Women's History Month Profile on Sharon Napier

Words by Katie Ferraro: We’ve learned a few things from Sharon Napier throughout the years including the power of hard work and the importance of blazing your own trail. Named one of Ad Age’s “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising,” Sharon, CEO of Partners + Napier in upstate New York, is a powerful, inspiring woman and supporter of STOKED.

An advertising pioneer, Sharon continues to lead her agency into the future using her intuition as her guide. Sharon is a strong, successful business women and an excellent female role model for our youth. We’re so excited to have her as our latest feature for Women’s History Month!

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 8.50.29 AM

photo: Instagram.com | partnersnapier

Sharon Napier Sharon NY Times 2

photo: NY Times

If you could pick one thing that you would be remembered for, what would it be?

I’d like people to remember that “I did it my way.” My whole life has been about charting my own path, conventions and expectations be damned. I built a successful business with a core value of family after being told that family “wouldn’t build a growth culture.” I’ve always stayed fit and active regardless of my age. I think people will remember me as someone with a ton of energy who did pretty much anything she set her mind to.

One piece of life advice for young people?

Ignore the naysayers. If I’d listened to all the people who said I couldn’t do it, or who told me I couldn't build a nationally recognized advertising agency headquartered in Upstate New York, I would not be where I am today. We all hear that negative voice of uncertainty at times, and it’s OK to feel like, “Oh, God, I’m not sure how I’m going to do this.” That’s very human. But then work to get over that self-doubt and move on.

What don't people know about you? What's your secret talent?

I’m a dog whisperer. Really. Cesar Millan’s got nothing on me.

If you were given an award what song would you walk out to?

“Brick House” by the Commodores, not because I’m mighty mighty and built like an Amazon, but because bricks have long been a symbol of the hard work and challenger attitude of our agency Partners + Napier, which occupies a very cool brick building built in the 1880s. Also, you can’t help but dance to Brick House, right? It’s about confidence.

Who's your she-ro?

My mom. She’s 88 years old and still works in the family business, and has never let her age define her. She taught me so much about persistence and leading with my values. My mom was tough on me when I was growing up, but it was tough love. She always told me, “You can handle it,” which forced me to develop independence and inner strength.

Check out more profiles of amazing women like Ann KaatzLibby DeLanaAlyssa Roenigk, Meg Hale, and Circe Wallace.