women-owned-title

Meet Patty Lamia

In the glinting conference room of Ardor Health's Tampa headquarters,

I got the chance to chat with the esteemed Patty Lamia. Recently, she and Ardor achieved a Women-Owned Business certification, and I was eager to hear the story behind the ‘woman’ in “Woman Owned”. We settled ourselves in a pair of chic white office chairs, nestled among some 'borrowed' potted plants, adding a touch of green to our space. As the Florida sunshine poured in, Patty opened up about her journey, sharing the ups, downs, and everything in between that led to this exciting achievement. Here's a peek into our lively conversation.

Let's start from the beginning. What inspired you to be a business owner and start your business?

“What really inspired me was the early part of my life when I was in the education field. Such a wonderful – uplifting piece of my life. It taught me how to lead lovingly, and to be patient and caring. I did that for over 10 years in the elementary Catholic school system.

And then, after 10 years, my son was graduating eighth grade from the elementary school I taught at and my daughter was graduating high school. And at that time, my husband said to me, ‘You know what, I'm going to leave the recruiting business and open up our own business.’ And with that, I said, ‘I'll join you’. And we packed up our bags from Miami and moved up to the Fort Lauderdale area and started our business there in the year of 2000.”

Wow. And look at where we're at today - here in 2024.

Yeah. A lot, a lot, a lot has happened in those years, Great hills and valleys, learning how to get through them. The struggles and the successions of it all. Yes, absolutely.

So I know that you started this with your husband, and naturally he is a really big inspiration for you. But during your lifetime, who are the women specifically that you've encountered who have inspired you most?

Sure. So, I spoke about my time in teaching at the Catholic school. There was a principal there, and she was a wonderful, wonderful lady. And those three words that I said before about being patient and caring, and loving, she really pushed me to understand that I can use that in business as well. It's not just hardcore. It's - you know, caring for the people that work for you. Caring for the business that you own. Caring for the even the people who come and deliver the water to the water cooler.

Absolutely.

Every everybody wants to be appreciated. My principal, she was that type of person who taught me that very well. And I appreciate that lesson every day. It’s lasted in my heart. And I brought that trait into the business too.

That's a priceless trait.

Very, very much so.

Are there any obstacles that you have faced during your time as a business owner that you had to overcome? And how did you overcome those?

Sure. Like in all businesses, there are obstacles. And again, I'll reflect back on elementary school and teaching. You trust those little ones that you teach every day and they look up to and trust you. That mutual feeling of trust. When wanting to continue that in the business world, I realized it’s a little different. Before, you’re dealing with children – but now, you’re dealing with adults. I had to learn that no matter what, trust and faith in someone has to be your default.

And I did put faith in everybody that worked with us. Did we get burned or let down at times? Yes. But you want to continue to trust to the ones who will trust you back. So I think that's probably one of the biggest things; I had to get past the instinct to never give up trust.

Absolutely.

Don't back away from it. Because it's a great fall if you do.

It really is. It's a very tight fine line.

It is a very fine line. Especially for a woman.

Without question.

Yeah, it's a hard world out there for women. And so, we have to, you know, just step forward and persevere.

Absolutely. Ms. Patty, what is the best piece of advice that you have gotten in your lifetime that you would be willing to share with us?

Sure. The best piece of advice that I received was from my father. My father always taught me to look directly at a person. Because when you look into someone's eyes, you could truly read them. And you could tell if they're truthful…most of the time. When you look directly at a person, they feel comfortable, and that what you're talking about matters. And that's a wonderful thing to do in business and in your life. Because the minute you sway away with your eyes, you're not interested. And people in business want to know that they're accounted for - that they belong. That's the greatest advice I think I've gotten. To be seen.

I love that. I will be taking a page out of your dad’s book.

I've told my children that same advice many times as well.

So as a business owner, you experienced your highest highs and your lowest lows during that time, what is your favorite moment that you've had to date? While owning a business?

My favorite moment was when our children; my son, Michael, and my daughter, Stephanie joined the organization. My daughter now is president, she took the title that I had, and how proud a mother can be, to give the ability to follow in my footsteps. She found the power. I'm proud of both of them. They're both very well educated. They learned so much. They got their degrees, a Masters and a Law degree. But to know that what we were doing, they were watching. They were watching – and they came and joined us. And it's been a wonderful, wonderful ride, giving them the ropes. Stephanie has also blessed my husband and I with two beautiful granddaughters. And hopefully, maybe this will be a generational thing, they could follow in their mom's footsteps. And maybe my son will have a daughter or a son and follow in his footsteps too. I always thought it’ll only be me and my husband running this. But now they've stepped in. I get to sit back and maybe have a nice little cocktail by the pool, & not worry about things. So yeah, it's one of the proudest things that I've ever been able to say to anybody.

Yes, it's an incredibly unique your village that you and your husband share, and what an amazing living legacy to be able to see,

To see this company continue to grow past us would be amazing. It would be a future that I could have never carved myself.

Definitely. You know, there's a phrase that's often preached by successful people that they learned how to get to where they're at by ‘listening to the smartest people in the room’

To all the women out there that are aspiring to maybe break glass ceilings by getting into leadership, or becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business of their own. What advice would you have for them?

Always have your door open. That door allows you to always be listening and be open to learning. That gets you up the steps of that ladder. And for women, it's a harder climb. Although it is a hard climb, there is nothing that can get in your way. Just keep striving, keep that door open. Always allow people to come in. Take advice from people as you're moving up the ladder. You never know when you're going to need that. For me, the direction I got from my dad & from my principal, that advice has brought me to where I am today. So just listen. By having those ears open, and be willing to apply the things that you learn, I think every woman can be successful in this world. I really do.

I do too. Like you said, opening your doors and opening your ears can get you very far in this world.

Absolutely.

Well, you guys, that is all the questions that we have for Ms. Patty today. Thank you to our readers if you made it this far. And Miss Patty, thank you so much for being here.

Oh, Isabella, this was wonderful. Thank you for inviting me to do this. I appreciate it very much.

To learn more about the Women Owned Business Certification & what it means to Ardor, click below:

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