NAPW August 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 twelve 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.

L.J.-Jackson_vip

L.J. Jackson

Company: Personal Power Within, Inc.
Industry: Personal Development
Title: Women’s Empowerment Mentor
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA


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

Jackson: I’ve been sharing knowledge, listening to others and encouraging and helping others to be their best and heal since I was around 12 years old (kind of like Lucy from Charlie Brown — minus her attitude). So yes, I would still do what I do even if I weren’t getting paid to do it.

 

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

Jackson: You know those times when you get a gut feeling to do the opposite of what seems rational or logical in the moment? Well, that’s when I believe we need to follow our instincts and “break the rules” because in most cases by doing so we save ourselves and others from something bad happening.

 

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

Jackson: I believe the work ethic that exists in business today is one in which there is a healthy balance between work and life so that family is number one; and we “over promise and over deliver” value to our customers through great products and services so we can sleep sound at night.

 

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

Jackson: I work best with women who:

  • Have achieved success as a business professional or entrepreneur
  • Invest in themselves regularly
  • Need clarity in an area of their lives
  • Need to eliminate emotional pain/despair
  • Want to live life completely authentic without facades
  • Are willing to take action based on my feedback
  • Are ready and eager to grow and restore their personal power

 

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

Jackson: Looking back, Developmental Psychology; Multicultural Counseling; and Leadership, Advocacy, and Preventive were three classes that laid my foundation. However, more than anything, my own life experience and journey of healing to eliminate the despair and restore my personal power truly prepared me for my work as a Women’s Empowerment Mentor. Along with the culmination of nine-and-a-half years of college coupled with additional training and experience learning from some of the top leaders in the personal growth industry today also prepared me for the work that I do.

 

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Sue-Bryan

Sue Bryan

Company: Inward Journey
Industry:
Personal Growth/Education
Title: Owner/Founder
Location:
Studio City, CA


NAPW
: How do you network?

Bryan: I go to local meetings that I hear about either through word of mouth, invitation or on MeetUp or Eventbrite. At meetings, I collect as many business cards as I can. Then I make follow-up calls to learn about the person’s business and to tell them about mine. I enjoy providing a complimentary coaching session to the people I meet so they can better understand the kind of work that I do and what coaching is like, as it is a relatively new profession and most people still don’t think that coaching is for them. I also get as many speaking engagements as I can through networking and other group events.

 

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

Bryan: I use all of my tools. I make sure I am breathing deeply and getting enough exercise. I use my circle of friends for support. I step back and remember why I am doing what I am doing. I read through my file of client testimonials to keep me inspired. I journal and I read inspirational material. Sometimes I just close up shop and go to the beach for an afternoon. I try to spend time out in nature when things feel challenging.

 

NAPW: What three business roles have contributed most to your success?

Bryan: 1. Focusing on the activities that will bring results. For me that is connecting (networking) with people and writing articles, blog posts, books, etc.

2. Focusing on selling my services, which, in my case, also includes educating people about the value of a coaching relationship and how a coach can help in all areas of life.

3. Focusing on being the CEO, and setting up my business for greater and greater impact and success. Thinking of the big picture rather than always focusing on the details of what needs to get done today helps keep me inspired and energized.

 

NAPW: What else would you like to get from your NAPW membership?

Bryan: I have just started out with NAPW. I am expecting to meet all kinds of wonderful women. I hope to make some solid connections with like-minded friends. I also hope to showcase my coaching service, the book(s) I have written and the personal growth programs I am developing.

 

NAPW: Describe your personal brand. Which platforms do you use to showcase it?

Bryan: I am your go-to resource when you are ready to make a commitment to your success, to your overall happiness and to finally feeling fulfilled in your life. I have been a teacher since I was six years old and I have overcome intense challenges using the tools that I teach. My clients will wake up happy every day and go to bed every night knowing they are making a difference in the world – all without striving or struggling.

I showcase my brand on my website; on my Facebook page; through my ebook, Being Truly Happy, which can be found on Amazon; through various articles I write; through various local speaking engagements and regular events such as the Wise Women Revealing monthly event  (I do the introduction to this one) and here’s another video clip; and through email marketing and soon-to-come webinars.

 

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Sylvia-Ang

Sylvia Ang

Company: Town Residential
Industry:
Real Estate
Title: Listings Manager
Location: New York, NY

 

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

Ang: Do what you love and love what you do.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words

Ang: Self-driven, strong-willed and kind.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Ang: My mother. She worked so hard all of her life to provide for us. She never gave up no matter how hard life was for her or how many obstacles and challenges she had to go through. Health, money and career — my mom has shown me that with strong will and faith, you can overcome any obstacles in life.

 

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

Ang: I am in real estate. I chose this field to have financial freedom, and I stay with it because my passion for real estate has grown over the past few years.

 

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

Ang: When my daughter was born, I wanted a career that allowed me to have flexible hours so I could care for my newborn. I decided that real estate was the way to go. I could make my own schedule and have my own business and still be able to attend to my child’s needs.

 

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Ellen-Bristol-Greenleaf

Ellen Bristol Greenleaf

Company: OPBRA
Industry:
Nautical/Marine
Title:
Director of Marketing and Membership Services
Location: Sarasota, FL

 

NAPW: How do you network?

Greenleaf: I network with professionals in the motorsports and national foundation industries working with race teams, race producers, communities, volunteers and professionals.

 

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

Greenleaf: I propel myself and others to be the best we can be within our knowledge and experience.

 

NAPW: What three business roles have contributed most to your success?

Greenleaf: Professional work and relationships in the sports, civic and social arenas as well as the Offshore Super Series, the Cody Unser First Step Foundation and The Presidents Roundtable of Indianapolis board of directors.

 

NAPW: What else would you like to get from your NAPW membership?

Greenleaf: Connections to expand the wealth of interest in all business aspects.

 

NAPW: Describe your personal brand. Which platforms do you use to showcase it?

Greenleaf: My personal brand is the work ethic and ability to adapt to all challenges involving the jobs I work, including media, event, safety, marketing and PR. Social media, interviews with radio, print and TV play big parts in promoting everything that occurs during an event.

 

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Viv-Hudson

Viv Hudson

Company: Healthwright Technologies (and) People in Flow
Industry:
Healthcare/Consulting Services
Title: Sales Manager (and) Performance Coach and Consultant
Location: Inman, SC

 

NAPW: What advice would you give someone who wants to move from just a business card to someone well-respected in her field?

Hudson: Build your profile and ensure that what you say you do aligns with your social media presence. One way to lift your profile is to position yourself as an expert in your field. The best way to do this is to be really clear on what it is that you are passionate about and what it is that you know. This can take some soul searching! Once you gain clarity, write articles, have a blog and share your articles through social media and the press. Get involved in social media communities and be active. Share and know your value. Speaking is also a great way to increase your presence and, of course, networking! People will always be more likely to do business and recommend someone who they know and trust!

 

NAPW: How do you keep your skills sharp during a personal hiatus?

Hudson: By always being clear about what is important to me, and my vision and my purpose keep me on track. Take time to clear your head by meditating, going for a walk, embracing solitude or taking deep breaths. I always keep inspirational quotes handy and have a massive library of books to feed my mind.

 

NAPW: How do you transition back into work mode after a hiatus?

Hudson: It is amazing what comes back to you after a break! If you have a team, connect with them and remember your purpose. Have a list of things to get through and start with the most challenging at the beginning of the day when your will power is strongest. Don’t make your list too long so you CAN get through it.

 

NAPW: Describe the challenges of moving up in a male-dominated industry.

Hudson: Determination and a support group are imperative. I never like to think of being a woman as a challenge. I believe women can have challenges due to our commitment to be with our families and the many roles we may juggle. If it is what you really want, you are working within your strengths, and if it fits your values, the challenges will become less apparent. I believe sometimes we can create the challenge in our own mind due to the standards we may place on ourselves as a mother, wife and career woman and don’t give enough time to connect with ourselves. Set boundaries and understand whom you want to be in each of these roles.

 

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

Hudson: It is important to know what your ideal clients looks like so you know when to recognize one. What problems do they have and what solutions are you providing? Do some research before you go knocking on doors. Make sure you provide value to the clients by knowing your product and how it benefits your clients. Above all, build a relationship and connections.

 

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Karen-Greenhaus

Karen Greenhaus

Company: Edtech Professional Development
Industry:
Education
Title: Education Consultant/Owner
Location: Doyles Town, PA

 

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

Greenhaus: I definitely have achieved success by my own rules. So far, I have accomplished all the things I have set out to do, and doors continue to open.

 

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

Greenhaus: I finished my doctorate in Educational Technology. After the company I loved was acquired by a very large corporation, I realized I preferred the flexibility and freedom to create educational experiences I believed in versus being forced to conform and do things I did not necessarily believe in.

 

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

Greenhaus: This is incredibly true in my business life. I worked for an amazing company that was innovative and exciting and where I had a voice in all decisions. When that company was acquired, their much more structured, corporate view forced me to look at what was important to me and to make the leap to finish my doctorate and branch out into my own business.

 

NAPW: How do you network?

Greenhaus: I use several sources – LinkedIn, Twitter, conferences — and through my many connections in the publishing/education field over the past 24 years, I am able to connect to others. I also don’t miss a chance to network wherever I might be, whether at a business event, a social event or sitting on the train!  You never know who you might meet.

 

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

Greenhaus: I take a break, read, take a walk and refocus. I try to break tough things into small, manageable parts so that the overall project doesn’t seem so daunting.

 

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Lara-Morrison

Lara Morrison

Company: Department of Defense
Industry:
Military/Defense/Armed Services
Title:
Program Analyst
Location: O’Fallon, IL

 

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

Morrison: Focus. Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut in balance and you will learn more and earn people’s respect. Don’t worry about what people think; do the best you can because it will be good enough. Be brave and fearless when you know you are right.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Morrison: Diligent, trustworthy and happy.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Morrison: Not surprising – my mother.

 

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

Morrison: I am an Operations Analyst. It was a natural transition from being a military officer and pilot. I did not originally choose to be a pilot, the profession chose me. My commanding officer recommended me to the board, and when they offered me a position, I couldn’t believe I was going to do the most exhilarating job I could imagine. I was going to see the world and serve my country at the same time, and I spent 14 years doing exactly that. Pilots are leaders and I knew I wanted to lead.

 

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

Morrison: My mother. She was a military officer and a nurse. She encouraged me to be “more” than she was and to choose a profession where I could reach and exceed my potential. She always told me, “No guts, no story.” I have both, thanks to her.

 

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Nkem-Okwu

Nkem Okwu

Company: JNO Design, LLC
Industry:
Interior Design
Title:
President and Owner
Location: Woodbridge, VA

 

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

Okwu: It’s all relative. My perspective of what society thinks of women is dependent on my personal life experiences and the building blocks utilized to cement the progression of where I am in life and in my business. I believe that as women, we are presented with tools, resources and opportunities to overcome challenges and embrace these challenges as motivators to turn obstacles into success factors.

 

NAPW: Have you ever felt that your integrity would be compromised while making a business decision? How did you handle it?

Okwu: I have never felt that my integrity has been comprised. In fact, the adage and core of JNO Designs is based on integrity. I take pride in knowing that my clients can entrust me with their personal space to create an environment true to their personality, lifestyle and vision.

 

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

Okwu: I believe three characteristics that all successful people share are great leadership, interpersonal skills and vision.

 

NAPW: Dale Carnegie said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed no hope at all.” Do you believe this? Why?

Okwu: Absolutely! Persistence is one of the greatest success factors in life. When we are driven, passionate and hungry for success, it becomes the building block, the food, the dream and the core of thriving for the utmost possibilities to succeed in life!

 

NAPW: Steve Jobs said, “I want to put a ding in the world?” What ding will you make?

Okwu: My brand R.E.S.T.! I hope to build on my brand and create an impact and emphasize the mere essence of what loving your space should be.

 

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Joanne-T-Williams_vip

Joanne T. Williams

Company: Capella University
Industry:
Higher Education
Title:
PhD Candidate
Location: Alexandria, VA


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

Williams: Teaching at a faith-based institution of higher education allows me to pursue my personal goal of teaching ethical leaders for global impact from a biblio-centric worldview. As an English Professor for over 30 years, I have been able to stretch my heart, mind and hands to serve learners who give back to their communities. My work is fulfilling on many levels. In addition, Lancaster Bible College expanded its campuses to other states, which provided an opportunity for me to teach in the DC metro area where I live.

 

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

Williams: Teaching is a profession that follows me like a shadow; I never know how or when my influence, positive or negative, will fall on someone. It is a challenge to be prepared for the unexpected question, situation or workload increase at any given moment. However, these challenges can also turn out to be the best life lessons.

 

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

Williams: The transformational classroom teaching/learning environment can be one of the most dynamic, enjoyable, emotional, educational places on earth for both the learner and the teacher.  I love the newness of every student’s search for meaning using reasoning and imagination.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” –William Butler Yeats

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Williams: Successfully steering my daughters to graduate from college and to pursue graduate school, almost debt free, in spite of losing their dad during their school journey, is one of my most fulfilling accomplishments.

 

NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Williams:  I approach each day with a biblio-centric worldview that teaches me to embrace the principles of redemptive living, to love others unconditionally and to enjoy God forever. I also value healthy eating and exercise, intellectual stimulation and adventurous entertainment.

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Angela-Winfield

Angela Winfield

Company: Blind Faith Enterprises, LLC
Industry:
Lifestyle and Business Coaching
Title:
Life & Success Coach, Author, Inspirational Speaker
Location:
Auburn, NY


NAPW
: Describe a time when setting aside personal time from work was the healthiest choice for you.

Winfield: Choosing to set aside personal time is a regular and routine choice for me — not just something I do when crisis strikes. For me to consistently function at my highest level across my various professional roles and work functions while maintaining my personal health and balance, it’s essential I take personal time every day. It may be five minutes of alone time or practicing yoga for an hour and a half. I know I need to recharge, and have a go-to list of activities that provide me with rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

 

NAPW: Do you believe in mixing business with pleasure?

Winfield: Yes and no. Your business pursuits should bring you great pleasure and you should always make engaging in purely pleasurable pursuits your business. It helps keep you balanced and integrated as a professional and a person. When I was an absolute business/pleasure separatist, it was an extremely stressful juggling act, draining my energy, productivity and happiness. I felt like I was one person at work, a different person at home and yet another at social engagements instead of just being and showing up as me all the time. However, I do believe it’s best to keep the two separate in that my work colleagues are, first and foremost, my work colleagues and my personal friends are, first and foremost, my friends. I try to keep that in perspective. I do have to confess, though, my favorite and most valued business partner, advisor and confidante is my husband and my most successful, lucrative and satisfying deals have been with him — so I definitely mix the two when it comes to him.

 

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

Winfield: Yes. The message I get loud and clear from the media and other people is that the busier you are, the more important and successful you are, which is actually true if, and only if, you are what I call, “busy in the best way.” Where I think society gets it wrong is that they glorify the woman who is simply busy doing lots of stuff and burning herself out rather than the woman who is busy creating and living a life she loves, meaning the woman who is actively and attentively engaged in her whole life, personally and professionally; busy working, busy relaxing, busy spending quality family time, busy making a difference and leaving a mark in this world in the way she chooses for herself. The pressure to conform to the conventional ideal of the “busy woman” is always there, but it’s gotten easier and easier for me to recommit to being busy with ME and I — my shorthand for what motivates, educates and inspires me to create and live a life I love living.

 

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

Winfield:  Well, I am a musical theater fan and a season subscriber to the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, which, fortunately, is right in my backyard. I always make time to go to each of the shows during the summer and fall seasons.

 

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Arnita-Jennings_vip

Arnita Jennings

Company: Buy Medical Gift Cards
Industry:
Online Retail
Title: Owner
Location:
Los Angeles, CA


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

Jennings: The gift card industry is huge, however, the healthcare industry is limited in its use of them. My product is intended to close that gap. Now more than ever with the Affordable Care Act, more people can benefit tremendously from a gift card used in support of their out-of-pocket medical expenses.

 

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

Jennings: I spoke with a few people in the healthcare industry to get them to sign on to accept my product as a viable method of payment. I sent out an introductory letter and got a couple of them to sign on but I needed much more.

 

NAPW: Discuss the committees on which you have served and the impact of these committees on the organization where you currently work.

Jennings: I do not have a committee at my business and I have not served on any committees in the last 20 years.

 

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

Jennings: I have no new skills to speak of.

 

NAPW: Think about an instance when you were given an assignment you thought you would not be able to complete. How did you accomplish the assignment?

Jennings: The only assignments I have been asked to do came from the Small Business Development Center. I accomplished the assignments related to marketing my product through my knowledge of the product and my skills.

 

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Jerri-Goranson_vip

Jerri Goranson

Company: Virtual Office Visions
Industry:
Administrative and Support Services
Title: Founder
Location:
Millville, NJ


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

Goranson: By staying calm, taking deep breaths and staying focused.

 

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

Goranson: I use both LinkedIn and Monster.com.

 

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

Goranson: My biggest strengths / talents are that I have the ability to help my clients and make a positive impact on them and their business, and I am able to adapt and learn new skills.

 

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

Goranson: Being a perfectionist. I know I can’t save the world, so I do what I can to the best of my ability and try not to take everything so seriously.

 

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

Goranson: By staying connected via Facebook, LinkedIn and other networking sites. I also attend on-site networking functions.

 

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