Member Connections Newsletter, Member Spotlight

NAPW October 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.

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Bridget DiGiorgio

Company: SG360
Industry:
Sales
Title: Vice President of Sales
Location: Bloomingdale, IL

 

NAPWWhat can you do for your NAPW community? The opportunities can be endless.

DiGiorgio: My expertise ranges from very small marketing budgets for start-up companies to fortune 500 companies that have well-established budgets and ROI goals. I am well-known for out-of-the-box creativity in any business situation.

 

NAPWHow do you promote your career or business via social media?

DiGiorgio: I follow Linkedin and Facebook on a regular basis. Since most of my business seems to come from referrals, I often have an overlap of profiles in both social media outlets. I do not believe in the statement, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” When you have a client who you have been working with for over ten years and he or she has a personal hardship, it is my responsibility as an employee, mother and woman to make their job easier.

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

DiGiorgio: I wake up about 5:00am. I work on my “to do” list and go through emails until about 6:00am. From 6:00am to about 7:30am, I submit work via online to the great staff I have. It is ready when they walk in and they can prioritize their day. I get my beautiful two sons, Marco (7) and Joey (5) ready for school. Then I get myself ready and visit local clients. I usually wrap up the day at our corporate office and tie up loose ends from the morning work I submit. Then it is off to catch up with my two sons once again. They are both involved in various activities such as swimming, dance and gymnastics.

 

NAPWWho is your role model or inspiration?

DiGiorgioI have had many great role models throughout my life. One stands out early in my career. Her name is Elise and she ran the New York office when I worked for a stationery company in Chicago. She was in charge of a very high-profile stationery line. She taught me to always do the right thing, and to know and understand the glass ceiling. I didn’t know it then so she taught me the very fine line women in business walk. I always paid great attention to her when she talked about family and career. I still, to this day, hear her advice.

 

NAPWWhat advice would you give to your younger self?

DiGiorgioGet a mentor in your early teens and do not wait until you think your career is starting. Find a passion young and see how things work hands on.

 

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Yasmin Anderson-Smith

Company: KYMS Image International, LLC
Title: President
Location: Bowie, MD

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Anderson-Smith: As a woman entrepreneur who is committed to helping other women sharpen their image and personal brand, I am happy to share my expertise, time and knowledge. I can do this through in-person and online connections. I plan to support chapter leadership and events to help advance the organization. As an active participant in social media, I will use NAPW and other social networks to share information and promote the association. I enjoy writing and plan to contribute to the NAPW blog and newsletter. My goal is to be responsive, giving and supportive.

 

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

Anderson-Smith: The biggest rewards are making a difference in the lives of women and youth by helping them define and express themselves with confidence, both personally and professionally, and develop the skills to be truly successful in life. The biggest challenges are the hard work and commitment it takes to 1) stand out from your competitors, 2) rise above the stereotypical image of women and 3) gain acceptance and recognition based on credibility and competence.

 

NAPW: What accomplishment are you most proud?

Anderson-Smith: The three accomplishments of which I am most proud are related to my commitment to making a difference in the lives of women and youth, giving back to the community and professional development through thought leadership. First, in 2007 I created and launched Every Girl Can, a life skills and personal development mentoring program to help teen girls embrace healthy body image practices and civility in their appearance, communication and conduct. As a special giveback to the community, the program includes a yearly free conference for girls on image, etiquette and personal leadership. Second, in 2008, I co-founded the Civility Counts Project to raise awareness and provide education and training about civility inside and outside the workplace. The project inspired participation from individuals, companies and organizations from more than 14 countries around the world. Third, I am the proud co-author of two published books, several articles and two blogs dealing with executive image management, personal branding and civility inside and outside the workplace. This has helped me build thought leadership as an emerging expert in these fields.

 

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

Anderson-Smith: I am very involved with social media. I follow four strategies to guide my participation. They are 1) be purposeful, 2) be authentic, 3) be consistent and 4) be clear. The principles are consistent with building your brand for business or career success. Always have clear goals (part of an overall plan), be yourself, have regular participation and make sure your communication is clear and in sync with your personal brand. This says who you are and what you stand for. For me, the focus is promoting my personal brand which informs and shapes how I promote my business in social media. Initially it seemed like a daunting task, but sticking to the principles mentioned above made it easier. I carefully chose the social media sites Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are other sites like Diggs, Pinterest, Google+ and Foursquare. On Facebook, I created separate pages for my business and personal life. I promote my business by sharing valued content that is relevant to and consistent with my brand and interesting to my audience. This includes sharing articles (my own or others), blog posts, pictures, videos and tweets. Going back to the same sources for content makes it easy. I also share content across platforms to leverage the brand message. The point is to keep it interesting and engaging.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Anderson-Smith: Intelligent, inspirational and trustworthy.

 

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Esther N. Batty

Company: QuestPoint
Industry:
Technology: Digital Media/Electronics
Title: Director of Recruiting and
Administrative Services
Location: San Diego, CA

 

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

Batty: I am committed to effecting positive change in the work place and breaking down barriers in whatever way I can. I value dedication, teamwork, honesty and communication.

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Batty: I don’t know what could possibly be “typical” about any of my workdays. A typical week will usually involve collaboration, building, maintaining and leading processes and infrastructure, conducting cultural interviews, providing feedback to team members, discussing status of current projects and effecting necessary change.

 

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

Batty: 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 do you find balance in your life?

Batty: Maintaining a balance between my work and my personal life is not simple. Although we do not have children, we did get married this year! With an incredibly demanding job and a two-hour daily commute, I had to cut myself off from work to focus on planning the wedding and taking time out for my relationship. I still struggle with this and leave the office later than my husband or I would like. But I do my best to “make it up” by taking advantage of my flexible work schedule and our weekends together.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model or inspiration?

Batty: My mother is my role model. She inspires me to be who I am, be confident, be brave, be safe and be loved.

 

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

Batty: Growth and leadership. From day one, I have been thrown new challenges at every turn. I faced them head on, learned as I went along, took advice and criticism where I could and rolled with the ever-adapting role I grew into. Growing a team from zero to six (twice – we have suffered a major layoff) and seeing each of my team members blossom and grow into their role has been incredibly rewarding.

 

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Brandie Christian

Company: Autism Outreach Foundation
Industry:
Nonprofit
Title: Executive Director/Founder
Location: Lynnwood, WA

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Christian: A typical day starts early in the morning for me. I have a 4-year-old son who I have to get to daycare in the summer and pre-school in the school year. I also have a 15-year-old son who has to get to school. After the kids are off, I get to the office and start returning emails and phone calls. The phone rings all of the time and I am the only one in the office so I also answer the phone. I order all of the supplies, send the faxes, pay the bills, make bank deposits, send out corporate letters and memos and anything else that needs to be done at the corporate office. I run everything by myself. It is tiring but cost effective. I have learned to work quickly and efficiently. I think this makes my day go by smoothly and with fewer errors. In the middle of the day, I leave to pick up my 4-year-old and he spends the rest of the day with me at the office. I leave the office at 4:00pm so I can be home with my older son.

 

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

Christian: There is no glass ceiling in my career choice. As a matter of fact, I find that most nonprofits are run/owned by women.

 

NAPW: Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

Christian: I am most proud of the fact that in 2006 I was invited to be a guest speaker at the United Nations in New York. The topic of the discussion was millennium developmental goals. It was one of the most thrilling moments in my life. I am very proud that I can say I have spoken at the U.N.

 

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

Christian: I really like the way my life is turning out. I have no regrets. I would not advise myself to do anything differently. I am happy with my education. I am happy with my wonderful husband. I have two amazing children who I would not trade for anything and to top everything off I have a nonprofit corporation that helps developmentally disabled children. I feel like I am sitting on top of the world.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Christian: I am motivated, tenacious and courageous.

 

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Diane McKenna

Company: Atlantic Coding & Validations, Inc.
Industry:
Healthcare
Title: President/CEO
Location: Holbrook, NY

 

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

McKenna: Travel, read, yoga, cook and spend time with family.

 

NAPW: How do you measure your success?

McKenna: I have always measured success by the enjoyment I receive from being a business owner as well as the services Atlantic Coding & Validations Inc. provides—more so than the monetary aspect. Albeit the monetary aspect has been rewarding, watching the growth of a company I personally founded sometimes astounds me. Owning, maintaining and growing a company takes a tremendous amount of dedication, time and effort. Being able to maintain a streamline of services, adapt to changes and concur challenges is vital to growth and success in any field.

 

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

McKenna: Atlantic Coding & Validations Inc. is a leading healthcare consulting company founded in 1991. Our company focuses in the areas of diagnosis and procedure coding for physicians and hospitals, RAC and payer audits, clinical documentation instruction, CMS regulatory compliance and payer guidelines.

As a nationally recognized speaker, I have spoken at numerous conferences, both national and international, and specialty society meetings and have conducted learning seminars for physicians, coders and staff at academic medical centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and physician office sites. Atlantic Coding & Validations Inc. has formed strategic alliances with healthcare providers, medical billing companies, health law attorneys and CPA’s frequently defending and testifying on behalf of the provider as a result of external audit findings. Atlantic Coding & Validations Inc. also is a pioneer in the implantation and training of practices regarding the new ICD-10 code system, set to be put in place, October 1, 2014.

 

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

McKenna:  Network, network, network.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

McKenna: I’ve always been proactive, not reactive. Learning and staying on top of the changes as well as knowing where the needs of the healthcare environment are, allows Atlantic Coding & Validations Inc. to be first in its field to implement new and qualitative services. It is key to success.

 

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Laura Llewellyn

Company: Micaura
Industry:
Information Management
and Technology
Title: Founder and CEO
Location: Southwest Calgary, AB

 

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

Llewellyn: I love to snowboard, golf, paint, draw and be creative when my brain needs some rest. I love to share these activities with my friends and family which brings us all closer.

 

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

Llewellyn: Seek allies. Information management, business, technology — these are growing fields with new expertise being developed all the time. There’s no way to do it all yourself, no matter how talented, driven and focused you are. My company is growing rapidly and organically because we embrace the concept of any team of individuals dedicated to the mutual success of each other and our clients. Never seek to be the best. Seek to surround yourself with the best and know that it doesn’t mean just the top technical experts. Seek people with growth potential, team players, caring individuals with a passion for learning. Your work will be a joy and your projects will be successful.

 

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

Llewellyn: The best career advice I’ve ever received is also the best life advice I’ve received. Money isn’t everything. Money as a driver will always lead down a dark road. Any company that focuses its business on growth as opposed to serving others is doomed to eventual obsolescence and toxicity because it then exists only to serve itself. People who pick careers only based on how much money they can make will never be truly happy in their day-to-day work. Pick your path based on your passions and make sure that your efforts serve others. Money will come and go and you will always have more than enough in life if you surround yourself with other like- minded people.

 

NAPW: How do you measure your success?

Llewellyn: By how many people I can positively impact. We live in a stressful, competitive world that tends to treat people as individuals responsible entirely for their own success and ignore the environmental factors around us that impact our success as workers and leaders. I work with a number of very talented individuals who have been marginalized in one way or another at some point in their careers. I have been able to provide a welcoming, productive and positive environment where we are accomplishing rewarding work. We work for clients who are trying to keep up with today’s runaway pace of technology. We help the smaller businesses without the resources of the large corporations that drive this manic pace.

Every new person I bring in who tells me of the relief they feel to be appreciated, every client who sees a huge improvement in the flow of their business through relatively minimal effort brings a deep feeling of satisfaction — that to me is success.

 

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

Llewellyn: We manage information. The amount of information every individual and every business is exposed to on a daily basis is staggering. I read a keynote speech as given by the CEO at Google, and he noted that every two days now, we create as much information as was created from the dawn of humanity to 2003.

Most businesses struggle to obtain, manage, validate, store, update, share, distribute and secure all the information they need, while filtering and disposing of what is not required. We are a full-service consulting company that starts with a free analysis of our clients businesses, so we can know where to start before our first meeting. We have experts in all areas, project/account managers who work with our clients to plan the path to optimization, specialists who do everything from software implementations, to engineering, marketing and business development to on-site team training. If it has to do with information and technology, we have people here to help.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Llewellyn: Ideas only stagnate when they are based around what the company wants to provide their clients as opposed to listening to their needs and providing that as an offering. Micaura is built entirely on helping others. We don’t focus on selling services or forcing growth to meet quarterly earnings or meet bonus criteria; we don’t try to dream up ways of making more money for the sake of more money.

Our entire business is built around giving our clients the help they need not the services we want to sell and our workforce is built around those who want to use their talents to make a living for themselves, so that they can have a life.

This keeps our service offerings aligned to the needs of the market while keeping our work force strong, motivated and productive. Micaura will grow only to the size that it needs to be to support those who can benefit from it. I expect that until every business worldwide has perfect sparkling information and every consultant lives a perfectly balanced lifestyle, we will continue to grow to suit those needs, whatever those needs evolve into as the business world continues to evolve.

 

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Lora Kyle

Company: Driscoll’s
Industry:
Agriculture and
Food Production
Title: Programs Manager
Location: Watsonville, CA

 

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

Kyle: I manage university relations and an internship program for my company. In this role, I have the very unique opportunity to make a direct impact on students’ lives. I recruit at career fairs and get to meet thousands of university students nationwide. Being effective, while managing the high volume of students and interest in my program is the most challenging aspect of my job. I am responsible for sourcing, interviewing and placing interns in various roles within my company. Although I enjoy making internship offers, the most rewarding aspect of my job is when interns apply and get regular full-time offers of employment at the end of their internships. When I congratulate these new full-time hires many have given me thanks and state that I’ve changed their lives forever. Knowing that I’ve made a positive impact on so many young professionals is the most rewarding part of my job.

 

NAPW: Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

Kyle: I am most proud of living and working in Southeast Asia for five years. I self-funded my travel and arrived in Singapore without a job and just a few contacts. From there I thrived. First working in market research and then landing my dream job with the U.S. Embassy working as a liaison in the economic and political section. During this time I got to apply my master’s in international relations, travel the region and experience a wide variety of cultures. My view of the world changed dramatically and I am so fortunate to have had this experience.

 

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

Kyle: Strike a work/life balance early in your career. Don’t work hard/play hard. That will only burn the candle at both ends. Prioritize what is important: family, friends, hobbies, and place those above business.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model or inspiration?

Kyle: My mother is my role model. She is an amazing woman who worked full time as a physical therapist while raising three strong, successful daughters

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Kyle: Vivacious, independent, achiever.

 

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Lynn Campbell

Company:
Credit Financial Services, Inc.
Industry:
Finance
Title: President
Location: Raleigh Durham, NC

 

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

Campbell: I like to relax by the pool in the summer, read and spend time with my family. I also enjoy church activities.

 

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

Campbell: It is not an easy road. Be ready to learn a lot of regulations and find a mentor.

 

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

Campbell: Believe in yourself!

 

NAPW: How do you measure your success?

Campbell: By, of course, the obvious measures in the company. Success is really about how we handle life, not about material possessions and our titles. It’s about the impact we have had on those around us. If I can be of help to someone else in their time of need, then I am successful!

 

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

Campbell: We are a debt collection agency. A large percentage of our client base is medical accounts and we also collect for HVAC companies, utilities, golf clubs, etc.

 

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Madge M. Meyer

Company: Madge Meyer Consulting, LLC
Industry:
Technology & Financial Services
Title: Author
Location: Wellesley, MA

 

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

Meyer: I would like interested members to read my book and understand how I advanced my career at three major corporations in an era when it was very difficult for “working girls” to reach the top executive ranks in financial services.

 

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Meyer: Through my book, I want to inspire other women to succeed in surmounting the challenges confronting them along the course of their own careers.

 

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

Meyer: I have been on LinkedIn and Twitter, and I recently upgraded my bio to include my forthcoming book, The Innovator’s Path. My LinkedIn profile was one of the top 1% viewed last year. Hopefully, some of the 225 million people on LinkedIn will read my book and benefit from the experience.

 

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

Meyer: It was not hard to reach a higher level as a technologist. However, it was very hard to reach the executive level due to fewer opportunities as the levels got higher. As a Chinese woman, I have probably faced more challenges than other office personnel. But, I never focused or wasted my time on anything negative. I tried to work around any obstacles or negative organizational issues by exceeding expectations. The three companies I worked for all had great diversity programs for developing women. I have also written about them in my book.

 

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

Meyer: I am a frequent public speaker, the previous recipient of a multiplicity of industrial awards and the author of a book that already includes contributions and endorsements by 19 prominent organizational leaders.

 

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Marlena Gilbert

Company: Apartment Connection USA, Inc.
Industry:
Hospitality
Title: President
Location: Groton, MA

 

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

Gilbert: It is a great organization to network with other women and to gain inspiration and strength in knowing there are other working moms out there who are able to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle comprised of a flourishing career, being an active mom and a supportive wife.

 

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

Gilbert: I believe the only restrictions we have in life are the ones we set for ourselves. I strive to be positive in all aspects of my life. I am relentless in my efforts to achieve every goal I set for myself.

  

NAPW: What can you do for your NAPW community?

Gilbert: I have been told that I am able to inspire people to believe in themselves. I am a multi-business owner, so I am able to network and bring women together across different industries who would normally not connect.

 

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

Gilbert: I use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Yahoo.

 

NAPW: Describe your typical day.

Gibert: I wake up around 5:00am to begin paperwork such as accounts payable/receivable, taxes, payroll… anything that can be done while others are sleeping. At 7:30am, I get my son up, dressed, fed, teeth brushed and off to school or in the summer, camp. At 9:00am, I hit the gym for an hour to get energized and focused. From 10:30am – 3:00pm I am continuing my day with servicing clients and finalizing contracts for new rentals (lunch is at the desk). At 5:00pm, I retrieve my son from camp, play date or after-school program and get homework done, prepare dinner and get ready to go to cub scouts (I am the den leader), soccer (I am the coach), basketball (I am the coach) or skiing lessons (three out of five days my son has some sort of activity). By 7:30pm – 8:00pm, we are settling in at home and I prepare my son for bed. Once in bed, I finish any paperwork I could not get to during the day and begin preparing a foundation for my next business day. I try to get to bed by 11:30pm – 12:00am whenever possible.

 

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

Gilbert: The most challenging is trying to find balance between my career and professional life. The most rewarding would be the feeling I have when I have located a temporary home for a family who has been displaced due to a tornado, hurricane or flood.

 

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Monique Duarte

Company: Duarte Interior Decorating
Industry:
Interior Design
Title: President
Location: Plainsboro, NJ

 

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

Duarte: It has truly been a great platform that has allowed me to connect with other professional women as well as help me grow my business. Clients have found me on the NAPW website through my profile. The way in which the organization is structured is brilliant as it cuts down any barriers of getting to know others, it provides real resources that we need as entrepreneurs and business women and it provides many vehicles to help us connect.

 

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

Duarte: I am an emerging interior decorator with over eight years of decorating and design experience. I am the principal and head decorator of Duarte Interior Decorating. I hold a professional degree in interior decorating from Penn Foster University and a master’s in interactive and direct marketing from NYU. I am a member of the distinguished Interior Design Society (IDS) as well as a member of CID as a Certified Interior Designer. I have traveled extensively throughout my career and academic years, allowing me to experience various cultures firsthand and gain an appreciation for art from all over the world.

  

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

Duarte: Yes! Coming from working in the advertising industry for many years, prior to starting my decorating business, I had the opportunity to work in the midst of the evolution of social media and saw how it changed the way we do business, communicate and share information. I think social platforms are a great way to promote your business. I use it as a way to communicate with clients, friends, family and people who are interested in learning more about hiring an interior decorator. I post décor tips on my Twitter page as well as photos on Facebook of my favorite items, designs and all things creative to share my ideas . In addition, we are on Pinterest, where I pin my favorite decorating images as inspiration. Lastly, one of my favorite design sites out there now in the social space that I use is Houzz. It allows me to create design boards others can browse through to get ideas. I like to create them by style or room, so that it’s an easy way for my clients to look at ideas when we are working on a specific project and not have to sift through a lot of images. For example, if we are thinking about ideas for adding curtains to their windows, I have an entire idea book just on window treatments. I also use it as a platform to share news updates, events and upcoming projects that Duarte Interior Decorating is working on. Lastly, I have a blog that will be launched the end of September. I will be giving away decorating tips, ideas for decorating your home, things to live by and lots of amazing discussions on all things decorating!

 

NAPW: Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

Duarte: Having the courage to start my interior decorating business and do a complete career change after having worked in the advertising industry for many years, having completed a four-year master’s degree in interactive and direct marketing from NYU. I went back to school for interior decorating when I thought to myself, “I want to do my purpose and passion.” Sometimes we can get stuck in what we think society, family or friends think we are supposed to do with our lives from a work standpoint. Although I loved marketing and still enjoy working in it, I realized there is something else that drives me – design and decorating. I always have had a knack for nice things, homes and all things creative, so going into interior decorating was a natural fit. I was also very proud to have had the opportunity to travel the world, at only 17 years old, when I completed my undergraduate studies in London, England. I lived in London for four years, then Milan, Italy for one year, where I studied Italian and Spanish.

 

NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Duarte: Balance is so important. First, I start with keeping a healthy, clean and uplifting space/home and lifestyle. I feel like your home is your haven, so it should be your place to separate from outside work and just enter into your own comforting space. I also set time aside for myself, to recharge. I meditate in the mornings, get a good breakfast and plan my day ahead of time. Planning is so important because it allows me to get things that I need to get done, while allowing time to decompress and have down time when I need it.

 

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Patricia Moller

Company: EMS, LLC
Industry:
Healthcare
Title: Vice President,
Business Development
Location: Chester, NJ

 

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

Moller: I enjoy exercising, bike riding, reading and spending time with friends.

 

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

Moller: While at the administrative level, healthcare is still male-dominated, it is making some progress. Learn all you can about the industry and remain flexible in order to remain marketable in an ever-changing landscape.

  

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

Moller: Allow your true personality to shine through.

 

NAPW: How do you measure your success?

Moller: By meeting goals, the ability to live a balanced life and knowing I have done the best that I can do.

 

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

Moller: I am responsible for business development for a small, privately held organization that provides support services to healthcare facilities.

 

NAPW: How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Moller: By listening to potential customers, working to understand their challenges and then developing solutions to meet those challenges.

 

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Whitney A. Reitz

Company: Office of Senator
Mary Landrieu
Industry:
Government/Municipal
Title: Senior Advisor on
International Child Welfare
Location: Fairfax, VA

 

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

Reitz: I am very interested in connecting with the broad network of other professional women so we can work together to promote changes that reflect more of what women value and believe in, at home, in the work place, in politics, in public policy.

I have spent 23 years working for the federal government, mostly on issues related to humanitarian assistance and immigration – refugee resettlement and assistance, international adoption and child welfare, temporary protected status, international migration. In my work, as the years have gone by, I have learned how to act on my ideals and beliefs and bring my woman’s heart to bear on issues I believe in.

These days, I have the honor of working for Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana. She has long been a leader in Congress for international child welfare, and she and I are now working together to craft and pass legislation that will make important changes in how the U.S. approaches foreign assistance for children living without families. We are looking forward to introducing our bill, Children in Families First, in September.

 

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

Reitz: My current job is more of a challenge than anything I’ve ever taken on before. I am working on Capitol Hill, in an era of a sharply divided Congress, trying to pass a major piece of legislation. I have not worked on the Hill before and have been on a very steep learning curve since I joined the senator’s office. Now that we have the bill drafted and are beginning to attract significant bipartisan support in both houses, I am beginning to see the possibility that the bill could pass, which would be the greatest reward I could ever imagine in my career – getting to be part of something so major that will benefit some of the world’s most vulnerable and unprotected children.

  

NAPW: Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

Reitz: When I look back over my career so far, I am most proud of the things I have been able to do to relieve suffering and save lives. I was one of the primary developers and leaders of the Special Humanitarian Parole Program for Haitian Orphans in 2010, while working at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Through that program, we were able to rescue nearly 1,200 Haitian orphans who were already in the process of being adopted by American families. While working at the Department of State on refugee resettlement, I fought for years to make sure changes to immigration law after 9/11 would not prevent deserving refugees from finding protection and a new home in the United States. As a direct result of my efforts, tens of thousands of refugees who otherwise would have been excluded were able to obtain the necessary waivers and resettle with their families in the United States. Whenever I have been able to help even one family find its way through our immigration maze and I get a letter of thanks, I feel that same sense of pride and accomplishment. I am proud I get to serve my country by acting out one of our best and most wonderful values – our spirit of generosity and willingness to extend our hand to those most in need.

 

NAPW: How do you find balance in your life?

Reitz: The toughest problem I have faced in my life has been trying to have it all. I have always had a demanding career. I have three children ranging in age from 10 to 20 now. I have traveled a great deal and held positions of ever-increasing responsibility, and tried to be a good mom, and tried to keep my friendships and relationships alive, and tried to carve out just a little space for myself…

I sometimes feel at the end of my rope. I sometimes feel like I just do an OK job at all of it when I want to do everything perfectly. But that’s on a bad day. When I’ve had enough sleep and a good slug of coffee, I generally feel ready to take it all on. I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect balance. Maybe more of a dynamic equilibrium.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model or inspiration?

Reitz: Mother Teresa. Abraham Lincoln. Barbara Kingsolver. Frederic Chopin. Martin Luther King. Elizabeth I. Eleanor Roosevelt. Jhoon Rhee. Barack Obama. Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ann Lamott. Pink. Mary Landrieu. My mother.

 

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Megan Bozzuto

2 Comments

  1. Gwendolyn O. Hinton
    October 15, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    It was very enjoyable to read about women like as unto myself, who are creating a huge difference in this world. Kudos!

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