Crew Love [Staff Edition]: Victoria Sumner

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Your neighborhood: Clifton

What toppings are on a perfect pizza? MEATS. Pepperoni, Sausage, Bacon, and Ham!

What is your role within the company?
I am the administrative assistant at MORTAR, better known as the “Saucer”. My role is to “catch” all of the office management affairs, collect and organize useful data, contacts, information for future purposes, and to basically assist all personnel within MORTAR with any tasks or projects.

Why does the work that MORTAR is doing in communities matter? I believe that this is such an important question to ask with such an important answer. The work that MORTAR is doing in communities matters, because frankly, a lot of entities, organizations, and corporations aren’t doing what we do. MORTAR goes against the grain and invests in the lives of entrepreneurs who may not fit the socioeconomic standard of today. MORTAR shows the world that your background, color, or neighborhood that you grew up in doesn’t have to prevent you from making a name for yourself, but in fact, with the right supportive community, can launch you towards your dreams. In doing so, the economic state of different areas of Cincinnati are starting to rise, because local entrepreneurs AND their businesses are rising up. We coach, equip, encourage, and inspire the young and old minds of today who have a Big Idea to contribute to their personal legacy and community. MORTAR’s work matters because we’ve decided that YOU matter.

If you could only listen to one musician/artist/band for the rest of your life, who would that be? Why? That is an extremely hard question for me to answer because I’m a huuuuuuge lover of music!! I would probably have to choose Kirk Franklin, because if I need a go-hard song, he’s got it, if I need to be chill and de-stress, he’s got a song for it, if I’m worried, afraid or sad, I can find a song that would minister to my heart and encourage me, and if I needed to listen to a clutch throwback or something new from today, I’d be able to find it.

If you could be the mayor of Cincinnati for a day, what’s one thing that you would change? If I was the mayor for Cincinnati for a day, I would change…. the standards for public education, especially in under-served areas, and balance out the capital, resources and opportunities for all schools in the neighborhoods, no matter the location…. and I would begin to draw up ways to change policies that continue to divide our city racially (systemic and historic), economically, socially, religiously, and communally (gentrification).

Share your thoughts on the idea of “building community through entrepreneurship.” Building community through entrepreneurship is an excellent and unconventional way to drive cities to thrive. If a multi-billion dollar corporation buys out land to then overcharge its tenants, a small amount of people can actually invest in the property and contribute to the wealth of that community. By introducing means of bridging gaps through entrepreneurship, the majority of this country, the middle and lower class, has a chance to invest in their community by building their ideas and gain invaluable information to create a local businesses. This then increases the wealth and economy of the inhabitants of the community and a legacy (financial and personal) can be created for their children and children’s children to inherit.

Final thoughts? I am truly blessed to have been hired here a few months ago. When I graduated from college with my Chemical Engineering degree, I took an unconventional path and decided to serve my campus part time through college ministry before I entered the engineering world. As another means of paying my bills, it was very important to me that I spend my time, skills, and abilities with a company that provides an invaluable service to those who may not have the knowledge or experience to get to where they want to be, especially those that look like me. The MORTAR employees are none other than supportive, inclusive, and dream-enhancers. There’s not a better place that I could be in this moment and time in my life.

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