2015 Powered by Women

With women-owned businesses in Michigan continuing to increase in number, we asked our readers to nominate female business leaders in the region who are driving profits, adding employees, and opening new opportunities.
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 DBusiness is hosting a special breakfast for the eight 2015 Powered by Women honorees on Aug. 18 at the One Woodward Building in Detroit. For tickets, visit bit.ly/1fJM9uh.

 

Barbara J. Pilarski

Vice President, Business Development

FCA North America, Auburn Hills

Employees (Global):  77,800 | Revenue: $83B

Barbara J. Pilarski grew up in Madison Heights and met her future husband when she was a junior in high school, and they dated for 14 years before getting married. She earned her bachelor’s in finance at Wayne State University, stayed close to home to save money, interviewed at General Motors and Chrysler, got offers from both, and chose the latter.

“The auto industry was the biggest game in town. My dad worked for GM as a tool and die maker,” she says, “and it never occurred to me not to work for an auto company. Chrysler had an advantage; I was watching (Chairman) Lee Iacocca in TV commercials and I thought he was such a dynamic personality that I wanted to come to this company, and I don’t regret that decision. I’ve been here 30 years now … which was never my intent. I was going to come, learn everything I could, then go work for a smaller company and have a bigger role. But I never left.”

Pilarski started in 1985 as a budget analyst at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant, and soon after took a leave of absence to pursue an MBA at the University of Michigan. Returning in 1988 in a leadership development program for new MBAs, she spent her first 10 years at Chrysler rotating through various positions in the finance organization. In 1998, she was offered an opportunity as a senior manager in Chrysler’s M&A group.
“Probably within a week of getting that job, I was driving to work one morning, listening to the radio, and heard that Daimler and Chrysler were going to merge. And I thought to myself, ‘I work in M&A, and no one told me.’ That helped me understand that sometimes big deals get done with just a few people around the table.”

Before long, Pilarski’s group became responsible for all merger, acquisition, and divestiture activities in North and South America for DaimlerChrysler, including Mercedes.

In response to Chrysler’s worsening financial position during the early 2000s, she and her group sold more than $2 billion in assets, including several component businesses. When her boss, M&A Vice President John Stellman, decided to retire, she replaced him. When Cerberus came in, they brought in their own leader for the group, but when Fiat acquired Chrysler in 2009, CEO Sergio Marchionne selected her to run what became business development for the NAFTA region.

The final years of the DaimlerChrysler merger were difficult and Cerberus was worse, as the company spiraled toward bankruptcy, a government bailout, and a takeover by Fiat. Despite the uncertainties, Pilarski never considered leaving.

“I had come to love this place,” she says. “It’s a unique culture — a very close, tight-knit group — and you don’t turn your back on them. Our leadership was offering cash incentives for people to leave, but I was emotionally attached to this company. If the ship was going down, I was going with it. My feeling was that if there was going to be something on the other side when it was over, I would have a role. I had worked for so many years to build my reputation and my competencies, and I knew I could probably convince the new people to give me a shot.”

After Fiat took over, she worked to build up the Fiat-Chrysler alliance by negotiating the terms and conditions of more than 1,000 legal contracts that form the basis of the industrial integration of the two OEMs.

What advice does she offer for success in business? “I’ve never been a political person who figures out who to buddy up with. I’m the kind of person who just keeps my head down, takes full responsibility for things, and thinks every day about what value I can add,” she says. “Every day, I ingrain in my staff (the idea that) if you have an issue or project, even if it feels beyond the scope of what you’re supposed to do, take responsibility, be creative, be strategic, and try to come up with solutions. And whatever you produce, be proud of it because it’s a reflection of you. I’m very detail-oriented, I know every angle of a problem, so I spend a lot of time on it and try to be very customer-focused. If you’re that kind of person, it doesn’t matter that you’re not political because someone will notice, you will be asked to do greater, more challenging things, and success will follow.”

Pilarski also believes in mentoring. “John Stellman, the M&A vice president, had a level of confidence in me that I didn’t have in myself. He said, ‘You can take my job and run this group,’ when I was not sure. Sergio also displayed that same level of confidence in me. That’s what a true mentor really does — builds the confidence we need to take those bigger steps, and provides opportunities where we can practice and a safety net when we stumble. I owe where I am to these two men, and I try to (provide the same guidance) for other people.” — Gary Witzenburg

 

Birgit
Behrendt

Vice President, Global Programs

and Purchasing Operations | Ford Motor Co., Dearborn

Employees (Global): 194,000 | Revenue: $144B

Birgit Behrendt was born and raised in Cologne, Germany, the corporate home of Bayer AG and Ford of Germany. While she says pursuing work in a technical field was more challenging, most young people she grew up with aspired to work for one of those two big companies. “In those days, we weren’t encouraged to seek out engineering. It hadn’t crossed my mind,” she says.

Out of school in 1978, she was qualified for university admission, but she selected a commercial apprenticeship at Ford. Following the training, she became an administrative assistant to the director of purchasing and “started to take an interest in everything that crossed my desk — purchasing, parts, components, how it worked, and how I could make a contribution. (My) boss was one of my earliest mentors. He formed my curiosity on the contacts and decisions that were made, and I was really eager to learn.”

Recognizing her potential, her boss suggested she attend night school while working full time. “It was not a path I would recommend,” Behrendt says. “It taught me discipline and resilience, (but) it was hard to stick with (school) in addition to (working) my day job. But I finished, and went into material planning and logistics in 1985. Almost simultaneously with finishing my degree after four years, I got my first buying job — in powertrain, buying bearings.”

One promotion led to another, and in 1998 Behrendt accepted a “foreign service” assignment in Dearborn as a program manager for vehicle procurement operations and manager of global strategy for the purchasing business office. Two years later, she advanced to director for global body and exterior purchasing, and in 2004 she returned to Cologne as vice president of purchasing for Ford of Europe, where her responsibilities also included serving on the supervisory boards of FordWerke GmbH and Ford Getrag Transmission GmbH.

In 2008, Behrendt added executive director, global programs to her responsibilities, and then it was back to the U.S. two years later as executive director, global programs and the Americas purchasing. She was elected a corporate officer and named to her current position as vice president, global programs and purchasing operations, in 2013.

“I was one of the first female buyers at Ford of Germany,” she says. “Thankfully, Ford has always valued diversity and has given me great opportunity to get to where I am now. When I was relatively young, in the late 1980s and early ’90s, my career wouldn’t have been possible
in any traditional German company.”

She sums up her leadership philosophy as having respect for others and for the business, and “being very decisive in managing the balance between strategic and tactical,” she says. “That is difficult, because you can be easily drawn into a lot of tactical actions and efforts, and lose sight of the longer-term strategic objective. I try to make sure to balance both and never lose sight of the long-term goal, even if sometimes the course has to change because of external factors that we may not be able to influence.”

Behrendt is a strong believer in mentoring: “I think this is one of the most critical pieces of advice to not just women, but to all employees. It has helped me greatly, and it isn’t always from a formal mentoring program. When I talk about actively managing a career, particularly for females, I always encourage taking an active role in seeking out mentorships (and) not waiting for someone to offer it.”

Getting started in any professional career requires vision and patience, she says.

“First and foremost, you need to be able to clarify where you see yourself in three or four years. If you can’t answer that question, if you don’t know what your priorities are, it’s very difficult to actively manage your path,” she says. “There are points in time in anyone’s career where priorities may be shifting — pursuing further education, becoming a parent, taking care of elderly relatives. That’s why Ford offers work/life models for such life stages to retain top talent. You need to make sure you understand where you want to be at a certain point in time, because if you’re not clear about your path, it’s difficult to take support from others to help shape your professional and personal growth.

Don’t assume that if you work really hard, someone will see that you deserve the next level of responsibility.

“Women sometimes have a tendency to apologize for where they’ve gotten and feel they need to demonstrate that they’re at the right place at the right time. I really love the quote from (former British Prime Minister) Margaret Thatcher, who once said, ‘I wasn’t lucky. I deserved it.’ ” — Gary Witzenburg

 

Irene Spanos

Director of Economic Development and Community Affairs

Oakland County, Pontiac

Employees: 83 | Budget: $8M

 Irene Spanos says there’s a “secret sauce” to economic development, whether drawing new investment, adding to the workforce, or helping to enhance the business sector in Oakland County. “It’s all about building relationships with the executives and the decision-makers of a particular company or organization,” says Spanos, Oakland County’s director of economic development and community affairs.

Before Executive L. Brooks Patterson appointed her in 2011, Spanos spent seven years with the county as a senior business development representative, where she specialized in the biotechnology and medical devices sectors. She helped launch Medical Main Street, the county’s initiative to grow the life sciences and health care industries in the region.

She also sought out growth opportunities for the county by calling on companies headquartered in Europe. Recognizing that networking was a vital asset to making connections with key leaders, she became a member of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce, the German American Chamber of Commerce, and the French Chamber of Commerce.

Thanks to Spanos and her team, last year the county reported its business expansion, attraction, and retention efforts resulted in an investment of $658 million. Overall, 112 deals were closed, which accounted for more than 11,000 new and retained jobs, direct foreign investment of $171 million, and nearly $43 million in loans closed.

“We also work with home-grown companies by providing connections to potential new business opportunities, because it benefits everyone if they grow and invest in their respective communities,” Spanos says. Her department also works with area educational institutions to develop curricula that meet future employment needs.

“Another major initiative we have is growing the IT sector,” Spanos says. “Right now, we have more than 2,000 IT companies, and Brooks wants us to be a national powerhouse in technology, connected cars, mobile apps, and connected car technology. When you merge those sectors with what’s happening in life sciences, aerospace, and health care, and as the automotive industry works to drive more technology inside vehicles, you’re going to revolutionize the next industrial boom.”

Recognizing that much of the success of economic development is the creation of new jobs, Spanos and her team work on two fronts. In addition to drawing new businesses and investment from outside the region, her department collaborates with local cities and villages to enhance downtown districts and retail corridors.

In Hazel Park, for example, the county is working with city officials to attract new businesses, including restaurants and retail operations. The county also applied for and received a federal grant to formulate an economic development strategy in Pontiac. The plan, expected to be ready shortly, will offer a blueprint for future development in one of the county’s most challenged communities.

Spanos also carves out time for a little fun. One recent milestone of the county’s success will require her to sport a chef’s hat and help prepare breakfast for members of her staff. “In April, our unemployment rate hit 5 percent, and it’s been a long time since we saw that number,” she says. “We work hard to improve the county every day, but you do have to take a little time to celebrate your successes.” — R.J. King

 

Nancy Jenkins

President and CEO | HealthPlus of Michigan, Flint

Employees: 495 | Budget: $939.3M

 In March, Nancy Jenkins became the first female president and CEO of HealthPlus of Michigan, the Flint-based health and wellness insurer where she started working as a clerk nearly 35 years ago, fresh out of high school.

“When I was in high school, I did work at various jobs — anything from retail to babysitting, you name it — but this was
my first real job, I guess you could say,” Jenkins says. “I started working at HealthPlus and took advantage of its college
tuition program.”

While working full-time, she earned a bachelor’s in human resources from Spring Arbor College. Later she completed executive leadership training at America’s Health Insurance Plans, from which she earned a managed care executive certification. Jenkins is also a designated “professional” of the Academy of Healthcare Management.

With a HealthPlus resume that dates to 1982, when she was hired as an enrollment and operations coordinator, Jenkins has served in a variety of positions. Before becoming interim president and CEO last October, she was vice president of community programs and customer experience. Prior to that she was vice president of sales and marketing, with responsibility for product development and government relations.

“It’s interesting because I reflect a lot on how 33 years can go by that quickly,” Jenkins says. “I was very fortunate because it was a young company, so there wasn’t a large talent pool with people with experience (to compete against for promotions). I never got bored because there were always opportunities to learn something new and gain the experience to move on and advance. And because I had career opportunities to move up in the organization and loved the company, why would I go anywhere else?”

In addition to helping diversify the company’s offerings, she oversaw the addition of Medicare plans in 1997, pushed for preferred provider organization insurance in 2007, and got the firm involved in the Healthy Michigan plan in 2014.

Today, HealthPlus is the top administrator for county health plans for underserved populations in Bay, Genesee, and Saginaw counties.
Jenkins also helped sign HealthPlus’ largest employer group, an automotive client, and steered sales and marketing strategies that resulted in record company growth during the last 10 years.

It hasn’t been all rosy, however.

As the leader of the 500-employee insurer, Jenkins faces a number of challenges. The company is navigating rocky financial waters — and some uncertainty — as the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unfold. Earlier this year, the state put the company under Lansing’s supervision when HealthPlus’ liabilities exceeded its assets. To bolster its financial health, Jenkins and her team cut salaries, sold off parts of the business, and notified the state of planned layoffs.

But, she notes, in business as in life, challenges often present opportunities.

“I think we have to look at it that way,” Jenkins says. “Had things turned out differently, we wouldn’t have sold our Medicaid and MIChild business. We think there’s a lot of opportunity with the Medicare market as well as the commercial market. We’re going to have to be very lean and agile as we go forward.”

While she’s taken the necessary steps to align the company for future growth, the process has led to some sleepless nights. Jenkins says she finds relief from work’s pressures with her family, which includes two teenage daughters.

“They’re the joy of my life,” she says, “and one of the things that I try to bring home to them is that anything is possible.” — Ilene Wolff

 

Kathy Makino-Leipsitz

Managing Partner | Shelborne Development Co., Detroit

Employees: 14 | Project total: $18M

 Kathy Makino-Leipsitz isn’t afraid to venture into stormy weather. Rather than watch historic apartment buildings decay, the developer worked with city lenders, acquired more than 20 structures, and set out to renovate and rent 2,000 residences.

“For an area like Palmer Park to come back, you often start with affordable housing, as well as senior housing, before going to market-rate housing,” says Makino-Leipsitz, managing partner of Shelborne Development Co. in Detroit. “You can’t go into a depressed area with
market-rate housing right away. The banks won’t support it, and the neighborhood isn’t ready for it.”

While some developers will attempt to pack as many apartments in a building as possible, Makino-Leipsitz prefers to
offer larger units that families can grow into. Larger residential spaces also attract a wider mix of tenants. In the case of Palmer Park, Shelborne’s tenants include city employees, nurses, professionals, and service personnel at restaurants and casinos.

Once an area begins to approach a healthy tenant mix — what developers refer to as critical mass — Makino-Leipsitz focuses on adding retail amenities including coffee shops, eateries, stores, and service operations. In addition to Palmer Park, the developer has acquired properties in New Center, along East Jefferson, and, most recently, in southwest Detroit.

After completing several renovation projects in the Jefferson-Chalmers area, Makino-Leipsitz is working to convert the vacant River Plaza
apartment complex into 120 apartments along with 20,000 square feet of commercial space, primarily stores and restaurants. The project is set to open in 2017.

“My goal is to have some of the stores and restaurants near the Detroit River, with a boardwalk that would connect the apartments to the (existing) RiverWalk,” she says. “It would be an urban beach theme, which I’ve seen done well in Toronto. Hopefully, it would tie in with a redevelopment of the (neighboring and vacant) Whittier Hotel, which is owned by Mel Washington.”

In New Center, Makino-Leipsitz has worked her magic on several apartment buildings, and will soon start work on several more on Seward, a few blocks north of West Grand Boulevard. In every project, she restores plaster walls and ceilings, along with hardwood floors, and adds granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchens, and ceramic tiles and new fixtures in the bathrooms.

By offering large, desirable floor plans, the company has had little trouble renting out units. In fact, every project has a waiting list of tenants prior to completion. While she does minimal advertising, the developer recently hired a full-time marketing director from North Carolina.

Growing up in a working-class family in Wayne, Makino-Leipsitz began babysitting for a neighboring family and quickly saw the success of the husband’s rental housing enterprise. “It didn’t take me long to decide that real estate was something I should get into,” she recalls. She acquired her first property, a duplex, in 1979. From there, she steadily grew her portfolio.

“To see an empty structure and see it transformed into a sustainable, energy-efficient apartment community is what really drives me,” she says. “It’s almost like restoring a work of art. I’ve always started in the fringe areas, where other developers have shied away, and when they eventually did come in (to an area), I took it as a sign of confidence.”  — R.J. King

 

Marybeth Howe

Executive Vice President | Wells Fargo’s Great Lakes Division, Southfield

Employees (Regional): | 80 Revenue: NA

Marybeth Howe trained at the University of Michigan to become a teacher, but in her senior year she found another destiny. “At the end of the day, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for,” Howe says, “but the skills I learned (about) how to get the best out of people have been very transferable to my roles as a mother and mentor.”

Education’s loss was the banking industry’s gain, since Howe, executive vice president of Wells Fargo’s Great Lakes Division, has led her team to achieve double-digit year-over-year growth for the past five years.

“The three-state region I manage is very much viewed as a growth market for Wells Fargo,” she says. “We did it kind of the good, old-fashioned way. Because we don’t have bricks and mortar in  any of the states I support (Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio), a lot of it (has been done) just by knocking on doors and telling our story.”

In addition to that growth, Howe says more opportunities have become available for women. “Over the past five years, representation by females in leadership positions within Wells Fargo Commercial Banking has grown from 5 percent to 40 percent,” says Howe, who co-chairs the company’s Women in Leadership Committee. The group consists of 100 senior commercial banking executives who, like Howe, empower women to rise to higher levels across the corporation.

Along with one-on-one mentoring, committee members organize a yearly gathering of mentors and mentees to learn and network; hold quarterly conference calls for female leaders to share information; and alert female employees to senior-level opportunities.

“Before the Women in Leadership Committee (was formed), we had a lot of women across the country, and there was no real way for them to get together to facilitate growth and to network,” she says. “We made a concerted effort to benchmark how many women we had in leadership. Detroit is a great example; we have two women leading teams.”

Howe has three formal mentees, and she mentors another three women informally. It’s a process she’s quite familiar with: Years ago, she was on the receiving end of the same kind of personalized coaching. “I’ve had a number of mentors in my career, and I’ve been in banking close to 35 years at this point,” she says.

Howe was one of the first women in commercial banking at the former National City Bank, now PNC Bank. “I had as my mentor one of their senior guys, Bill MacDonald, who ended up becoming chairman of the old National City,” she says.

Howe reaches out to female clients as well as fellow employees, and is part of a subcommittee of Women in Leadership that promotes growth among women-owned businesses nationally.

“One of the ways we bring value to our customers is to help bring new business to them,” she says. “We share best practices and bring ideas to help grow their business.”

Her MBA in finance and marketing from Ohio State University provided Howe with the confidence to counsel clients whose businesses are expanding. “It takes some of the same things I have a passion around, helping people be successful,” she says. “I think that’s the role of the banker — to try to make customers and clients succeed.” — Ilene Wolff

 

Christie Wong Barrett

CEO | MacArthur Corp., Grand Blanc

Employees: 50 | Revenue: NA

 Christie Wong Barrett is big believer in family-owned businesses, especially from a longevity model. In her case, the company — MacArthur Corp. — is a Grand Blanc-based producer of labels, tags, and die-cut components largely for the automotive industry.

“I think the heyday of the family business is coming back,” Wong Barrett says. “Of about 270,000 small and medium-size manufacturers in the U.S., many are family-owned.”

Wong Barrett, who is CEO of MacArthur, married into the family that owns the company when she married Tom Barrett, who is now the company president. The two met while both were pursuing their MBAs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.

Tom Barrett’s father, who owned a majority interest in MacArthur, purchased the company from founder Jack MacArthur, a former General Motors Corp. engineer. Wong Barrett joined the company almost four years ago.

One of her first tasks was to develop and implement a sustainable growth plan. After analyzing new market opportunities, she assessed the enterprise’s capabilities and determined what its customers wanted.

“If I look at the plan we wrote three years ago, many of those (goals) are unfolding,” Wong Barrett says. “We deepened support of our customers by developing relationships at many levels and functions, expanded our global footprint (to 22 countries), and when a customer in North America wanted our services for its location in China, it led to a joint venture.”

In addition to serving markets in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, the company has customers throughout Europe and Asia. It hasn’t stopped searching for ways to expand its market, although not necessarily geographically.

In 2014, Wong Barrett and her husband worked with the Tauber Institute for Global Operations, a joint program of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and its engineering college, to develop a plan for MacArthur to integrate advanced manufacturing related to flexible electronics into its business.

Hoping to help other businesses, Wong Barrett shared the successful process MacArthur and Tauber developed with both state and federal government leaders.

“I strongly (believe) there’s an opportunity for mid-sized companies to grow using the methodology we developed,” she says.

Wong Barret is something of an old hand when it comes to developing a company’s strategy for new growth.

During her first job out of business school, in the Detroit and London offices of McKinsey & Co., she grew one of the firm’s nascent services, and helped its largely Fortune 50 clients improve their R&D activities. The effort paid off. As a result of Wong Barrett’s efforts, the company tripled the size of that client service by revenue at its locations in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Wong Barrett says the experience expanded her leadership know-how and gave her an opportunity to hone her entrepreneurial skills as an in-house entrepreneur, or “intrepreneur.”

Today, she applies her knowledge and skills as an innovator on a number of advisory boards, including President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee. Last year, she and other business leaders met with Obama at the White House, where they presented their recommendations to help move American manufacturing forward. During the meeting, held in the Roosevelt Room, the administration also shared its ideas.

She’s also on advisory boards for the Tauber Institute, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Council, and the FlexTech Alliance Industrial Board for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (in San Jose, Calif.).

“It’s a big passion of mine,” she says of serving as an adviser to industry and government. “It will help my country, it will help my region, and it will help my company in the long run.  — Ilene Wolff

 

Cathy Clegg

Vice President, GM North America

Manufacturing and Labor Relations

General Motors Co., Detroit

Employees (global): 220,000 | Revenue (2014): $155.9B

 Born in Detroit and raised in the suburbs, Cathy Clegg enjoyed crafting things from early on: “Drafting, modeling cars, and cobbling up stuff on bikes with my friends,” she says. Those interests took her to a hands-on, application-based program in manufacturing and industrial technology at Eastern Michigan University, where she learned machining, welding, casting, metal forming, and molding.

Just before earning a degree in manufacturing technology, Clegg sent cover letters and resumes to Pontiac and Cadillac, largely because they were two of General Motors’ smaller car divisions. “I got a call from Cadillac and that’s where I started on Jan. 3, 1983, working as a process engineer in support of the manufacturing departments.”

At the time, Cadillac’s headquarters, engineering, and manufacturing facilities were located at Michigan and Clark in southwest Detroit. “We had machining, welding, polishing, plating, plastic injection molding, engines, and vehicle assembly there, plus a body plant on Fort Street, a stamping plant on Conner Avenue, and a new powertrain plant in Livonia.”

Along the way, Clegg progressed through increasingly difficult jobs in process and manufacturing engineering. “I was what we called a floor engineer, production support for manufacturing engineering, and worked in all the different areas in manufacturing engineering — plastics molding, machining, and engine build — and I supported the stamping plant, welding, and plating operations for some time.
I haven’t had many desk jobs.”

Clegg eventually moved up to plant manager at the Oshawa, Ontario, and Marion, Ind., metal centers, then GM’s Fort Wayne assembly plant. During that time, she earned an MBA from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in advanced leadership studies from Wesleyan University in Indiana.

In 2007, she was named manufacturing manager over all North American stamping and die operations. Two years later, she added several assembly and powertrain operations in the U.S. and Canada to her responsibilities. Promoted to vice president of labor relations, she successfully led the negotiations for the 2011 UAW-GM National Agreement. Following that, she was promoted to vice president of global manufacturing engineering. In June, she was appointed vice president of North America Manufacturing and Labor Relations.

Was she mentored along the way?

“Early in my career, it was primarily my dad (a former GM employee) giving me advice … and I have mentored a number of folks who have worked with me or for me in all different functions and stages of their careers. Honestly, I got mentored from up, down, and sideways, and I encourage others to do the same. I have had mentoring from UAW employees in our plant, from general managers, and from my peers. You build a network of colleagues as sounding boards for ideas to get feedback and perspective.”

Asked about encouraging others to follow in her footsteps, Clegg speaks to the larger issue of maintaining and enhancing the manufacturing and technology sectors, not only in Michigan, but across the country.

“I believe it is hugely important to maintain a manufacturing base in this country. I think manufacturing plays a huge role in driving innovation and finding creative solutions to problems. For leadership, I think it’s most important to drive widespread engagement and build an organization capable of solving problems in a collaborative way.”

To that end, she’s quick to offer advice to recent college graduates. “When I talk to young women, or any young people entering the business, I tell them this is a great industry in which to work. There’s a lot of breadth of opportunity to express your creativity. You can take all of the math and science you’ve learned, outstanding foundational items, and apply those to unique and challenging problems. From a leadership perspective, you have to lead from who you are. To lead people to achieve, you have to love what you’re doing and have a passion for it, and demonstrate that so others will feel comfortable pursuing their interests and bringing their best skills every day.” — Gary Witzenburg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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