Adina Tatum


Adina Tatum is an accomplished Executive Director and consultant passionate about economic and community development. With expertise in market development and sustainable communities, she has opened and nurtured businesses, introduced impactful initiatives, and addressed food insecurities. Adina’s consulting work focuses on removing barriers, fostering growth, and implementing educational programs for small business owners. She celebrates community values, inclusivity, and diversity, actively contributing to impactful initiatives promoting socio-economic mixing and equity. As a Next City Vanguard Alumni, Adina is part of a prestigious group of rising urban leaders dedicated to improving cities. Her diverse skill set and understanding of urban development make her a valuable resource for positive community change.

Learn more about Adina here:

What has been our greatest & favorite achievement so far and why?

Finishing my first consulting project! Finishing my first consulting project is my greatest achievement as it symbolizes my leap of faith and unwavering trust in my expertise. Despite the public market I was working with being without a home, the skills and knowledge I acquired enabled me to support and foster the growth of another market. This experience has equipped me with the ability to conceive innovative ideas and concepts to establish thriving markets.

And solo travel! My most cherished achievement is embarking on solo travel. Despite initially doubting my ability to explore new places without companionship, I have pushed myself beyond my comfort zone, gaining confidence and becoming adept at navigating public transit and flying alone. Solo travel has become a thrilling accomplishment for me.

If you are an entrepreneur, what motivated you to start your own business?

What motivated me to become an entrepreneur and embark on this journey was discovering my high aptitude for entrepreneurship through self-tests and evaluations. Although I never initially aspired to be an entrepreneur, having the freedom to work for myself and the opportunity to involve my children in my business ventures has been a rewarding experience.

What does success mean to you?

To me, success means that my children truly know me, remember me, and feel proud of me. It also means that I take pride in myself and have the ability to take care of both myself and my extended family. Success encompasses positivity, embracing and accepting failures as valuable lessons, and using them as opportunities for personal growth.

What is your mantra or favorite saying? (If it's a known quote, please let us know who said it first!)

“The way things are rooted are how they grow.” Andrea James

What failure taught you the most about life or business? What was the lesson?

Failure has taught me valuable lessons in both life and business. It has taught me the importance of resilience and perseverance. Each failure presents an opportunity for growth and improvement. It has taught me to reflect on what went wrong and to identify areas where I can make changes or try different approaches. Failure has also taught me the value of humility and the need to embrace mistakes as part of the learning process. Ultimately, failure has taught me that setbacks are not permanent obstacles, but rather stepping stones towards success.

What's your favorite book - fiction or non-fiction! - in the past year?

Viola Davis “Finding Me”

If you could teach the world one five-minute lesson, what would it be?

The lesson would be to Take Up Space!

1. Embrace your brilliance: Recognize the incredible value you bring to any space you enter. Your perspectives, experiences, and ideas are like sparkling gems that deserve to be seen and heard. Embrace your brilliance and let it shine!

2. Speak your truth: Your voice is powerful and deserves to be amplified. Don’t shy away from sharing your ideas, opinions, and insights. Remember, your voice has the ability to inspire, educate, and create positive change. Speak up and let your words resonate!

3. Confidence is your superpower: Believe in yourself and your abilities. Embrace your unique qualities and let your confidence radiate. When you walk into a room, own it like the superstar you are. Your confidence will inspire others and create a space where everyone feels empowered.

4. Surround yourself with support: Seek out allies and a supportive community. Connect with like-minded individuals who uplift and celebrate your achievements. Together, you can create a network of strength and encouragement, making space for everyone to thrive.

5. Keep shining bright: Remember, taking up space is not just about you, but also about paving the way for others to follow. Be a beacon of light, inspiring future generations to embrace their own brilliance and take up space unapologetically.

You are a force to be reckoned with, a true trailblazer. Keep breaking barriers, challenging norms, and showing the world what it means to take up space with grace and power. You’ve got this!

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?

Explored more career opportunities.

What does women's empowerment look like to you in action?

Women’s empowerment in action is when successful women not only achieve their own success, but also actively support and uplift other women. By believing in and giving opportunities to other women, they create a platform for them to thrive and succeed. It’s about women helping each other to break barriers and create positive change together.

What would you tell 19-year-old YOU?

If I could go back and talk to my 19-year-old self, I would tell her to embrace her natural curls. I would let her know that her hair will love her for it and that it will make her daily routine so much easier. Embracing her curls will not only save her time and effort, but it will also boost her confidence and allow her to fully embrace her unique beauty. So, I would encourage her to let go of any insecurities and rock those curls with pride!

What will 86-year-old you want you to know TODAY?

If your 86-year-old self could give you some advice today, they would most likely tell you that you were afraid for no reason. Looking back on life, many of the fears and worries that seemed so significant in the present moment turn out to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Your older self would want you to know that fear is often a product of our imagination, and it can hold us back from experiencing new opportunities and pursuing our dreams. They would encourage you to face your fears head-on, take risks, and embrace new experiences with an open mind. Remember that most of the things we worry about never come to pass, and life is too short to let fear control our actions. So, take a leap of faith and trust that everything will work out in the end.

Does anyone call you by a nickname? What is it?


What is your favorite place for our audience to reach you?

Text me!

What is your favorite quote?

In Viola Davis’ book “Finding Me,” she shares a powerful quote; “Struggling is not a sign of weakness, but rather a testament to the strength and resilience within us. It is through our struggles that we discover our true potential and the depths of our character.”

Learn more about Adina here:

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