We had the good fortune of connecting with Annette Yates and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Annette, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Although I relocated from Richmond, Virginia to Phoenix, AZ twelve years ago, I grew up in a rural area of Virginia as the youngest of five children. While a senior in high school, my dad lost his job which affected my family financially and my sister’s ability to remain in college because my mother did not work. As the fourth and fifth of five she and I were very close therefore, when our family’s financial struggles affected her, they affected me deeply knowing she was struggling. Needless to say, even though I graduated in the top ten in my high school class, there were no college fund available. My dad was never able to secure a new job that paid as much as his former position and knowing that my sister may have to quit college due to family financial issues, upon graduation I relocated to Richmond, Virginia to seek employment so that I could send her money to help her remain in college. Once she graduated, I was able to now focus on my career path. Seeing what education did to help my sister succeed, I decided to pursue a college degree at night while working full time. Needless to say my work ethic ability to budget my finances and my drive to succeed were being perfected.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After relocating to Phoenix and being downsized from my IT position at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Virginia, and now as a twelve-year Solopreneur, the thing that sets me apart from others is, I never wanted to own a business. This assessment came when my last child relocated to AZ to attend ASU. I returned to college just to stay relevant. After previously pursuing an IT degree and working in IT for over 20 years, I decided to expand my horizons by taking business classes. After being exposed to what it took to own a business, especially the aspects of hiring and managing employees, I was turned off to the idea of owning a business. What set my two businesses apart from others is the fact that I never hired employees. I recruited volunteers who could not afford the membership fees at my first business, Curves South Mountain. The Setay Dance and Fitness brand unique because it supported by renting space to individuals interested in owning their own businesses by pursuing dance and fitness as instructors or offering community workshops at SETAY.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Of course, I would bring them to SETAY Dance and Fitness due to the variety of dance and fitness classes and events that are offered to the community. Prior to Charleston’s on Ray Road and Claim Jumpers on Baseline Rd being shut down due to COVID-19, I would have taken my friends to these places for dinner and lunch or Michael’s Café for great music and dancing. With the fact that I reside in South Mountain, taking them to the top of the mountain to overlook the city amazing view for those visiting the City. The MIM museum, the Phoenix Zoo and various events that I am sure the networking groups here offer would be next on list once the Pandemic is over.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Being married for 31 years and now having three successful adult children and eleven grands, I can definitely give God the praise for my family. During my 30 year Information Technology (IT) career, I was fortunate to be allowed the opportunity to volunteer for a technology networking organization helped perfect my leadership skills as the President of the Richmond, Virginia chapter and joining the Board of Directors at the national level. With the organization’s focus on mentoring high school youth by recruiting and offering them opportunities to master web development, teaming and presentation skills, my leadership skills allowed me the opportunity to mentor many youth as they pursued IT careers over the twenty years as a member of BDPA.org.

Website: setaydanceandfitness.com
Instagram: setay2014
Linkedin: Annette Yates or SETAY Dance and Fitness
Twitter: setay2014
Facebook: setay2014
Youtube: Setay Dance and Fitness “A Healthy Lifestyle Event Center”

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