Member Spotlight

May 2016 Member Spotlight

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

Anna Bodine

Company: Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC
Industry: Financial Services
Title: Branch Manager/First Vice President, Investments
Location: Austin, TX

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

Bodine: I would never profess to be the authority on anything. I much prefer a collaborative effort. Getting work groups to make forward progress through sharing ideas, compromising and coming to consensus is where I feel my success lies.

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

Bodine: In my business, tough times go with the territory—but I keep myself going by being grateful. It makes the tough times much more bearable when I focus on all that I’m grateful for. My husband and daughters are first on that list. They give me so much joy and laughter. They easily make up for when things get tough.

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?

Bodine: No, but I’m actually not sure I will ever be where I want to be. I think that’s what drives me. I rectify the situation by establishing goals and developing an executable plan. The planning part is easy for me—I love to plan. The execution is far more challenging with the daily onslaught of distractions taking my focus off long-term projects, so I’m working with a business coach to help me with time and practice management.

NAPW: Do you think men are threatened by strong women?

Bodine: I think some men are threatened by strong women—but not all. In my experience, the men who are not tend to become great leaders and mentors for women, empowering us while paving the way for our success. These men will be critical to us seeing more women in higher corporate, political and entrepreneurial ranks. We need more of these men.

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

Bodine: Absolutely! Like with many women, between work life and home life, my plate is full. I view exercise as my stress relief and part of my “me time.” Exercise clears my head and makes me feel recharged and energized. It’s the fuel I need to handle my full plate. And when I fall off the exercise wagon, it affects me mentally just as much as it does physically. As for a proper diet, while I indulge in cheeseburgers and fries on occasion, healthy eating helps me maintain my energy level and stay focused, in addition to maintaining good health. A great Shakespeare quote sums up this way of thinking: “Our bodies are gardens – our wills are our gardeners.”

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Meagan Duggan Bretz

Company: Asian Healing Traditions
Industry: Alternative Healthcare – Acupuncture
Title: Owner/Registered Acupuncturist
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

What advice can you offer a growing business?

Duggan Bretz: Put all of your focus into your business. Don’t try and supplement income elsewhere because your focus won’t be on your business.

NAPW: What advice would you give to women planning to enter your field?

Duggan Bretz: Be yourself in your clinic! There is no specific way a female acupuncturist is supposed to dress, act or speak with her patients. Your being yourself is the best way to grow your business because you’re more authentic—and you’ll attract the type of customers you want to work with.

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

Duggan Bretz: Both of my parents, as well as my in-laws, have started and ran their own businesses, so I guess I should thank all of them for providing a positive perspective on owning a small business!

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

Duggan Bretz: Very true! I have worked in other clinics before and I learned from practitioners how they practice, run their clinics, etc. I took note of the things that worked and didn’t work. This process helped give me the guidance I needed to open my own successful clinic, as well as the time to focus on my business.

NAPW: What have you recently done to pursue your dreams?

Duggan Bretz: I decided to work on my Fellowship in Oriental Reproductive medicine. Fertility is a huge focus of my practice and this extra credential will help build my credibility as well as my practice.

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Gloria A. Fort

Company: Hair N Motion
Industry: Salon Services/
Title: Owner/Operator
Location: Atlanta, GA

In what ways do you raise the bar for yourself and others around you?

Fort: Knowledge is power! I constantly invest in myself several times a year—and I also encourage my staff/team members to join me on at least one educational session/show. I also share lessons with my clients and I challenge my team to leverage what they have learned from one of the shows.

NAPW: What tools or processes do you use to stay organized?

Fort: Pre-planning is crucial! Looking at my appointments and services that are scheduled for the week are essential to an organized and productive week. I am consistent in laying out the week three days prior. Time management is not the only key to keeping organized—inventory management is also essential. When you use organic products, it demands pre-planning and organization. Lastly, technology plays a big role with organization—email reminders, text updates and old fashion telephone calls make for a smooth business.

NAPW: What ways have you found to make your job easier or more rewarding?

Fort: One of the things that make my job rewarding is building a rapport with my clients. Once we make that connection, the teaching begins. They begin to understand the importance of hair and scalp care. Prevention makes the job easier and allows minimal to no devastation periods of hair loss.

NAPW: What gets you excited and drives you to achieve?

Fort: I am most excited when I see how my work changes lives. Hair and scalp care are foundational. However, I’ve discovered a new love that is taking my passion to another level—which is trichology, or, the scientific study of hair loss and scalp disorder

NAPW: What career lessons have you learned the hard way?

Fort: I wasted a lot of time going into areas of training that I had no passion for. Being trendy with quick weaves and such were fads—but they were not services I truly believed in. I could have saved myself a lot of time by truly staying with my passion of healthy hair and scalp care.

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Amanda Huffman

Company: KCoe Isom, LLP
Industry: Accounting/Consulting
Title: C.P.A.
Location: Wichita, KS

What qualities make a good leader?

Huffman: Leadership is a process of influencing followers toward the achievement of an objective. Good leaders don’t let people or circumstances discourage them, are authentic, have great interpersonal skills and listening skills, are effective communicators with high emotional intelligence, use their time wisely and take time to develop other leaders.

NAPW: If your job progresses as you like, what would be the next step in your career?

Huffman: I want the next step in my career to be promotion to Manager. In my current position, I work closely with clients. I assist in the growth and development of other associates and serve as an ambassador to the community. As a Manager, I would refine my general management and leadership skills, drive business decisions and grow the firm. I would actively develop new client relationships, nurture existing ones and expand my industry expertise.

NAPW: What new skills have you learned over the past year?

Huffman: As my role develops within my firm, I am constantly learning new skills. In a recent leadership training session, we learned about emotional intelligence. This concept illustrates the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge and to regulate emotions to promote emotional growth. High emotional intelligence leads to better communication, improved morale, higher productivity and collaboration. I am still learning how to increase my emotional intelligence, but doing so will greatly benefit my role within the firm.

NAPW: If you weren’t getting paid to do what you do, would you still do it?

Huffman: I would definitely still be doing my job without getting paid to do it. Confucius once said “Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I love the role that I play within the firm, working directly with clients and impacting their lives and businesses. I don’t feel like I’m working when I am serving clients and their needs.

NAPW: Describe a time when you had to give an employee or co-worker difficult feedback. How did you approach it?

Huffman: Giving difficult feedback is never a great conversation to have with an employee or co-worker. The most important aspect to me is to make sure that there is proper planning for the conversation. When delivering the difficult feedback, it’s important to focus on the situation or behavior, not the person. People become quickly defensive and shut down when attacked. The feedback should be specific, developmental in nature and communicated with emotional control. After delivering the difficult feedback, it’s also important to come prepared with an outlined solution. Great leaders are responsible for the development of others, so coming up with a solution will help guide the employee or co-worker to correcting his or her performance.

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Alyssa Siddal

Company: Happy Everything Designs
Industry: Retail Sales
Title: Owner
Location: Lansdale, PA

How do you reduce stress while experiencing continuous pressure?

Siddal: I make sure I am breathing properly. I tend to hold my breath when under pressure, causes headaches. I have adapted breathing techniques into my daily routine and it has helped tremendously!

NAPW: In spite of your work schedule, which recreational activities do you always take part in?

Siddal: My son plays baseball, so I always set time aside to watch him play. Wine tasting is another fun thing I try and fit in once or maybe twice a month. I also try to fit antiquing into my schedule on a regular basis.

NAPW: Has your career choice positively influenced other areas of your life?

Siddal: Yes. It has given me more time to be with my family and friends. It has allowed me to explore new areas and to meet new friends and many wonderful business connections.

NAPW: How do you handle your workload during a personal crisis?

Siddal: I am a list person. During a personal crisis, I keep more detailed list of what needs to be done in my daily job. I do not let my personal life negatively affect my career and the people I encounter on a day-to-day basis. I feel it is my issue, so why burden business contacts with my issues?

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

Siddal: I always remind myself that I am lucky to have what I have. I go back to my pros and cons list of life. It is easy to let yourself fall into a depressed state, but if you constantly remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished so far in life and that there are more wonderful things to come, it helps.

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Lynne Wiley

Company: Upstate College
Planning Services
Industry: College Admissions Consulting
Title: President
Location: Rochester, NY

How do you handle misperceptions by others about yourself?

Wiley: I have found that the best way to help people overcome misperceptions is to continue to engage with them authentically. It can be stressful when people form mistaken impressions, especially if they’re based on factors that are out of your control—but not allowing those opinions to change you and continuing to treat people with respect overcomes many differences.

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

Wiley: I have definitely achieved success by my own rules, although that hasn’t always been easy or worked to my benefit. On the other hand, I believe that you owe it to yourself to be who you are, have the courage of your convictions and have good reasons for them. Being asked to compromise principles doesn’t help either you or your employer in the long run.

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

Wiley: Work harder! Try to de-personalize anything that’s making things especially tough. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. You’re there for a reason.

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

Wiley: My nieces, nephews and cousins asked me to help them get into college, knowing that I’d spent my whole career in higher education. I helped them, realized that I had the expertise to help others and decided to start my own business because I found it so rewarding.

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?

Wiley: This quote pretty much sums up why I’ve spent my life working in jobs that affect people’s lives, hopes and aspirations. I believe that the key to working well with others is to understand them, as fully as possible. I’ve found that if you truly care about getting to know people, they remember you. Listening well, being genuine and demonstrating empathy are all qualities that build trust.

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Megan Bozzuto

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