebrity.Online December 2022 Magazine Edition

The compilation of my blended professional background proved valuable in my role as Senior Consultant with Urbander in Orlando Florida, which specializing in Multicultural & Strategic Marketing, Business Development, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Among the many Urbander projects I worked on, two of my proudest projects involved helping a healthcare system obtain the Top Leader designation for the Health Equity Index by the Human Rights Campaign for LGBTQ+ patients as well as developing curriculum and facilitating of training with CareerSource Florida to help recent arrivals from Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria acclimate to their new life in Central Florida.  I have always thrived in diverse spaces that allow me to apply my expertise, skills and talents to serve others, particularly those in minority and underrepresented groups. 

From a professional association perspective, I served as the 2022 Co-President of the Greater Orlando Organizational Development (GOOD) Network, a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), a member of the National Society of Leadership & Success as well as a member the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)-VI Chapter.

I was a featured speaker at the 2021 BW Leadership Academy in Orlando, FL, and guest for the 2021/2022 podcast series of The Forum of Workplace Inclusion in Minneapolis, MN.

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel

Further, I recently completed the University of South Florida’s 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certification as well as a 5-Day Business Accelerator intensive, 2022 cohort training with The Center for Micro-Entrepreneurial Training (CMET).

With a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a BA in Business Administration, and MBA in Healthcare Administration, I apply sound research and empirical evidence to motivate employees and enhance organizational well-being, performance, and outcomes.

As a researcher in work passion, I explore the job, organizational and relational characteristics that influence an employee’s cognitive, affective, and intention state that ignites their harmonious or obsessive work passion, particularly with people of color in the healthcare setting. My research in passion has expanded to exploring entrepreneurial motivation, environments, and attributes in the ecosystems that supports the success of micro-entrepreneurs. 

This led to the 2022 launch of The Entrepreneur’s Trip, a videocast/podcast that I co-hosts with fellow entrepreneurs, Chris Majocha of UdoU Productions (Orlando/Boston) and Tristian Jones of Trissision Productions (USVI); becoming one of “20 Women to Watch” from the U.S. Virgin Islands as an author in the “Passion and Purpose” anthology launching in January 2023; and Co-Owner of My Girlfriend’s Closet  in St. Thomas, a boutique that features culturally inspired designs by and for women in the Virgin Islands and around the world.

My pursuit of my passions and living on purpose involves not only studying but applying best practices that get to the heart of entrepreneurship and the realities that entrepreneurs’ experience, particularly those that start and run their business in the United States, Virgin Islands, or within the Caribbean diaspora.

TheCelebrity.Online: Childhood to Adulthood – How was the transition from your childhood into adulthood/teenage and what good and bad things you remember?

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: Born and raised on a tiny island in the Caribbean, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands the most memorable thing about my childhood into adulthood/teenage transition were the opportunities my parents created for me to travel to and live in different places around the world.

As such, I have lived in Denmark, New York, Virginia, Florida, Antigua West Indies, Minnesota and that list will continue to grow as I have an appetite to not only sample different cultures, cities, and countries but also to be immersed in places with diverse cultures and people that will stretch my perspective about the beauty of human beings and life.

TheCelebrity.Online: Struggle – What hardships did you face in your life?

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: In life, we have memorable moments that help to define who we are, how we relate to others, and our perspective on life. 

Rather than hardship, I choose to define them as “blessings in disguise”  

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel

While we are going through the situation or circumstances, we may not be able to see the silver lining but once we have weathered the storm and make it to the other side, we are able to see how in some aspects may been working out in our favor. 

One such example in my life, is when I moved from the my island home of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to the state of Minnesota where I only knew one person at the time, my mentor and CEO Mr. Jeff A. Nelson.  Within two (2) months of moving my mentor transitioned and within two (2) month from that, I lost my job and was in career transition for about 11 months.

While the situation was definitely difficult, as a single mother living in a new state where I knew very few people, my primary goal was to ensure that this hardship did not negatively impact my daughter’s high school experience. The blessings in disguise became how this experienced changed my perception regarding how I would live my life moving forward, particularly as it related to taking responsibility as well as having more control over my career and life circumstances.

In those months of transition, not only did I network with over 200+ people of which many became part of my amazingly supportive Minnesota community, I also ventured into coaching, consulting and entrepreneurship which has laid the foundation for the lifestyle that I have been able to create since then. More importantly, because I no longer was in a corporate position, I had the blessing of spending quality time and having new adventures with my daughter which has strengthened our bond and entrepreneurial journey.

TheCelebrity.Online: Things people usually don’t know?

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: In my opinion, job security is an illusion and the more traditional way of working is rapidly evolving.  While we have been conditioned to believe that when you get a permanent or full-time job that we have job security and financial stability, when you work for someone else that can be taken away at any time due to organizational restructuring (e.g. downsizing or right sizing), business reasons like lack of funding, external factors such as COVID, or because of individuals within a toxic environment masquerading as leaders.

Whether it was me personally being impacted or as a leader having to make difficult business decisions, in my experience job security and thus one’s financial stability can be fleeting. So, I prefer to work (many times remotely) within organizations that have shared values, with people that genuinely want to make a positive impact, and live creatively through my entrepreneurial journey.

By taking control of my lifestyle and legacy, I am manifesting my desires and reality vs. buying into an external illusion of what job I should have, career path I should be on, or life I should be living. With what we do (work) to sustain our livelihood as such a huge part of our life, shouldn’t we be able to control what that looks like, how it evolves and work passionately?

TheCelebrity.Online: What make you different from your competitors in the industry and life?

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: My unique life experiences have shaped my perspective of work, how we can work more passionately, and live creatively.  My Caribbean culture is infused in who I am and how I approach business, entrepreneurship and life.

Growing up on an island where the majority people were BIPOC (black, indigenous people of color), primarily of Afro-Caribbean descent and Hispanic heritage, the power, privilege and access that has often escaped our African-American community on the U.S. mainland is something that was just a way of life and often taken for granted. Having lived in the U.S. mainland, where I was the minority and often considered “different” because I didn’t present as the stereotypes perpetuated, it created an interesting dichotomy not only with how people perceived or interacted with me but also how I perceived and interacted in those spaces.

With the U.S. population projected to shift to a minority-majority around 2050 and the gentrification of Caribbean islands continues to grow, my research with people of color and lived experiences as a black, Caribbean woman, provides a competitive advantage and unique value proposition for organizations that work within United States, Virgin Islands and with the Caribbean diaspora.

TheCelebrity.Online: What are the major Upcoming Events & Unforgettable Moments or products/services that you want to promote/inform our readers about?

Shop the BE Lifestyle Brand at https://www.xausky.com/be

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: “BE by the XauSky Group aims to inspire you to BE who you truly are each and every day… Step into the room with the courage, passion and intention of BEing unapologetically you. 

While it is important to DO, it is just as important to BE! DOing is defined as the activity in which a particular person engages, while BEing is the nature or essence of one’s existence. So, what is stopping you from BEing in action?” – Xauskya Emmanuel, Co-Founder

TheCelebrity.Online: What ‘Expert Advice’ you want to share with the readers about professional and social field of life?

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: According to Dr. Albert Bandura, we are both the products and producers of our environment. If that is true, we have a responsibility to plan purposefully, implement intentionally, work passionately and live creatively so we can produce an environment better than the one that created us.

As an entrepreneur or business leader, when you know that you need something different AND are ready to do the work but may not know how to go about making that shift, the XauSky Group can help you analyze, activate, and evaluate your path forward so that what you DO will help you BE the best version of yourself and your business.  

TheCelebrity.Online: Your social media links and more?

Dr. Xaulanda Simmonds-Emmanuel: