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Mentor Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon: "Women in Leadership"

On Tuesday, February 23rd, we went to LaMalfa Conference Center on Heisley Road in Mentor to attend the monthly luncheon of the Mentor Chamber of Commerce.

IMG_8268The program of the day was a panel devoted to "Women in Leadership" which featured Ms. Jennifer McCarty, President/CEO of United Way of Lake County; Ms. Judy Moran, Board President of the Lake County Board of Commissioners; Ms. Nancy Sanden, Owner/President of Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home and Cremation Center; and Ms. Alyson Scott, President of the Fredon Corporation. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Dione DeMitro, Director of Student Success at Lakeland Community College. Each of the panelists talked about their aspirations, inspirations and experiences that contributed to their success.

Ms. McCarty talked about she made it a practice to take the initiative and learn as much as she could about all aspects of the organization that she was working for and how well this has served her over the years. This kind of enthusiasm is what makes United Way so successful; Ms. McCarty said that it recruits only very "engaged and competitive volunteers" who really care about what they are doing to go out and deal with the public.

Ms. Moran spoke about how, as a city councilperson and local businessperson, she was very involved in the Willowick flood relief effort in 2006 which motivated her to seek higher office. Another experience that touched her was working for the Mental Health Court of Lake County and hearing stories of people who had very little if anything at all. She cited these as examples of how she successfully helped people by directing them to the services that could help them.

Ms. Sanden talked about her hands-on experiences assisting in the running of a family business ever IMG_8263since she was a teenager, if not younger. She said that what contributes to the success of her business is that everyone involved in it cares about what they do and strives to provide its clientele with the best possible service during a troubled time. As a result, Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home and Cremation Center, which has been in operation since 1949, is a fixture in the community.

Ms. Scott talked about what it was like working with both younger and older people and having to adapt to different environments. She loved nurturing young people destined for leadership and believed that it was very important to learn from one's own mistakes and the mistakes of others. Moreover, she considered that the 100 people working for the Fredon Corporation to be like her family and she strongly considers their welfare when she makes important decisions.

When asked near the end of the discussion what advice they had to offer young women, Ms. Scott said they should choose an area/field that they are "passionate" about.

Ms. Sanden urged them to seek a "vocation not a career" and not to take "no' for an answer but ask instead "how" a project could be successfully completed.

Ms. Moran agreed wholeheartedly about not taking "no" for an answer and added that it is helpful "to have people around who believe in you."

Ms. McCarty encouraged young women to find a good mentor to help them through their early years and "don't let people tell you that you are not as good as your male counterparts."

IMG_8277This program was sponsored by KeyBank and Transamerica Financial Services. Ms. Cheryl Ann Radvansky, Relationship Manager/Assistant Vice President of KeyBank got to speak for a few moments and used her much of her time to praise the leadership of Ms. Beth Mooney, Chairman and CEO of KeyBank, and talked about how much Ms. Mooney has contributed to KeyBank's success and what an outstanding role model she is to women.

Ms. Grace Himmelright, Investment Advisor-Branch Office Manager at Transamerica talked about a promising event coming up in April, 2016 that we look forward to tabling at.

Finally, the program concluded and Mr. Al DiFranco, President and CEO of the Mentor Chamber of Commerce, said that he found the program most inspiring and wished that his young daughter could have been there for it.

Written by: Michael Patterson  Community Liaison, Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.

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