Ingrid Scantlebury, Chief of Staff, Sterling Management, LLC

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself.

While I call West Fargo my hometown, I have spent the past 15 years living in Minneapolis, Dallas, Bozeman and Phoenix, returning recently to the FM area where my husband, Tyler, coaches baseball at NDSU. We are obsessed with our rescue puppy, Rookie, and spend most of our time with him while checking out all the new things the area has to offer. In addition to serving as Chief of Staff at Sterling Management, I am also a law student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in the Twin Cities. When I’m not studying, I enjoy traveling, catching up with friends and family and planning my next adventure.

I have been with Sterling for three years, focusing exclusively on corporate governance and compliance in the real estate investment industry but I have been in the corporate affairs space throughout various industries for almost 10 years.

As Chief of Staff, my role is to ensure our corporate structures and governance are in compliance with not only regulatory bodies, but our high internal standards as set forth by our company’s founders. In addition to governance and compliance, what is most important to me about the work I do is having an impact as a member of the Executive Leadership Team because we focus diligently on initiatives that create a better living not only for our investors but for our team members and the communities in which we live and work.

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

The most influential person throughout my journey has been, and always will be, my father, Oswald “Trinni” Scantlebury. Only as I’ve gotten older have I been truly able to appreciate the sacrifice he has made to ensure I have every possible opportunity available to me. My dad came to the United States on his own as a teenager from a country that was unable to afford him any opportunities for a successful future. Through sheer hard work, an uncanny ability to make connections with absolutely everyone and the most persistent will to succeed, he created a life for me otherwise unimaginable. He served in our military and then as a federal employee for the better part of 40 years, always teaching me that you can write your own story, no matter how it starts. As a minority in our community, his insight and advice for how to navigate spaces not traditionally accessible to us has allowed me to be the first in many situations, while remembering the most impact is ensuring I am not the last.

In addition to my Dad, I am fortunate to have what I call my personal “Board of Advisors,” which is made up of some of the most incredible, authentic and impactful individuals from all seasons of my life. Most recently, I have relied heavily on the wisdom of Erica Chaffee, Wayne Carlson, Joel Thomsen and Jennifer Lindemann—our individuals I have had the pleasure to work for and with at Sterling. While all very unique in their own right, collectively they represent everything I strive to be as a leader: compassionate, creative, resilient and humble. Because of their support and encouragement, I have pursued both personal and professional goals I never thought possible.

What drives you?

I am driven by a passion for learning, as evidenced in my decision to go back to school many, many years later! I have always thrived in situations where a problem is presented, and careful research is required to identify a solution. I love diving into areas in which I have little knowledge, connecting with experts and continuously learning. Throughout my career, I have landed in a variety of industries, many of which I had no previous experience and I have learned that I appreciate the unknown and the journey to figuring things out. I am also driven by the desire to help others succeed. Many times, I push myself further so that I can eventually impart my experience to those that come behind me. Seeing others succeed now because I struggled then is the greatest motivator to continue forging new paths.

What are some important lessons you have learned in your lifetime?

Some important lessons I have learned in my lifetime all center around not taking myself too seriously or taking interactions with others too personally. At the end of the day, we are all just trying to do what is best for ourselves, our families and our communities. It is incredibly true that more often than not, you have no idea what is going on in someone else’s life, and therefore assuming the best and offering compassion is the most effective way to navigate all of life’s interactions. I have also learned the importance of gratitude. I tend to operate in a very busy, oftentimes overstretched fashion, which causes stress and anxiety. Something my husband always reminds me of is to stop and be grateful, to really focus on how fortunate we are. I become wrapped up in so many things that it has been helpful to remember to reframe my thinking to a lens of gratitude instead of grumbling.

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

I highly recommend the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I am not typically a fan of mystical fiction, but I come back to this book over and over again throughout various seasons of life. It reminds you, as a reader, to pursue your legend by listening to what calls you, recognizing opportunity and learning to pay attention to omens as they present themselves throughout your life. It brings me back to the basics each time I read it and reminds me that personal development and leadership are paths to be explored and enjoyed.

I also recommend Archetypes, the podcast hosted by Meghan Markle. Its aim is to investigate, dissect and subvert the labels that society places on women, and specifically women who dare to succeed. Her guests are powerful players in their industries and provide impactful anecdotes on how society’s expectations of women have impacted their specific journeys. On a lighter note, listeners learn hilarious tidbits about her guests as they share their stories.

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

I hope to gain a network of strong, mission-driven women who are dedicated to showing up as their authentic, best selves in all aspects of life. I hope to gain a better understanding of my leadership strengths and weaknesses, and how I can best support and impact our community.

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