Miren Oca, Founder and Director of Ocaquatics Swim School, joined our Senior Leader Network in December 2021. For some time, Miren has been a staunch advocate for climate issues and social equality, all the while employing the Four Tenets of Conscious Capitalism to advance these important causes.
Captivated by our movement’s founders
Long before joining the Network, Miren was captivated by the words of wisdom shared by our Movement’s founders and leaders.
“One of my personal core values is growth and I love to read! As an entrepreneur, I have always been an avid reader of business and leadership books,” she explains.
Citing some of her favorites, Miren lists that over the years, she has “devoured Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, Conscious Leadership, and The Conscious Capitalism Field Guide.”
Miren is also a dedicated listener of The Conscious Capitalists podcast hosted by Timothy Henry and Raj Sisodia, where Timothy and Raj discuss current topics from the perspective of conscious entrepreneurs and businesses.
A dual purpose founded in environmentalism and equality
Miren’s dedication to growing as a Conscious Capitalist coupled with her personal commitments to both environmentalism and equality have only strengthened her principles and Higher Purpose in her South Florida community.
Touching on Ocaquatics’s recent certification as the first swim school to earn a B Corporation Certification, Miren shares, “Our Higher Purpose centers on people and the planet and our initiatives are always aligned with this as our guiding principle.”
Ocaquatics’s immediate goal is that every child can jump into a body of water and return to the wall consistently and unassisted. The team also works on having children swim longer distances with independent breathing. This progression continues into stroke development. And most importantly, children have fun while completing each of these goals.
In addition to teaching these life saving skills to families in South Florida since 1994, Miren has built Ocaquatics to focus on:
- Prioritizing diversity within the organization and as a reflection of the depth and breadth of Miami and its surrounding communities
- Supporting environmental protection, especially through its commitment to 1% for the Planet
- Offsetting carbon emissions with verified environmental projects through We Are Neutral
- Doing its part to advocate for clean water access by donating one day of water for every swim lesson the organization teaches
This is all in addition to Ocaquatics notable presence in its community through participation in local food and supply drives, community clean ups, regular recycling, and much more.
Elaborating further, Miren shares, “We feel that the Four Tenets of Conscious Capitalism and the principles of certified B Corporations are strongly aligned and we would like to see both movements become more mainstream.”
Finding strength through the pandemic
Touching on lessons she’s learned in her professional journey that strengthened her commitment to Conscious Capitalism, Miren referenced the challenges that emerged from the pandemic.
The global crises that resulted from Covid-19 couldn’t keep Miren and the Ocaquatics team from supporting and uplifting their community.
When they couldn’t hold in-person celebrations at the end of their swimming programs, they organized graduation and birthday drive-bys. With the vast local need for PPP, Ocaquatics stepped up immediately to assist. Without being able to hold in-person swim lessons, the team did everything they could to make online sessions as meaningful as possible.
This is all in addition to ensuring her team stayed connected via Zoom, committing to fortified medical benefits and providing rent abatement letters for staff, enacting strict safety protocols upon their in-person return, and more. With all of these measures, the Ocaquatics community certainly noticed:
“The positive encouragement we received from our stakeholders during our Covid-19 shutdown made me realize we were doing a lot of things right! Because our culture is centered on doing our best for people … we all came together to encourage each other and thrive during the challenging times.”
Inspiration through connection and shared experience
During the pandemic and beyond, Miren has treasured the community she’s found in the Network and Conscious Capitalism community.
Reflecting on the opportunities to collaborate, grow, and learn together, Miren mentions the inspiration she finds in connecting with other executive leaders dedicated to elevating humanity:
“Connecting with business leaders who share this common philosophy inspires me … I love the learning that comes from collaboration. The members in this group inspire me and, with every interaction, I gain great new ideas to implement in my business that will make Ocaquatics Swim School an even better place to work and grow.”
Miren’s advice to fellow Conscious Capitalists
Don’t be afraid to start small — that’s the crux of Miren’s feedback to today’s Conscious Capitalists:
“Every little positive change you make in your business adds to the critical mass of the movement. No change is too insignificant. Each drop, when added to another, becomes a ripple that continues on and can inspire and help others.”
In addition to the smaller steps that we all take to advance the Movement, Miren also emphasizes the importance of collaboration and working together.
“I also feel that we are stronger together and I would encourage anyone who is interested in this space to find a group of like-minded, purpose-driven businesses. In my experience, joining the Conscious Capitalism Senior Leader Network has helped [the Ocaquatics team] collaborate with other values-aligned, conscious businesses.”
For Miren, being a part of the Network has given her and her team the strength and support needed to carry on in their Higher Purpose when parts of the business community might not be leaning in the same direction.