35 Under 35 Feature: Amanda Tovado, Orthopedic Medical Assistant/Surgery Scheduler, Matthys Orthopaedics

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself. Tell us who you are and what you do.

Hello there! I’m a former military brat who has experienced the unique and adventurous lifestyle that comes with being part of a military family. Growing up, I had the incredible opportunity to live in Italy, where I absorbed the rich culture and developed a love for exploration. My life took a beautiful turn when I married my best friend, Brandon, who also served in the Air Force. Together, we embarked on a journey that led us to the breathtaking landscapes of Hawaii. Living in different parts of the world as part of the military community emphasized the significance of forming strong connections and being part of a supportive community.

Recently, our path led us to West Fargo after my husband’s medical retirement from the Air Force. We have a 13-year-old son, Jordan, who is passionate about soccer and basketball. Watching him play brings us immense joy and a sense of pride. Our family bonds over the love for sports and the shared excitement of cheering on our young athlete. We also have two feisty French bulldogs named Franky and Phoebe—their passions include snoring and invading your personal space.

Professionally, I have been in the healthcare field for over a decade. It has been a fulfilling journey where I’ve had the privilege of helping people and advocating for my patients. The healthcare industry has become more than a career for me—it’s a genuine passion to make a positive impact on the lives of others. As we embrace this new chapter in West Fargo, we look forward to building connections within the community and creating lasting memories. Life has taught us the importance of resilience, community, and the beauty of diverse experiences, and we’re excited for the adventures that lie ahead.

Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why? Who inspires you?

I am blessed and fortunate beyond belief to have been surrounded by strong, talented, and resilient women my entire life. My mother has been influential and has been inspiring to me for as long as I can remember. She worked her butt off as a young mom and military wife to give my brothers and me the best life possible. She has taught me that you are never too old to advance in your education and career.

My aunt, Kathryn, was my guiding light for the majority of my childhood that led me to go into the healthcare field. She taught me that leading with kindness and empathy will take you far in life.

Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers—being a kid in a military family, moving every few years, the concept of ‘home’ can get blurred. My grandmothers gave me a safe place to land, a place to call home. To this day, I call Red Lake Falls, MN my hometown; though I never attended school there—that was ‘home’ for me.

What are some important life lessons you have learned?

You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and not everyone is going to love and appreciate you. The best thing that you can do is be your true, authentic self. Dulling your sparkle to meet others’ expectations of how you ‘should be’ versus who you truly are will exhaust you in the end. Saying “no” is okay-balance and boundaries are so, so important to create for yourself.

What are some of your favorite things to do in our community?

I am fairly new to the community so I am still learning all of the amazing opportunities this area has to offer. I have very much enjoyed exploring downtown and supporting local small businesses and eateries.

What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?

Building relationships with these amazingly strong-minded and talented women. Through this program, I hope to have the opportunity to make connections and gain perspective from other likeminded and motivated women who come from all different walks of life.

Tell us about 1-2 books, podcasts, or professional development experiences that have changed the way you view leadership.

“Crucial Conversations” by Joseph Grenny taught me the value of addressing the hard or awkward topics, the things that no one wants to discuss at the meeting but the topic is just lingering in the air. This book taught me how to go about having difficult conversations in the most objective and respectful way. It has helped me grow in both professional and personal relationships.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.