Member Connections Newsletter, Member Spotlight

June 2016 Member Spotlight

Meet NAPW members in Member Spotlight, a monthly column where members highlight their careers and businesses. This week, we feature ten 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.

Karen Barber

Company: US Real Estate Equity Builder, LLC
Industry: Real Estate/Marketing
Title: Accountant, Sales/Marketing, Motivator/Educator
Location: Kansas City, MO


NAPW:
What do you feel is your most important business skill?

Barber: My most important skill is integrity. I am honest with everyone I do business with. I listen to my clients and try to connect with them find out what their goals are—and how I can help.

NAPW: What do you think every entrepreneur should know about business?

Barber: Grow at a pace you can keep up with. I find many people grow too fast—and then they fail, or they burn out. Start small and get to know how to do every aspect. Gradually add on additional services. Be realistic in what you want to achieve. No one will treat your business better than you. Don’t rely on people to do things for you. If you find someone who can, that is great, but know you may have to do it all on your own.

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

Barber: I love Google Docs and Sheets. I love being able to place items in Google Drive and retrieve them in any location.

NAPW: Do you feel that society’s viewpoints of women have hindered or helped you?

Barber: Being in the turnkey business, which is predominantly a male business, I have found investors who do not wish to speak with a female. However, I have found if you keep you present facts, rather than opinions, you gain the trust of those investors. Once the trust is earned, the rest will follow. Don’t just say what you think they want to hear. Give the hard facts and always say please and thank you. Manners, in all business, matter.

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?

Barber: When I entered the tanning profession, being a fair skinned redhead was my biggest obstacle. However, I had seen what some salons have done to people in the past and that the customers were not well informed about services. I decided that when I went into this business I was going to educate people. Education, in any business, is the greatest tool. I had people tan year-round, but on a schedule, slowly and cautiously. I also promoted skincare. The salon that I purchased for $10,000 made me over $120,000 in six months—and allowed me to purchase another salon. People knew me as “the tanning lady.” Soon, I added other services to my salon, which allowed me to have over 50 employees in three tanning, nail and hair salons.

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Charlie Cardin

Company: Fire Sisters Rising, LLC
Industry: Professional Coaching/Speaking
Title: Owner/CEO
Location: Morrisville, NC


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

Cardin: When you are no longer learning and you can muster the courage to make a decision to start something that you have real passion for, that’s the moment when you start anew.

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

Cardin: I have been lucky to have so many mentors throughout my career. Some have coached me on specific professional skills, like program management and others have coached me on life skills, like relationship building. There is absolutely no way I could have gotten where I am today without all the people who have influenced and supported me.

NAPW: Name three characteristics you feel all successful people share.

Cardin: Passion, persistence and authenticity.

NAPW: What techniques do you use to handle difficult employees?

Cardin: I kill them with kindness. Even the most difficult people cave when you display an unwavering level of compassion.

NAPW: It’s been said that it’s not what you know, but whom you know. Do you believe this is true? Does is relate to you?

Cardin: I believe it is both. I think that you need to be relentless in your quest for knowledge and surround yourself with people who are smarter, wiser and ahead of you in the field that you are pursuing.

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Annie M. Fonte

Company: Barn Door Enterprises, LLC/Evolve Physical Therapy + Advanced Wellness
Industry: Life Transformation/
Health and Wellness
Title: Founder/Owner
Location: San Diego, CA


NAPW:
Describe the best boss and the worst boss you have ever had.

Fonte: My intuition has always served me well in my career. I have spent the majority of my career as an entrepreneur; therefore, I have not had too many bosses. I am fortunate to say that I have never experienced a “worst” boss. The few bosses I’ve had all taught me something valuable. In the rare times that I have not listened to my gut, things didn’t go so well.

NAPW: What is your dream job?

Fonte: I am not a big fan of the words “job” or “work.” These words have been laden with more of a negative connotation rather than one that is positive. Instead, I like to use the words contribution, creation and craft. I have created my dream craft. I truly love what I do. We all have talents and gifts to offer to the world. In the moments when we are honoring these gifts and using them in acts of service and contribution, we are able to design our days doing what we love.

NAPW: When is it okay to “break the rules?”

Fonte: I think that if one is not breaking the law, rules are a fair target to be broken as long as the intention or integrity of a rule is not violated. Progress comes about by an inventive and insightful evolution of ideas, as well as inspired actions. Innovators are rarely concerned with following a set of rules; rather, they are disruptive of the status quo in order to create the next new and valuable concept, idea or product.

NAPW: Name three college courses that best prepared you for your current job.

Fonte: I cannot specify any particular courses that best prepared me for what I do but I can tell you that my experience in the two year M.B.A. program at Harvard Business School taught me a lot. Harvard uses the Socratic Method and case studies as its primary way of teaching. The Socratic Method offers a path to honing one’s critical thinking skills, analytical proficiency and articulation talent. I learned how to cut to the chase quickly and determine what data and facts that I would need to allow me to make efficient decisions. Most importantly, I learned how to be a good listener by listening to the words that are spoken, observing body language, listening to hear versus to respond, not assuming, keeping things in the context with which they are intended and that in negotiations the one who speaks first usually loses.

NAPW: How do you handle a chaotic work situation?

Fonte: The best way to handle a chaotic situation is to ensure that it doesn’t become chaotic in the first place. I find that chaos generally occurs because of a lack of clarity. When an organization or person has a clearly defined reason for existence, then it is easy to stay focused and in flow. When everyone “stays in their lanes” things move along in an orderly and manageable fashion. I also find that when people are involved in work that inspires them, there is no room for chaos.

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Sandra Chong Fuller

Company: West Aurora Public Schools, District 129
Industry: Education
Title: ELL High School
Math Teacher
Location: Aurora, IL


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

Chong Fuller: I am a positive person. I tend to treat everyone with respect. In the school system, it takes a village—parents, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, security personnel, teachers and administration. My students know that I love them and that love is apparent through my actions. I have a passion for what I do and I don’t let things stop me from my goal. Little things do matter!

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

Chong Fuller: The woman who has influenced me the most is Mrs. Jo Ann Silberisen, my eighth grade English teacher. She taught me how to broaden my vocabulary and to apply myself to do the very best. She challenged me to look inside myself and have goals.

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

Chong Fuller: The biggest obstacle I faced came when I moved to another state. As a schoolteacher, you must hold a state educator license from that state to teach in the public school system. The teacher must take the required exams to be certified again, including the basic exam required for acceptance into the education program while in your second year of college. So, I had to apply for everything all over again.

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

Chong Fuller: My business is education. I have no qualms about spending money on something that will help me to better myself so I can better teach my students. For example, in geometry we had to use compasses, so I went out and bought some for my students.

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

Chong Fuller: I focus on the positive and the reason for a project or task. If it will help to advance the program or the objective, than I have done my job.

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Chanda Hinman

Company: Crescent Moon Jewelry, LLC/Inner Circle Pilates
Industry: Jewelry/Pilates
Title: Founder
Location: Los Angeles, CA


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

Hinman: When I have a bad day and feel like everything is going south, I ask myself, ‘Do you need to continue?’ Financial considerations and business sense are important, but to succeed, I have no choice but to follow my instincts and find my why. If I truly lose trust for the endeavor I am trying to accomplish, maybe it’s time to move on.

NAPW: Name three characteristics you feel all successful people share.

Hinman: For true success, and not just financial success, the characteristics I think successful people share are tenacity, connection to the true self and willingness to accept help. The days I feel most successful are not just the days when inspiration hits, but when I can see the progress of the work I did to turn inspiration into reality. That feeling took a lot of tenacity and connection to my true self, including a constant reminder of why I quit my legal job to pursue another journey.

NAPW: How important is having a sense of humor to your daily business life?

Hinman: My meditation teacher has a technique where, if you find yourself spiraling down a dark hole in your thoughts, you just need to laugh—in your head or out loud. I’ll admit it; I am not very good at this. I’ve been pretty serious my whole life, but this thought process is so important. Sometimes I have to put my ego in check and remind myself ‘it’s just jewelry!’ or ‘it’s just Pilates.’ We get so caught up in our own minds, egos and, on a more positive note, a desire to bring good into the world, but it’s important to keep it light too. Laughing is healing.

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

Hinman: I eat clean and healthy, starting most days with a detox tea of warm water, lemon, apple cider vinegar, cayenne and cinnamon. Then I have an anti-inflammatory green smoothie of baby kale, basil, turmeric, black pepper, honey, vanilla protein powder, MCT oil, green tea—if I need a boost, ½ banana, ice and coconut milk. I do Pilates two to three times a week and yoga twice a week. I try to go for a walk and get a little sunshine a few times a week.

NAPW: How do you manage stress?

Hinman: It varies. There is no one technique that works for me all the time and I’m not always great at it. My go-to techniques include meditation (guided, quiet and/or in a class setting), journaling, yoga, Pilates, tap dancing, a hard workout, a quiet walk in the neighborhood, a massage and/or soothing music. Anything where I can express myself is generally a good stress reliever, but I’m also not opposed to watching cat videos!

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Sandra Martins

Company: EnerSys
Industry: Battery Manufacturing
Title: HR Generalist II
Location: Reading, PA


NAPW:
What do you think every entrepreneur should know about business?

Martins: Employees are what drive a company’s success. Great leaders understand this philosophy—and it is why they take the time to invest in their employees. In exchange, they will put forth a strong work ethic. Ultimately, employees want to be good, so it is your responsibility as a leader to help them succeed. If you aren’t willing to give them your time, don’t expect them to give you their commitment.

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?

Martins: I believe that I held myself back. Early on in my career I was content with where I was and had no aspiration to do anything more. However, I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with people who have always encouraged and challenged me. If it weren’t for my husband continuously telling me that I am capable of more I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. Over the last five years I’ve completed my Master’s degree in Human Resources and obtained my PHR and SHRM-CP certifications, all while continuing to grow in my HR profession.

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

Martins: My mentor, Jayne Notaro, taught me everything I know about recruitment and also taught me to fight for what you believe in. She wasn’t afraid to express her opinions and would challenge anything she felt was wrong. People respected her and knew they could confide in her. She was a great leader and I will always be thankful to her for helping pave the way to my career path in human resources.

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

Martins: In 2008, my husband and I relocated from Florida to Pennsylvania while I was eight months pregnant with my son. I became unemployed shortly after and due to the state of the economy it was difficult to find work. Needless to say, this time in my life became very stressful. After a few months, I reassessed my situation and felt that this time might be a great opportunity for me to focus on completing my Master’s degree. I enrolled at Penn State University and took online courses. During my last semester, I began to look for work thinking it was going to take a few months. However, within a month I was hired at EnerSys.

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

Martins: I think my free spirited attitude helps me to maintain a positive attitude. Knowing that I can’t control everything and that things will go wrong from time to time is part of life. The only things I can control are my actions and sometimes you just need to go with the flow and hope for the best. I look at a challenge as a new adventure and a chance to grow as a person. Sometimes change is good.

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Rosita Marie Resendiz

Company: Resendiz Construction
Industry: Concrete Construction
Title: Office Manager/
Job Site Supervisor
Location: Wylie, TX


NAPW:
What do you think every entrepreneur should know about business?

Resendiz: Always have a backup plan. Don’t only work for one builder or one person.

NAPW: Do you feel that society’s viewpoints of women have hindered or helped you?

Resendiz: Neither. I’m not a follower. I do what I think is best.

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?

Resendiz: Yes, but it only motivated me to learn more. I’ve learned so much over the years and it has paid off.

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

Resendiz: My dear friend, Yolanda, has shown me that a woman can be on a job site with her head held high and can be equally respected by the men in the industry.

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

Resendiz: When the housing market went down, it effected new home construction. We spent two years barely getting by but when the housing market went up, we went after the builders that were local to our area and started getting back on track—and haven’t slowed down since. I have learned to watch my back and make sure to steer the company in the right direction.

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Michelle Seoane

Company: Totally for Seniors/
Bookkeeping and Admin
Industry: Bill Paying, Organizational Services (Local and Remote)
Title: Owner
Location: Falls Church, VA


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

Seoane: I find it very rewarding to help others. Recently, I had a client who had just injured herself and I noticed she was behaving quite differently. I asked her how much medicine she was taking. It sounded to me like she was taking more than double what she was supposed to for her painkillers. I stayed with her until she went to bed and called her nurse. Unfortunately, her nurse didn’t get the message until the next morning because she was taken to the hospital for monitored treatment after a fall that night. She now has an aide with her 24 hours per day helping her with her meds. I had been hired as her Daily Money Manager and Personal Assistant. The opportunity gave me a great feeling that I had helped her other than with her finances and possibly saved her life. I am successful because I am extremely honest, trustworthy and caring.

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

Seoane: I think of why I am doing my job in the first place. I want to take care of people to help insure that they don’t get behind in bills, aren’t over billed, are ready for tax time, don’t get scammed, reduce junk mail and telemarketers and help around the house or office with organization.

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

Seoane: When I was growing up my parents had their business in the home and they were able to be home with the children. As an adult, I started my business for the same reasons as my parents. Now that my children are grown, I am doing it to give back and help others.

NAPW: Are you where you want to be right now? If yes, what business skills did you use to get there? If no, how will you rectify the situation?

Seoane: I am very close to being where I want to be. I’d like to have two to three more private individual clients and a few more small business clients. After a recent property assemblage project, I earned 15 homes to sell all at once for a major project. I am very interested in developing more Realtors in my clientele.

NAPW: Author/Poet Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” When networking, how do you make people feel so that they’ll remember you?

Seoane: When I network, I talk about the needs of clients. I give examples of what I have done in the past for others and show how I can do the same for them. My clients don’t think of me as a contractor they have hired, but as a friend they can trust and rely on. They have received prices twice as high as my price, but I charge people what I charge because I believe in the need for clients to grow old comfortably.

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Amy Jo Smith

Company: DEG: Digital Entertainment Group
Industry: Home Entertainment
Title: President
Location: Los Angeles, CA


NAPW:
Describe two or three major trends in your industry or profession today.

Smith: Our industry, home entertainment, is undergoing dramatic disruptive changes making us rethink how we do everything—from preparation in the supply chain, to front end with consumer marketing.

NAPW: When is it okay to “break the rules?”

Smith: Rules are made to be broken as long as the situation presented is not illegal. That’s why they are rules and not laws.

NAPW: Name three college courses that best prepared you for your current job?

Smith: Any courses that teach you how to think and/or write are the best. Courses that are interesting make you a good seat partner at a dinner party.

NAPW: What kinds of people do you work best with?

Smith: Anyone who is open-minded and willing to change for a successful outcome.

NAPW: How do you handle a chaotic work situation?

Smith: I remain calm and quickly assign tasks to anyone nearby to help remedy the situation.

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Kathleen Warner

Company: LabAnswer
Industry: Pharmaceuticals/
Life Sciences
Title: Business Unit
Senior Manager/
Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Practice
Location: Boston, MA

NAPW: What do you feel is your most important business skill?

Warner: The ability to communicate effectively is one of my most important business skills. If you are able to listen to a question, hear what is being asked and answer clearly and concisely, you have mastered the art of effective communication.

NAPW: What do you think every entrepreneur should know about business?

Warner: Business can be the “best of times and the worst of times.” One thing for certain is that change is constantly based on economic factors, world events and personal responsibilities. Business requires you to be innovative and creative in managing the change effectively.

NAPW: Do you feel that society’s viewpoints of women have hindered or helped you?

Warner: Society’s viewpoints of women have empowered me to pursue my career, achieve my academic goals and push through the glass ceiling at a time when women were still understudies to men in business. That said, I was passionate about achieving my career goals and learned how to emulate men in business to be successful while not losing my identity as a woman.

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?

Warner: Unfortunately, there were times when someone purposely tried to hold me back. You need to analyze the situation, determine the pros and cons of taking on someone of this type of character and then act on your decision to resolve the situation. There are many options, including seeking legal advice. I chose to leave the company.

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

Warner: The woman in my business life who has influenced me most is my mother. She was valedictorian of her high school and college classes, attended college in the 30s when very few women had the privilege, was the matriarch of a large family, obtained her Master’s in Special Education and became a School Psychologist. I cannot think of another woman in business whom I admire, respect and love more than my mother.

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