Member Connections Newsletter, Member Spotlight

NAPW November Member Spotlights

Meet NAPW members in Member Spotlight, a monthly column that lets members highlight their careers and businesses. This month, we feature 11 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.

Brooke_Martellaro

Brooke A. Martellaro

Company: Springboard Ventures
Industry:
Small Business Consultant/
Ladies’ Retreats
Title: Owner/Facilitator/
Published Author
Location: Castle Rock, CO

 

NAPWWhat makes this company a good fit for you?

MartellaroI love seeing my 20+ years of corporate experience come together to help entrepreneurs and women succeed in their businesses. I am able to distill all my years of learning on the job to help others succeed in a fraction of the time.

 

NAPWWhat do you find most challenging about your job?

MartellaroBeing a sole proprietor means wearing all the hats in the business, which can be challenging at times, as well as maintaining a steady flow of new clients. I’d rather be helping people and creating results than marketing my services.

 

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

Martellaro: Knowing that all I’ve done and learned in my life culminated in making a difference in other people’s lives.

 

NAPWWhat is your proudest accomplishment?

Martellaro: Publishing my first book this year and being very vulnerable and open about my life so that other women may learn from my experiences.

 

NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Martellaro: I am clear about what my priorities are and value them enough to make time for them in my life.

 

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cheryl_rieser

Cheryl L. Rieser

Company: Satine’s Heart, LLC
Industry:
Pet Specialty
Title: Owner and President
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

 

NAPW: When do you feel it’s a good time to quit a failing endeavor to start anew?

Rieser:  I do not personally like to use the word “quit.” I can honestly say this about life and one’s endeavors, both personal and professional:  when your heart is no longer in something, when you feel you are simply going through the motions and have to force yourself to feel passionate about what you are doing, then it is time to stop, change your course and re-invent yourself. As painful and as intimidating as it may be to make dramatic changes in our lives, we all deserve to wake up and embrace each day feeling happy and passionate about who we are and what we are doing. We have the power to reach deep down inside, push ourselves, find our inner strength and dare to make a difference in our world!

 

NAPW: How do you maintain a positive attitude in the face of adversity?

Rieser: Years ago when in an airport, I found a very inspirational pocket-sized travel book of quotes called “Passport to the Soul:  A Lifelong Journey.” The quotes are so inspirational! I keep this book close by me, as I cannot tell you how many times I re-read it to ground me and give me the inspiration and reminders I need in facing life’s everyday challenges. Life is a journey, defined by thousands and thousands of moments, not just one or two good or bad ones. Two of my favorite quotes that relate to adversity are: “There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from” (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross) and “Choice is a divine teacher, for when we choose we learn that nothing is ever put in our path without a reason” (Iyanla Vanzant). When faced with adversity, we must often make difficult choices and find ways to move forward, but every challenge we face and every decision we make is meant to teach us something and build character. To me personally, humility was, and is, the best lesson I have ever learned from adversity. And my mother always helps guide and ground me when I am faced with adversity. I am blessed to call her my mother, she is the best example and therapist a woman could wish for.

 

NAPW: Over the course of your career, do you feel anyone has purposely held you back?

Rieser: What did you do to maintain your career path? While I cannot say I feel that anyone has intentionally held me back, I can certainly say that there have been a few roadblocks along my journey.  At one point in my career after a series of promotions, I knew I had come to a plateau and I was not ready to accept being stuck on that plateau without exploring my options. So, I took the initiative and applied for an international transfer within my company. A few months later, I left my life in New York behind and was off to live in Europe and learn an entire new culture and skill set. Several years after that, I was facing another plateau in my career, so I again took initiative and applied for a higher position in San Francisco, which I was accepted. All of those decisions made me who I am today and led me to this point in my life and career. In my opinion, the only person that can hold you back is yourself. Always fight for what you want and deserve and find the road to take you there! In the words of Robert Frost:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

 

NAPW: Tell us about a woman in your business life who has influenced you most.

Rieser: Well, this is where I truly feel blessed. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by many successful and beautiful women role models who guided and influenced me throughout my career and development. I learned something unique from each of them and if someone could combine the best of them all together, wow would you ever have one amazingly gifted, confident and powerful woman who could take on the world without a second thought! Together, they taught me that I can be anything I want to be, that I should always push myself to be the best I can be, to never let anyone hold me back and that the sky is the limit. I could thank all of them personally, but this would turn into an Oscars’ speech.  They know who they are and I applaud them from the bottom of my heart.

 

NAPW: Did you have a mentor who guided you on your career path?

Rieser: Would you have had the success you have now without them? Well, my answer to the previous question speaks volumes, but I believe the foundation of who we are lays in our childhood and how we are raised. During our early years, we are molded into who we will become. I was blessed to have amazing parents who taught me what is truly important in life, to be responsible, to respect and love others, to uphold my values and beliefs even when challenged, to excel, to never give up and to give back to this world. The lesson in adversity came when my father passed away unexpectedly when I was only nine years old. My mother looked adversity in the face, endured, persevered and continued on to raise three beautiful, independent, strong daughters on her own. That is where I learned my lesson in how to deal with and overcome adversity. I would not be where I am today without that foundation.

 

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Dvorah_Dnali

Dvorah Dnali

Company: Are You Toxic? LLC
DBA ISAGENIX INT’L
Industry:
Healthcare
Title: Owner
Location: Lafayette, CO

 

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

Dnali: Not all men, just as not all women are threatened by strong women.

 

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

Dnali: A strong woman has no fear to ask for what she wants or needs and stands up for what she thinks is right.

 

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

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

Dnali: Personality plays a very large factor in success in life, both personally or professionally. I am working on expanding my success and improving my interaction with people by taking the STAR12 classes to expand my awareness and interaction with others.

 

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

Dnali: Yes, I am a people person and not only do I enjoy interacting with others, but I am thankful that it is a large part of my business.

 

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

Dnali: Five years from now, I envision the ones I have led into health, wealth and success leading others into healthy and wealthy success, too.

 

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Laura_E_C_Johnson

Laura E.C. Johnson

Company: Hummingbird Wealth
Management
Industry:
Financial Planning
Title: Financial Planner
Location: Frederick, MD

 

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

Johnson: I absolutely LOVE what I do – it is so rewarding to help clients achieve their goals, whether that be putting a child through college, buying a home or retiring comfortably. I take time to really get to know my clients and their personalities, likes/dislikes and experiences before we get into the financial “stuff”. I have worked closely with my clients over many years and through many issues and concerns and I enjoy watching their growth and success.

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Johnson: Not only am I a financial planner and investment manager, but I have experience in leadership roles as well. I enjoy being a mentor to others who not only want to get into the business I am involved with, but a mentor to those in any industry.  I believe my communication, leadership and business skills are meant to be shared.

 

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

Johnson: I am active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I place articles specific to my industry, as well as tokens of inspiration and timely “news” items on my pages. It is my hope that clients and non-clients will follow me for the knowledge and inspiration that I share.

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Johnson: The joy of business ownership is that there seems to be no real “typical” day, but days that offer the opportunity to be flexible to accomplish what is most important. I do have structure to all of my days, but within that structure lies the flexibility to get things done. On my typical day, I will have breakfast with my children, work out (either walking with my husband, gym time with my boys or Zumba with my girlfriend), meet with two or three clients or prospects, read, research investments and complete administrative work. I make sure that I allot sufficient time each and every day to not only my career, but my family and myself as well.

 

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

Johnson: Interestingly enough, I haven’t hit a glass ceiling. I have, however, met some challenges in other ways. Most individuals who have chosen this career are men – 93% to be exact. This can sometimes make it difficult to “relate” to the issues other advisors may have in their practice.  For this reason, I have created Hummingbird Wealth Management. While its primary purpose is to help clients attain their goals and aspirations, my secondary goal is to provide a firm that focuses on the needs of female financial advisors. My dream is to have a firm primarily made up of women advisors that support each other and help each other grow.

 

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linda_kirkpatrick

Linda Kirkpatrick

Company: Family Patterns Matter, Inc.
Industry:
Social Services
Title: Non-profit Consultant
Location: Newnan, GA

 

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

Kirkpatrick: Your brand recognition in all arenas is important — in social networking and throughout all media. The focus is what our brand stands for and how we apply it to our mission, vision and purpose.

 

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

Kirkpatrick: Absolutely. There is nothing more important than the person you meet. A smile goes a long way. Not patting yourself on the back for every little thing you do, but patting the person on the back for overcoming what life has dealt them. Being the positive influence in a life and not letting them down. If you enjoy what you do and don’t expect anything in return, your life will be incredible.

 

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

Kirkpatrick: Be true to yourself. If you are not happy in your career, you will be miserable. Life is too short to have to get up each day and dread what you must do.

 

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

Kirkpatrick:  Choose only the most critical needs first. If it is not life-threatening, it can wait.

 

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

Kirkpatrick: My work encompasses families and individuals who have had a life crisis, causing them to sink into a hole they feel they will never get out of. When the lives of others became so emotional, I felt everything I did was not making a difference and that nothing was changing; I was discouraged. Sometimes the circumstances are generational and even though they reach out, they really aren’t ready to accept what will make a difference. My husband said, “You need to take a break,” so I did. You can’t help others if you don’t take care of yourself. Taking a step back and knowing God is in control allowed me to understand.

 

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Maritza_Guimet

Maritza Guimet

Company: Florida Media Market /
CPA Film
Industry:
Film & TV Production &
Global Conference
Title: President / Owner
Location: Miami, FL

 

NAPW: How has your membership in the National Association of Professional Women been instrumental in building your business or furthering your career?

Guimet: I’m a new member and just enrolled at the end of July.

 

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

Guimet: I am an accomplished director, creative writer and producer with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. We have created Goddess Mujer Woman (GMW), which will be a platform that creates weekly hour slots for women, creating content together with an outlet that will allow executives to acquire programming of independent women, producers and filmmakers. GMW works in training, educating, networking, pitching sessions, fundraising workshops, festivals and most importantly, the art of negotiation and deal making.

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Guimet: I can create better entertainment for a better world. We advocate for better women programming to empower and educate women through media. We also do educational workshops and connect independent filmmakers with executive producers.

 

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

Guimet: We have our marketing department PR, social media marketing manager and content manager for bi-weekly blog posts.

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Guimet: I get up at around 8:30am to 9:00am and start working on the computer, making calls, visiting clients, attending meetings, organizing, raising funds, advising filmmakers and launching TV networks and production. At 6:30pm, I go to CrossFit, come home and keep working until around 9:00pm.

 

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

Guimet: Yes, constantly. I take a deep breath and ask God what the lesson is, for an understanding that this storm will go by and for what I need to learn from this experience.

 

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Nicole_Nelson

Nicole A. Nelson

Company: HCA
Industry:
Fitness, Health & Wellness
Title: Director of Health Development
for Employer Services
Location: Las Vegas, NV

 

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

Nelson: Do what makes you happy. You want to wake up every morning and be excited to go to work and proud of what you’ve done at the end of the day.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Nelson: I love to be challenged. I consider myself to be creative and when I am faced with a challenge that needs a solution, I like to start outside the box. If you can approach a problem from all angles, there are usually multiple solutions that can be found; being willing to take risks and put yourself out there can be scary, but can also be very rewarding. I have had many unique jobs and experiences in my past that have allowed me to see healthcare problems from many views: the clinician, the patient, the family member and the administrator.

 

NAPW: What advice can you offer a growing business?

Nelson: Don’t be afraid to take risks. Also, don’t lose sight of what is important to you and your business. We live in a world that is driven by money; although rent has to be paid, money isn’t always the bottom line.

 

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

Nelson: I love to stay active! There are very few things I don’t enjoy doing. I love being outdoors hiking, biking, camping, running, swimming, etc. I also like to push myself and stay healthy by going to the gym and participating in CrossFit. I enjoy ballroom dancing and have competed in competitions for tango and East Coast Swing and am currently enjoying two-step.

 

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

Nelson: I am a people person and love meeting new people! I would say that a lot of my networking happens just by being me and talking to and meeting new people when I am out.

People want to be healthy and are looking for help to do this. There are many changes in the healthcare system that are a bit overwhelming and scary to many and employer groups are looking for help understanding and interpreting these changes. I provide that help.

 

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Noelle_Vasconcelos

Noelle A. Ramos-Vasconcelos

Company:
ReOrgYou
Industry:
Business Management,
Operations & Logistics
Title: Founder
Location: New York City, NY

 

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

Ramos-Vasconcelos: Don’t limit yourself to becoming a singular individual.

 

NAPW: What advice can you offer a growing business?

Ramos-Vasconcelos: Research, research… and always have a plan B in place.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Ramos-Vasconcelos: By researching new business trends within my industry and by my clients who always offer new insight while working on project(s).

 

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

Ramos-Vasconcelos: Try to go for long walks or read a good book.

 

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

Ramos-Vasconcelos: Word of mouth via referrals from former colleagues, business/personal affiliations and friends has been and continues to be my “advertiser!”

 

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tricia_wong

Tricia Wong

Company: Trixi’s Treasures, LLC
Industry:
Retail, Online
Title: Entrepreneur
Location: Chula Vista, CA

 

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

Wong: By focusing on eating healthy, empowering people to make healthier food choices and making healthy food taste great. “You can make a homemade treasure from whatever!”

 

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

Wong: Definitely! It has taught me that life is precious and since I am getting a second chance at life, this time I want to help others build their businesses and also help to make the world a better place!

 

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

Wong: Follow your passion and stay true to what you truly believe in. It takes a lot of time and dedication to your craft, but I can tell you that if you enjoy what you are doing, everything will fall into place in the end.

 

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

Wong: My health comes first because without it, there would be no Trixi’s Treasures, LLC. I prefer to take things day by day, as they say, “An inch is a cinch and a mile is a trial!” Do absolutely what you need to, to carry you into the next day. Repeat and follow, day by day.

 

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

Wong: When I was completing my master’s degree in information systems back in 2001, it was extremely difficult for me because my undergraduate degree was in nursing. So, in order to keep up with the rest of my class, I had to learn what they already knew and then some, in order to get my assignments completed. Now, keep in mind, this was back in the days of the dial-up modem. When I first started the program, I didn’t even know what e-mail was. I had to study day in and day out, night after night, with literally no sleep for days and days. Finally, my health started to crash and I kept ending up in the hospital. It was awful! But, I did manage to make it through the program and I am so happy that I did it! It opened up extremely new opportunities for me. I was privileged enough to be a part of the start of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) keeping and remain extremely grateful and thankful for being able to rise again.

 

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Victoria_Sargent

Victoria Sargent

Company: Phoenix Art Museum
Industry:
Hospitality
Title: Associate Corporate
Relations Officer
Location: AZ (Home)

 

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

Sargent: If I had the opportunity, I would encourage my younger self to pay more attention to the details. Growing up as a military dependent, I was fortunate to live in places that were drenched in history and culture. Today, understanding their significance and the important lessons to be learned, I wish I had the foresight to pause long enough to learn from my surroundings. In acknowledging the details of an event, a place or an object, one learns that the process of how something came to fruition is just as valuable as the end result.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Sargent: Throughout my life, I have met many people who have inspired me. They have all given me new perspectives by which to view the world and learn. Yet, there is one person who has been consistent in my life, offering inspiration by example. This person is my father. My father, a strong military figure, represents strength, courage and discipline. Throughout his career, he led men to be successful in their strategies by teaching them that each person was a piece of the whole, that only together they could survive. As I grew up, I learned this lesson as well. I learned that without supporting those around me, my successes would be empty. I learned that to make change possible, you must empower many, rather than claim it as your own. His valor and confidence encourages me to face challenges with determination. Because of my father, I have learned to believe in my strengths and continue in the face of adversity.

  

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

Sargent: In the museum world, I work in development as a corporate relations officer. Having received my graduate degree in museum studies, this position was a natural fit for me since marketing and development had always been my general focus. I enjoy the opportunity to educate people on what the arts can do for individuals and their community. I believe in the power of critical thinking, problem solving and the fostering of free-choice learning. The museum is a perfect place to enrich these tools. Working with companies who wish to positively impact the economic development of the community they do business in and those which their employees and customers live in, is very rewarding.

 

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

Sargent: My desire to make a difference in people’s lives has brought me to where I am today. In my search to find a place with the potential to touch people so richly, I found the museum. I truly believe the museum is a place that can offer all people a place that is uniquely theirs. It represents the community, the nation and the journey of both man and woman globally. Not only can it educate the young and old, but it rejuvenates through its ability to entertain and calm. As an advocate for the museum and the arts, I am given the opportunity to build the community and share its riches with each person I meet.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words

Sargent: Passionate, kind and determined.

 

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Zandra_Gay

Zandra S. Gay

Company: Stella & Dot
Industry: Direct Marketing,
Fashion and Accessories
Title: Star Director, Founding Leader
and Independent Stylist
Location: Westport, CT

 

NAPW: Do you feel society’s viewpoints of women hinder or helped you?

Gay: I find that it has helped me as society puts more emphasis on stronger and bolder women entrepreneurs.

 

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

Gay: No

  

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

Gay: Enthusiasm, passion and tenacity.

 

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?

Gay: YES! You must be ambitious, collect no’s and fail often to get to the next level. Have a big goal and go after it! It might take a long time to reach a goal, but that time is going to pass anyway-you have to keep striving forward!

 

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

Gay: I am going to represent one of the women that proved hard work, tenacity and balance could provide happiness for myself and my family.

 

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