January 2015 Member Spotlight

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Meet NAPW members in Member Spotlight, a monthly column that lets members highlight their careers and businesses. This month, we feature 22 accomplished women, so be sure to check out each of their profiles. Now, for easy networking within your field or area of interest, we are featuring new industry categorization. VIP, Elite and Preferred Members: To be featured in an upcoming issue of the newsletter, contact us at featuredwomen@napw.com.

Healthcare / Pharmaceuticals / Technology


Patricia-I-Brown

Patricia I. Brown

Company: Healthy Living
Industry:
Physician and Author
Title: Healthcare: Doctor
Location: Chicago, IL


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

Brown: The best advice I ever received was from my mother. When I was in school, she always reminded me that obtaining knowledge was more important than a good grade or rewards; the appropriate accolades would follow. This advice was the foundation upon which I have built my career and business. My focus is not on the glory which will come, but on the process and the growth experienced.

 

NAPW: Do you believe that exercise and a proper diet helped in your success?

Brown: Exercise, good nutrition and sleep are very important. Many illnesses that we, as a society, experience are a result of our sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits. If one does not feel well, it is very difficult to perform daily activities, much less be successful. In my most recent book, So What! My Kid Is a Little Plump, I help parents and children develop eating and exercise habits that promote a better quality of life and longevity. Many don’t know what constitutes a healthy diet, and some believe that a child that is overweight or “plump” is a healthy child. My book helps parents understand why this is not true, and that if changes are not made, the current generation of children will be the first to die before their parents.

 

NAPW: What stereotypes about women do you encounter that annoy you the most? How do you overcome the stereotypes others place on you?

Brown: I find it very hard to take stereotypes seriously. They are inconsequential and are not of importance to me. I know who I am, and my spirit is the “real” me; therefore, I find it very difficult to reflect upon, or take to heart, an opinion based on what is outwardly perceived.

 

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

Brown: I would spend time with my 11-year-old twins. It seems like just yesterday they were babies. The other evening, we spent time just talking, sharing and laughing together, and we really enjoyed each others’ company. I, as a parent, like experiencing the values they have internalized, and seeing them evolve into successful people.

 

NAPW: What woman in history has most influenced your beliefs?

Brown: Maya Angelou was an awesome role model. She encouraged acceptance, resilience and diversity; and she was not afraid to express her opinions even if they were considered novel.

 

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Kelley-R-Hill

Kelley R. Hill

Company:
Healthcare Tech Talk
Industry:
Healthcare Technology
Title: Co-Founder & Co-Host
Location: Noblesville, IN

NAPW: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Hill: You’ll do right by being bold everywhere and eradicating fears by creating opportunity, taking challenges head on and always remaining open to learning. If it isn’t scary, you can’t be brave.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Hill: Courageous and wise, with integrity.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Hill: My role model is Thomas Jefferson, and my inspiration is my future self.

 

NAPW: What is your profession? Why did you choose it?

Hill: My profession is nursing leadership and education, which is a third career for me. After deciding that I needed more direction and a career that I could retire from, I sat down and made a list of what I wanted and didn’t want in a career. I then talked with an academic advisor (something that I had never done even with three prior degrees), and while I never saw anything about myself that said “nurse,” it fit the bill I had created. So, per his suggestion, I started with some needed prerequisites, and went on to fall in love with the ensuing program and experience. I soon discovered that I excelled at management and transformation. My passion, however, is my podcast “Healthcare Tech Talk,” which I hope to pursue for a long time to come as well.

 

NAPW: What or who led you to your career path?

Hill: Sister Rachel Waltz, my Health Assessment professor, led me to a career in emergency services. In my first semester of nursing school, she pegged me as an emergency nurse. I was suspect, wondering how she could size me up in such a way after only knowing me for a couple of weeks. After my first semester of clinicals, though, I took a student nurse “extern” position in a large emergency department. Now, after many years in practice, I understand how she did it; and she was right!

 

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Oksana-Sokolovsky

Oksana Sokolovsky

Company: ROkITT
Industry:
Technology:
Digital Media/Electronics
Title: Co-Founder
Location:
New York, NY


NAPW
: When the going gets tough, where do you go?

Sokolovsky: When the going gets tough, I get my energy from continuing to stay the course, being passionate about what I do and not giving up. During tough times, I tend to introspect and get energy from within myself.

 

NAPW: What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Sokolovsky: Given my commitment to my career and family, at times, it’s difficult to find time to focus on myself. I recently rejoined the gym and started working out with a personal trainer. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, I spend as much time with my family as possible. My favorite way to relax is to swim and be by the water, and I do so every time I have the opportunity.

 

NAPW: Do you think it’s important to avoid letting success define who you are?

Sokolovsky: I strongly believe that success doesn’t define who you are. Life comes with ups and downs, and it’s very important to be true to yourself and your values, independent of what you achieve and what heights you reach. One’s core values define one’s self, not one’s success. If you can maintain your individuality and your core values throughout your career, that’s true success.

 

NAPW: When starting out, how important was networking to the success of your business today?

Sokolovsky: I am a strong believer in building relationships. Networking is not just about your connections. Networking is all about the relationships you build. Expanding your network and building and maintaining relationships are fundamental parts of succeeding in your career or business. I am just starting my business, and due to existing long-standing relationships and a wide network, I got a good kick-start. In addition to having a network, it is important to actively stay in touch with people in your network. Be there for them at all times, not just when you need them.

 

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

Sokolovsky: I find that motivating your team is easy when your leadership style is genuine. You really need to care about the people you work with and make sure that they understand your vision and that they are part of the journey. Their success is your success, not vice versa. You work together, you win together. Motivation comes from being able to enjoy what you do, feeling that you can contribute and knowing that you as an individual matter. In my career, I have learned that as long as you treat everyone with respect, have compassion for their values and allow people to be themselves, you will have a motivated and very dynamic team.

 

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Kathryn-M-Delaney_vip

Kathryn M. Delaney

Company: AMAG Pharmaceuticals
Industry:
Pharmaceuticals/
Biotechnology
Title: Manager, Clinical
Compliance
Location: Kansas City, MO

 

NAPW: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Delaney: Reach for the stars, and never give up on any dream you have. Keep education a priority in life as there is always an opportunity to learn and advance your knowledge to benefit your career.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Delaney: Ambitious, committed and happy.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Delaney: My maternal grandmother is my role model and inspiration. She is a strong, independent woman with a kind soul, who believes in faith and sees the positive in many situations.

 

NAPW: What is your profession? Why did you choose it?

Delaney: I am a Manager of Clinical Compliance for AMAG Pharmaceuticals. I enjoy working in the field of clinical trials and clinical operations because we aim to develop a treatment for a disease or condition with an unmet need, which provides an opportunity for those individuals to live a healthier life.

 

NAPW: What or who led you to your career path?

Delaney: I always knew I wanted to be involved in the health field because I enjoy being able to help people be healthy. After graduating with my undergraduate degree, I honestly did not know about the career opportunities available in clinical trials; but I happened to come across a position that was appealing to me, and I got the job. I have been fascinated by clinical trials from day one, and I am thoroughly pleased with how my career has progressed and where it is going.

 

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Mary-L.-Traynor

Mary L. Traynor

Company: inVentiv Health Clinical
Industry:
CRO/Pharmaceuticals/
Biotechnology
Title: Associate Director,
Clinical Research,
Project Director Clinical Endpoint
Study Management
Location: Swansea, MA

 

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

Traynor: Always treat others as you would like to be treated.

 

NAPW: Do you believe that exercise and a proper diet helped in your success?

Traynor: Yes, I do. Proper eating habits provide fuel for performance and exercise increases alertness and a sense of well-being.

 

NAPW: What stereotypes about women do you encounter that annoy you the most? How do you overcome the stereotypes others place on you?

Traynor: I have been fortunate in that I have not been directly impacted, as far as I know, by stereotypes. However, if I were to be impacted, my course of action would likely be to continue growing from the experience and always maintain my position regarding respect for others.

 

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

Traynor: I would ease into the day with my morning coffee while planning something fun to do. I believe taking time for myself, whether visiting family, going for a massage or facial or simply reading a novel, is enriching and strengthens my inner being. It readies me for a new day. As professional women, it is essential to take time for ourselves since we have many other things in life, other than our careers, which take up our time and energy.

 

NAPW: What woman in history has most influenced your beliefs?

Traynor: I am very influenced by Jackie Kennedy because she was the essence of grace under fire. I very much admire Hillary Clinton for her passion for politics, her commitment to empowering women and her fierce dedication.

 

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Writing / Coaching / Public Speaking


Karen-E.-Taube

Karen E. Taube

Company: ELATIONSHIP! Coaching, LLC
Industry:
Lifestyle and
Business Coaching
Title:
Founder & Certified
Professional Coach
Location: Salem, NH

 

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

Taube: I have achieved success according to my own rules. Deciding to leave a full-time position in an agency that provided crisis services for survivors of domestic abuse was not easy; however, I knew that it was time to take that leap of faith and live my life’s purpose in my own unique way.

 

NAPW: What was the catalyst that inspired you to start your own business?

Taube: I worked with survivors of domestic abuse for 10 years in the capacity of Crisis Counselor and Advocate. I had the honor of empowering people to move from a place of victim to survivor. I recognized that my next step was to empower people to move from surviving to THRIVING by creating healthy and loving relationships with themselves. Everyone deserves to live a life filled with love, joy and abundance. It is my mission to help others gain the insight and skills to make this happen.

 

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

Taube: In choosing to leave my previous agency, I was able to open the door to a work-life balance that suits me. I have also formed some great partnerships with organizations, including my former employer. It has given me the opportunity to expand upon the work that I have done in the past and to bring my talents and enthusiasm to a larger audience while still honoring my roots.

 

NAPW: How do you network?

Taube: I am always open to opportunities. Today, I networked with a yoga studio owner just through having a conversation about our shared values and experiences. I enjoy people, and I love being able to collaborate. Life is all about give and take. To me, networking is about finding ways that we can help each other further our missions.

 

NAPW: When things get tough, how do you keep yourself going?

Taube: It is important to me to be in silence. I practice yoga and meditation on a regular basis. This helps ground me. I also start each day with gratitude for all of the amazing people in my life, and I end each day with gratitude for all that I have been able to accomplish. Being thankful for what I have, rather than focusing on what has not yet manifested, makes all the difference for me.

 

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Adrienne-MacDonald_vip

Adrienne MacDonald

Company: Braveheart Women
Resonate Atlanta Chapter
Industry:
Coaching, Female Success Model TM,
Female Transformation Model TM
Title: Braveheart Women Resonator
and Female Success Model Coach
Location: Marietta, GA

 

NAPW: What advice would you give to your younger self?

MacDonald: My younger self grew up in the war in Belfast. She lost her family home after it was bombed, she was spat on and threatened on her way to school and she was very scared. I would tell her to continue putting one foot in front of the other, to give herself time and to reach out for assistance. There are so many people willing to give time and advice. Continue looking for kind people, the helpers and the ones that inspire others. You will find them in many places; don’t be afraid to talk to them.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

MacDonaldInspiring, enthusiastic and curious.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

MacDonald: In my roles as Resonator and Certified Female Quantum Journey Coach for BraveHeart Women, I feel very lucky to be surrounded by many women who inspire me from all over the world, however, Ellie Drake, the founder of BraveHeart Women, is inspiration in action. Like me, she also grew up in a war situation, the Iran-Iraq war. After seeing the nighttime bombings, she came to the US when she was about 18 years old and spoke little English; and by the time she was 30, she was a millionaire. She continues to inspire me daily. She is kind and brave, and she follows her intuition while continuing to build her business, raise her children and enhance her relationships.

 

NAPW: What is your profession? Why did you choose it?

MacDonald: I attended college to become a Registered Nurse as I really felt called to serve people. After my daughter was born, I semi-retired so that I could stay at home with her then and when she entered school. I was lucky to be offered a job at her school as the nurse and be at home with her most evenings.

I also founded the GA CPR and Safety, and while I was growing this business, I went back to school to become a certified coach. During the course, I kept feeling that there was a missing link for women. I was finding that women were becoming more successful, yet, their health was suffering. So many women now have high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and heart disease, which became the number one cause of death for women. The course did not have the answer for how to change that, so I decided to put one foot in front of the other to find that missing link. I found it via a phone call with Dr. Ellie Drake introducing “The Female Success Model.” It is the perfect remedy for the stressful, adrenalin-fueled world we live in — shifting from a state of fight, fright or freeze to create and collaborate. This program, written especially for women, will enhance every part of your life with tools that allow you to live a life filled with ease. I found that missing link with BraveHeart Women and the Female Prosperity Hormone TM®.

 

NAPW: What or who led you to your career path?

MacDonald: My mom. She was an RN and a midwife. Even though she had lost everything with five young children at one point in her life, she never gave up. She continued to get up every day with hope, and when we were somewhat settled again, she returned to nursing.

 

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Dee-Calvert

Dee Calvert

Company: Dee Calvert, LLC
Industry:
Arts: Literary/Poetry
Title: CEO
Location: Louisville , KY

 

NAPW: What do you want members to know about you?

Calvert: I’m very unusually accomplished despite doing all of this on my own. I received voluntary mentoring from some of my “overachiever friends,” one was an international healthcare expert and won awards normally won by US Surgeon Generals and led US healthcare delegations to China, etc. My personal strategies for success vastly paid off in my former hospital management profession; yet, that wasn’t my greatest calling. I will reveal more at a later date as appropriate, but I’ll soon have a free eBook available entitled, How I Met My Twin Flame Soul Mate, which is a romantic memoir.

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Calvert: As an unusually accomplished American and professional, who has had the benefit of being mentored by many highly accomplished males, I love to give back by mentoring others in terms of both professional and personal success.

 

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

Calvert: I am still in the initial startup phase of publishing my first book, Good Love: Lessons from Bangladesh, a romantic memoir akin to Eat, Pray, Love, but with heart-wrenching twists and turns slated to be self-published in 2015. So, I admit I’m currently under using my other professional and social media sites, including my author website, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Skype, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but not for long!

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Calvert: I get up early and go to sleep fairly early as I’m a morning person. I’m well balanced and typically do a wide variety of things that are most important to me. Being extremely creative, I detest routines for myself because they stifle my creativity, although my writing has been all non-fiction. I typically accomplish a lot on any given day.

 

NAPW: Did you ever face a glass ceiling with this career choice, and what did you do about it?

Calvert: No, and, thank God, that is one obstacle I never encountered personally. My early profession was female dominated, plus, nobody knew what it even was most of my life. Nevertheless, males inquiring about an open position in my city were always offered substantially more money than women. I was outspoken about this inequality, and even though the hospital executive males I spoke with gave me the “What planet do you come from?” look, I never regretted speaking out or speaking up.

 

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Munni A. Irone_vip

Munni A. Irone

Company: MJD Film Production
Industry:
Television/Film/Radio
Title: CEO
Location: Pasadena, CA


NAPW: Tell us about your most successful social media campaign.

Irone: I have a Facebook fan page, blog and Twitter account. I welcome reader suggestions to help me with social media ideas. I have over 32 years of experience in changing lives through natural strategies. I am an accomplished businesswoman and the current CEO of MJD Film Production and MJD Global Beauty Education. I have won 75 trophies, 35 medallions, multiple Teacher of the Year awards, Philanthropist of the Year and Dean of the Year awards and many more. I am connected with over 27 organizations around the world.

I am an accomplished author and have published several books and articles focusing on life coaching and business management. My beauty education books have been in publication since 1990, and I use all the proceeds to help my charities. Furthermore, I am a humanitarian, global activist, philanthropist, advisor and educator with a deep love of people.

I am a born philanthropist. Through Skype, I am able to help people around the globe, including psychologists and political leaders. I am active with the Cheetah Conservation and outreach organizations for animal rights, and I have been a supporter of the Naz Foundation in India and Skid Row in LA since 1980. I am a UN member and want to share my message of spiritual awareness, how to free oneself from prejudice conditioning, how to develop mental, physical and emotional awareness, how to become an entrepreneur, how to use your conscious mind and more.

I have a new TV show on seven different cable channels called Green Positive Nanny. I call myself “nanny” because I am a humble aristocrat who serves people on a global scale. My main goal is to get support from men, women and students to join shareoverseas.org. I want this charity to become as big as the Red Cross, without any administration fee and with the institution administrated and run by volunteers.

I would like to inspire and lift you up with an intimate journey through my own life — my road toward joy, resilience, connection, gratitude and possibilities. I want to share the secret and true treasure to positive living that will exhilarate and motivate my audience. Through my book, Get Balanced with Green Positive Nanny, I hope to help battered and bullied kids envision their next steps and move forward in their full glory and magnificence to the life they want.

 

NAPW: Where do you find inspiration?

Irone: I was born with inspiration. I never looked up to my sisters and mother, who were nice, but emotionally unbalanced. I asked the Lord, “Choose me to serve my family and your people and animals.” My inspiration to find myself came from meeting Mr. J Khrisnamurti in 1978. I did not understand a lot of what he was talking about, but as I spent time finding myself, my life transformed into a new and positive living experience.

 

NAPW: What motivates you to succeed?

Irone: My passion to eliminate prejudice, jealously, abuse, bullying and the killing of animals and children around the world through education motivates me to succeed. I want to build battered shelters for women in the US and worldwide — this is why I work 14 to 18 hours a day.

 

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

Irone: No, you cannot equate career success with financial success. They are two separate entities. I have always been financially independent; I bought my first house at the age of 25 and owned my businesses at the age of 20. My success came from finding my life’s purpose at a young age. My career as a philanthropist has no relationship with finances. Money comes and money goes, however, no one can take away the legacy I want to leave behind. I am a strong believer in karma. I lost half of my estate after my husband died, but I never stopped giving. I am now a widow and have sufficient funds to sustain my lifestyle. Seeing so much poverty around the US and around the world has humbled me. I am proud to be the “nanny” of my Lord’s creations.

 

NAPW: How do you manage stress?

Irone: Problems and stress are parts of life. No one in this world is going to escape from them. The question we need to contemplate is, “Is the issue the culprit of materializing stress or is our response to stress the perpetrator?” I believe that when you accomplish spiritual awareness, you attain mental, emotional and physical expansion. Things that bothered you before have no place in the new you! I travel and handle people and financial loss without stress. Stress has no place in the state of spiritual awareness. Read my book, Get Balanced with Green Positive Nanny, and get inspired. It includes how to gain spiritual awareness through developing the third eye, how to deal with impossible people, tips on optimum skin care, dental care and hair care, healthy recipes and more. With your help, this book can become a bestseller. Please email me at greenpositivenanny@gmail.com and give me your input.

 

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Linda-Appleman-Shapiro

Linda Appleman Shapiro

Company: Self-Employed
Industry:
Healthcare and Writing
Title: Author / Psychotherapist /
Lecturer / Workshop Leader
Location: White Plains, NY

 

NAPW: When the going gets tough, where do you go?

Shapiro: “Tough” may mean something different for me than it does for others. For me, something challenging can also be tough, but it’s a good kind of tough because it’s challenging me to do more and to be better at something or with someone. But if it’s tough in that I feel immobilized and can’t move ahead, then I know I have to change my mood and state of mind. At those times, I meditate in my favorite chair, listen to soothing music, call someone who I know is a good listener or hope that if I take a nap, I will awaken refreshed and better able to deal with whatever it was that made me feel something was “tough.” The one thing I don’t do when I feel I’m in a tough situation is shop!

 

NAPW: What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Shapiro: I do my best to keep myself hydrated, to eat small, balanced meals and to ride my recumbent bike (as my ability to walk long distances and / or exercise is not what it used to be before I had arthritis and a knee replacement that never really healed). Although I appreciate quiet time alone, there are other times when I seek to be with people whose company I find stimulating and enjoyable. In all aspects of daily life, I think that finding a healthy balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

 

NAPW: Do you think it’s important to avoid letting success define who you are?

Shapiro: I don’t think it’s helpful to let success define who we are, or at the other extreme, to be so humble as to give it no place in defining us. It’s merely one part of all that makes up who we are. The choices we make should define us, including whom we choose as our significant other, whom we choose to befriend, how we impart values to our children and how we show our love and respect for others.

 

NAPW: When starting out, how important was networking to the success of your business today?

Shapiro: It’s always important to learn from those who came before us and paved the way for us to succeed in whatever profession becomes our life’s passion. Recognizing those who can mentor us and accepting their wisdom and success as guides for our own growth can be invaluable and is something everyone should be open to doing. Networking with as many people who are available is one very important way to gift ourselves. And I do believe that what goes around comes around — there will be those who will get to where they want to be because of their talents and ability as well.

 

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Divya-Parekh

Divya Parekh

Company: The DP Group
Industry:
Lifestyle and
Business Coaching
Title: CEO and Founder
Location: Cary, NC

 

NAPW: What would you tell young women about the obstacles they will face in your industry?

Parekh: While there are challenges in any profession, there are learning experiences in the coaching industry as well. Young women may face the following challenges:

  • E-zine articles, networking, referrals and blogs are not driving enough clients to your business.
  • Your benefit claims do not differentiate you from other coaches.
  • You have an overload of information.
  • Your flagging confidence impacts your conversation with clients.
  • Prospective clients have a hard time rationalizing your fees.
  • Your return on investment does not justify the time or money invested in your coaching business.
  • Even after you set concrete plans with the client, effective client accountability remains a challenge.

Coaching relationships can be short term, and coaches look for ways to establish long-term engagements.

NAPW: What is the biggest career obstacle you have ever faced? How did you overcome it?

Parekh: My biggest obstacle has been to put myself first above work, family and friends. In the pursuit of getting things done, I have neglected myself at times; however, the mind, body and intellect are in charge and will let you know in no uncertain terms when you are non-compliant. I had neck problems, and when the literal ‘pain in the neck’ intensified, my fragile ego shattered like glass shatters into millions of fragments. It opened my eyes, and I knew I had been clouded by the illusion that I was a wonder woman. It was a blessing in disguise because you learn the best from life’s curve balls. What became evident was, “Stop moaning, start meditating and get moving.”

 

NAPW: It’s been said that perseverance and hard work bring success. Do you believe this? Why?

Parekh: Perseverance and hard work do bring success, but I must add that perseverance and doing hard work the right way bring success. If you are working hard and your work is not aligned with your purpose and vision, you will be going somewhere, just not in the right direction.

 

NAPW: How have you overcome budget constraints while promoting your business?

Parekh: There are several marketing strategies that will attract and sustain the customers’ attention. If you have budget constraints, it will involve time and effort to provide something significant to your customers. It is about getting to know your ideal customers, how they think and where they spend their time. Receiving begins with giving. Giving begins with helping others succeed. As you help others succeed by over delivering, a solid foundation for a relationship develops, turning customers into clients. In my experience, people are willing to support you if you have a strong relationship.

Other simple ways to promote your business are to join relevant groups, craft a compelling elevator pitch highlighting the benefits that your services provide or sponsor a little league team or local charity event. You can also cross-promote non-competitive businesses in your area, do giveaways so that customers can experience your products or services, engage in public speaking or ask for referrals.

 

NAPW: What is the best business advice you ever gave to another woman?

Parekh: There is no reason to wait to be the person you want to be and show up as your best self ‘now.’ Be committed to yourself and your dreams. The difference between unremarkable and remarkable is the philosophy of M and M. M stands for intrinsic motivation that drives you, M stands for meditation or a concentrated mind that draws the energy from the internal infinite source and M stands for master movement involving planning, action and focused execution to completion. It is important to commit to yourself, discover your meaningful ‘why,’ act accordingly with joy in everyday life and, above all, serve others.

 

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Finance / Law


Agatha-K-Johnson

Agatha K. Johnson

Company: Prosperity Wealth
Management, LLC
Industry:
Finance: Wealth
Management
Title:
Founder and CEO
Location: Sioux Falls, SD

 

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

Johnson: I feel I have achieved success by my own rules. Life has taught me many things, the most important being how to live life by my own values and to be successful in financial wealth and spiritual wealth. I define success by the accomplishment of starting my own firm and sticking to my values, and by my family and what is brought to my clients, my staff and the community.

 

NAPW: What was the catalyst that inspired you to start your own business?

Johnson: The catalyst for me to start my own firm was my family and friends. My family and friends knew how important empowering others was to me, so starting my own wealth management and consulting firm gave me the ability to do so. I have been in my profession for over 20 years working in the corporate world. Although each company was a good company, each one had an agenda of how they felt clients should manage their wealth and the transition of it. They forgot the client’s “why.” Understanding each client’s “why” — why do they do what they do — is crucial for us to facilitate the process of empowering our clients to accomplish all elements of wealth.

 

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

Johnson: It is very true, and realizing this and acting upon it is important to succeed in whatever it is that a person strives to accomplish. We all have a journey in life to fulfill, but we don’t always understand when those doors close. I believe those doors are closed for a reason, and the next door that opens is where we are meant to be so we can continue to fulfill our own journey.

 

NAPW: How do you network?

Johnson: I have found that networking through various professional associations, such as NAPW, has been the most beneficial. I believe that continuing my own education and skill set from the technical side and the human capital side (self-awareness) is very important, and I have found that by becoming a member of great associations, I have been able to network and continue to learn.

 

NAPW: When things get tough, how do you keep yourself going?

Johnson: Giving so much of myself to bring the best to my clients, my firm and the profession I enjoy, very much can and does take its toll some days. I have found that staying physically active and taking time to meditate are very helpful to balance life. My husband and I both enjoy being active through various ways of working out, exploring different arts in the community and spending time with our children and grandchildren. Taking time away from work helps to refresh me mentally and physically.

 

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Ronnivashti_Whitehead

Ronnivashti Whitehead

Company: Law Office of
Ronni Whitehead
Industry:
Professional Legal
Service Civil Litigation
Title:
Attorney
Location: Culver City, CA

 

NAPW: How do you reduce stress while experiencing continuous pressure?

Whitehead: I work out regularly and attend meditation classes. I also focus on the task I am doing right now and give the current task my full attention.

 

NAPW: Which online career tools or apps do you use most?

Whitehead: CamCard, LinkedIn and Online ListServes, where I can communicate with fellow practitioners.

 

NAPW: What are your biggest strengths / talents in your position?

Whitehead: Continuously staying abreast of changes in my profession and educating myself. I participate in continuing legal education courses regularly to learn and to come in contact with more experienced practitioners and experts in the area of family law, employment law and personal injury.

 

NAPW: What are some of your weaknesses? How do you plan to improve them?

Whitehead: Time management. There is never enough time; but with the help of an experienced support staff to assist me, I found that giving myself multiple reminders and having a daily to-do list help me maximize my time and accomplish more.

 

NAPW: How do you maintain the networking relationships you’ve established?

Whitehead: I am very active in professional organizations, and I participate in a meaningful way in committees. I attend networking events regularly, and I also volunteer to speak at attorney conferences every year.

 

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Government / Nonprofit


April-McTeer_vip

April McTeer

Company: Ciera Logistics, LLC /
VetsWay Foundation
Industry:
Department of Defense
Title:
Logistics Manager for
Ordinance Handling Equipment
Location: Reseda, CA


NAPW
: When do you feel it’s a good time to quit a failing endeavor to start anew?

McTeer: If I know it wasn’t meant to be and only something to learn from, I keep the lesson. Everything you do is an opportunity to learn and grow; so, I don’t look at anything as bad or failed, but as an opportunity to move forward.

 

NAPW: How do you maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity?

McTeer: Keep my trust in Jesus Christ because I know He is guiding my path.

 

NAPW: Over the course of your career, do you feel anyone has purposely held you back? What did you do to maintain your career path?

McTeer: Yes, I have had a few in my career. I just keep moving forward and, so far, everything has worked out for me. It just makes me want it more and work harder for it.

 

NAPW: Tell us about a woman in your business life who has influenced you most.

McTeer: The first lady I worked with told me I can do anything I set my mind to. Having a learning disability has created a lot of challenges for me, but I keep moving forward and, to date, I have overcome them all.

 

NAPW: Did you have a mentor who guided you on your career path? Would you have had the success you have now without them?

McTeer: I had a lot of people I looked up to in my career, but I never really had a mentor. As many people tried to hold me back, there were two helping me move up.

 

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Maria-J-Posey

Maria J. Posey

Company: International Relief
and Development (IRD)
Industry:
International
Non-Governmental
Organizations
Title: Capture Manager
Location: Silver Spring, MD

 

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

Posey: International collaboration is often a recipe for miscommunication. Count the ways in which information can get lost in translation: language barriers, email etiquette, time zone differences, poor-quality Skype conference calls, etc. Add these on top of the struggles of normal office collaboration, and it’s a wonder anything gets done. To mitigate this risk, I’ve learned to overemphasize communication. I follow up every conversation with an email confirming action items and go over every email during a subsequent phone call to verify a common understanding. I institute regular check-in points and ask for milestone deliverables so that there is time for course correction if needed. By using these techniques, my international teams are able to keep moving forward, even across offices, time zones and borders.

 

NAPW: Share your job search tips with fellow members.

Posey: If people know and like you, they will go to bat for you. In addition to casting a wide net in meeting people and developing relationships, try to follow up every written application with an in-person conversation with someone at that company who can then vouch for you to the hiring manager. Attend lots of events and collect business cards. Ask for informational interviews and see these as opportunities to learn about the industry while sharing information about your skills and qualifications at the same time.

 

NAPW: What is the top resource NAPW provides that has most benefited your career?

Posey: I’m new to NAPW and look forward to getting to know all the benefits that the association has to offer. I hope to find opportunities for mentoring in the development of ambitious women — both as a mentor and mentee.

 

NAPW: In what ways has working internationally enhanced you professionally and personally?

Posey: The most important lesson I have learned from working internationally is that there are always multiple ways to achieve a goal. The resourcefulness and ingenuity I have seen in some of the world’s most isolated and poor places has humbled me. It is a constant reminder that no one ever has all the answers and to never take oneself too seriously. For example, it has been conventional for conflict resolution programs to focus on the young, unemployed men that often join militias; but in Somalia, I’ve learned from local women’s groups that an equally important demographic would be the mothers of these boys who have a great ability to be both instigators and mediators of conflict. On an administrative side, I’ve learned to be very patient. Deadlines and agree-upon times often mean different things in other parts of the world, and I’ve learned to build schedules that can accommodate this flexibility.

 

NAPW: How do you handle misperceptions by others about yourself?

Posey: Having grown up in Europe, I have a very direct approach to business and communication. Occasionally, I miss the nuances of American humor and banter — especially sarcasm. I have learned that this can sometimes come across as intimidating and off-putting to people who are used to a more subtle approach. To allay this, I try to explain my background and approach upfront so that colleagues know this about me and don’t think it strange when I make direct statements or when I take what they say literally.

 

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Jodi Bradley

Jodi S. Bradley

Company: Yamhill County
Industry:
Government/Municipal
Title: Appraiser Analyst
Location: Salem, OR

 

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

Bradley: The best business advice I have ever received from another woman was that I should remain self-assured and know that I am capable of completing my goals. This came from a friend whom I respect and admire for her persistence in overcoming her professional challenges. She has inspired me to complete my bachelor’s degree. Her encouragement reminds me that I am doing this for myself, and not to give into my negative thoughts when I start to question my ability to achieve that goal.

 

NAPW: Do you believe that exercise and a proper diet helped in your success?

Bradley: Yes, diet and exercise are important components of my success. Eating right and exercising make me feel physically energized, and that feeling improves my mental self-image. I believe that proper sleeping habits are helpful as well. Not getting enough rest makes me feel sluggish and tired the next day. I am not able to be on top of my game when I am tired.

 

NAPW: What stereotypes about women do you encounter that annoy you the most? How do you overcome the stereotypes others place on you?

Bradley: The biggest stereotype about women that I encounter almost daily, and which annoys me the most, is that a woman cannot hold a professional position without a degree. I started out late in the working world. I raised three intelligent and outstanding boys as a stay-at-home mom. It was one the hardest and most rewarding jobs I have been in. I have watched them grow to be successful young men, and it gives me pleasure to know that I had an impact on my children’s lives. They thank me for their successes, and it is something I will never regret. The choice to raise a family kept me from pursuing a college education earlier in my life.

Since going back to work, I have attained 14 years of professional-level working experience without having a degree; however, I now find myself being held back in career advancements due to the perception that a degree shows more aptitude than work experience in a professional job setting. At first, being passed over made me feel inadequate, and I struggled to care about my job performance. I soon came to realize that I was only doing myself an injustice by not working to the best of my ability and not wanting more for myself. I knew that I deserved more and set out to attain it. I enrolled at a local community college and took night classes to get a degree. This renewed focus on my professional development has improved my attitude toward life and my future.

 

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

Bradley: Every Thursday morning, my aunt has coffee and biscuits for anyone who wants to join her. Usually, the same four people show up: my great uncle and great aunt (who are in their 90s and still sharp as a tack), my second cousin and my uncle. I like to join that group because family is important to me. I love to sit and listen to them speak about their past and present lives, their likes and dislikes and the ailments that don’t seem to get them down. Being with them also helps me feel connected to my mother, whom I lost to cancer three years ago.

I also love to roller skate. I am a retired roller derby queen from the Cherry City Derby Girls in Salem, OR. My skater name was Jetty Rumble. Why Jetty Rumble? My mom’s name was Jessie, and my grandfather nicknamed her “his little Jetty.” And I chose “Rumble” because I always loved a good “skating rumble.” I love to skate fast. It makes me feel powerful!

 

NAPW: What woman in history has most influenced your beliefs?

Bradley: Jane Austen. I love the novels she wrote. English literature is my favorite! Her stories remind me of how upper-class people view others. It encourages me to strive to work towards diversity, treating others respectfully and with dignity.

 

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Gifts / Retail / Marketing


Nicole-S-Recomendes

Nicole S. Recomendes

Company: Lilli & Tori
Industry:
E-Commerce
Title: Owner / President
Location: New York, NY


NAPW
: What is the best career advice you ever received?

Recomendes: The best career advice I ever received was, “Take risks early and often in your career.” I was merely 24 years old when I was offered a position as head of the logistics department for an international fashion house (terrifying!). There was a part of me that said, “You can’t do this. You don’t have enough experience.” But the other part said, “You don’t want to miss this opportunity. You will learn as you go, and you will be fine.” Although I have since moved on from that position, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

 

NAPW: What advice can you offer a growing business?

Recomendes: The best advice I can give would be to always lookout for opportunities to get your business noticed, whether getting quoted in a publication or networking with someone new. And always have your business cards handy!

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Recomendes: I keep my ideas fresh by staying in tune with what my customers want now. I peruse their Pinterest and Instagram feeds to see what types of products they love, and I keep those things in mind when I am doing the buying for my site.

 

NAPW: What do you like to do in your free time?

Recomendes: I have always been an active person. I love to swim, ski and golf. I am also a newlywed, so I love to spend downtime with my husband and our one-year-old Golden Retriever, Birdie.

 

NAPW: How do you get more clients / customers for your business?

Recomendes: One of the best ways to attract more customers is through happy customers that you’ve already acquired. I offer an incentive program where existing customers receive a discount for each new customer that they refer, and the new customer gets a discount on their first order as well!

 

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Stephanie-Engler

Stephanie Engler

Company: Pretty in Paper
Industry:
Event Management/
Promotions
Title:
Owner
Location: Boca Raton, FL

 

NAPW: What are some of the books we would find on your bookshelf?

Engler: I love a great love story by Nicholas Sparks and fun books by authors like Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner.

 

NAPW: How do you handle a chaotic work situation?

Engler: I take a deep breath and talk it out with my husband. He is very methodical and logical in his thinking. He is my voice of reason.

 

NAPW: Name three people / companies you regularly follow on social media.

Engler: I follow my kids, Ellen DeGeneres and stationery trends.

 

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

Engler: I was an Account Executive for a large advertising agency. I learned a lot about office politics and the best way to communicate with clients.

 

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Kathy-Tasonis

Kathy Tasonis

Company: Self-Employed
Industry:
Other
Title:
Freelance Market
Research Specialist
Location: Peachtree City, GA

 

NAPW: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Tasonis: Don’t focus on finding a career, focus on finding a passion. If you can combine your natural skills with your interests, you will have a successful career.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Tasonis: Funny, positive and problem solver.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Tasonis: You probably get this a lot, but my mother is my role model. As a woman in the HVAC industry in the 1970s, she was a pioneer. She had the uncanny ability to be smart and authoritative while maintaining femininity and warmth. She was well respected and well-loved in her field for over 30 years.

 

NAPW: What is your profession? Why did you choose it?

Tasonis: My specialties are online customer satisfaction and market research survey design and analysis. I have a natural love of numbers and an aptitude for statistics. I also see problems as puzzles to be solved. I started my career analyzing management consulting survey data, but quickly realized that I really wanted to do customer feedback. When a client really wants to know what their customers think, I consider it a personal challenge to help them get the most comprehensive and actionable data possible.

 

NAPW: What or who led you to your career path?

Tasonis: My first job out of college was as the receptionist of a small management consulting firm in Boston. Within a few months, their management realized that I had a great affinity for numbers, so they promoted me into their statistical service department. It was there I was introduced to statistical analysis and survey design. Eventually, I went to work for Fidelity Investments, spending 12 years learning about satisfaction and market research programs and surveys. I have some experience in qualitative research too, but my passion is the quantitative side.

 

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Jasmine-Sra

Jasmine Sra

Company: Elegant Gifts
Jasmine Sra, MD
Industry:
Retail Healthcare
Title:
Owner / Physician
Location: Phoenix, AZ

 

NAPW: What is the best career advice you ever received?

Sra: One of the best pieces of career advice I ever received came from a fellow business owner who quoted an inspiring statement made by Michael Jordan – “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Regardless of its sport context, I have always felt this quote applies so well to the perseverance one must have in order to succeed in any career or business they own.

 

NAPW: What advice can you offer a growing business?

Sra: You need to be organized to be successful in business. Organization helps you complete tasks and stay on top of things needed to be done. When you’re starting out with a small business and an enthusiastic team, it’s relatively easy to keep the focus on details, providing high-quality service and manufacturing high-quality goods. In order to retain the consistent quality after your business becomes established and successful, I recommend creating a strong organizational structure. Take simple, everyday steps such as creating a to-do list each day, and as you complete each item, check it off your list. This ensures you’re not forgetting anything and that you’re completing all tasks essential to the survival of your business. Write down short-term and long-term business goals to be crossed off your list once they are achieved. Most importantly, appreciate all your clients.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Sra: I find my creative inspiration in people. Being involved in multiple networking programs and gatherings, I get to meet people from a variety of diverse professional circles; and, while it is very common to ask for professional advice among the peers within your industry, I use the opposite approach. A person from a completely different area of expertise may have a completely unique and unexpected solution or vision of a situation; therefore, meeting people from different professional or social circles, or even geographical areas, has become a priceless experience for me as it helps keep my ideas fresh.

 

NAPW: What do you like to do in your free time?

Sra: Given my cultural heritage, very traditional upbringing and personal beliefs, I find the biggest value in life is my family. Being a part-time physician and a full-time business owner entails having almost no or very little free time. However, when I do have free time, I spend most of it with my family. We enjoy going for weekend hikes and taking the kids to movies and local events.

 

NAPW: How do you get more clients / customers for your business?

Sra: The approach I have taken in acquiring customers is establishing a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. That is why my business has been getting clients through word-of-mouth and networking business connections. Additionally, we have been establishing brand awareness through active membership with two local chambers of commerce and participating in local tradeshows as well as having a strong internet presence via our website, social media and online directories. Being a member of the Advertising Specialty Institute and an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, my company has also created a strong industry presence.

 

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Education / Training


Alison-D-Bond

Alison D. Bond

Company: Northridge Learning Center/
North Farm Enterprises
Industry:
Education
Title:
CEO/Co-Owner
Location: Layton, UT

 

NAPW: When the going gets tough, where do you go?

Bond: I live on a small farm with lots of different animals. It’s a lot of hard work, but it brings me so much stress relief and joy to be around the animals. There is nothing like the exhaustion you feel after a long day of hard, physical labor. I even bought a painting of a farmstead that resembles my own to hang in my office. When I get too overwhelmed at work, I can look at it and go to my happy place.

 

NAPW: What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Bond: I raise a lot of my own food, so I know what goes into my body. I train with a personal trainer three times a week and do a lot of physical activity on the farm. I also train horses, which is both a mind and body workout.

 

NAPW: Do you think it’s important to avoid letting success define who you are?

Bond: I think it’s detrimental to let others’ definitions of success define who you are. It’s more important to define what success means to you and to be proud of your accomplishments.

 

NAPW: When starting out, how important was networking to the success of your business?

Bond: Networking is extremely important to me. We can’t all be everything for everyone, and that is why networking is such a huge part of my business. In addition to being the CEO of North Farm Enterprises, I am also a practicing Family Law Attorney. Having additional resources for clients is a huge benefit. I love having a contact list of experts in all areas to reach out to in order to help me solve problems.

 

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

Bond: I’ve learned how important it is to recognize employees for large and small accomplishments. No one wants to work for someone who is constantly criticizing them. You get so much more from employees when they feel valued and appreciated.

 

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Camille-Holden

Camille Holden

Company: Nuts & Bolts Speed Training
Industry:
Productivity Training –
PowerPoint Training
Title:
Co-Founder
Location: Normandy Park, WA

 

NAPW: When the going gets tough, where do you go?

Holden: I talk to the people that are closest to me. My family and friends keep me grounded and remind me of what’s important and of who I am. I also like to practice meditation, be it sitting in a chair quietly or exercising to clear my head.

 

NAPW: What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Holden: I try to stay fit and active, and I make sure to schedule quality time with friends. I also make sure that I’m always learning something. I find that if I’m not learning, I tend to feel off balance.

 

NAPW: Do you think it’s important to avoid letting success define who you are?

Holden: Absolutely. Everyone has a different definition of success, and it’s too easy to let someone else’s lexicon seep into yours. Words are so tricky, and using them to define a complex human being is simply unrealistic and unfair. I try to have regular, honest conversations with myself so that I can be more present instead of trying to define who I am.

 

NAPW: When starting out, how important was networking to the success of your business?

Holden: Networking has always been an enormous part of my success throughout my career, which is why I’ve joined NAPW. I’ve started a new chapter in my life; and networking with fellow businesswomen is more important than ever, both professionally and personally. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity, and I look forward to meeting many of you!

 

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

Holden: Speak your mind and practice empathy. You’d be surprised how people react when you are both honest and caring.

 

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