NAPW July Member Spotlight

Dana Angel Member Connections Newsletter, Member Spotlight 1 Comment

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.

Cynthia-Marie-Bryan_vip

Cynthia-Marie Bryan

Company: IHOM, Inc.
Industry: Nonprofit
Title: Director of Operations
Location: New York, NY


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

Bryan: Speak confidently and passionately about your cause and your business. People connect with people and part of that connection is sharing your passion about what you do. Others will be inspired and touched by it and will connect that with your name, your business and your cause.

 

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

Bryan: I read a lot and stay connected with people who are of like mind so I can learn and grow as much as possible.

 

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

Bryan: Jump right in! When you are passionate about something, it never leaves you (even on hiatus) so I start with what inspired me most to return.

 

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

Bryan: One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is being accepted for having more than just a “boss” attitude. It seems the perception is that to be the boss, you have to do away with a woman’s more nurturing side to get things done. Slowly, I’m learning how to balance both so that industries accept both.

 

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

Bryan: Talk. I share at every opportunity and inspire people through my passion.

 

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Barbara-Biziou

Barbara Biziou

Company: Barbara Biziou Productions
Industry:
Personal and Professional Development
Title: Owner
Location:
New York, NY


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

Biziou: Strong women threaten men who are insecure.

 

NAPW: What does being a strong woman mean to you?

Biziou: Being a strong woman means having courage to do what has meaning and purpose to you even if it scares you. It also means being strong enough to be vulnerable at times and to ask for help.

 

NAPW: How big of a factor has your personality played in your success?

Biziou: I find most of my clients come from referrals, so yes; my personality has had a large impact on my business. I am pretty outgoing and like to think out of the box. It also helps to have a more “detailed and analytical assistant.”

 

NAPW: Do you consider yourself a people-person? How has this impacted your business?

Biziou: Yes, I am a people-person. I love to meet new people and am genuinely interested in discovering who they are. I also consider myself a good listener. Due to this, I have created a very large network of friends and colleagues around the world. I am at one degree of separation.

 

NAPW: Where do you envision your company in five years?

Biziou: I see my business taking a larger leadership role in the global arena, especially when it comes to cross-cultural communication.

 

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Lisa-J.-Crane_vip

Lisa J. Crane

Company: ALICE Training Institute
Industry:
Safety Education and Training
Title: Vice President/Co-Founder
Location: Burleson, TX

 

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

Crane: Our industry of safety and security training in the area of active shooter resistance has seen a huge acceleration since the Sandy Hook tragedy. We have seen official government documents come out in support of pro-active strategies and this has caused an influx of new competitors. None conduct training like ours, exactly, and very few offer the kind of teaching materials and support that we do; however, for the first time in ten years, we have competition.

 

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

Crane: We had been doing limited training of schools since 2000, but in 2006, we gained national media attention for offering schools something more than just the traditional “lockdown-only” mandates. While the media reports were positive, we had many detractors come out against us. They mischaracterized our work and told people we were “teaching seven year olds to fight a gunman.” Nothing could have been farther from the truth but it made difficult our ability to advance our ALICE program and it took us over ten years to become accepted. Recommendations from DHS, Dept. of Ed., FEMA, DHHS, FBI and DoJ mirror our program now but they have called theirs ‘Run, Hide, Fight.’  We have met with many unsuccessful attempts to train civilians but found if you persist, you can make a huge difference in the world.

 

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

Crane: Many people would be surprised at the lack of research that has been conducted on the best ways to survive an active shooter situation. We have always seen great results during the hands-on portion of our training. I have served on a collaborative committee involving our company and Case Western University to conduct research for the survival options of evacuation, securing-in-place and countering the attack and taking back control. We have worked together to bring the needed research techniques to the scenario portion of our training.

 

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

Crane: I have learned many new lessons about business this year. Our business was growing by leaps and bounds and we felt we needed to bring in business partners to help us meet the demands. Our new partners were well-versed in business, sales, marketing and running our company more efficiently. I have learned the basics of Salesforce, Egnite, Google Chrome, SmartDraw and other programs to help meet the demands of a growing business.

 

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?

Crane: I wanted to have quality materials for training elementary students about their survival options during an active shooter situation. Especially after the Sandy Hook tragedy, we had many of our customers asking for materials. Although I am not a children’s author, I worked with national award-winning children’s author, Julia Cook, to write I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared, Because I Know ALICE. We created an activity book to accompany it so any teacher, parent or law enforcement officer would be able to train students without fear or undue stress.

 

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Sharon-Patterson-Payne_vip

Sharon Patterson Payne

Company: Sharon Patterson Payne
Industry:
Writer, Author and Spiritual Photographer
Title:
Writer, Author and Spiritual Photographer
Location: Lorena, TX

 

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

Payne: Find something that you love to do – then explore ways to make a living doing it! Every day will be a new and exciting adventure if you can make that happen and it will put the “happy” in your heart.

 

NAPW: What advice can you offer a growing business?

Payne: Always praise those employees and business associates for a job well done, when applicable, as they are the “bread and butter” that will make your business successful.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Payne: First of all, I always start my day with a simple prayer to God thanking Him for all of the many blessings He has bestowed upon me and ask Him how I can best serve Him for that day. It is amazing how my day always turns out blessed even in the midst of adversity; even at times, following my morning prayer. I always tune in to talk shows and the news, talk to others and read articles, both related and nonrelated to my trade, as you never know when someone or something will be presented that will breathe new life into your passion.

 

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

Payne: I love the beach! It is a place for me where the sand meets the surf and God’s love abounds. As a writer, the beach is a retreat where I can kick back and totally unwind — a source of both peace and inspiration — where the waves wash away life stresses and the ocean breeze restores my soul, with the true purpose for which I was intended. It is the beach where I feel the inspiration to write the best.

 

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

Payne: I am constantly researching marketing ideas via the internet and social media. Everywhere I go, I drop off a business card (which has a copy of my book cover on the front and a photo of me and my contact information on the back) to as many folks as I can. I even leave cards in public places in the hope someone will pick one up and read my book. You never know where a business card will eventually end up… maybe with a movie producer or someone who knows one!

 

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Carol-A.-Stormer_vip

Carol A. Stormer

Company: LHC Group
Industry:
Healthcare: Home Health Care
Title: Home Health Occupational Therapist
Location: Lake Oswego, OR

 

NAPW: In business, are there ever times when you feel your confidence waning? How do you handle it?

Stormer: Yes. I get support from my mentors and my colleagues.

 

NAPW: What qualities make a good leader?

Stormer: The ability to see the big picture. Servant leadership. It’s not about the leader, it’s about the team and what makes them effective.

 

NAPW: What is the most courageous action or unpopular stand you have ever taken?

Stormer: Standing up against a narcissist regarding family issues.

 

NAPW: Describe the most significant piece of writing that you have had to complete.

Stormer: An article based on my research of rehabilitation standards of the evaluation of injured workers and how to apply them fairly.

 

NAPW: Describe the most creative work-related project to which you have contributed.

Stormer: Writing an article for artistic craftsmen in Oregon who work diligently with their hands for their craft. The article focused on how to prevent repetitive injuries.

 

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Rita-Goldberg_vip

Rita Goldberg

Company: British Swim School Franchise, LLC
Industry:
Children’s Sports/Recreation
Title: Owner
Location: Sunrise, FL

 

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

Goldberg: Into the pool. It is the best possible place to think clearly.

 

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

Goldberg: Pool, massage and walk.

 

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

Goldberg: Not really. I think it’s important to examine success, see how you handle it and try to improve both business-wise and personally.

 

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

Goldberg: Absolutely vital! If no one knows about you, how can you succeed? Also, learning from others is so important, which in turn, allows you to help, too!

 

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

Goldberg: Enjoy them! Set the rules and keep to them (employees like structure). Be consistent. Give them the tools to do the job, let them do it and praise a job well done.

 

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Yvette-D.-Klepin

Yvette D. Klepin

Company: County of San Diego Probation Department
Industry:
Law Enforcement
Title:
Assistant Chief Probation Officer
Location: San Diego, CA

 

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

Klepin: I eat right, exercise and take a moment out of the day to breathe. A quick outside walk around the building rejuvenates me.

 

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

Klepin: I just became a member and have not used a lot of tools yet.

 

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

Klepin: I am able to remain calm and keep things flowing during a crisis and times of stress. I am also known for being a great mentor.

 

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

Klepin: Sometimes I do a little too much in the task area rather than delegate. I have learned people’s strengths and use their strengths for completing tasks.

 

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

Klepin: I attend conferences, send emails and collaborate. As management, it is difficult to make time, so I will include a breakfast once in a while with those I have established a relationship.

 

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Rossana-Pestana

Rossana Pestana

Company: Port Street Realty Corporation
Industry:
Real Estate
Title:
Broker
Location: Solana Beach, CA

 

NAPW: When using social networking, how do you stay true to your brand?

Pestana: Branded marketing.

 

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

Pestana: I have been able to assist buyers who dreamed of owning a home but never thought they could, and have been able to train agents to reach their maximum potential in their own careers.

 

NAPW: What advice would you give someone who is changing career paths?

Pestana: Be patient, and make sure you are passionate about your new venture. Passion is what keeps you going!

 

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

Pestana: I delegate but still handle certain aspects of the duties.

 

NAPW: Tell us about a time when a heavy workload has affected your personal relationships and/or physical and mental health?

Pestana: I was working up until the time I was in labor with both of my children. That was difficult since at that time we had over 15 deals in escrow. I try not to allow my business to dominate my entire life. You can physically feel it when work starts to dominate your life, so it’s important to keep a constant balance.

 

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Maria-Schaeffer_vip

Maria Schaeffer

Company: Faithful+Gould
Industry:
Project Management Consulting Services
Title:
Program Director
Location: Portland, OR


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

Schaeffer: Faithful+Gould, a global project management consulting firm, offers me the opportunity to work in an environment of influence, where I can strategically help with the success of large manufacturing construction projects and provide the expert resources to monitor and manage the projects.

 

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

Schaeffer: The most challenging aspect of my job is managing change as a project progresses. Balancing stakeholder expectations with ever-changing deliverables increases the degree of uncertainty to a project’s success and completion. However, it is this kind of challenge where one’s creativity and resourcefulness soars and the experience differentiates you from all the rest. Every project is unique and so every day is a learning opportunity.

 

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

Schaeffer: I am able to coach others to their potential. I am able to identify hidden talents of individuals and work with them to build their confidence so they can see how well they can do.

 

NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Schaeffer: My proudest accomplishment is the leap I made flying from Hawaii to Minnesota in order to join my current company almost 15 years ago. Without the right sense of boldness and confidence, I would not have had the career successes of today, or had the chance to meet my wonderful husband and have the moments we share with our beautiful daughters.

 

NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Schaeffer: It was not very long ago that I struggled to find balance in my life, especially when work dynamics changed and created dysfunctional relationships within groups. The negativity consumed me and it took the support of my family and their advice to branch out and seek other outlets for creativity and growth. Family, exercise and involvement with NAPW has helped me tremendously to feel whole again. I learned that finding a balance means carving out time for family, exercise, community and professional organizations. Volunteering a small portion of your time will enrich your life for the better. You will then find you can accomplish anything to which you set your mind.

 

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Emma-M-Gile

Emma M. Gile

Company: University of Georgia
Industry:
Education
Title:
Administrative Assistant
Location:
Statham, GA


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

Gile: Make it a point to do your very best from the beginning of your employment; you are building your reputation and that goes a long way in the business world.

 

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

Gile: Army Basic Training was the biggest obstacle in my history. I was determined to successfully finish. I managed to make it through the training and stay in the military for 29 years.

 

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

Gile: Yes, I do. If you maintain a strong positive attitude and work hard, good things come to those who wait, as the saying goes. Sometimes it takes a while, but the fruit of your effort will be revealed to you and probably already has to others on your walk in life.

 

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

Gile:  I have found you must always attempt to get done what you need with as little as possible. There may come a time when your assets will thin out. In our unstable economy, it is best to save and be conservative now for a rainy day.

 

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

Gile: Always maintain a professional appearance — you only have one chance to make a first impression.

 

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Kelli-J.-Borrelli

Kelli J. Borrelli

Company: Defenders of Children
Industry:
Volunteer Lay Child Advocate/Psychology/Education: Graduate Student
Title: Volunteer Lay Child Advocate
Location:
Surprise, AZ


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

Borrelli: Find your voice and share it fearlessly with others. As you develop and grow in your area of expertise, do not be afraid to continue to learn. New experiences and knowledge are always out there, we just need to make ourselves available to diverse settings to continue to learn, both professionally and socially. Gaining respect professionally requires one to identify and honor the mentors who guide you in your work. Open minds never cease to continue to grow.

 

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

Borrelli: I greatly enjoy researching and reading. I do so by centering my focus on an area within my field that is new and interesting to me, one that challenges me. I also enjoy volunteer work. I find volunteer child advocacy extremely fulfilling and I have learned so much throughout my experiences in this field. I continue to sharpen my skills by implementing my knowledge in ways that give back to the community while gaining further insight by learning from senior executive professionals within the field.

 

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

Borrelli: When transitioning back into work mode, I pay close attention to my environment and my colleagues within my environment. I listen to others’ ideas and take each suggestion as a learning experience, and I then find it much easier to step back into the work environment with an open mind. Change can be scary for everyone. Understanding that change is part of growth helps me to adapt to changes within the work environment.

 

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

Borrelli: Moving up the corporate ladder in a male-dominated society is a challenge for many women. As I work in child advocacy, I do not find that to be an issue. I have met and collaborated with some extremely strong, powerful women throughout my experiences who have taught me so much about leadership. These women are self-made executive directors of nonprofit organizations, who work tirelessly to defend and advocate for children. I have also had the honor to meet and collaborate with women who are educational specialists who own successful educational advocacy firms. These women are highly respected and well known in their respective fields and the community, which encourages me, as a woman, in my professional endeavors. I am not in this field to compete, I am here to advocate for children. What I have learned in my professional experiences is that we each have our roles and each role is equally important, no matter the level of expertise. When each role is successfully fulfilled then each child receives exactly what he/she needs. That is what is important!!!

 

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

Borrelli: In respect to developing and maintaining clientele, currently my particular work is all volunteer as I continue toward my goal of earning my PhD. When I am appointed to a case, I follow through on each one with great detail and tireless effort. If I find that I am in a situation that is out of my skill range, I confidentially collaborate with other professionals in the field who have stronger expertise. I will also refer the case to someone better able to advocate for it (depending on the type of case – honoring ethical considerations). My only goal is to offer children volunteer lay advocacy and support by offering the level of experience that I personally hold.

 

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Bonita-S.-Kidwell_vip

Bonita S. Kidwell

Company: Bonita Life Coaching
Industry:
Coaching
Title: President and CEO
Location:
Annapolis, MD


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

Kidwell: In my last role at the U.S. Department of State, social media was handled by the public affairs office, however, in my role as a Communications Manager in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, I had the honor to lead efforts for StudentsAbroad.state.gov. This website was the first for the department to target young travelers going abroad — everyone from spring breakers to those studying abroad. The site won awards and is still an integral part of Travel.state.gov.

 

NAPW: Where do you find inspiration?

Kidwell: The answer to this question must be in two parts. First, like many women I know, I am inspired by strong, brave, amazing women who have come before me, and through their hard work and sacrifice, have created the environment where I have tremendous opportunities to succeed.  I am beyond grateful.

Second, working in consulting and coaching, I am inspired by clients who dedicate themselves to making positive changes, to turning their hopes into actionable plans and who are devoted to doing the hard work it takes to reach their goals. They are reminders every day that we can be absolutely anything we hope to be. They are my daily inspiration.

 

NAPW: What motivates you to succeed?

Kidwell: I want to succeed to enable others to succeed. I have been so fortunate to have an amazing support system around me. Even facing a number of challenges early in life, I was always fed the message that I can be as successful as I ever imagined. If I am in a position to do the same for others, then this will be the measure of my success.

 

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

Kidwell: I find that financial success is often equated to career success and/or happiness. For me, financial success is a reward of my hard work. However, my goal in life, both professional and personal, is just to be so stinkin’ happy!  I find that my professional success and my level of happiness feed off one another. When I choose to be happy and positive, I am better at my job, and this brings me much success.

I find joy in the little things and try to keep perspective when the big things threaten my balance. It is easy to SAY that money can’t buy happiness, but I do believe it is a conscious decision to allow positive experiences and good relationships to be the things that truly nurture us.

 

NAPW: How do you manage stress?

Kidwell: Like many others, I exercise, eat relatively well and try to get enough sleep. Beyond this, I credit my stress management largely to practicing gratitude. I work every day to practice gratitude. Often when life’s irritants challenge us, taking a step back to change our perspective can be very powerful. I like to focus on the “silver lining,” if you will. If I only focus on the negative, I will react in the same manner. If I find something in the situation to be grateful about, it forces me to see the situation in a new light. It can lift the entire weight from your shoulders in an instant.

For example, sitting in traffic can be downright painful in the DC area, but if I change my focus and think about how lucky I am to have a good job, to have a safe home and even simply to have a car, I know I have so much to be thankful for. This allows a mental switch. Not to say that there is ANYTHING that can make DC traffic tolerable, but give gratitude a shot and see if you can notice a shift in your thinking. Even if we aren’t religious, we can all recognize the good things in our lives as blessings. I like to call it: “going from stress to bless.”

 

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