• Heather Damron

    Heather Damron

    Realtor, Pepine Realty

    Heather Damron has been an Alachua County resident and small business owner since 1992.  Upon graduating from Penn State University, Damron chose to pursue a master’s degree in mental health counseling and on that journey fell in love with all-things Gainesville and decided to plant her nomadic roots. Damron enjoyed a successful 24-year healthcare career including owning a private mental health practice and serving as the lead agency provider to the Northern District of Florida for mental health and substance abuse services. In 2015, she dramatically changed careers to fulfill a lifelong dream of welcoming families and individuals to our community by becoming a realtor with Pepine Realty.

    “Success is overcoming adversity,” said Damron. “Accomplishment is helping others achieve a goal and achievement is being recognized by your peers as practicing to a higher standard of care.”

    What does it mean to be Fierce?  

    To be fearless and confident!

    What does success, achievement and accomplishment mean to you?

    Success is overcoming adversity, accomplishment is helping others achieve the goal and achievement is being recognized by your peers as practicing a higher standard of care.

    What motivates you in the morning?

    My two little ones! They are my “why” in life!

    What or who is inspiring you right now? Why?

    My mom! As I approach the age of 50, I am amazed every day of what an awesome role model my mom was and still is to me. She always believed in me and never gave up on me when I was a fiercely rebellious teen. I am also amazed that I have never experienced my mom being dissatisfied with motherhood at any period in her life. This is an amazing feat for a woman who raised my brother and I virtually alone while my father was far away serving our nation. How do you care for children by yourself and never utter an ounce of dissatisfaction or frustration? My mom taught me that humor and self-awareness are the keys to happiness in life. She also taught me to always make sure to back up the underdog in most situations.

    What was the best decision you’ve made? What’s the worst?

    Where do I start? My best decision of my life is trying my hand at parenting at the ages of 40 and 44! After being a child and adolescent therapist for 20 plus years, I really thought I would be better prepared. The worst decision? Wait, what happened to self-awareness?

    What has been your biggest obstacle and how have you overcome it?

    My biggest obstacle is self-doubt! If my girls grow up with one-third of the self-doubt I have carried with me in life, then mission accomplished. The pursuit of perfection sets you up for instant failure.

    How do you address negativity in your life and in business?

    I try to address it head-on! The older I get, the more I have to tell myself and others that life is too short for chronic negativity. Negativity impacts me differently than others because I was an Employee Assistance Counselor for almost half my life. Now the tables have turned, and I am not a helper, but rather an employee myself. It’s quite liberating learning to brush off the impact of negativity and just accepting it in others. About the only thing I know how to do when I am feeling down in my personal or business life is to reach out and give to others. It’s pretty self-serving but it’s definitely a quick fix for me!

    Is there a particular instance or occurrence that you credit for building your confidence and self-esteem?

    Meeting Betsy Pepine changed my life. She believed in me and continues to believe I can achieve whatever I put my mind too, I mean she really does! I rely on my tribe of mom and dad friends for their support and never-ending advice, which has guided me in the uncertainties of parenting. I really thought parenting would come easier to me being a former marriage and family counselor. I was ill-prepared for the job of parenting.

    How do you empower other women?

    I have been very fortunate in business to have amazing mentors who are so very giving of their ideas, resources and support. I can only repay them by doing the same for other women who are starting their careers.

    What change do you want to see in your industry?

    I want to see the development of negotiating skills and reinforce that, like in a lot of other fields, you can spend a lifetime learning your craft! I am humbled by what I learn every day.

    Do you have any advice for young women as they try to achieve their goals?

    Don’t cut yourself short! Dream big and aim big!

    What do you want to be remembered for?

    I want to be remembered for someone who tried and may or may not have succeeded, but at least I did something I had a passion for doing! I spent the first 45 years of my life pushing aside my passions & interests and now I am making up for it in the next 50 years!

    How do you defy the current stereotypes, stigmas and double standards that women have today?

    I most want to break the stereotype that it’s difficult to be successful in your career at the same time as raising a family! I am so very fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive husband who has supported my career pursuits from day one and has taken on the role as primary caregiver to our children at various times. Business and career come second nature to me; I can’t lie that domesticity has been an easy course for me.