Member Connections Newsletter, Member Spotlight

NAPW December Member Spotlights

Meet NAPW members in Member Spotlight, a monthly column that lets members highlight their careers and businesses. This month, we feature 13 accomplished women so be sure to check out each of their profiles. VIP, Elite & Preferred Members: To be featured in an upcoming issue of the newsletter, contact us at featuredwomen@napw.com.

adriana_gajdosova

Adriana Gajdosova

Company: MANGO
Industry:
Retail
Title: District Manager
Location: New York City, NY

 

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?

Gajdosova: Even though I’m ready for a new challenge, I’m proud of where I am today. Passion and determination has helped me get here.

 

NAPW: What one key factor made the difference in your business?

Gajdosova: BELIEVE.

 

NAPW: If you travel for business, how do you maintain your home life?

Gajdosova: This is very easy in my case. I have no husband and no kids so I just lock my door.

 

NAPW: Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” What will you do?

Gajdosova: We make many scary decisions and go through scary situations at work every day without even realizing it. I’ll start to count them.

 

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?

Gajdosova: By being genuine and offering help whenever I can. People remember those who help others.

 

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Bonita_Schaal

Bonita Schaal

Company: Strength In Balance
Therapeutic Massage
Industry:
Healthcare/Mental Wellness/Therapy
Title: Massage Therapist
Location: High Point, NC

 

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

Schaal: I usually try to find a quiet place for some reflection and meditation to center down and find my way back to a place of peace, balance and tranquility.

 

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

Schaal: I enjoy working out about three times a week, yoga and walking my dog daily. I also eat and cook healthy foods most of the time. I believe drinking water is very important to my health.

 

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

Schaal: Yes. I am not my career. I want to be successful in all areas of my life so it is important to maintain a balance of work, fun and rest throughout each day.

 

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

Schaal: Networking was extremely important. I was fortunate enough to come from a sales background with skills in networking and reaching out to new people. Being in the gym also gave me access to people who might really be in need of my services as a massage therapist.

 

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

Schaal: Always do your best each day, stay positive and believe in yourself.

 

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Joan_Skurski-2

Joan M. Skurski

Company: Community Education Centers
Industry:
Security
Title: Program Manager
Location: Media, PA

 

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

Skurski: It is imperative that one uses any tools available that work for them to reduce pressure, thus reducing adverse stress levels to their bodies. Personally, I will walk away from a situation that is too intensive at the moment in order to collect myself and re-address it a few moments later. Once I have my thoughts together, I get a better overall understanding of the problem with a couple of solutions ready at hand. Facilitating a 70 male resident therapeutic community and changing criminal behavior mindsets with addictive and alcoholic tendencies on a daily basis can produce a lot of stress, especially when failures occur. However, I try to keep myself focused on the bigger picture and not on the failures of the few. Life is challenging and sometimes you just need to laugh to get through a bad day, even at your own expense!

 

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

Skurski: I will try to find various online tools to keep myself updated in many areas. I am affiliated with the American Correctional Association, the Department of Criminal Justice at Monmouth University, American Legion and the National Association of Professional Women to name a few. It is essential to have well-rounded knowledge of your interests and passions with a global understanding of the day-to-day operations of the country’s laws, policies and events.

 

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

Skurski: I have indeed faced a glass ceiling. It is incredibly frustrating at times to realize that what you find so attainable, so fitting for your career path, might not be what the executive has in mind for you. But life is full of change and all I can do is maintain open communication and learn to speak up more for the progress I would like to see happen.

 

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

Skurski: To quantify one’s strengths is not conceit but confidence. I have the confidence every day to walk into a room of 70 male residents, address their problems, give class lectures and hopefully change their lives to end recidivism. Community Education Centers, where I am currently employed, is dedicated to providing effective treatment services. Treatment needs to start before they exit any jail or prison. Re-entry should begin early inside the institutions to better prepare them for a life without crime and drugs. It is also important to provide them with a support system with continued programming and treatment upon exiting the institution. Re-entry and programming outweigh the costs of recidivism. My daily activities encompass such tasks with positive outcomes.

 

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

Skurski: I consider myself a morning person, pushing full steam ahead throughout the day until the late afternoon when I have just a little bit left to give. I need to find a comfortable pace and make the day more of an even balance to accomplish my tasks.

 

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

Skurski: It is easy to connect and get “LinkedIn” with people, but to keep your connections is more than just viewing them on a site once or twice. It is helpful to keep up with their accomplishments and endorse and recommend them to others in their field.

 

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Kathleen_C_Williams

Kathleen C. Williams

Company: NightLife Hair Wrap LLC
Industry:
Retail
Title: CEO
Location: Lawrenceville, GA

 

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

Williams: I spend time in meditation and prayer. While doing these, the big picture is revealed and I know that I am not alone in my struggle! My purpose on earth is still the same and all that needs to change or get “back on track” are my thoughts of success.

 

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

Williams: I walk several times a week, preferably outside, which helps keep me physically and mentally strong. When possible, I swim and I love to Salsa dance. I eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, drink lots of water and limit my intake of sweets.

 

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

Williams: Business success can be thrilling and we look up to many women and their successes. However, if all you have is business success at the end of the day, you can end up alone! I believe it is important to have relationships, family, faith and a fun, well-rounded life.

 

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

Williams: As many entrepreneurs assume, I thought my product would be an instant success. It took about six months for me realize that to get my business known by the masses, I needed to move networking to the top of my “to do” list in order to promote my product and establish relationships.

 

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

Williams: I believe employees should be excited about and have a stake in your business. Allow and direct your employees to create their own “place of responsibility” that fits within the business model.  Hold them accountable for the success they envision, motivate them regularly and reward them monetarily, verbally and in writing.

 

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Keoma_L_Hamer

Keoma L. Hamer

Company: KeLaHa Projects Foundation
Industry:
Founder & President
Title:
Social Services/Non-Profit
Location: St. Maarten (Dutch Caribbean)

 

NAPW: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Hamer: I wanted to be a fashion designer and a model.

 

NAPW: How do you define success?

Hamer: I define success by living the fullest expression of yourself as you fulfill your life’s purpose.

 

NAPW: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hamer: I see myself having a fully functioning and modernized cancer facility called KeLaHa Projects Cervical Cancer Programs that offers counseling, support, educational and outreach programs to various countries and islands throughout the region with a vast network of support from regional and international companies and individuals. I also see myself developing KeLaHa YOUTHS, a fully functioning network that supports the enrichment and development of youth. On a personal note, I hope to be married and at least start a family but I must first find the love of my life.

 

NAPW: How do you relax?

Hamer: This is something I haven’t fully learned yet as I’m known to always be on the go. This past September, I tried “leaning back” as Arianna Huffington advised and though it was very hard, I did somewhat manage to partially disconnect for a few weeks.

 

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

Hamer: Living a life of service may not always bring you a big paycheck, or any at all, but remain fully committed and go “all the way” as satisfaction is seeing and living in the “change” you help to create, your contribution to your generation… your contribution to your world. You have the POWER to create change…why wait for it?

 

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lisa_lemke

Lisa M. Lemke

Company: St. Mary’s of Michigan Standish Hospital
Industry:
Healthcare
Title: Rehabilitation Manager and
Occupational Therapist
Location: Koakawlin, MI

 

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

Lemke: I feel that society’s viewpoints of women have helped me.

 

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

Lemke: Positive attitude, integrity, goal-oriented.

 

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?

Lemke: Yes. In order to succeed, we must face the challenges and look for ways to make things work. There is always an option, be it one or many, that can take things forward and make things happen.

 

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

Lemke: I hope to be remembered as a caring individual that showed integrity and dedication in my work, with my family and in my values.

 

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Marcy_Meyers

Marcy Meyers

Company: Leawood Counseling Center
Industry:
Healthcare
Title: Integrative Health Practitioner –
BioEnergetics
Location: Leawood, KS

 

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

Meyers: I am passionate about empowering people to live life to the fullest.

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Meyers: I can assist other members in their personal journey toward self-integration and health. I can also offer education on bio-energetics to their specific workplace.

 

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

Meyers: My website provides a good introduction into a field of health for which people have limited awareness. I also use a Pinterest board to display the beautiful artwork created in my paint seminars.

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Meyers: I see individual clients Monday through Thursday. I treat many physical issues such as fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel and cancer recovery support as well as trauma recovery, anxiety, emotional release and reframing. I also facilitate process paint seminars on Saturday.

 

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

Meyers: The glass ceiling in the Midwest has to do with a lack of education about bio-energetics. To counter this, I have facilitated free monthly clinics and I am currently in the process of developing a CEU seminar for people in the health and wellness industry.

 

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Michelle_Tuggle

Michelle Tuggle

Company:
DARPA /PL Consulting, Inc.
Industry:
Information Assurance, Cyber Security,
Research and Development
Title: Principle/Senior Information
Assurance Engineer
Location: Alexandria, VA

 

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

Tuggle: PL Consulting, Inc., is a premier provider of information security and assurance talent. Our employees are mature, seasoned professionals who take great pride in the service they provide. We are selective in identifying the right people with the right skillset to support our very demanding customers. This company is perhaps the most ethically sound and principled organization I have ever had the privilege to work for.

 

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

Tuggle: There is just never enough time in the day to work with great people!

 

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

Tuggle: The satisfaction at the end of the day that we are one step closer to something great tomorrow. This is a very dynamic environment where very intelligent people strive for excellence. The privilege of learning something new every day makes this a job with extraordinary opportunity!

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Tuggle: My proudest accomplishment is having worked with and shared in the growth of an adult literacy organization called Academy of Hope, DC and allowing myself to be humbled by the many students there who struggled and reinvented their lives through literacy. Those students, the staff and the entire organization made me realize that there is nothing in life that we should take for granted, especially not the ability to simply read! It is amazing what we can learn from the will of others when we quiet ourselves.

 

NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Tuggle: I try to leave each day as it will be and walk away satisfied until the next. I work out, travel, read, work in my yard, spend play time with my little Westie, Patrick, and his little Schnauzer brother, Maverick. As an avid numismatist, I find great pleasure in networking with people around the country with the same passion for paper and coin currency and the history that lies therein. Gathering with friends from time to time is also essential.

 

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Stephanie_Deppensmith

Stephanie Deppensmith

Company: Deville Events and
Productions
Industry:
Event Management/
Productions
Title: Owner
Location: CA (Home)

 

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

Deppensmith: When the going gets tough in life, I love to go to Disneyland and just have fun, refresh for new ideas, laugh, play and enjoy myself. I also love to relax at the spa and enjoy the fun of shopping. When the going gets tough at an event, I work even faster and more efficiently to put out any fires that look like they’re starting.

 

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

Deppensmith: I love coffee, especially pumpkin spice lattes. It’s a perfect way to wake up with a healthy breakfast. I enjoy vendor lunches as they are the best way to eat and try new and delicious food items for upcoming events. In my personal life, I enjoy Jazzercise and take ballet, jazz and tap dance classes to maintain my professional dancing ability.

 

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

Deppensmith: As a woman, entrepreneur, wife, mother, individual and business woman, I think success is a part of defining who you are and what makes you stand taller

 

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

Deppensmith: Networking is an extremely important asset when starting out. As an events, entertainment, production and wedding professional, I networked with tons of people in my industry. We are all in this together and we all have different ideas that work for different people, different clients, etc.

 

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

Deppensmith: Make sure you are in an industry that you love to be in. You shouldn’t feel like an “employee” — you should feel like part of the team. Take pride in your responsibilities and motivate yourself to always grow– this motivates your whole team. It’s amazing what comes together when the team is in it for the whole.

 

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Susan_Cornell_Wilkes

Susan Cornell Wilkes

Company: Global Horizons for Women/
Adventures in Giving
Industry:
International Development, Women’s
Economic Empowerment, Foundations
Title: President/Founder
Location: Hopkins, MN

 

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

Wilkes: Having benefitted from the Women’s Movement and extensive international experience, I am passionate about women’s economic opportunity and social justice in the developing world. Women are the primary force for global development and poverty alleviation. I co-founded Global Horizons for Women (www.globalhorizonsforwomen.org) to give professional women like myself an information and action resource enabling them to get involved in supporting women in these developing countries as they improve their own lives and those of their families and communities.

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Wilkes: I can present an international dimension to anyone who is interested. I can share the excitement and fulfilling nature of involvement in global development for women as well as my own experience in creating and running organizations. I know the network of nongovernmental organizations working in the women’s opportunity field and can help members of NAPW connect. As a consultant, I can advise members on effective international donations, grant development, volunteer opportunities and investment. I can offer the trips I lead and take women overseas to developing countries to witness their microfinance and economic empowerment programs and meet the women who participate in them. Our next scheduled trip is to Nepal from April 19 – May 1, 2014.

 

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

Wilkes: It brings together my international interests, my passion for women’s opportunity and my creativity. Everything in my background seems to have led up to the creation of an organization like this, which also involves many of my professional colleagues and friends.

 

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

Wilkes: To remember that it is important to build teams around your vision, to help other people to own it and to give credit to those who need it. Be an active listener, give positive encouragement to staff and hone your public speaking skills.

 

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

Wilkes: The most rewarding part of my job is giving professional women a glimpse into the developing world that transforms their perspectives and enlists them in supporting the women we meet. The most challenging part is growing Global Horizons for Women into a nationally known movement that effectively engages professional women in helping women in the Global South build their own women’s movement.

 

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Susan-Daniel-Fayad

Susan Daniel Fayad

Company: John Tyler Community College
Industry: Education
Title: Author/Instructor
Location: Richmond, VA

 

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

Fayad: I started my own Facebook page recently to promote my new children’s book My Grandfather’s Masbaha. In just a few weeks, I have gotten a little over 515 likes. In the upcoming future, I will have a radio campaign on 98.1 Lite FM in Virginia where gift cards for my eBook will be given away and ads for the book will be streamed on iHeartRadio. I will also be a partner in the 36 Hours for Kids at VCU Children’s Hospital.

 

NAPW: Where do you find inspiration?

Fayad: I find inspiration in my two children. Their enthusiasm and my experiences with them inspire me to write stories about them and the Lebanese culture.

 

NAPW: What motivates you to succeed?

Fayad: Honoring my parent’s legacy and the values they have instilled in me, being a good example for my children and my ambition to educate others all motivate me to succeed. Through education, life is easier, greater understanding is achieved, more opportunities are available and success and happiness are possible.

 

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

Fayad: Financial success is great but it doesn’t mean anything if you haven’t accomplished your career goals. I have previously had jobs that allowed me to make a lot of money and made me appear like a successful person but inside I felt miserable because I was not happy with what I was doing. Doing what you love and being recognized for it is true success.

 

NAPW: How do you manage stress?

Fayad: I manage stress by working out, whether it’s in a spin class, on an elliptical or going for a walk in the neighborhood. It lets me unwind.

 

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Vicky_Panossian

Vicky Panossian

Company: IMD
Industry:
Innovative Global Marketing
Title: Owner
Location: Toluca Lake, CA

 

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

Panossian: In an era when commoditization and buyer sophistication are a reality, where products look alike and the price is no longer the main differentiator, the key to achieving market leadership in any geographic or economic environment is by creating and producing value aligned with customer market objectives.

With solid experience in B2B global marketing strategies, international operations and global alliance building, I lead every phase of the product’s life-cycle journey. This includes converting data into market intelligence, transforming innovative products into competitive solutions and leveraging technologies to effectively communicate their value to diversified global markets. I have been successful in helping a wide spectrum of high-tech market leaders as well as both foreign and Silicon Valley start-ups generate over a billion dollars in revenue through synthesizing complex, global markets, creating sustainable, competitive value and identifying next generation revenue opportunities.

I am an M.B.A. graduate with a minor in international business. I have multilingual capabilities and a drive to achieve measureable results with a healthy disrespect for the word “impossible.”

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Panossian: I can help NAPW visionary community members demystify global marketing and international expansion by helping them design, plan and implement marketing and services programs that will generate rapid growth and increase ROI. Whether they are involved in start-ups or embarking on a project for a multinational company to generate revenue, I can help them develop new business, build global critical partnerships and introduce new technology to global markets.

 

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

Panossian: Social media is great where effective or it will become a waste of your precious budget. I use LinkedIn to make my professional profile accessible to a diversified group of professionals as well as join the groups of interest to me to network virtually as well as during scheduled events.

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Panossian: My typical day will involve creating unique technology, product, market or service value for the companies I work for. This involves extensive research to develop relevant market intelligence, constant dialogue with current and potential customers to co-create value and implementation of interactive marketing and service programs and campaigns.

I usually end my heavily scheduled days with a match of tennis, a new hobby I picked up which I enjoy tremendously. It is both a great physical and mental exercise as you need to keep your eye on the ball and strategize the court. If tennis partners are not available, I write poetry, hike or meet a friend at the theater, ballet or opera. In wintertime, I like to ski and read in bed.

 

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

Panossian: I have worked with a wide spectrum of organizations from start-ups to Fortune 100/500 companies. I was only 23 years old when I started living and working in foreign countries whose culture I did not understand and whose language I did not speak. However, the glass ceiling was the thickest and the darkest in United States. The fact that our community is protected with a variety of regulations and that we enjoy the abundant freedom to express our revolt against all kinds of discrimination has only created the illusion of a society where glass ceilings are fast disappearing. I have fought against glass ceilings by becoming more passionate about my work, more relevant to my field and better in my performance. My contribution to the organizations I have worked has been of great value in rapid growth, increase in ROI and global partnership building, however, the glass ceiling has evolved and taken a different dimension and shade.

 

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mendy_goodman

Mendy Goodman

Company: Morris Hardwick Schneider
Industry:
Legal Services
Title: Foreclosure Director
Location: Havre De Grace, MD

 

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

Goodman: My free time is divided between my family, my educational advancement and reading.

 

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

Goodman: My advice to any woman entering my field is to become your strongest advocate. Be confident in your abilities and decisions and be prepared to defend your opinion. Know your field and do your research because this industry is extremely fast-paced and detailed. Lastly, the ability to multitask is key.

 

NAPW: What is the best career advice you’ve received?

Goodman: The best career advice that I have ever received was to focus on my strengths and not my weaknesses because any good executive has both. Accept your limitations and work very hard to enhance your strengths. It is there you will find success.

 

NAPW: How do you measure your success?

Goodman: I set challenges for myself and ask myself what I want to accomplish this year and what tools I need. I diagram and plan until I have a blueprint for a particular goal and then I work hard to meet the challenge. Success to me is measured by my accomplishments and not by my financial status, yet in my experience, I have found that one invariably follows the other.

 

NAPW: Tell us about your profession and/or your business?

Goodman: I work in the real estate industry. The market is a roller coaster which creates a unique, demanding working environment. The level of detail is critical and the ability to juggle many projects is required.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Goodman: In order to keep fresh ideas, I continue to take classes. I work closely with my staff and am always willing to have an open mind and listen to new ideas. I also enjoy researching the industry and reading about how others have handled similar situations.

 

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2 Comments
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Megan Bozzuto

2 Comments

  1. DeDe
    December 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I’m an artist singer songwriter and would love to be featured sometime. Congrats to all the women who are featured in Dec.!

    • Olisa Adger, NAPW
      December 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Hello DeDe,

      Thanks for the comment. To be featured, please send an email to featuredwomen@napw.com.

      NAPW

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