Member Spotlight

April 27, 2016 Member Spotlight

Meet NAPW members in Member Spotlight, a bi-weekly column where members highlight their careers and businesses. This week, we feature five accomplished women, so be sure to check out each of their profiles. VIP, Elite and Preferred Members: to be featured in an upcoming issue of the newsletter, contact us at

Jade L. Brown

Company: Steadfast Physical Therapy/skinPTTM
Industry: Physical Therapy/
Title: Physical Therapist, Creator, Entrepreneur
Location: Kula, HI

How do you network?

Brown: The simple answer to this question is I network with trust. Here on Maui it’s all about “word of mouth” for niche businesses. Tourist-based businesses do quite well with advertising in all manner of venues. If a business desires to become part of our local community, trust must be earned and sustained over time. It becomes a very natural extension in our community to promote trustworthy services.

NAPW: What is the best business advice you ever received from another woman?

Brown: “Don’t be afraid to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or awkward, because that’s where your passion is! Breathe through it and keep on showing-up authentically. These are the moments when your ‘magic’ happens.”

NAPW: What one key factor made the difference in your business?

Brown: Steadfastness. I actually changed the name of my practice to “Steadfast Physical Therapy” because steadfast is what I had to become.

NAPW: Describe a career setback that you have learned the most from.

Brown: Relocating and starting over after a difficult divorce required me to birth strength within me yet undiscovered. Today, I am the strongest person I know.

NAPW: What major obstacle did you overcome in the past year?

Brown: I am a self-employed entrepreneur. Last year I started a skincare line that breaks all the rules. I am currently starting up my new business, skinPT™. Skincare has never been looked at from a physical therapy perspective before. Despite a regularly non-supportive reception from those in the industry, my brand and messaging is well received in my local community. I’ve been feeling so empowered that I just launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to bring skinPTTM to a wider audience.

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Marianne Dunn

Company: Your Story Coaching
Industry: Consulting
Title: Certified Addictions
Peer Recovery Coach
Location: Indianapolis, IN

What are some creative techniques you use to increase your team’s productivity?

Dunn: At the end of each day, we make time to decompress and just talk about what’s going on. Computers and phones are on mute and out of reach. It may be five minutes or 30 minutes—but we try to leave work at work and go home to our families focused on them.

NAPW: How do you network?

Dunn: Sometimes networking has consisted of the good old fashion sales technique of a “cold call.” My business associate and I spend time going out into the community introducing ourselves and leaving business cards and literature about Your Story Coaching. We also make sure to attend the openings of other woman-owned businesses in our area as a sign of support.

NAPW: If you could take day off from work, what would you do first? Why?

Dunn: I think it’s very important for women to take care of themselves. A day off to re-energize only makes you better. Time spent getting a massage or your nails done, or grabbing lunch with some girlfriends is important—and we should not feel guilty about it!

NAPW: What is the best business advice you ever received from another woman?

Dunn: I recently read a comment from Fashion Designer Eileen Fisher: “Life-fulfilling work is not about the money—when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.” This statement holds true in my business. Helping others to overcome addictions is so rewarding in and of itself that money truly comes second. I am dealing with someone’s life and I understand that and take it very seriously.

NAPW: How big of a factor has your personality played in your success?

Dunn: Personality is huge in business. Especially when you are speaking to someone one-on-one about very personal issues, like I do in Addictions Recovery Coaching. I am truly interested in what my clients have to say and I really want to help. I learn something new every day and have had the privilege of working with people from all walks of life. It’s an adventure every day.

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Summer Gould

Company: Eye/Comm, Inc.
Industry: Direct Mail/Marketing
Title: President
Location: Santee, CA

What do you want members to know about you?

Gould: For over 24 years I have worked in the print and direct mail field. It is a very male-dominated industry and at times, that aspect of my job has been very frustrating. I am very excited to join this group in order to discuss common problems we all have as women and get other perspectives that can help me to learn and grow.

NAPW: How do you use social media to promote your career or business?

Gould: I use Twitter to provide helpful marketing tips to my followers, as well as to post the blogs I write for both Eye/Comm and Target Marketing Magazine. I use LinkedIn to network with people and share information and I use the Facebook Page feature to post fun information about Eye/Comm as well as marketing tips.

NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Gould: I think it is very important to make time for my family and for me. I maintain a positive attitude and find little things each day to really enjoy. Life is too short to dwell on what we cannot control. We spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our family. I feel that it is important to get to know and enjoy working with them.

NAPW: Do you feel you have achieved success by your own rules or have you compromised in any way?

Gould: I do feel that I have been able to achieve success by my own rules. I have been able to focus on my goals, both in business and personal. I think as women we have to fight harder to be heard and acknowledged for our achievements. The hard work is worth it and I plan to continue to push forward.

NAPW: At the culmination of your career, what would you look back on as your biggest achievement?

Gould: My biggest achievement will come in knowing that I spent my life helping others. I pass on my knowledge and share my passion and positive attitude with the people I encounter. Life is a gift that we all have been granted. Do not squander it, but rather, embrace it and live it each day.

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Janice C. Ross

Company: Janice C. Ross,
Whole Life Coaching, LLC
Industry: Life Coaching
Title: Life Coach
Location: Madison, WI

What do you want members to know about you?

Ross: My most important values are integrity and consideration. I’m an avid learner with a passion for functional fitness, physiology, the human body and nature—and I love conversation for the sake of conversation. I spent years following other peoples’ well intended “shoulds” before realizing it wasn’t working for me. I now have a job that adds value to my life. I love what I do and I strive to show up as the best “me,” as opposed to trying to be someone I thought I should be.

NAPW: How do you use social media to promote your career or business?

Ross: I post monthly blogs and daily positive, informative and/or inspirational messages on Facebook which, when opened, direct people to my website. They can then enter into a conversation about the blog and can find out more about my background, brand and business. I am just beginning to use LinkedIn and learn about Twitter.

NAPW: What makes this company a good fit for you?

Ross: As an Entrepreneur I can schedule my work around my life. As a Life Coach, I spend my time listening and staying curious, non-judgmental and searching for alternative perspectives to my clients’ stories. This mindset has helped me tremendously as I am also the mother of three teenage boys. I come home energized and excited instead of exhausted and stressed out.

NAPW: Describe your methods of managing a heavy workload.

Ross: I prioritize and then I start with the first step: lists. I love to cross things off my lists and I keep them in an obvious place. I try to be conscious of my weak areas and delegate those to someone more capable. Once I get started, I do my best and what I don’t get done I call “job security” for the next day.

NAPW: What are some of your tips for “dressing for success?”

Ross: Dress in something that makes you feel like your best self. By that, I mean don’t dress in something that feels like a costume and then try to act the part. You will always be most successful being the best you that you can be. If you try to be someone else, that’s where you’ll find competition. When you put on your “work clothes” and look in the mirror, your reflection should make you smile, stand a little taller and feel ready to take on the day.

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Lara Thrailkill

Company: Ryan, Gunsauls,
& O’Donnell, LLC
Industry: Public Accounting
Title: Audit Manager
Location: Denver, CO

What was your first-ever job and what did you learn from it?

Thrailkill: My first job was a cook in a bar owned by a family friend. When the bar was sold, the new owners kept me on for a time until they hired a professional chef, who did not want a 16-year-old working for him. I remember being hurt at the time, feeling I should have done better. Looking back as an adult, I understand more about the liability of having an underage employee in a bar. I learned a lot about the importance of doing things correctly. Preparing, cooking and cleaning in any type of environment where failure can make customers sick encourages an attention to detail and overall mindfulness of my responsibilities, which carried forward into cashiering and cash management positions that led to my current career as an Accountant.

NAPW: What type of work ethic do you feel exists in business today?

Thrailkill: It depends on the age group of employees and the type of business. As a general rule I believe more people are honest than not and that we strive to do good for others. People around my age, 40s to 50s, still expect to work hard. They often seek to work independently and are driven and focused. Many of the younger generation, 20s to 30s, view work as a means to providing a lifestyle.

NAPW: Describe a situation in which you did “all the right things” and were still unsuccessful. What did you learn from the experience?

Thrailkill: My answer has less to do with business and more to do with personal relationships. As my marriage of 13 years was falling apart, I remember visiting marriage counselors, the programs designed to increase communication, learning forgiveness and relationship-building skills, struggling to overcome mental illness and lots of prayer. Unfortunately, my marriage still fell apart and I found myself responsible for a house, three daughters and a life in shambles. I learned I am stronger than I believe I am, compassion costs little but gives so much, change is not bad and my circumstances do not define me.

NAPW: How does your company differ from its competitors?

Thrailkill: My company strives to be customer-oriented and responsive. We strive to have competent, capable staff available to answer questions and perform quality services in an efficient and effective manner. On a personal level, the firm is dedicated to ensuring employees don’t get lost in the overload of work and stress the importance of personal time outside of the office.

NAPW: In business, are there ever times when you feel your confidence waning? How do you handle it?

Thrailkill: In my profession, one guarantee is that someone is going to come behind you and scrutinize every piece of work you complete and tell you everything you did wrong, or forgot. It can be overwhelming and there are times that I feel like I must have forgotten how to do my job. It is helpful for me to back up and remind myself that my circumstances do not dictate who I am. I am not perfect, I will make mistakes. The real question is how do I want to handle those mistakes?

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Megan Bozzuto

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