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Celebrating the Woman Next Door: Belinda Kirkegard

In partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women in their shoes.

First and foremost, Belinda Kirkegard is a mom, who is raising “the cutest kids on Earth.” She is also the economic development director for The City of Kissimmee, where she invests her time in helping Osceola County businesses and families thrive. As a member of the AdventHealth Kissimmee Community Advisory Council, she also provides valuable insight to the AdventHealth team.

What is your WHY?

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams.” My why, is because I believe in the beauty of my dreams.

On your toughest of days, what motivates you to put one foot in front of the other?

My faith.

Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.

There are three women who have been powerful influences in my life. 1. My mother, who taught me her morals, ethics and value of hard work. 2. My mother-in-law, whose positive attitude is truly a superpower. 3. My first employer and mentor, Commissioner Mary I. Johnson (RIP), who taught me the most influential women are not only smart but also elegant and kind.

What is the one word that perfectly explains who you are?

Smile

Would you change anything about how you have handled challenges or successes thus far in your life?

No, because all my experiences have made me who I am today.

What are you most proud of?

My family (I married a real life Prince Charming and have the cutest kids on earth).

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and what did you learn from it?

In 2008, I ran for political office unsuccessfully. It was a high-profile race. I had raised $2 million, did everything right and lost by ½ percent! I struggled to understand why because I knew in my heart that’s where I was called to be. Now, I look back and it’s my reminder that God has a plan for us. The experience bolstered me professionally. The connections I made across the state were incredible and, most importantly, I met my now husband on the campaign trail, which was the greatest win possible.

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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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