Bernadette Morris’ faith-fueled work ethic informs her outlook on life.
Where others see problems, she sees opportunities. Where others may view rainy weather as a bummer, she sees it as “liquid sunshine.”
The struggle to balance family and career that other women face, for Morris, is managed by having her family work with her.
Morris’ husband of 21 years, Colin, and their college-age children are very much a part of Sonshine Communications, a Christian-based, public relations and advertising firm that was incorporated in 1993.
Morris, 49, laughs when she shares that her children will likely not venture into the world of public relations. Her daughter, Rebecca, has her eye on a medical career. Her son, Stephen, is a serious athlete. Yet they have inherited their mother’s can-do philosophy.
Morris will share her business acumen as the keynote speaker at the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce’s Business Empowerment Networking Series installment. The event, dubbed “Business Development: Expanding your Financial & Economic Growth Opportunities,” will take place on Friday, March 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Parrot Jungle.
Bill Diggs, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce president, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for the small businesses in the South Florida community to dialogue with individuals representing organizations that can assist them through the certification and procurement process, which is often tedious, and can lead to miscommunication between the small business and the organization.”
Morris is well-equipped to speak on the subject. In addition to being federally certified, Sonshine is also a certified minority vendor with numerous state, county and city entities as clients.
The owner of Black PR Wire speaks in a soft, soothing voice loaded with wisdom about her family, her ministry and her business, which counts among its clients Darden Restaurants, Inc. – owners of Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants. Also among her clients are Checkers/Rally's, Honeywell, American Legacy Foundation, Shula's Steak House, and Av-Med.
Black PR Wire distributes news and press releases to African-American, Caribbean and African newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations at the state, regional and national levels around the clock, according to its website.
Abiding by the mantra, “to whom much is given, much is required,” Morris, who lives in Miami Shores, has also established the non-profit Women Grow Strong organization to help inform and motivate other women to achieve their goals. The company hosts workshops to inform and empower women.
And if owning two successful companies and a non-profit were not enough to keep her busy, Morris and her husband are the owners of Bethsaida by the Stream, a ministry renewal and retreat center in North Carolina.
Her affinity for helping women to excel was certainly a factor in her company being recognized as “Florida’s Most Women Friendly Company” by the Florida Commission on Women in 1998.
Of the company’s 28 employees, Morris said, “Twelve dynamic women work with me in developing and implementing exciting and engaging projects for our wonderful clients.”
Several women have also played a critical role in Morris’ success.
In addition to her mother, the late Agnes Williams, Morris said, “my sisters (Louise, Patricia, Rose and Mae) and my sister-in-law, Dr. Gloria Williams, pastor of Jesus People Ministries Church, have all taught me the foundation of successful living as a woman of faith and of worth.”
Morris, who has a master’s degree in public administration from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree in English and communications from Stetson University and the University of North Florida, said the motto for her company is also her personal motto.
“Be your B.E.S.T., Bless, Edify, Share and Touch.”
File Photo. Bernadette Morris
IF YOU GO
WHAT: The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce presents “Business Development: Expanding your Financial & Economic Growth Opportunities.”
WHEN: Friday, March 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Parrot Jungle, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami
COST: $20 for chamber members and $30 for non-members
CONTACT: Visit www.m-dcc.org or call 305-751-8648