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Mary Kay Runyan

A successful SVP with ServiceMaster, her career path as been interesting—and anything but straight. My career has been like a jungle gym than a ladder. Because I have a thirst for learning new things, I have chosen to work in a number of functions and industries. Early in my career, I spent about 24 months in a role before expanding it or moving into a new role. I have learned to start developing my successor as soon as I begin a new role. Having a successor ready to step into my position, enables the company to better leverage my skills and capacity.

One of the best career moves I made was to a general management position with profit & loss responsibility. It was a lateral move, but looking back, I realize that learning to oversee customer service, support frontline employees, and manage profit & loss has been extremely valuable. Dare to jump to another jungle gym and climb away! PDJ

“I have learned to start developing my successor as soon as I begin a new role.” Michele Stumpe

This Equity Partner with Taylor English found a way to join her profession with her will to give.

Although I’ve always loved what I do, I came to the realization in my early 30s that I didn’t necessarily “love” my life. I was working A LOT and was on the quintessential road to success—great job right out of law school, partner at the age of 28; my career was right on track, but something was missing. That’s when the “inner work” began. I did some serious soul searching to

find something that would ignite a fire to sustain me for the next 30 years. I remembered one of the happiest times in my life: working with gorillas and chimpanzees as a teenager. My journey started with a volunteer trip to Africa, which led to my involvement in several primate-related nonprofits, and ultimately to cofounding a 501c3 nonprofit organization with my husband. Our charity provides educational funding for children of wildlife sanctuary workers in Africa. During that time, I stayed on course with my career. My passion for helping others intersected with my career in a way that I never would have imagined. When a

chef at one of my client’s restaurants was diagnosed with stage IV gallbladder cancer, the owners came to me (because of my nonprofit background) and asked for advice on how to help raise money for their friend. After several discussions, we decided to think a lot bigger and started The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that would benefit not just their chef, but any member of the restaurant industry facing unanticipated hardship. It’s been a lot of work, and long hours, but it’s also been an incredibly fulfilling way to work side by side with folks who were once just clients, but have now become tremendous friends fighting for the greater good. PDJ

“My passion for helping others intersected with my career in a way that I never would have imagined.” Read more at WWW.DIVERSITYJOURNAL.COM

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Diversity Journal - September/October 2014 - Women Worth Watching  
Diversity Journal - September/October 2014 - Women Worth Watching