Evan Samson: Perseverance is his strength

One of Sarasota, Florida’s 35 under 35 young professionals

It may seem like Jerty Evan Samson has coasted through life from Pacific island to Sin City to Florida’s Gulf Coast.

He was born in Saipan where his OFW parents met and married,  moved to Las Vegas in his 20s, and is now a resident of Sarasota, Florida where a local magazine has recently named him one of 35 Under 35 young professionals “who are taking a leadership position at their companies and in the community.”

There was an in-between time spent in Baliwag, Bulacan where he came of age and went to computer school before returning to the North Mariana island as a teen. There, he worked as a graphic artist for the local paper.

“I was living and working in Saipan at the age of 18 away from my family,” he said when reached by The FilAm. “It  taught me a lot of perseverance in life.”

He realizes now how life’s transitions have prepared him for a future of constant ebb and flow. There were periods of adjustments that were difficult and scary but Evan craved his independence more than anything in the world.

He started an online graphic tees store in the Philippines while doing freelance design and marketing. He brought his skill set with him to Vegas where he also moonlighted as a restaurant worker. In Florida, he found his bearing. He  is currently working as an Integrated Marketing Communications Officer at Diversified Material Specialists Inc., (DMSI) an international company in Nokomis  specializing in fiber optic product design and manufacturing.

Packing toys to give to children for Christmas.
The SRQ magazine feature

Evan is proud to be one of two Asians in the 35 Under 35 honor roll bestowed on him by SRQ magazine. At DMSI, he was able to redesign the company logo, branding and all marketing documents. He took over the web design and development from an outsourced company. Additionally, he initiated a couple of side projects: building young employees’ confidence through networking and providing free access to books for the staff.

“They gave me the creative freedom that made me do what I love to do,” he told the magazine.

DMSI is led by a Filipino-American CEO, Jeneth D’Alonzo, he said. “The company’s values and purpose aligned with what I would always want to do. Create solutions not only through fiber optic products but also by building the community around us.”

He believed his “formula for success”  is the quality of perseverance. He said, “I wouldn’t be where I am now if I remained complacent and did not persevere. My perseverance allowed me to improve personally and professionally by not letting adversities define me.”

On a macro level, he shared his concerns about escalating homelessness and would like to see an economy “without leaving the community behind.”

If there is one person – living or deceased — Evan would like to meet, it would be Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American Hollywood actress. “I would ask what made her resilient and persevering in being able to do what she loves to do and break all the boundaries despite facing constant stereotyping and discrimination in Hollywood.”

“One thing I’m good at is I’m very adaptable,” he told The FilAm. “After a few adjustments from fast-life Vegas to easy-going Sarasota, I managed to adapt to the environment.”

Music will always be part of Evan’s life. He started singing on stage when he was 5 years old inspired in great part by his grandfather Ernesto Dela Pena who composed timeless OPM songs, such as “May Bukas Pa,” “Kapalaran,” and “Araw-Araw, Gabi-Gabi.”

“I always wanted to be a singer. A huge part of it was my grandfather. He has been an inspiration.”

Today, his life revolves mostly around philanthropic activities motivated, he said, by “how to make a good impact in our society.” – Cristina DC Pastor

© The FilAm 2022

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