Art and Science of Success
Avein Saaty-Tafoya’s success story really began when she was a child refugee in the Appalachian town of Logan, Ohio.
She served as the CEO of Adelante Healthcare for 14 years before starting AST Consulting, where she serves as the President and CEO. She is also on the Board of Directors at the FLINN Foundation.
Saaty-Tafoya’s family escaped a war-torn Northern Iraq and was granted asylum in the United States.
Her mother (who was an English teacher) went to school for social work and became a counselor. She often bright clients to a nearby lake to create a therapeutic setting for healing. Saaty-Tafoya and her siblings were often in the background playing, but the experience made an impression on her core personality.
“It gave me insight into why someone might be suffering,” says Saaty-Tafoya.
Her father was a jeweler and clockmaker. Her parent’s marriage of science and art in an environment that celebrated compassion and service, brought Saaty-Tafoya to study art for her undergraduate degree and to consider a career in medical illustration.
Her career eventually landed in community health. Which she describes as a combination between public health, primary care and social services.
“When you’re building your own organization or a company or an idea or product; the hours are long. What you put in is often what you get out. But, you do have flexibility. You can decide on your schedule. You can look at projects with more scrutiny: ‘how much of my time, my energy, my expertise is this going to require? Am I going to learn something? Is it building on some of my flat spots that I need to build some more competence or experience in? Is this a feel god project? Where I might even be giving away a little bit of my time? But it will serve me as well as the client or the organization I’m about to take on? ‘You’ve got to ask yourself these tough” questions.