2022 Pinnacle Award: Jessica Proffitt Bracken, Santa Rosa Beach
She learned early that persistence gets the better of resistance
President, Proffitt PR
Describe two or three women who served you as important role models and mentors. What did you learn from them?
Kay Phelan was the first mentor that I had the honor to learn from when I entered the marketing and public relations industry back in 2006 as a young intern at Destin Commons. Kay is the matriarch of PR on the Emerald Coast, and I have been blessed to learn the ins and outs of traditional PR and the importance of relationships from her throughout the years. Another role model and mentor that I have looked up to for over a decade is McKenzie Burleigh, the associate publisher of Rowland Publishing. Kenzie is the epitome of hustle with grace. She so humbly takes on so many different leadership roles both personally and professionally and gives them her very all, succeeding in everything she does. Most importantly, Kenzie does each of these things with humility, steadiness, positivity and passion. Kenzie has taught me over the years that I can do anything I set my mind to.
Tell us about a lesson you learned the hard way.
Persistence removes resistance. This is an idea that my dad has instilled in me since I was a young girl. Folks don’t always love the reminders, but persistence in business and life is key.
What unfinished business, personal or professional, is uppermost in your mind?
The continuation of Proffitt PR’s Girls’ Night Out. I created this event in 2011 that gathered local ladies for camaraderie, and it grew over five years into hundreds of women coming together to raise thousands of dollars for local charities. I shifted my focus to my clients and have always wanted to resurrect Girls’ Night Out on the Emerald Coast. Stay tuned, ladies!
As it contemplates its future, what should Northwest Florida aspire to be?
A happy place thriving with health and wealth that visitors and locals can both enjoy.
What advice do you have for young women pursuing their careers?
Do it with your whole heart. Find what you’re passionate about, and never look back. Work hard, find a mentor and don’t lose the human connection. This digital age has many people relying so heavily on virtual communication. There is nothing more important and impactful than a conversation looking someone in the eyes finished with a nice, firm handshake!