Stephanie Lynn Mormilo
AGE 30Municipal Traffic Engineer, Municipality of Anchorage
Adam Elliott Photography
What is the strangest thing
you've ever seen in Alaska?
I love seeing moose that wait for traffic to stop for them before crossing the road! I see it every winter and can't help but to think, "I wish more pedestrians would do that."
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Licensed Professional Civil Engineer in State of Alaska
Community work: Society of Women Engineers Outreach, Girl Scouts, United Way
Family: Partner Steve Durant, cats Aiden and Anise, mother Karen Mormilo and sister Melissa Branch, (a previous Top Forty Under 40 recipient)
Hometown: Alamogordo, N.M.
Favorite lunch spot? Sushi & Sushi.
Best stress reliever? Exercise.
Name the person you most respect and why. My parents. Mom and dad are so different, but both taught me some of the most important lessons in life, like why it's important to work hard even when no one is looking and that you should never judge a book by its cover (and why that applies to people too).
Famous quote to live by: "Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you, and damned if you don't." — Eleanor Roosevelt
How did you make your first dollar? Doing a fragrance demo at the Base Exchange on Elmendorf Air Force Base.
What did your pet or child teach you about business? That persistence pays off. My male cat likes a lot of attention and if he doesn't get it, he follows you around until you pet him. Being cute doesn't hurt!
What is the best moral lesson learned from a character in a book? "This above all: to thine ownself be true," from Shakespeare's "Hamlet." The truth of these words often fall on the deaf ears of high school readers. But as you mature, you learn that to be truly successful and happy in life, you must be true to yourself first and then good things will follow.
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Getting out of my own way. Sometimes I try to talk myself out of things before I even begin because of my fear of failure. I have an amazing family and circle of friends who remind me that nothing in life worth having comes easy.
What was the least intelligent thing you've ever done or seen and what did you learn from it? When I was young, I went out without being dressed for conditions. My friends and I would go to a bar in the middle of winter — no coats — we ran (in tiny clothing and heels) from the car to the building. Now, I would rather be warm than look "cool."
Describe something you learned as a child that made a difference in your later years. Being a military brat, I grew up around people with a variety of backgrounds who were ethnically diverse. I wasn't aware of it as a child, but after I grew up went places outside of the military bases, I realized many places are still segregated. I once asked my dad why skin color matters and he told me that there were nice people and jerks in every color, and that you should always judge a person based on their character and not by their skin. I learned young that our differences make us beautiful and unique, and should never be the reason for holding prejudices.