Member Connections Newsletter, Member Spotlight

NAPW May Member Spotlight


Meet NAPW members in Member Spotlight, a monthly column that lets members highlight their careers and businesses. This month, we feature nine 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


Lucie K. Lewis

Company: Creative Futures, LLC
Title: Owner
Springfield, MA

: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Lewis: Be bold and do not let fear and self-doubt direct your choices.


NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Lewis: Disciplined, focused, committed.


NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Lewis: I have several: my childhood role model Jackie Kennedy for her poise and class; the great writer Maya Angelou for her grace and gift; public figures Robin Roberts for her courage and dignity and Michelle Obama for her wisdom, class and community commitment and my godmother Marion Coles for her faith, character and grace, my personal role model to whom I dedicated my book.


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

Lewis:  I am a freelance technical and creative writer.  I believe it chose me as changes in my life necessitated that I remake myself. The door to this career path opened as writing was the one constant in everything I have ever done.


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

Lewis: It was truly a heartfelt desire that was strong enough to fight past the fear of doing it.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a connection!



Elona Logan Harkins

Company: ResumeRite
Professional resume writing services
and executive resume packages
Title: President/Owner
Location: Boynton Beach, FL

: When working on a team, what role do you usually take? Why?

Harkins: My role on a team would be either to lead by example or to contribute as a team player, depending on the circumstances.


NAPW: Describe a situation in which you were able to positively influence the actions of others in a desired direction.

Harkins: On January 10, 2014, there was an issue between neighbors involving several directors on the board for the homeowners association. This was ongoing and becoming increasingly disruptive to the community where I live. So, I attended a meeting with the board of directors, and presented the deed restrictions, bylaws and Palm Beach County’s laws and restrictions regarding said issue in a calm and logical manner. The matter was peacefully resolved.


NAPW: Describe a situation when you failed to meet a deadline. What did you learn?

Harkins: To date, I have not failed to meet any deadlines.


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

Harkins: I love developing resumes, that is, career marketing documents, empowering my clients and discovering skills and accomplishments that may have been ignored or downplayed — especially when these achievements can be crucial in making them stand out among other job candidates!


NAPW: Describe the most creative way you have solved a customer’s problem.

Harkins: Problem: Senior executive was nervous about going for job interviews.

Solution: Role played as the hiring professional, interviewed said candidate and provided my professional opinion as a former corporate recruiter who also wrote an interviewing skills manual for HR.

Result: Client was totally confident about going through a series of interviews.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a connection!



Joni Jones

Company: Koala Cares, LLC
Mental Health First Aid Services
Title: Mental Health First Aid Instructor
Founder and Executive Director Koala Cares, LLC
Location: Tom River, NJ


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

Jones: I am a firm believer that stress reduction is directly related to the way I perceive situations and respond to them. I have learned to be mindful and accept the fact that nobody, including me, is perfect. I put my energy in areas where I have control and accept the things I cannot control. I have accepted the fact that no two people are alike, therefore, it is not possible to please everybody. My self-talk has changed to, “I would like to please everybody but I know that is not possible.”  I have learned to be content with what I do because if I allow my feelings to be dependent upon how others respond to me, then I give power to others about how I will feel. I will not achieve the balance necessary in managing stressful situations if I give away such power. Accepting that challenges will always be present allows me to not hold myself captive and feel like a victim. The energy that is freed since I have learned such acceptance has been very helpful to me in stress reduction and handling constant pressure patterns. I do not lose faith that I am right where I should be at this particular time.


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

Jones: I create my own tools through gathering information from general every-day resources and put such information in a presentation that is functional for those with whom I may be sharing the information. I have created word documents and powerpoint presentations. I can connect with my passion and deliver to an audience of one or thousands. The feedback I have received from my delivery is the connection and motivation I bring to the environment.


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

Jones: I am informed by others that my biggest strength is my ability to listen. I have been blessed with an attention to detail that allows me to look at things from different perspectives. I tend to empower others to define themselves and answer their own questions. Evaluations received throughout my career are consistent with positive feedback regarding my natural ability to motivate and advocate. Participants of my group facilitations find me captivating through my energetic animations; speaking in a language of understanding because of the functional application of the topic addressed. I am about outcomes; not just going through the motions. I easily relate to others, respect those I meet and develop the needed rapport for my field of interest. I established my organization Koala Cares, LLC because of the numerous requests to be more available in the community. The present conduit of my advocacy is in “Mental Health First Aid” trainings.


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

Jones: My definite weakness is the ever-changing social media and the related apps. I plan on pursuing training so I may develop and enhance my skills in these areas.


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

Jones: It is definitely in the follow up. Additionally, I will go back to my freshman year by responding ‘Manus manum Lavat’ (one hand washes the other).  My Latin teacher would be so proud!


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a connection!



Nancy Feiwel

Company: Physician-Based Corporate Wellness
Title: Founder and Physician
Location: New York, NY


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

Feiwel: My corporate wellness company is both the company and the career I have been heading towards for 20 years. After receiving my medical degree, I specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation, an area that focuses on patients after they suffer a serious injury or illness. I found I was more interested in preventing injury/illness. I became involved in continuing medical education while also exploring avenues that would enable me to work with individuals before a medical crisis strikes. I enrolled in nutrition classes, read journals, attended conferences and also took a public speaking class. I opened my private practice for nutritional counseling and lifestyle medicine in 2010. Fortuitously, a woman who happened to be passionate about wellness contacted me about implementing corporate wellness initiatives at her company. Seeing this as an opportunity and an extension of what I was doing with individuals in my practice, I took on her company and have never been happier with a career decision. The work is rewarding and challenging, stimulating and encouraging. It was this first company that inspired me to create Physician-Based Corporate Wellness Solutions.


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

Feiwel: Working with people and helping them break unhealthy habits is challenging. Everyone has their personal set of issues to overcome so in addition to nutrition/lifestyle education, I also delve into psychology and the behavioral sciences.


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

Feiwel: Helping people make lifestyle changes that positively impact their lives. In a corporate setting, I have seen the changes occur en masse with people encouraging each other, promoting healthy habits at work, exercising together, discussing their food choices and overall, creating an atmosphere of wellness at the office. When an employee tells me they were discussing, ‘Dr. Feiwel would be pleased with the food they decided to cater in for an event,’ I am thrilled to hear the lasting impact our discussions and seminars have on their decisions.


NAPW: What is your proudest accomplishment?

Feiwel: Starting Physician-Based Corporate Wellness Solutions and working with companies to foster a healthier, happier workforce.


NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Feiwel: Five things keep me balanced: exercise, reading, cooking, family and friends. I find I crave the outdoors so I go for long, brisk walks to exercise, think through problems and clear my mind. I also love Zumba and Pilates classes at the gym. Reading is my great escape and my de-stressing activity. I also find cooking a relaxing activity with nutritional benefits. My family and friends are my support and social network, rounding out my world.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a Connection!



Elizabeth C. Krajewski

Company: Emanuel Tire of VA
Waste Management
Title: Manager
Location: Concord, VA


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

Krajewski: Society’s viewpoint of women in the workforce is, and has been, changing over time. Where I work (Emanuel Tire of Virginia) it is safe to say that my gender has not been a hindrance. There have been places where I have previously worked that did take a dim view of women in male-dominated positions and, yes, I had to prove myself.


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

KrajewskiYes, ethics in business is a big deal to me simply because I am of the Christian faith and I utilize that doctrine to help me make the right decisions in business. So when this occurs—and it does occasionally—I ask myself how the Bible would advise handling the situation.


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

Krajewski: (1) Integrity; (2) accountability and (3) self-confidence.


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?

Krajewski: Yes, I do believe this. Why? Because if no one ever kept pursuing a goal, it is safe to say this world would be without a lot of things that we now take for granted—the polio vaccine comes to mind, as well as the Theory of Relativity, not to mention the World Wide Web.


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

Krajewski: My bosses put a lot of faith in me. They are ALL absentee and only drop by about two or three times a year. My “ding” would be to continue to do a good job for them while keeping our workplace safe and clean. Since my installation as manager, there have been many improvements: our work yard is clean and safe, our offices have had some facelifts, we strive for perfection and we take pride in our jobs and our accomplishments.  Emanuel Tire of Virginia is not an “I” workplace. It is a “we” and “us” workplace. The people who work here make the difference. Without our employees, we would not be here.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a Connection!



Erin Granillo

Company: Total Presence Management
Professional Staffing Specialists
Title: President
Location: Glendale, AZ


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

Granillo: I find organizing or reorganizing a safe place to be until things settle down.


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

Granillo: I enjoy hiking, golfing and ASU athletics.


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

Granillo: Success amplifies your definition. It is redefining who you are that I try to avoid (i.e., compromising my values).


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

Granillo: Getting out on the floor and understanding their environment is one of the biggest motivators I have witnessed.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a Connection!



Courtney Worthman

Company: Cogent Entertainment Marketing
Title: Vice President of Talent Procurement
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?

Worthman: Ask for in-person meetings whenever you can. In those meetings, ask questions and listen more than you talk. While building your relationships, focus on the one thing you can control – your actions. There will always be a way to cut corners, make easy money or respond to someone harshly out of frustration. NOT taking those actions will set you apart from the others.


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

Worthman: By unplugging. Putting my phone in a drawer for one day every weekend helps me come to work on Monday refreshed and ready to work instead of feeling overworked and taken advantage of.


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

Worthman: By jumping in head first.


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

Worthman: Don’t be intimidated. If you’re sitting among powerful people, chances are you earned your seat. Know what you want then fight for it. No one will ever hand anything to you.


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

Worthman: Referrals from past and current clients are a huge part of new business acquisition for us. Always say yes to meetings, coffees and drinks. Even if you can’t see the immediate benefit of taking the meeting, expanding your Rolodex never hurts. Chances are those people will be your future clients.


View Profile

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a Connection!



Sakine Gulec

Location: New York, NY


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

Gulec: The fashion industry is very competitive, especially in accessories where there are way too many brands. It is very hard to differentiate yourself. Once you start, and when you do not have any stores that you sell to, making your voice heard is going to be really hard. Nobody has time to listen to an unknown brand. As young entrepreneurs, we need to be persistent and never lose hope. Even if 50 people do not listen to you, you will find that perfect person to take your brand to the next level.


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

Gulec: My biggest career obstacle was to differentiate my brand from other jewelry companies. Being creative, introducing new designs, forming extraordinary customer service and being interactive with our customers in social media helped us overcome this problem. In less than two years, became a known, trendy jewelry brand for all women who feel young. We export to over 60 countries. Also, finding sterling silver production facilities that could meet our standards and working with the workers day and night to produce the perfect piece was very hard in the beginning.


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

Gulec: I do believe in it, 100 percent. I would not be where I am if I did not have persistence in what I am doing. My uncle, who is a very successful businessman, always says that perseverance is the key to being successful in any business. If hard work, being creative and believing in yourself was not that important, then everybody could be successful. “Never give up” is my motto. I know that as long as I work hard and bring value to society, I will be successful. Each failure is a lesson, which will take you up in your career.


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

Gulec: Beginning is always the hardest, and I am thankful that I could overcome these constraints.


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

Gulec: As young women, one of the reasons why it is hard to start a business is that you need to prove to other people that you can do it. Your customer wants to know that they can trust you and that you will be able to do your job. Whether you are a jewelry retailer, financial service rep, broker, etc., you will need to sell and convince your first customer that they should buy from you instead of from someone they have known and trusted for years. I will never forget the joy of my first sale. I was so excited that I was nearly going to hug her.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a Connection!



Peggy Smithson

Company: Senior Strategies Asset Protection
Insurance Services
Location: Whitewater, WI

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

Smithson: Prior to starting Senior Strategies Asset Protection, I had been in the insurance and financial services industries for many years, gaining valuable knowledge and experience to apply to my new business. Being a woman in this industry can be hard, but I have found that I love to work with my clients and educate them about the need for asset protection and preservation for their families. Now I create my own success by how hard I work and work with the types of clients that I love to help. I no longer have to play by anyone else’s rules regarding my business.


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

Smithson: I have always felt that I had the entrepreneurial spirit and have always had a side business while working for someone else. Once I was introduced to the products that I knew I could use to help protect clients, I had to move forward in starting my own business and creating a team of agents and attorneys that are all in business to help people.


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

Smithson: This has been very true for me. I was in the insurance business for many years but did not feel that I was really making a difference in clients’ lives when I was selling home and auto insurance. When I decided to leave my “job” and start my business, I was apprehensive but felt very strongly that I was doing the right thing and making a big difference in my clients’ lives by helping them protect the assets and investments that they had spent a lifetime accumulating. I still educate them about their home and auto insurance and the liability they may have if they are ever sued or in an accident, which is a big part of asset protection as well. My main focus, however, is on long-term care disability, life insurance and funeral and estate trusts.


NAPW: How do you network?

Smithson: I belong to several local networking groups and the Chamber of Commerce and I hold seminars at senior centers within a 30-mile radius. I also network with nursing homes and hospitals in the area and tell them how I can help their patients.


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

Smithson: I remember all of the people I have helped and all of the future clients that I will be able to help. Something usually happens as a result of my networking efforts and then I am motivated to keep going. I feel good about what I do now!


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a Connection!



Ruth A. Ruggiero Bollo

Company: Helping Hand Home Services, LLC/
Park St. Automotive/CLEAN IT RIGHT, LLC
Cleaning/Automotive Service & Repair
Title: Owner/Co-Owner
Montclair, NJ

: Describe a career setback that you have learned the most from?

Bollo: Taking on too much – spreading myself too thin. It was hard to give up the “superwoman” hat, but now that I have, I am much happier and able to handle my projects more efficiently.


NAPW: Share your job search tips with fellow members.

Bollo: This doesn’t apply to my line of work, but in general, a vast amount of choice is best, including “who you know” as well as reaching out to organizations and areas where you are most suited to work.


NAPW: What is the top resource NAPW provides that most benefits your career?

Bollo: Your website, newsletters and all else you make available to your members is such a wealth of information and opportunity. Everything you offer helps us in some way.


NAPW: In what ways has working internationally enhanced you professionally and personally?

Bollo:  I don’t work internationally right now – you never know what the future holds!!!


NAPW: How do you handle misperceptions from others about yourself

Bollo: The way I handle everything – I address it head on — talk honestly and openly to the person about it. Then I make sure I “don’t buy into it” – I am sure to be honest with myself.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a connection!



Stephane R. Wahl

Company: National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI)
Title: Compliance Manager
Cleveland, OH

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

Wahl: I’ve been fortunate enough to work for a company that fosters opportunities for growth and advancement. Trish McGonnell, our President and CEO, and Richard Sims, our COO and General Counsel, have both been supportive, proactive and encouraging when it comes to my personal and professional development. That being said, I know that my experience isn’t necessarily the norm. My best advice would be that you have to be willing to constantly evolve, learn and grow. Someone who is willing to go that extra mile, take on new responsibilities and really get passionate about her work is going to go a lot farther than someone who clocks in to do a job for a paycheck and isn’t really into it.


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

Wahl: When I graduated from law school and passed the bar, the job market was a mad scramble. Even the country’s biggest firms were laying off attorneys, so my competition for the positions I applied for sometimes had decades of experience on me. I made sure I was applying for every job I could find and talking to everyone I could for job leads. Finally, someone told me about the position at NCSI. I went into the interview prepared and with an open mind, and it paid off.


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

Wahl: Absolutely. No matter how many opportunities are presented to you, you still have to recognize them and take them. No matter what position you hold within your company, there is always room to improve. And that improvement takes work. The goal should always be to grow and evolve into something better. Just like it takes hard work and exercise over time to strengthen a muscle, it also takes hard work and a lot of stretching to strengthen a business, a team and a community. Both involve stepping outside of your comfort zone and both are immensely rewarding.


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

Wahl: A great deal of our business promotion is word of mouth. NCSI focuses very heavily on providing gold standard service to clients and customers, and it shows. When your clients know you care about them – that you’re their partner and not just a business they deal with – they want to tell the world about you. We make sure they have an amazing experience, and they, in turn, make sure everyone they know gets that same experience by choosing NCSI.


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

Wahl: A management position isn’t just recognition of your work and skills – it’s a responsibility. You have a responsibility to your team, to senior management, to clients and to the community at large. You’re not there to shake a big stick and be THE BOSS. You’re there to foster growth and development and help the company and the team be at their best. Be proud of what you accomplish, but also be humbled by the amazing people around you who have helped you achieve those accomplishments.


View Profile

View Website

Want to contact this member? Message her in the NAPW message center and add as a connection!


Megan Bozzuto


  1. Stephanie Tramelli
    May 13, 2014 at 4:17 am

    All of these women are so well grounded. Their advice is practical and easily applied in any field. Thank you all for sharing.

  2. Lisa O'Donoghue-Lindy
    May 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I like to see this kind of opportunity where women can promote themselves and their business. Not enough groups/networks encourage or even allow this. I recently launched a blog where we are looking for inspiring women to profile, women who have made career changes later in life, giving up job security and stability to follow their passion. Thanks