Member Spotlight

February 3, 2016 Member Spotlight

Meet NAPW members in Member Spotlight, a bi-weekly column where members highlight their careers and businesses. This week, we feature 10 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 featuredwomen@napw.com.

Dana_Donofree_VIP

Dana Donofree

Company: AnaOno
Industry: Fashion / Apparel
Title: Founder / CEO
Location: Philadelphia, PA


NAPW: Describe the ways you stay healthy at work.

Donofree: I’ve always made health a priority, but as a breast cancer survivor, it’s even more important to me. I start every day with a fruit or green smoothie, keep my pantry packed with healthy snacks for when super busy and shop organic when possible. I make it a point to schedule exercise into my calendar whenever possible. Luckily, I live in a city that is walkable and bike-friendly, so I do bike quite a bit, and walk to appointments and meetings.

 

NAPW: Do you equate career success with financial success? How do you separate the two?

Donofree: Absolutely not. Money helps when you are trying to grow and run your own business, but all of the money in the world doesn’t necessarily make people happy with their careers, nor does it translate to success in an industry. I measure my success by the feedback I get from clients or colleagues. If I am able to make a difference in someone’s life, I am successful.

 

NAPW: What tips can you share to maintain motivated employees?

Donofree: It’s important to engage them and give them responsibility over projects while allowing them space to work and grow. I encourage and instill accountability in people. They have to believe in what they’re doing as much as I do. Early in my career, my boss told me, “Don’t ever expect to move up in this world if you can’t replace yourself.” I understood it as a leadership trait to have in order to bring out the best in people, train them well and strive to nurture them to be able to fill my role. It freed me up for new opportunities, and it kept employees focused and motivated. Management means giving compliments and critiquing. You can’t just do one or the other and expect to keep employees working hard for your business.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Donofree: Every time I meet someone, hear her story and see her reaction when she puts on one of our bras, my hard work is validated every time I get positive feedback. I never want to get complacent, so I strive to make better, more innovative products and keep up with improvements in breast surgery so AnaOno continues to evolve with science and technology.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Donofree: I am proud of my business. I initially started AnaOno to satisfy my needs but hoped it would become something more. I wanted to make a bra that looked luxurious. I wanted something that felt gentle against the skin. I wanted women to feel feminine and restore their confidence. I did research and fit sessions to get it right. Even if the business didn’t work, the bras would. I could continue to design and create as a hobby. It did work out as a business; however, that isn’t what makes me proud of AnaOno. It’s being able to serve others and provide them support that does.

 


 

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Jenny_GrayJenny Gray

Company: Professional Styling
by Jenny Gray
Industry: Wardrobe Consulting
Title: President
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

 

NAPW: Do you believe our society glorifies “the busy woman?” Do you ever feel pressured by this stereotype?

Gray: I don’t necessarily think that “the busy woman” is a stereotype. Most of us are busy because we choose to be. We are just accustomed to wearing many different hats: mom, wife, grandmother, housekeeper, chef, business owner, gardener, travel agent and so on. The pressure is self-inflicted. We are the nucleus of the family unit and we know that if we are not on our respective games, the family will not function at the optimal level.

 

NAPW: Describe the ways you stay healthy at work.

Gray: I read a book recently called The Slight Edge. This book really spoke to me. I tend to get fired up about a lifestyle change, charge straight into it only to slowly drift back into old habits. After reading this book, I realized that it is the little things we do every day consistently that make the greatest impact. Instead of setting a goal of running 3.5 miles three days a week, I decided that I would run every day for 15 minutes. Anyone can do anything for 15 minutes a day. It’s been two months now and I’m still running every single day!

 

NAPW: What tips can you share to maintain motivated employees?

Gray: In my experience, employees need to feel appreciated and valued. I never miss an opportunity to tell them that they have done a great job or that I appreciate their effort towards a project. I also try to keep our work environment stimulating, fun and casual. I want them to look forward to coming to work because it doesn’t feel like work.

 

NAPW: How do you prepare for an important work event? (presentations, networking events, conferences, etc.)

Gray: I do my homework first, whatever I need to do to be the most prepared. After I have prepared myself, I visualize exactly how I would like for the event to go. I picture myself closing the deal, making the presentation or whatever the activity will be. I picture the positive outcome of the activity and I feel the excitement of succeeding.  And lastly, I pray that God will give me all the tools and confidence I need to succeed. This exercise has never failed me.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Gray: My proudest accomplishment is my 16-year-old daughter. To see her grow and mature into a beautiful, confident, intelligent young lady is the greatest accomplishment of my life. I had bulimia when I was her age. I never liked my body and was constantly dieting to be thinner. I did not understand that confidence is what makes us attractive – not being a perfect 10. I have been teaching her this life lesson since she was a little girl and I think she really understands the importance of it.

 

 

 

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Carole_GurgoneCarole Gurgone

Company:
East Bay Perinatal
Medical Associates
Industry:
Healthcare
Title: Director of Operations & Finance
Location: Oakland, CA

 

NAPW: Describe the ways you stay healthy at work.

Gurgone: I tend to get wrapped up in projects and stay at my desk for hours on end, so I set an alarm on my phone to get up every so often to stretch, walk around and ask my co-workers how things are going.

 

NAPW: Do you equate career success with financial success? How do you separate the two?

Gurgone: Career success is the personal satisfaction I receive from knowing I do the best job I can. Financial success is something I enjoy because it allows me a certain independence in my life, and allows me to be able to give back and share that success.

 

NAPW: It’s been said that when one door closes, another opens. How true is this for your business life?

Gurgone: I am currently experiencing this now – my company of 25 years is closing. It has been a highly successful run. I am currently excited and ready for a new phase in my life and I’m fortunate to have obtained many skills along the way.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Gurgone: Problem solving and knowing that my contributions have assisted our company in giving back to the community.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Gurgone: Raising a wonderful daughter who has great morals, character and shares my strong work ethic at the same time that I have been able to build a successful career.

 

 

 

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June_Halper_VIPJune Halper

Company: Guttman Development Strategies, Inc. (GDS);
S.P.A.R.C. Women
Industry: GDS—Organization, Leadership Development;
S.P.A.R.C. Women — Consulting
Title: GDS—Senior Consultant;
S.P.A.R.C. Women—Founder /
Managing Partner
Location: GDS—Mt. Arllington, NJ;
S.P.A.R.C. Women—New York, NY

 

NAPW: It’s been said that when one door closes, another opens. How true is this for your business life?

Halper:  It’s very true. I left my first job teaching after four months, as it was clear to me that the environment I was in was not what I was seeking. It was very scary at age 21 to do that with my own apartment, and now no income. I fell into a job in training at a company, which was a perfect match of my graduate school skills, and a dynamic environment that I loved. I’ve never looked back since then!

 

NAPW: How do you prepare for an important work event? (presentations, networking events, conferences, etc.)

Halper: Practice, practice, practice and centering myself, so I am focused on serving the audience I am with.  For networking events, I know to be clear about my objective and stay focused on achieving it.

 

NAPW: How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?

Halper:  This year, my focus is on being present and generous. My work involves being present in the moment so I can accurately hear where others are coming from and respond appropriately. Being generous is about accepting others fully, understanding where they are coming from and responding with compassion.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Halper: The ability to impact and enhance others’ growth and potential is really what drives me in my life and in my career. The opportunity to do so is ever present in my work and therefore, it is a continual joy.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Halper: My strong relationship with my family and contributing to others’ success.

 

 

 

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Brandy_LattaBrandy Latta

Company:
MG9
Industry:
Digital Marketing /
Web Development
Title: Owner
Location: Renton, WA

 

NAPW: Do you believe our society glorifies “the busy woman?” Do you ever feel pressured by this stereotype?

Latta: Yes, I believe our society expects women to wear too many hats and be flawless at wearing all of them. It feels like the minute something doesn’t appear perfect we are instantly judged as being a “bad” mother, executive, employer, wife, etc.

 

NAPW: Describe the ways you stay healthy at work?

Latta: I am at the computer all day, so to incorporate better posture habits, I use a Lumo Lift device. I also switch between an ergonomic chair and a balance ball chair. I have a timer on my phone reminding me to stand up and stretch every couple of hours. I also take a couple of supplements that help with focus, energy and stress.

 

NAPW: It’s been said that when one door closes, another opens. How true is this for your business life?

Latta: I definitely agree with this statement. My business has succeeded solely from client referrals over the last 16 years. Just when I think I need to start looking for more work because all projects are done, the phone rings with another opportunity.

 

NAPW: How do you prepare for an important work event? (presentations, networking events, conferences, etc.)

Latta:

  1. I do a lot of research the day before and make lots of notes trying to account for any questions that may come up. I have backups of backups in case of a needed “plan B.”
  2. If I am speaking, I rehearse over and over again so it sounds more natural.
  3. I make a plan for what I will wear.
  4. I make sure that business cards are easily available.


NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Latta:

  1. Being able to help a business with projects that its staff is stressed out about completing and then seeing their relief and excitement when it is done.
  2. Making my own hours so I can spend time with my family.

 

 

 

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Antionette_MooreVIPAntionette Moore

Company:
Winston-Salem
State University
Industry:
Education
Title: Associate Director of
Technology Integration Group
Location: Kernersville, NC

 

NAPW: Describe the ways you stay healthy at work.

Moore: Physically, I take walks around the campus when visiting / working with faculty and staff. I drink lots of water throughout the day. Mentally, I like to laugh a lot to help minimize stress and I laugh at myself regularly. I maintain a positive outlook while encountering various situations

 

NAPW: What tips can you share to maintain motivated employees?

Moore: I make sure my team members know that I appreciate their work. I always try to make sure I thank them for their efforts. I like to make sure employees are utilized, maximizing their given skill sets to make them feel valued and successful in their roles. Additionally, I give them opportunities to help grow their skill sets and identify what they are passionate about. I show my team members respect by letting them know I value them as human beings, and I am appreciative of all their efforts.

 

NAPW: How do you prepare for an important work event? (presentations, networking events, conferences, etc.)

Moore: When preparing for an important work event, I prepare the material in advance and then rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. If I’m using technology (such as PowerPoint, or the Internet) I try to gain access to the room where I will present and do a dry run of my presentation prior to the actual event.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Moore: I find the faculty, staff, and students are the most rewarding about my job. I love helping and interacting with people.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Moore: My proudest accomplishment was completing my Ph.D. while working full-time. Moreover, I completed it without going into debt. More importantly, as an African-American woman, I am able to be a positive role model for other African-American women in my family and within the community.

 

 

 

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Alannah_Pecha_vipAlannah Pecha

Company: Your Fitness Nanny (YFN) /
Energy Medicine Therapies, LLC (EMT)–
Electro Lymphatic Therapy
Industry:
YFN–Health & Fitness
EMT–Health & Wellness
Title:
YFN–Business Owner / Personal Trainer
EMT–Certified Lymphatic
Decongestive Therapist
Location: YFN–Phoenix, AZ
EMT–Scottsdale, AZ

 

NAPW: Describe the ways you stay healthy at work.

Pecha: Being a personal trainer makes it much easier for me to stay healthy at work than most. Some key actions I practice daily to maintain my health include: always eating breakfast, plan, or at least have an idea of what I’ll be eating for lunch and dinners for the week, continuously drink water, performing little exercise bouts throughout my day and developing a schedule / routine that works for me and sticking to it!

 

NAPW: What tips can you share to maintain motivated employees?

Pecha: Continually provide positive feedback about how they are performing. Have them evaluate your performance. Provide them with new information, interesting facts and continually educate them about the industry. These practices help keep your employees up to date, decrease boredom and possibly increase interest.

 

NAPW: How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?

Pecha:  I want to improve and expand my education throughout the health and fitness industry. I also want to improve myself by participating in more networking and volunteering events. I would love to broaden my horizons through traveling and learning about different cultures.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Pecha: As a business owner and personal trainer, the most rewarding part of my job is the happiness my clients express as they become stronger and more confident in themselves.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Pecha: My proudest accomplishment is starting my own business, Your Fitness Nanny, while being able to change the quality and longevity of people’s lives.

 

 

 

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Kathy_Spencer-PikeKathy Spencer-Pike

Company: Sanofi, Inc.
Industry: Pharmaceuticals
Title:
Vice President,
National Health Plans
Location: Long Valley, NJ


NAPW:
Do you believe our society glorifies “the busy woman?” Do you ever feel pressured by this stereotype?

Spencer-Pike: I actually believe our society sends many mixed messages to women. For example, there is pressure to be successful and have a career, and there is equal pressure to be there for our children, spouses, friends and family. The pressure I feel is to be everything to everyone.

 

NAPW: Do you equate career success with financial success? How do you separate the two?

Spencer-Pike: Great question. No, I don’t. It depends on your chosen career. For me, career success translates to contribution, growth, satisfaction and growth. Financial success depends on your financial goals’ and needs. If career success and financial success intersect, then that’s just awesome.

 

NAPW: It’s been said that when one door closes, another opens. How true is this for your business life?

Spencer-Pike: This adage is truer than I have room to describe! I am a true believer that adversity breeds opportunity. You just need to remain open to all possibilities and remain positive. I have been very blessed in my life and God has had his hand on my career.

 

NAPW: How do you prepare for an important work event? (presentations, networking events, conferences, etc.)

Spencer-Pike: Preparation is essential to confidence, in my opinion. Whether it’s a big presentation, project or networking event, I make it a point to know my audience and I am clear on my objectives and goals.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Spencer-Pike: About eight years ago, I was a new Regional Manager and I inherited a team that had been working together for years. The first full year I had the team, our performance ranked second to last in the nation, yet my leadership team insisted our performance was not related to the skills and talents of our representatives. Their reasoning was that it was poorly executed forecasting. My instincts were telling me our foundational selling skills were not to the level they should be and by setting new expectations, getting my leadership team on the same page and not tolerating average performance, we rose to the No.1 spot the next two years.

 

 

 

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Carol_SacksCarol Sacks

Company:
ABS Partners Real Estate, LLC
Industry:
Commercial Real Estate
Title: Senior Managing Director
Location: New York, NY

 

NAPW: Describe the ways you stay healthy at work.

Sacks: My mother would say, “A healthy body is a healthy mind” – and she was right! We all have our daily frustrations, and I exercise to combat these feelings and issues. Regardless of the time of day, I pick myself up and go to the studio for my workout. The result is I emerge as a more energized and focused person who can then deal more rationally and calmly with my business.

 

NAPW: It’s been said that when one door closes, another opens. How true is this for your business life?

Sacks: Not every real estate deal closes for a multitude of reasons. My mantra is and always has been that there is another deal out there waiting to be made. The key to success in any business is a positive attitude – and to learn from any mistake if it was made.

 

NAPW: How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?

Sacks: I enroll in seminars and networking conferences each quarter that are pertinent to work I’m involved with, or hope to gain an entrée. In this fast-paced industry I work in, I was finding that I was not doing something that I so thoroughly enjoy – which is reading a book! I am learning to make time to enjoy this luxury.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Sacks: A “thank you” from my customers, and seeing their businesses grow and succeed.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Sacks: The respect I have earned from my peers, owners / landlords and customers.

 

 

 

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Julie_WilkinsonJulie Wilkinson

Company: Life Science Consulting, Inc.
Industry:
Biotech / Pharmaceutical
Title:
President
Location: Weston, FL

 

NAPW: Do you believe our society glorifies “the busy woman?” Do you ever feel pressured by this stereotype?

Wilkinson: I was lucky to be part of the national movement to attain a woman’s right to a career outside the home. However, we stopped too soon and sold ourselves short. It’s true that women earned the right to work, but the expectations of society and of ourselves continue to be that women should accept less pay for the same job, while continuing to take care of the home and family. The pressure that I put on myself to be “super woman” has decreased dramatically mainly due to maturity, and I continue to fight for equal pay for all of the women who work with me.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your skills sharp during a personal hiatus? How do you transition back into work mode after a hiatus?

Wilkinson: When I take personal rejuvenation time, I disconnect completely from the job both physically and mentally. My smart phone has a feature called an “off” switch so this is easy, however, my brain’s “off” switch takes a while to kick in. The best way that I’ve found to disconnect mentally is to plan demanding mental activities at the beginning of a break to re-program my brain. I frequently take short breaks from my career in order to stay sharp. There’s never a problem switching back to work mode because I’m mentally and physically refreshed and I’m always excited to return to what I love doing.

 

NAPW: Do you equate career success with financial success? How do you separate the two?

Wilkinson: Never! First, a career is not a job. A career is a passion that drives you every day to grow and succeed despite all the challenges that life brings. Second, it has been proven time and time again that money does not buy happiness. It is so important for your health, happiness and success that you should love what you do, and do what you love! If financial success accompanies your career success, then it’s just icing on the cake.

 

NAPW: How do you prepare for an important work event? (presentations, networking events, conferences, etc.).

Wilkinson: I’ve found that it’s critical before every event to set aside a brief period of time which is 100% dedicated to immersion and putting on your “game face.” No distractions! Find a single stall ladies room or get in your car. Turn off the phone, shut the door and switch off all computers, radios and televisions. Focus on the audience, the image you want to portray, the message you want to convey and your the goals you want to achieve at the event.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Wilkinson: I am very proud that I’ve become the type of person who makes my parents happy and proud. They worked hard to give me the self-confidence and the opportunities to become anything that I chose. I learned how to be successful while also helping others to achieve.

 

 

 

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