Patricia Caneda

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Ms. Caneda is the owner of Caneda's an Empanada Experience.  She lives in Island Heights, New Jersey.

Q. What is the best and worst decision you've ever made?

A. The best decision I ever made was to walk away from Corporate America to follow my passion and become an entrepreneur.

The worst decision I ever made was to allow my fear of the unknown cause me to change my college major from art to marketing. Over the years I have come to realize that my heart was in the arts and finding a place in that world to build a career from. I allowed outside influences to persuade me to take the "safer" course and looking back; I feel that I wasted many years trying to find my passion again.

Q. What woman inspires you and why?

A. My daughters inspire me. Their happiness is in my hands. The quality of their lives is dependent on my influence on them as both mother and provider. They deserve my very best and by staying conscious of that, I give them all I've got every day.

Q. What is the one piece of advice you would give our current OCC students?

A. One piece of advice I would give current OCC students is to never take the future for granted. Assuming there is always tomorrow or next year can be detrimental to their success. By operating with a sense of urgency and embracing that by staying focused and driven to achieve their goals; they will not only meet success but they will have the gift of time to perfect that success and blossom as a person and even perhaps evolve as someone who is able to dedicate time to helping others. In the end we truly are happiest when we can give back.

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