LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT ON: THREE-STAR DIRECTOR FERNE SAPP

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1. Where were you born and raised; current city; family; hobbies; past business highlights...
I was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT and truly enjoyed my childhood and the life I was afforded. I didn’t know it then, but everyone from my parents to my grandparents and aunts and uncles were playing a significant role in shaping me into the woman I am becoming today. Currently, I reside in Covington, GA with my husband, Willie. We have had the privilege of shaping the lives of our three adult children, Tory (recently deceased), Nicole and her hubby Jason, and our last son, Wynton, and our amazing grandchildren. I truly enjoy traveling the world, especially with my family and friends. I picked up two hobbies this past year - bicycling and learning a new language, Español. My goal is to really bring my 50th birthday in with a bang!!! I’ve had some great success in business, having worked for over a decade with the federal government and leaving as a supervisory management analyst, highly ranked and awarded. I’ve also served in ministry both on full-time staff as a campus pastor and also serving on a volunteer basis in many outreach opportunities.

2. How have you grown or personally developed since joining PlanNet?
Wow, PlanNet has allowed me an opportunity to get to know me – what I really want, who I really am, and how I interact with others. It’s amazing because it is truly a place where you can be real – real with yourself and real with others. I’ve always been a person who has loved people and wanted the best for them, but many times I’ve neglected myself or my own personal dreams and desires. PlanNet has challenged me to be honest with who I am and what I really desire. I’ve grown in these years to know that it’s okay to want it for others, but by all means, in the words of every flight attendant, “Put your own oxygen mask on first.” It’s been an amazing journey and I’m looking forward to where I will GROW from here.

3. What drives you; what motivates you?
I’m driven by the opportunity to make a difference in the world. I want to see young girls grow into knowing their worth and their value. I want to see them grow into confident, strong, giving, and loving women. I’m driven to see that change in their lives. I’m driven by my desire to see the impoverished made whole – to feed the hungry – most importantly to feed hungry children. I often think of the old hymn that says, “If I can help somebody as I travel along the way, then my living shall not be in vain.” I’m driven to help somebody and to make my life count!

4. Who would you consider a role model and why?
So many people have served as role models in my life but there is one person in particular who really shaped my life, my great aunt, Carrie Glover. She was seen as a strict person who didn’t take any stuff. She told you want she meant and she meant what she said. Yet there was this side of her that really taught me how to live. She taught me how to care for myself in both my hygiene and dress. She was sharp! She taught me how to improvise as she would bring together fabrics to make the latest clothing. She taught me how to pray; she was a praying woman! She taught me how to GIVE – she was always giving to people. I remember one afternoon we drove the streets of Bridgeport looking for her brother, who was an alcoholic living on the streets. She wanted to feed him – she knew he was hungry. I watched her fuss at him and leave him something to eat as we sat in the back seat of her station wagon. As we drove off I thought, “Now that’s family, she wasn’t afraid of the elements or even the smell of this stinky alley. She loves her brother.” That scene has forever been etched in my heart. Aunt Carrie taught me so much and I feel obligated to do the same for others and to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere.

5. The three words that describe you best are:
FUN, LOVING, and a DIFFERENCE-MAKER!

6. If you had some sound advice to give to anyone what would it be?
If I had some sound advice to give to anyone it would be to ask God to show you your purpose. Ask Him why you are here on this earth and then give everything you have to pursue that purpose. Seek to make a difference in the world. Beyond the bling, the houses, the cars…seek to make a change in someone’s life. Seek to leave a mark, to leave an impression on the world that says you were here. Get beyond yourself and look to help someone else. Live each day knowing you were born with purpose in mind and then close out each day looking to get closer and closer to that very goal.

7. What does your life look like five years from now?
Five years from now my life is AMAZING!!!! I will have launched my foundation, Jewels with Purpose, visiting cities all over the world on the Jewel Express, empowering young girls and promoting positive self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth. I smile each day as I see the development of philanthropic and generous young ladies who are changing the world! I will be at my best health, in my wealthiest place, and giving in abundance. My children and grandchildren will rise and call me blessed! Oh, and let’s not forget…I’ll be enjoying the beaches of the world and visiting exotic destinations because after all, I do own my own successful, multi-million dollar travel business!