Page 1

Journal

Spring/ Summer 2017

MARY PHIPPS

A Woman Who Means ‘Bees’ness

plus

A Legacy of Leadership Seven Lessons That Will Change Your Life Women and Workplace Initiatives


Kelly Overstreet Johnson

Dena H. Sokolow

Amy W. Schrader

Celebrating our third year in Tallahassee. Our Tallahassee Professionals: Kelly Overstreet Johnson Dena H. Sokolow Russell Buchanan Amy W. Schrader Ben Carter With a team of more than 800 attorneys and advisors across 24 offices, Baker Donelson provides clients with a wide range of legal solutions to meet virtually any legal need.

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www.bakerdonelson.com THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. Kelly Overstreet Johnson is managing shareholder of the Tallahassee office of Baker Donelson and is located at 101 N. Monroe Street, Suite 925, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Phone 850.425.7500 . FREE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. © 2017 Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

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NO CEILINGS. NO BOUNDARIES .

Photo Credit Josh McLawhorn

tallahassee woman • june / july 2017 3 


JOURNAL

FLORIDA * CAPITAL CITY REGION SPRING/SUMMER 2017 VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 1 PUBLISHER Kim Rosier

WOMEN ON FIRE

KEEPERS OF THE FLAME

YOU ARE INVITED to Join the Discussion and

Keep the Flame Burning Become a Member of Tallahassee Woman Magazine’s Women Who Mean Business (WWMB) Community

MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES: • Networking and Educational Opportunities • Access to Online Forums and Social Media Sites • Monthly E-mail Newsletter • First Notice of WWMB Events • Inclusion in Membership Directory

THERE IS NO FEE TO JOIN. Sign up now at talwoman.com/women-who-mean-business.

EDITOR Heather Thomas EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Maria Elena Margarella ADVERTISING Jennifer Stinson Michelle Hart INTERNS Sydney Schafer Janecia Britt WWMB Journal is a sister publication of Tallahassee Woman magazine. It is published digitally two times per year and distributed online to businesswomen throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding area. For information e-mail wwmb@talwoman.com.

ADVERTISING

For more information on advertising, call (850) 893-9624 or e-mail wwmb@TalWoman.com. Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC Post Office Box 13401, Tallahassee, FL 32317-3401 Phone: (850) 893-9624 Fax: (850) 254-7038 E-mail: wwmb@TalWoman.com Copyright ©2017 Tallahassee Woman Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without expressed written consent of the Publisher is prohibited.

The information in this publication is presented in good faith. The publisher does not guarantee accuracy or assume responsibility for errors or omissions.

4 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017


Women Who Mean Business (WWMB) Luncheon & Networking

Thursday, June 29, 2017 Wyndham Garden Hotel, 1355 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL

"A Legacy of Leadership" PRESENTED BY

Colene Rogers

President of Colene Rogers & Associates A Leadership Training & HR Consulting Group Applying highly effective leadership skills can be complicated. That is because effective leadership has many facets: emotional strength, integrity, people skills, discipline, vision, and more. More than ever, we as women are holding positions of leadership. Come to learn attributes of great leadership and how to leave a powerful legacy while mingling with other fascinating Tallahassee businesswomen.

Networking: 11:30 a.m.-Noon Lunch and Presentation: Noon-1:00 p.m. Seating is limited and tickets sell out quickly.

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JOURNAL

Spring/Summer 2017 Capital City Region (Florida)

CONTENTS FEATURE 26

ON THE COVER Meet Mary Phipps There’s no stopping Mary Phipps of Orchard Pond Organics as a woman who means "bees"ness.

Written and photographed by Maria Elena Margarella

32

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Dorothy "Dot" Trotman-Ealy of Cumulus and the Women Behind Miracle Village

WWMB JOURNAL is a sister publication of

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contents 20 A Legacy of by Colene Rogers

Leadership

FROM THE PUBLISHER 10 Get Your Lead On

TRENDS 12 Business & Entrepreneurism How to Work Like a Mother by Linley Paske and Lauren Pasqualone 14 Marketing Feeling the Pulse of Your Market With Online Surveys by Sydney Schaefer 16 Online/Tech The Do's and Dont's of E-mail Sign Offs by Sydney Schaefer

spring/summer 2017

IN THE KNOW 18 The Value of a Women's Initiative in the Workplace by Dena Sokolow 20 A Legacy of Leadership by Colene Rogers 22 The Power of Abundance Philosophy by Dr. Michelle Mitcham 24 Tips for Handling a Toxic Co-Worker by Janecia Britt

WORKING WOMEN’S WEB 44Working Women to Watch 46 Spotlight: Gwen Marshall 47 Organizations: The Economic Club of Florida 48 Community: Women's Transportation Seminar/ Chef Shac Competes 49 Get Connected

STEM 36 Codecraft Works Provides STEM-Powered Learning for Girls B By 4IBOOPO-BOEJOBOE.FBHBO#POOFMM

JILL OF ALL TRADES 38 Seven Lessons That Will Change Your Life by Michelle Nickens

50 Biz Scene: WWMB Networking Event 52 Girl Scouts Women of Distinction

54 FUNNY BUSINESS

WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017 9


FROM THE PUBLISHER

Get Your Lead On No matter what your role or position everyone has an opportunity to lead. Granted there are people who seem to be born with the qualities of a natural leader. However, all of us have some specific skill or passion that can make us a leader in a particular moment.

“The leader is the person who brings a little magic to the moment.” – Denise Morrison President & CEO of Campbell Soup

For example, Mary Phipps took the lead and started her business, Orchard Pond Organics. Even having no specific experience in "bees"ness, she stepped out and just ventured down the path of entrepreneurship, and is now successfully leading the way to success with her honey and granola products. When the time came to promote her products to food giant Publix and Whole Foods, Mary didn't wait for them to come to her...she made her own magic and went to them. And now, her products can be found on their shelves for more consumers to discover the fruits of her business. And continuing our theme of leadership we have included helpful information from other knowledgeable local experts to inspire you to achieve success in the working world--time strategies, implementing women initiatives in a workplace, marketing, finance, tech tips and other valuable information for the savvy businesswoman. And, best of all, we are excited to highlight some of the women who are leading the way in their careers and the community. And if you're looking for organizations and events to help you connect with other "Wonder Women" in Tallahassee, we have that too as part of the Working Women's Web section. We hope that this issue teaches you, encourages you and inspires you to be a leader in your field and to make your own magic right where you are in our business community.

Until next time,

Kim Rosier Publisher

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CONTRIBUTORS

Dr. Michelle Mitcham, LMHC, NCC, CFM, a professor, life coach, author, psychotherapist and family mediator, founded Courageous Conversations, LLC. She has expertise in diversity, empowerment, vision boards, conflict resolution and family court matters. Dr. Mitcham regularly presents and speaks at regional, national and international conferences when not teaching at FAMU.

Michelle Nickens is a vice president at the Institute for Intergovernmental Research, a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee and Leadership Florida. She is also a local actor, blogger and author of the novel, Precious Little Secrets. Michelle is a longtime freelance writer for Tallahassee Woman Magazine, having penned numerous articles since 2006.

Dena H. Sokolow is a shareholder with the law firm of Baker Donelson in the Tallahassee office. Dena has more than two decades of experience counseling and defending employers and management on a wide range of labor and employment matters. She also conducts workplace training and audits and is a featured speaker on employment law topics across the country. Follow Dena on Twitter @FL_Employ_Law.

Linley Paske and Lauren Pasqualone are biz besties, social media enter“train”ers and the boss moms behind Working Like Mothers, the mother of all business-building networks for working moms. WLM offers opportunities for working mothers to come together to build relationships, build their businesses and build their business skills. Connect with others who are #workinglikemothers at workinglikemothers.com.

Colene Rogers is the President/CEO of Colene Rogers & Associates—A Leadership Training & HR Consulting Group. She is also a member of the John Maxwell Team as a certified speaker, trainer and coach and Senior Certified HR Professional (SHRM-SCP). Colene uses her 25 years of combined experience in sales and in human resources to work within organizations, training managers and supervisors to effectively lead through executive coaching and leadership training. For more information visit colenerogers.com.

WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017 11


TRENDS

business and entepreneurism

How to Work Like a Mother By Linley Paske and Lauren Pasqualone of the LP2 Boutique Agency

Working moms must wear a lot of hats, such as chef, janitor, chauffeur and courier, to name a few. How are we supposed to get it all done?

and big-picture planning, while you respond to e-mails and run errands when wearing your assistant hat.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé.” Do you know what else she has? She has assistants, chefs, housekeepers, personal trainers, nannies, a business manager and Jay Z behind her, so she can focus on using her talents to grow her brand.

Assign a frequency and time to each hat-tivity so you know exactly how often and how long you need to work on a task to keep your business running smoothly. Add your work schedule to your calendar so you know exactly how many hours you have every day, week and month to work on your business.

When you work for yourself or don’t have a big team, you fill each role in your business. Who is the CEO? You! Who is your assistant? You!

Using the frequencies and times you listed, assign specific business activities to the work periods you scheduled on your calendar, time blocking by each hat.

That’s why we use a time management method that works for working moms: ​have clear goals in place. They’ll become your priorities and guide how you spend your time.

Assign a weekly work focus to determine what you’ll accomplish during some of the work time that isn’t taken up by your nonnegotiable

Make a list of all the business activities that are on your plate right now. Identify the tasks that are part of routine business operations versus special projects that can be cleared from your plate once they’re done. Identify the hats you wear at work, such as CEO, assistant, sales manager and marketing director, then throw your routine activities into the appropriate hat. Your CEO “hat-tivities” may include setting goals  

hat-tivities each week. These are initiatives that you won’t work on routinely but are important to accomplish to get you closer to your goals. Make sure you haven’t committed every minute of your work time to a recurring activity or weekly focus. Leave space for new opportunities, when things don’t go as planned, a task takes longer than expected or you forgot about something. The key is not to spend more time working but to make the most of the time you have to work. For more working mom work-arounds for home and business, connect with others who are #workinglikemothers on Instagram and Facebook at @workinglikemothers.


MOST KIDS LOOK UP TO THEIR PARENTS, BUT MILLS’ STRENGTH MAKES ME LOOK UP TO HIM.

— CINDI ACKERMAN

mother of Mills, 18 years old

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2  tallahassee woman • june / july 2017


TRENDS

marketing

FEELING THE PULSE OF YOUR MARKET

With Online Surveys By Sydney Schaefer

Market research is a strategy most large-scale businesses use to keep in touch with the wants and needs of their clients. It can also be an invaluable tool for small to midsize business owners or nonprofits—one that many don’t take advantage of. Listening to the voices of your customers or donors will let them know that their opinions are a priority to you and will also help improve your business and mission. Fortunately, keeping up to date with market trends and your clients is easier than ever, thanks to online survey generators. Whether you’re interested in trying something new or just want to make sure what you’re currently doing is working, you don’t have to wonder what

the individuals in your market base are thinking. Bring them into the loop with online surveys. There are a number of benefits to conducting surveys. They can help you find out what your clientele likes and wants (e.g., “Which of these proposals would you like to see implemented?”), gauge customer satisfaction (e.g.,“How happy are you with the services we currently offer?”), and provide fieldspecific critiques, criticisms and suggestions for ways in which your business or organization could improve. Luckily, online surveys are easier than ever to set up, and with a little time and

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if you are tech-savvy, you’ll be more connected to your clientele than ever before. Most surveys follow a similar path: they help customize your survey, distribute it via e-mail and various social media channels, collect data and report the results. There are plenty of online survey generators to choose from depending on your preferences and desired price points. PCMag voted SurveyGizmo the best survey tool of 2016, for its usability on both the business and customer ends, but some other popular choices include SurveyMonkey, Typeform and Checkbox Survey.


“Going into our tenth year of business in Tallahassee, we have had the opportunity to use nearly every form of available media advertising. We pride ourselves in being professional and very customer and results oriented and choose to do business with like-minded entities. For these reasons, we choose to spend our hard earned dollars with Tallahassee Woman Magazine. We find them to be creative, responsive to our particular needs and most importantly effective in getting our word out to our clientele base as well as exposing us to untapped markets.“ - Lisa Mergel, Owner of Kanvas Beauty, advertiser since 2013 TM

Kanvas Beauty is just one of the many businesses that is part of the economic fiber of the community. At Tallahassee Woman, our goal is to help other businesses reach the community with information on their goods and services. We value our advertisers in supporting the women of Tallahassee. Call today to see how we can help you grow your business through effective advertising. tallahassee woman • june / july 2017 9 


TRENDS

online/technology

The Do’s and Don’ts of E-mail Sign-Offs By Sydney Schaefer

Oftentimes, the hardest part of crafting a business e-mail is figuring out the most appropriate way to end it. Striking a balance between sounding too casual and too formal can be difficult. It may sound like an overexaggeration, but the way you choose to sign off can make or break a business e-mail, and it may determine whether or not you get a response. Valedictions also have a practical function in that they ensure the recipient that your e-mail didn’t get cut short and was, in fact, sent in its entirety. NO SIGN-OFF Business experts generally agree that skipping the closing altogether is a tactic that should be used with caution. It can exhibit an “all business” attitude, but it can also come across as intimidating or even disrespectful. Taking the time to type a few extra characters can help prevent misinterpretation. No sign-off is acceptable in an e-mail chain, but it’s safer to include one when beginning a correspondence. “SINCERELY” OR “YOURS TRULY” It may come as a shock to many, but the oft-used “sincerely” and “yours truly” are widely considered outdated and overly formal in most situations. 16 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017

“THANK YOU” Avoid using “thank you” and all its variations when your e-mail entails a command or a request. The preemptive thank-you can seem presumptive and ungrateful. Use it when you are sincerely grateful for a favor that the recipient has done for you. “BEST” Business etiquette experts agree that “best” is, in fact, the best way to end an e-mail. It’s short without being curt and professional without being standoffish. When in doubt, “best” is the safest option to close an e-mail. Other variations such as “all the best,” “my best” or “best regards”are also universally appropriate.


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IN THE KNOW

The Value of a Women’s Initiative in the Workplace By Dena Sokolow

In the early years of my career, I would cringe when female colleagues would characterize and distinguish themselves based on gender. At the time, I firmly believed the “female” moniker created an unnecessary (and potentially harmful) division between the sexes. We were all there to do the same job. We had the same stresses, pressures and responsibilities. I never considered myself a “female attorney,” just “an attorney.” That is, until I became a mother. Then, the distinction of being a woman in a male-dominated profession (only 36 percent of attorneys are female) became a harsh reality. After the birth of my daughter and relocating back to Tallahassee, I reached out to the law firm where I had started my career 15 years previously and to my delight, they welcomed me back with open arms. But it was a new ballgame working full-time and being a single

mom. I was the only female attorney in the office and one of only two female partners in the entire firm. For the first time in my career, I felt like a “female attorney.” There was an unspoken divide between me and my male colleagues. They did not have to worry about whether there was food in the refrigerator, the school lunch was packed or the permission slip was signed. They didn’t have to make arrangements for child care when they went out of town for work. The divide was made even greater by the social connection the men shared. There were frequent “guy trips,” barbecue contests and cocktail hours after work. Although I was always invited, I wanted to go home to my child, not have drinks with the people with whom I had spent the entire day. My absence from these after-work festivities, however, meant that I often missed important work-

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related conversations. I was not a part of those conversations, and it created a rift between me and my firm that grew as the years passed. While my male colleagues were always accepting of my need to leave work for a sick child or a school activity, I would feel the pressure to make up the time and work late so there would be no resentments. I was exhausted and felt alone and isolated. My job was creating a huge tug-of-war in my life between work and parental commitments. I resigned myself to the belief that this was the life of a working mom. Until I decided to make a change. About 3 years ago, over lunch with a female colleague and friend, I first learned about Baker Donelson, a law firm based in Tennessee. My friend told me she was thinking about leaving her firm after 24 years and opening a Baker


office in Tallahassee. Although I was not actively looking to leave my firm, the more I heard about this law firm and its unique and flexible approach to work/ life integration, I made the decision to take the leap. This new position changed not only the way I practice law but my views on what a workplace could and should be for women. Baker uses the “female attorney” label not to divide, but as an acknowledgement that women often face unique challenges in the workplace and that it is important to address these issues if the firm wants to retain talented lawyers. Baker has a vibrant, active “Women’s Initiative” that is committed to creating an environment where female attorneys thrive. The firm provides 16 weeks of paid maternity/paternity leave with firm-assigned mentors to help make the transition out of and back to work easier and less stressful. Family and parental commitments are encouraged, and there is no official or unofficial “face

time” requirement that attorneys are expected to be present in the office solely for the sake of being there. Most companies, large and small, recognize the benefits of gender diversity in the workplace. Not just because it’s a laudable goal; it simply makes bottom-line business sense. Men and women offer different viewpoints, ideas and market insights. A gender-diverse workforce also allows companies to serve an increasingly diverse customer base. Studies show women account for two-thirds of the purchasing decisions in every household. Women’s initiatives help foster and promote gender diversity in the workplace. Companies simply cannot afford to ignore 50 percent of the potential workforce and expect to be competitive in the current economy. But such initiatives cannot be merely lip service. There must be commitment to meaningful action. Companies can

begin by making a candid assessment of their current position. What does your business look like in terms of gender diversity in leadership, new hires, compensation, advancement paths and separation data (i.e., at what point employees leave and why they leave)? How can you align your business objectives and the advancement of women? Are there institutional barriers to women’s advancement in your workplace? Does your organization have policies and practices in place that recognize the unique demands and issues of women, particularly working mothers? A successful women’s initiative is something that is embedded in the culture of the business. Being a working parent is difficult. I love my daughter, but I also love my career that I worked so hard to obtain. It’s a blessing that I have found a workplace that allows me to wear my “female attorney and mother” badge with pride.

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IN THE KNOW

A LEGACY

OF LEADERSHIP By Colene Rogers President of Colene Rogers & Associates

For 35 years, my dad coached Little League baseball and Pop Warner football in Groveland, Florida, the small town where I was raised. In the many practices and games that I attended since childhood, I watched and heard my dad coach and encourage his players in a manner that motivated them to be better. He consistently made a practice of recognizing the achievements and contributions of each player, for all their teammates to hear.

We all have influence—therefore, we are all leaders creating our own personal legacy. John Maxwell, a recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach and author says, “Without leadership ability, a person’s impact is only a fraction of what it could be with good leadership. The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be.”

Now, when I am home visiting my dad and we are at Cracker Barrel, his favorite restaurant, inevitably a past player or parent will come up to my dad and hug and thank him for the influence that he had in their lives. After years of pouring into others, my dad is now blessed by the legacy he created.

More than ever before, we as women have opportunities to lead, and we are pursuing these positions of leadership within organizations, churches, corporations and government, while still leading at home. We’ve all heard the expression “a born leader” when describing a person. In some cases, this expression is true, but

20 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017

even born leaders require learning and development. We just do not come out of the womb ready to lead. Leaders make organizations better or worse for the people who follow them. We have all seen the results of great leadership and its ability to turn an organization around. Conversely, many of us have experienced the negative consequences of poor leadership. The number one reason employees leave an organization is because of the supervisor. People quit because of people who devalue them, who are untrustworthy and insecure and do not recognize and appreciate them. But I have good news— leadership is a learnable skill and can be practiced and refined.


Management is the process of setting, implementing and achieving objectives. Leadership, on the other hand, is vision casting and equipping, motivating and helping people get where they want to go. Author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar summed it up nicely when he said, “You can have what you want if you will help enough other people get what they want.”

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Here are a few things we can do to lift our leadership game. First, make understanding people a priority. Ask the people you lead where they came from, where they want to go, and how you can help them get there. Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Second, guard your integrity. Ask yourself: Do I put other people ahead of my own personal agenda? When I have something to say to people, do I talk to them or about them? It has been said that integrity is the quality most needed to succeed in business. And third, everyone desires appreciation and recognition, so give it to them! To describe how powerful this desire is, I regularly facilitate leadership training within organizations and companies with an interactive tool that inspires dialogue. One thing we do within the training is an exercise in which participants are asked to share a leadership skill they most admire about each of their colleagues.Without fail, this exercise is transformative, removing walls and barriers. How good it is to receive recognition and appreciation from our peers!

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IN THE KNOW

The Power of Abundance Philosophy:

Cultivating Possibilities in the Workplace By Dr. Michelle A. Mitcham, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, CFM

W

hy is a business or personal philosophy so important? Are you living your philosophy and walking the talk? Well, as you know, the way we think—our philosophy of life and the world—guides our actions, motivations, beliefs, business plans, workplace productivity, interpersonal relationships, service and even our hearts. How can an individual or a business increase the bottom line? The current organizational leadership research commonly focuses on the triple bottom line, the more comprehensive, abundance-philosophy term, to include people, profit and the planet. There are a plethora of resources available once the mind-set or paradigm shift is focused on abundance. Conversely, scarcity philosophy focuses on what is missing, what we don’t have or what the business is lacking— comparing ourselves and businesses to others, focusing on deficits and limitations. The philosophy of scarcity will paralyze a business, an individual or a relationship. Expanding our thinking and removing limits, barriers and unreasonable expectations are great first steps to embracing the philosophy of the abundance thinker and taking things to the next positive level.

U – Unconditional positive regard for others—employees, colleagues, family and business partners. Exemplifying unconditional positive regard for our team members and associates communicates care and respect. This professional disposition and attitude contribute to an atmosphere conducive to possibility and embracing new ideas.

An abundance thinker focuses on possibilities, faith and optimism, while the scarcity thinker focuses on limitations and pessimism. The following quote captures the focus of the philosophy of abundance and the message of this article:

A – Assert yourself and your ideas. Always use your voice. It takes effective communication and courageous conversations. Develop a philosophy of abundance. The difficult dialogue will occur when you decide to change your way of doing or being in any situation. Others may be uncomfortable, but your display of assertiveness in a positive way may very well lead and pave the way for others to walk the talk and be more assertive.

“Plant the seeds of abundance and water the garden of your mind.”

–Tavia Rahki Smith, BS, MS, MS, RYT

Strategies for Cultivating Abundance T hinking and Possibilities: A – Adapt to change and be open to possibilities. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut, a regimented or strict way of doing things. Not being adaptable contributes to limiting the possibilities in our lives and businesses. Talk to a friend, colleague or personal coach to develop strategies for trying new ways of doing things. B – Be a visionary and dream beyond limits. See the possibilities and know that dreaming doesn’t cost a penny and that you should never be afraid to dream. Sometimes we surround ourselves with scarcity-mind-set people who cannot see our dreams; be careful of this.

N – Never be overly attached to one idea. Use the creative brainstorming strategy of SCAMPER to think outside of the box for abundant possibilities. To SCAMPER an idea means to Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to other uses, Eliminate or Reverse the idea. This tool opens up possibility thinking. D – Develop yourself and others. Investing in yourself is critical to your success, retooling, both personally and professionally. Professional and personal development renews our thinking, ideas, self-awareness, goals, motivation, talent, skill sets, relationships and communication skills. Investing in your talent development, as well as others, increases the possibilities for success.

N – Negotiate. Do you look at what’s in the best interest of the team, the business, the family or the relationship? Practicing interest-based negotiation empowers all to focus on win-win outcomes for everyone. Looking at all perspectives opens and expands the possibilities. True interest-based negotiation does not allow for anyone to be stuck in their position. C – Collaborate and communicate. Working with others and recognizing their talents and contributions are key to any successful personal or professional relationship. Authentic communication and collaboration contribute to innovative ideas and a new vision. E – Expand your thinking, circle of influence, activities, mindfulness, vision and operational definitions regarding expectations and possibilities. Expand your heart and mind to welcome all the blessings of the philosophy of abundance.

22 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017


 


IN THE KNOW

Tips for Handling a Toxic Coworker By Janecia Britt

A

t least once in their career, everyone experiences working with a toxic person. There are many types of uncomfortable work relationships, but there are a few types of behavior that can send up immediate red flags. Beware of the colleague who talks badly about other people or the person who complains nonstop. The person who needs to be given credit for every little thing—or shuts you out of meetings—can also be a negative sign. You may catch yourself constantly complaining to your friends or spouse about that person. If thinking or talking about a hostile work relationship bleeds into your post-work life for a long period, it’s time to start taking steps to solve the problem. The best first step is acknowledging that this is going on and that it is negatively affecting both your work and personal life. Then, maybe run it by a friend that you admire. Just say, “I just want to talk this through with you out loud, to make sure it’s them and not me.” In this process, self-awareness will be important: you don’t know what the person is going through. Recognizing that other people are fighting their own battles in life and it’s not always about you is one great step toward achieving peace of mind about a situation. However, don’t forget to check yourself as well. We don’t often think that we may be contributing to our own toxic work environments. Heidi Grant Halvorson, a senior scientist at the Neuroleadership Institute, wrote in the Harvard Business Review that this is because there is “remarkably little overlap between how other people see us and how we think we’re coming across.” If you’re sensing conflict, try to put yourself in a colleague’s shoes. Think about how you’re coming across. Clear communication is important when it comes to relating to others too. “Remember that people don’t have access to your

secret thoughts and feelings,” Dr. Halvorson wrote. “You have to make them apparent. So make that effort to show you are on their side.” If the conflict is longlasting, there are several ways to cope. You can try calmly confronting your colleague by addressing the issue and asking him or her how to work together to fix it. If this doesn’t work, distancing yourself is not a bad idea. If it’s a legitimate human resources issue, like harassment or abuse, document and keep a history of the problems and then file a complaint. Don’t allow it to become personal. A complaint about inappropriate behavior in the workplace should not become a laundry list of every nasty thing the person has ever done to you. Keep it succinct and professional—be clear about which workplace rules he or she is breaking and how it affects the workplace as a whole. Another powerful tactic is to take the high road when you’re confronted with negativity. You might even compliment the colleague who tries to undermine you. We can turn it around when somebody seems to be envying us or putting us down. Somehow, highlighting another person’s accomplishments can alleviate a problem. Look inward as well. Take note when you’re thinking and telling yourself negative things, which just might echo the things a toxic person has told you before. Reframe and challenge these negative thoughts with positive viewpoints. Ultimately, one of the most powerful ways to counter a toxic coworker is to surround yourself with positive people who lift you up and give you healthy energy instead. Make a conscious decision to spend more time with the fun, happy, constructive people in your workplace. Uplifting people are a great counterbalance to toxicity.

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FEATURE

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MARY PHIPPS

A Woman Who Means “Bees”ness By Maria Elena Margarella

Walking into Orchard Pond Organics, you can’t help but feel welcomed. Owner Mary Phipps shakes your hand with a smile that tells you she’s both a leader and a friend. As her sidekick pup Milly dollies around your ankles, you know you’re experiencing business from the heart—natural and raw.


FEATURE In fact, raw is actually a rather profitable strength for Orchard Pond Organics (OPO). Its raw products, particularly honey, have been gaining considerable attention lately. Earlier this year, Publix reached out in cooperation with a new local food program—on the day TWM explored OPO, shipments of honey (and honey-infused granola!) were being readied for distribution to 342 Publix stores across Florida—that’s right, the entire state—and every Whole Foods. Before the national names nabbed the honey nest, though, OPO was already tucked away in local Tally favorites, such as Sage, Cypress and Liberty Bar, and even enjoyed in some eateries in Georgia and Alabama as well. From your backyard to statewide, the sweet news of OPO’s products has spread quickly from Mary’s original visions of sunny farm fields.

How the Honey Came to Bee

Growing up in Thomasville, Georgia, Mary learned to treat business like family by helping out at her dad’s restaurant, “George and Louie’s.” When she and her husband, Jeff Phipps, started their own family in Tallahassee about 8 years ago, they saw this land as more than just a business opportunity. “Well, it’s bigger than just Orchard Pond Plantation,” Mary says. “We want to make sure we’re doing our part to make good use of the land— wildlife crossings, keeping trees up, bike paths, nature paths—it’s the bigger picture. It brings people back and makes them want to stay.” Indeed, with such an interactive community, the Pond is never empty. Families can rent out plots of land and grow their own organic food right next to OPO’s own fields. And on special “You-Pick” days, people can come out and—you guessed it—pick crops. The tillage-to-table philosophy is the farm’s foundation; with organic products and

sustainable practices, every product contributes to a healthier community. Feeding the family right from the ground is quite a plus too, she admits. “It’s nice having them growing up eating [organic] food,” Mary says of her daughters Kennedy, 9, and Sophia, 5. “They really like what we’re doing out here—they’re proud of it, and that’s a good feeling.”

“We had no idea what we were doing when we started. It’s all been a big learning curve. You learn a lot just by doing things the hard way and trying them for the first time.”

But it wasn’t all good graces in the beginning, she admits. “We had no idea what we were doing when we started. It’s all been a big learning curve. You learn a lot just by doing things the hard way and trying them for the first time.” And that’s exactly how their honeysweet story starts. Since OPO’s beginning, family friend and second-generation beekeeper Tommy Duggar would bring his bees to Orchard Pond every year on the clock. Tommy’s mother always bottled the honey for Christmas presents until one day Tommy asked Mary to collaborate on the honeycomb. The two built a quaint kitchen, and business blossomed from there.

How the Queen Bee Does Business

To help biz bloom, Mary makes sure the Pond isn’t just a place to punch in and out. Rather, it’s a community of people who share common passions for nature, conservation and organic agriculture. “I think that’s the key to [managing it all]—having good people with great attitudes who enjoy doing what they’re doing,” she says. “And because they enjoy doing it, they don’t mind the hard work.” The farm still uses the original kitchen. But that cramped little cooker cranks out all of OPO’s honey, even when the clients are Publix and Whole Foods.

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FEATURE

So What’s All the Buzz About?

The modest facilities poetically reflect Mary’s own modesty—when we ask her who worked out the big Publix deal, she chuckles softly, “Um, me.”

“It’s raw, unfiltered— and local!” Mary says, proudly beaming. There’s that word again—raw. When it comes to honey, just remember that silly middle-school expression: mind your beeswax, kid. No, really—raw, unfiltered honey has pollen and beeswax that helps your body fight off allergies. Store-bought honey looks crystal-clear because it’s both filtered and heated for aesthetic purposes. The heating process, however, removes natural properties that make the sweet stuff good for you. OPO doesn’t heat its honey above 90 degrees, so your little teddy bear bottles are ready to tackle that pesky cold. (Sweet tip: Take a spoonful once a day to gradually boost your immune system.)

The big deals aren’t what drive this Queen Bee, though. “You’re not doing it for yourself,” she affirms. “It’s just a great feeling to be able to contribute to helping people eat healthy food and have access to it.” And through your friendly neighborhood Publix, she hopes to do just that, starting with what’s happenin’ in the hives.

And the honey flavors themselves are nothing to sneeze at. In addition to “raw” and “unfiltered,” add three names to your growing list of buzzwords: Tupelo, Gallberry and Wildflower. Each flavor differs in color, taste and seasonal availability, depending on where the bees collect their pollen. Wildflower is available year-round because it

“It’s just a great feeling to be able to contribute to helping people eat healthy food and have access to it.”

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contains such a diverse mixture of pollen from different plants around the property; this flavor is also your goto allergy fighter because the diversity adds to its immune-building power. To harvest Wildflower, OPO has its own apiary but still collaborates with other honeycomb curators as well. In order to harvest Tupelo and Gallberry, however, Mary works with beekeepers around the Apalachicola River, where such pollen is more prevalent. Those beekeepers then bring their bees to Orchard Pond for part of the year, just like Tommy did.

SWEET TIP:

Take a spoonful once a day to gradually boost your immune system.


From Hive to Honey Pot

Dressing up in the typical white suits—because many of the honeybee’s enemies are dark-colored—Operations Manager John Raney, who oversees OPO’s apiary, must calm the busy bees with smoke and then work together with Mary to bring the harvested honey to the fresh market every Saturday at Market Square on Timberlane Road. Now with Publix joining the swarm, Orchard Pond is abuzz with excitement for the future. John calls the bees his “babies,” and Mary can’t stop smiling about the possibility of expanding (with products and a bigger kitchen!). But even in the face of that golden nectar, Mary reminds us there still exists the risk of being stung. She leaves us, smiling still, with a bit of beekeeping wisdom to pass along to all businesswomen: in order to reap the sweet reward, “You gotta fight the urge to run.” For more information visit online at orchardpondorganics.com.


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The Women Behind Miracle Village By Janecia Britt

T

o say that Miracle Village, an independent senior-living apartment complex, is nothing short of a miracle is an understatement. Everything from the decorations to the pride the tenants take in their rooms shows any visitor that this place is not just a home for the people who live there but for those who work there as well. Miracle Village Independent Living, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation created for the purpose of providing affordable housing for seniors ages 62 and older. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided the Florida State Primitive Baptist Convention, Inc., with a grant to build the Dr. Edward Buckner Miracle Village Complex. The facility is a 44-unit housing complex built to provide spacious onebedroom apartments to seniors in need of housing and able to meet the HUD eligibility guidelines for a subsidy. But the women of Miracle Village are what make the place special. Dee Rush and other women of varied backgrounds, most of whom are the wives of local pastors, run Miracle Village. They have helped provide their residents with an on-site laundry facility, a security intercom system in each apartment, security cameras internal and external to the facility, an emergency call system, on-site 24-hour maintenance and monitoring, a community room, social events, varying workshops and seminars, health screenings, exercise classes, weekly church services and even a Village Choir. More than all of those additives, the women of Miracle Village provide a sense of love, community and family that you just don’t find often. The facility is run by Earthale’ Vickers, 34 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017

Residential Housing Manager; Margaret Collins, Service Coordinator; and Patrece Broadenax, Administrative Assistant. The Florida State Primitive Baptist Educational Foundation Management Company is run by Dee Rush, Management Agent and Beverly Jefferson, Assistant Agent, all of whom really believe in the love and the message that “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.” Dee says, “There is not one thing we’ve asked for that God hasn’t supplied. We’ve taken in tenants with no family and who are homeless. Our staff has brought in beds, dressers, food, television, phones and other household items to help them get established, and local churches helped out as well. It’s a heart thing, not a job. There’s just a difference when your heart is in it. We try to make the facility feel like one home with many rooms.” Earthale’ believes that “now is the time for our seniors to live life at its best.” It’s the women who make the facility such an amazing place to live for these tenants. “We all work as a team not just as a staff, but it’s the tenants who make the community work,” says Dee. The tenants help raise money for the facility, and the staff put on events such as Christmas parties, bingo and teaching how to give back to their community by collecting money or giving gift bags to their local police officers. With the upcoming tenth anniversary, the love of Miracle Village will be even more on display. They will be hosting a gala to celebrate their ten years of success. The banquet will be held on March 17, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. at the West Enrichments Center. For more information, visit their website at miraclevillageinc.org.


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STEM

Codecraft Works Provides STEM-Powered Learning for Girls Contributed by Shannon Landin and Meagan Bonnell

In our ever-changing Digital Age, there’s one thing that has remained the same: tech teams are still seriously low on girl power. The stats say it all—ladies are being left behind. Although tech jobs are growing steadily, the number of females filling those positions continues to fall. According to Girls Who Code (girlswhocode.com), the gender gap has only gotten worse. In 1984, 37 percent of all computer science graduates were

women; today, that statistic has sunk to 18 percent. And while the year 2020 expects to offer up 1.4 million jobs in computing-related fields, women are anticipated to nab only 3 percent of them. Codecraft Works was founded by Shannon Landin in 2011, and is built on the foundation that every child should have the opportunity to learn computer programming in a fun, supportive and interactive environment. But we are particularly passionate about

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fueling up on girl power. And we think it’s time to change the tech trends. By providing young girls with educational access to STEM-powered programs, we hope to empower them to become future tech entrepreneurs while offering the tools to express their creativity, individuality and problemsolving skills. In order to reduce the gender gap, we must work to increase awareness of the diverse professions available through computer science


education. Thus, awareness will rise alongside the girls’ confidence, and we’ll begin to see real change. Opportunities will open, as the gap begins to close. But how? At Codecraft Works, we believe that throughout the entire K–12 education life cycle, all students should be given the opportunity to develop computer science knowledge and harness the power of computational thinking. By doing so, they will learn and practice modern approaches to problem solving. Applying computer science as a tool for learning and expression will increase access and opportunity in a world that is already heavily influenced by technology. We need to empower young women more than ever. Codecraft projects and curricula allow students to grow, question and solve for today. In Tallahassee, at the seat of the state government with our universities and growing entrepreneurship and tech innovation scene, female encouragement is a must. Getting our girls involved in computer programming will be a crucial part of our city’s continually growing tech ecosystem. As we grow in Tallahassee, Codecraft is actively working to establish after-school clubs and summer camps. We are also always looking for advisors, volunteers and guest speakers—especially women—to inspire our young coders. By developing relationships with young women and sharing our firsthand experience as women, we will make a lasting impact and help to make the tech industry more inclusive. This is not a question for tomorrow. This is a question for right now. We owe it to our girls and our communities to make it a priority in their daily education. Shannon Landin is the founder and CEO of Codecraft Works. Meagan Bonnell is the Leon County Director of Codecraft Works. For more information, visit codecraftworks.com.

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JILL OF ALL TRADES

for every businesswoman

Seven Lessons That Will Change Your Life By Michelle Nickens

In 2013, Tallahassee single mom and full-time professional Jenny Cherry decided to enter the wild to help her overcome some personal challenges and enhance her life. Jenny participated in the Bare Bones course in Ocala, Florida, offered by Bryon Kerns Survival. She explained how she learned seven skills— true-life lessons—in her wilderness survival training that can be incorporated every day in how we live and approach life. In order of importance, the seven life lessons include: 1. Positive Mental Attitude—Effectively respond to stress and fear. “I often tell my daughter,” Jenny explained, “that you can’t be brave if you are not afraid. Fear is the question, and courage is the answer. Finding our courage is much easier if we have clearly defined values and a personal mission statement. My

faith is the foundation for my response to whatever life brings.” 2. First Aid—Triage pain and injuries. “It is inevitable if we are pursuing a life worth living that we are going to get hurt. We can’t give away what we don’t have. Women often put themselves last as a sacrifice for their families and careers. Until we take a self-care inventory and create an action plan to maintain our mental, physical and spiritual fitness, we will continually find ourselves depleted and exhausted. It is here that we often make costly and detrimental decisions.” 3. Shelter—Maintaining consistent core temperature. “Keeping our personal spaces organized, simplified and well maintained will stabilize us to handle the many demands placed on us daily.”

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4. Fire—In the wilderness, fire provides light, warmth and protection; dries clothes; purifies water; signals for help; and cooks food. “Our personal fire affects all areas of our life. Don’t allow anything or anyone to put your fire out. Working toward a goal that benefits multiple areas of our life compels us to stay engaged. What ignites you will inspire you during difficult times.” 5. Signaling—Signal for help.“Women are uniquely designed to overcome hardships, but we were not designed to do it alone. Create a support system of likeminded people who will walk with you and point you back to your core values.” 6. Water—On average, people can survive without water for three days. “Avoid dehydration by finding a life source outside yourself. For me, this is


God,” Jenny explained. “When I try to operate out of my own resources or try to drain another person of theirs, I fail. When I tap into the source of my life every day, I can accomplish more than I thought possible.” 7. Food—People can live an average of three weeks without food. Food is last in the order of survival priorities. “In our culture, food is often the first choice when coping with life’s challenges. Eating for energy empowers our body and our mind. Consider eating food in order to fuel your body to accomplish your goals. Eat clean food and less of it.” Whether trying to survive in the wild or enhance your life, these seven skills offer a strong foundation for moving forward. Be positive. Take care of yourself. Embrace and ask for help. Don’t let your fire burn out. You can change your life—one lesson at a time. Need a speaker for your next women’s group? Contact Jenny at JennyCherry2017@gmail.com.

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WORKING WOMEN’S WEB

Because every working woman needs connections, the Working Women’s Web (WWW) will provide a network of opportunities, insights, groups and events to help you link up and branch out in your professional space and beyond. Browse here or online at our website, talwoman.com. E-mail us at wwmb@talwoman.com to add your own group, event or working Women to Watch submission.

Working Women to Watch Spotlight Organization Highlights Get Connected Biz Scene

talwoman.com 40 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017


WORKING W O M EN Shelia Salyer, Director of Tallahassee Senior Services, recently received the Jay K. Morgan Award from the Florida Association of Senior Centers for her more than 20 years of service. The Jay K. Morgan Award is presented each year to an outstanding professional dedicated to seniors and issues impacting them. Sheila became the director of Senior Services in 1996. Under her leadership, the program has grown to include the participation of 15,000 seniors and nearly 200 programs operating out of the Tallahassee Senior Center. Hillary Haythorn has been named Trust Officer at Capital City Trust Company. She began working with Capital City Trust Company in 2010 and has a total of 12 years of banking experience with Capital City Bank. Hillary has a business degree in finance from Florida International University and is a current member of the Florida Bankers Association Trust and Wealth Management School. She has served on the board of 621 Gallery and Southside Kiwanis and is currently serving on the board for the Office of the Public Guardian. Hillary also enjoys volunteering for the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Project and Elder Care Services. Lori Sumner was recently appointed to the position of Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Capital Regional Medical Center. Lori brings 24 years of experience to this role, having previously served as a staff nurse, a clinical educator, a nursing director and health system standards and quality program manager. Lori received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Nova Southeastern University and her master’s degree in nursing from Walden University.

ATCH W TO Niki McKinnell recently celebrated her one-year anniversary as Vice President of Public Affairs for the Florida Ports Council (FPC), a nonprofit corporation and the professional association for Florida’s 15 public seaports and their management. Niki brings more than a decade of communications and public affairs experience to the FPC. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida. Summer Calenberg, a New York City native and 2017 graduate of the master’s in business program at FSU, recently opened her new business Drip Drop Fitness. Through offering dance cardio fitness classes, Summer strives to connect with and reach the women of Tallahassee, creating a motivated community. Through the business, her goal is to offer an energetic and encouraging atmosphere and a fun take on working out. She wants to change the conversation about fitness—that working out should not be something to dread, but something to look forward to. Jana McConnaughhay has recently been named as a member of Capital City Bank’s Leon County community Board of Directors. Jana is Board Certified in Elder Law and is managing partner at Waldoch and McConnaughhay, P.A. She is an active community volunteer and currently serves on the boards of Community Foundation of North Florida, the Leon High School Foundation and the Stacey Webb Arts Foundation. Jana also cochairs for the Sweet Dreams Ministry, an organization through Killearn United Methodist Church, that is dedicated to providing beds and bedding for children in the foster care system.

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WORKING W O M EN Dr. Asha Fields Brewer has recently published her first book, Eat, Drink, Do: 3 Basic Principles for Health by the Bible. This book addresses wellness through the lenses of faith, Scripture and practical application. Erica Co Kane has opened a bookstore in Tallahassee called Book Teas, whose inventory consists of independent-author books that are self-published or small publishing house authors. Erica is a Florida A&M alumnus and has been a published author since 2015. She initiated her publishing company, Co Kane Publications, in July 2015. Some of the services provided are consignment for authors, editing, proofreading, beta reading, ghostwriting, marketing content writing, business writing and hosting book signings. She also provides mentorship for aspiring authors as well. Wendi Cannon was recently promoted to Director of Information Technology (IT) at the FSU College of Medicine. She provides leadership and direction for the Office of Information Technology and the staff. Wendi started at the college in 2003 shortly after its founding and has served in various IT roles in the past 13 years. She is involved in several community organizations, including Betton Hills PTO, Florida Young Professionals Alzheimer’s Committee and chair of TalTech Alliance.

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ATCH W TO Stephanie Derzypolski has been named Vice President/Chief Communications Officer at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH). In her new role, Stephanie is responsible for the oversight of all marketing and communications for TMH. Stephanie has been involved in community organizations including the United Way and the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Stephanie has also served on the board at ECHO and is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee, Class 25. Liz Miller, an Ameris Bank mortgage banker, was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors as the Affiliate Director for the Tallahassee Board of Realtors in 2017. Liz is a community leader actively involved in several civic and nonprofit organizations. Her current involvement includes Tallahassee Mortgage Bankers Association, Tallahassee Junior League, Boys Town of North Florida, United Way of the Big Bend and Visit Tallahassee. Karen B. Moore, Founder and CEO of Moore Communications Group (MCG), was recently honored as Communications Partner of the Year by the Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Additionally, Karen was recently inducted into the TCC Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame for her philanthropic work throughout the years as a community leader.


Samantha Loebig has joined the team at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce as Marketing Coordinator. Samantha will facilitate all of the publications, media relations and social media on behalf of the Tallahassee Chamber and its affiliates, which include Leadership Tallahassee, Youth Leadership Tallahassee and World Class Schools. Samantha graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in information, communication and technology. strategic plan. Sarah earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of West Florida. Caitlin Yancey has joined Capital City Bank’s team of mortgage bankers. Caitlin brings 11 years of experience in lending and real estate, as well as extensive market knowledge acquired over many years of living and working in the local community. She began her career in residential lending in 2004. Danielle Buchanan was recently appointed Director of Program Development for Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH). In her new role, Danielle will work closely with leadership to guide the communications strategy of the public relations office and manage the team of marketing and public relations professionals. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Capital Area American Red Cross and is part of Leadership Tallahassee, Class 34.

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M I L E S T O N E S Florida Impact President and CEO Debra Susie, Ph.D., has retired after 30 years of dedicated service toward reducing hunger and poverty in communities across the state. Under her direction, the nonprofit provided strategic program outreach and technical assistance to communitybased nonprofits that serve at-risk children. Her passionate leadership helped connect hundreds of thousands of kids facing hunger to the nutritious meals they need throughout the day to live healthy, productive lives and ultimately become contributing adult members of society. During her years of service, Debra led groundbreaking initiatives that helped establish, transform or improve school breakfast, after-school meals and summer food service programs. For example, Debra used a private grant to rebrand and launch innovative marketing strategies for the Federal Summer Food Service Program, now known statewide as “Summer BreakSpot”—a program that provides free, nutritious meals to kids and teens during summer break. Now under the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, more than 40 percent more meals are served at 3,800 Summer BreakSpot locations statewide.

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Although retired, Debra will continue to serve as advocate for children and families. Before stepping down, she was an advisor to new Florida Impact CEO Trudy Novicki. Dorothy Binger, or “Ms. Dot,” was recently awarded the Volunteer Florida Champion of Service award by Governor Rick Scott. Dorothy, a retired educator and staunch child advocate, has been a Guardian ad Litem volunteer for over 27 years. As a Guardian ad Litem, she has advocated for over 60 abused or neglected children, helping them receive the services they need and find a permanent, safe home. Dorothy is also involved with other organizations throughout Tallahassee, including Tallahassee Community College, which has a scholarship in her name.

Submit your announcement for the WWMB Working Women to Watch to listings@talwoman.com.

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WORKING WOMENS WEB

spotlight

SPOTLIGHT

By Janecia Britt

Gwen Marshall was born in Fort Pierce, Florida, to Louise and David Marshall as the third of four children. She received her bachelor of science in criminology from Florida State University. Gwen’s career began at the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers (FCCC) as a receptionist, and then she became an administrative assistant in the newly formed child support department of the FCCC. She worked at FCCC for 17 years in several different positions, which gave her invaluable experience in dealing with local and state government. In her last position as the member services manager, Gwen’s primary responsibility was to develop, implement and manage the educationtraining program for the 68 elected Clerks of Court and Comptrollers throughout Florida.

Gwen then ran for the office of the Leon County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller and won, making her not only the first woman to hold the position, but also the first African-American woman to hold the position. She is humbled and grateful for this experience and says, “This is my first time ever serving as a public official, and the campaigning experience has opened my eyes to the urgent need for advocacy for the undeserved and underrepresented in my community dealing with other issues besides the criminal justice system.” As the Clerk of the Circuit and County Court, she is responsible for aiding and promoting the judicial process. The County Comptroller's responsibilities include roles of Comptroller and Treasurer, Ex-Officio to the Board of County Commissioners, County Recorder, County Auditor and Inspector General. In her spare time, Gwen is a member of the Leon County Black Democratic Caucus and serves as a nursery attendant at her place of worship.

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THE ECONOMIC CLUB OF FLORIDA

WORKING WOMENS WEB

organizations

By Sydney Schaefer

The Economic Club of Florida is a consortium of like-minded professionals in the Tallahassee area. It is recognized as one of the South’s most dynamic forums for distinguished speakers on today’s important issues. The club’s mission is to serve as a nonpartisan platform for subject-matter experts to share their expertise on relevant economic, political and social issues. “If you want to see some strong women in action, [this] is the place to be,” says current Membership Chair Daria Ibach. Members include current and former governmental and educational leaders, business owners, CEOs of notable private and nonprivate companies and organizations, political strategists and the business-savvy. The club is beneficial for well-established professionals as well as up-andcomers looking to dip their toes into the professional pond for the first time. According to Daria, the Board of Directors recently approved an executive membership—a new profile for those under 35 years old. The Economic Club prides itself on hosting prominent guests from all over the world to speak on meaningful topics. Past speakers have included national and international public figures, presidential candidates, diplomats and business and finance experts at the top of their fields. Current member and former high school economics teacher Patricia Cheavers had this to say about her experience with the club: “I thoroughly enjoy my membership in the Economic Club of Florida. My membership provides me an opportunity to ‘rub elbows’ with key educational, political, business and other local community leaders. Participation in our monthly luncheon forums gives me a chance to hear national and international distinguished speakers on the issues of the day. It’s awesome and amazingly fascinating who I personally network with at these forums. I look forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary.” For more information on how to become a part of this wellestablished community of political and business professionals, visit online at economic-club.com.  


WORKING WOMENS WEB

community

MOVING US FORWARD: WOMEN’S TRANSPORTATION SEMINAR By Alexandra Pushkin

In 1977, a group of dedicated individuals sought to better the future of the transportation field and the women who help drive it forward. That group of individuals soon became the founders of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS). Since then, the organization has grown internationally to over 6,500 women and men dedicated to the professional development and recognition of women in the transportation field. With the organization itself having become so widespread, the programs and opportunities it provides reside right at home with the local chapters. In an effort to bring these local efforts to Florida’s capital area, Anita Vandervalk-Ostrander and Sheri Coven founded the local chapter. “There are WTS Chapters in south, central and northeast Florida,” Anita says.

“We really saw a demand for a group to promote women in transportation fields here in our capital city, given our strong state government presence [and] plenty of consultants and contractors.” The abundance of college students gives rise to the notion of student chapters, following in the footsteps of other Florida schools. “That’s why we felt it all the more important to start a chapter in Florida’s capital area,” Sheri says. “It was an area of the state that wasn’t being served by this worthwhile organization.” With the goal of providing leadership in global transportation, it is only fitting that the chapter’s annual theme centered on leadership. Upcoming events, according to Anita, include “a book club featuring Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom, an Emerging Professional Program where we will encourage young women to be mentored, monthly networking lunches [on the] first Friday of every month and quarterly speakers over lunch.” These events will culminate in their end-of-year event featuring a holiday dinner with awards and a keynote speaker. For more information visit wtsinternational.org/Florida_Capital_Area.

LOCAL CELEBRITY CHEF, SHACAFRICA SIMMONS, A.K.A. “CHEF SHAC,” IS GOING PRIME TIME

Tune in to Food Network on June 6 at 10 p.m. on your local cable channel, or on foodnetwork.com/shows/chopped to watch Chef Shac compete in Food Network’s popular culinary show, Chopped. Also participate in the virtual viewing party from 9 p.m.midnight via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Ask Chef Shac a question or just chat with her during the show. Read Chef Shac’s post-interview with TWM in the August-September issue.

“My main goal is to encourage those with a dream to keep pushing forward. I went on Chopped for more than just me... I went for my children, for women who look like me, I went for Tallahassee.” 48 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017


GROUPS ORGANIZATIONS NETWORKING

GET CONNECTED Business and Professional Women (BPW) BPW aims to elevate the standards for working women in business and in local and state government while bringing out the spirit of cooperation among business and professional women. It also aims to promote the interests of business and professional women, including those in the private sector as well as those in local or state government, and to extend opportunities to business and professional women through education along lines of industrial, scientific and vocational activities. To join or learn more about BPW Tallahassee, visit bpwtallahassee.com. Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) COCA is a nonprofit organization that serves as the facilitator and voice for the arts and cultural industry in Florida’s capital area. COCA works with and for those who produce, invest in and consume the arts and culture in the area. COCA works hand in hand with the city, county, state and local school district as its cultural industry partners. Members are provided with listings and e-mails of weekly events and opportunities and reduced rates for COCA events. Advertisement and meeting space at low prices are also offered to members. To learn more about COCA, visit cocanet.org. Leads Groups Leads Groups are composed of local business people who believe that they can be more successful together than on their own. Through Leads, members share best practices and referrals and encourage each other’s common experiences. Each

group builds a network of trust and confidence that helps its members thrive. Each group is limited to one member from each business category. To check for openings, call (850) 521-3118. Professional Women’s Forum Professional Women’s Forum works alongside the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce to provide an informal and interactive lunchtime program that features leaders from the Tallahassee community. The program extends beyond the biographies of the leaders to provide attendees with tools, strategies and takeaways for their own success. To join or learn more about the Professional Women’s Forum, visit talchamber.com. Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals (NYP) Tallahassee NYP introduces young people to the “more vibrant side of Tallahassee.” It fosters personal and professional growth by connecting members through activities while offering career-enhancing opportunities. NYP offer members the opportunity to network in various settings and opens the door for long-lasting connections to be made. To join or learn more about NYP, visit tallahasseenyp.com. Toastmasters International Members who participate in Toastmasters improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending meetings at one of its meeting locations around town. To find meeting location and to learn more, visit toastmasters.org.

Women’s Prosperity Network (WPN) WPN was founded to create a new type of networking for women. With the use of online and offline resources, paired with WPN’s signature formula, “Brilliance, Brainstorming and Breakthroughs,” women come together with a commitment to excellence and sharing their gifts and talents. To join or learn more about WPN, visit womensprosperitynetwork.com. Women Who Mean Business (WWMB) Community The WWMB Community was created by Tallahassee Woman Magazine for inspiring businesswomen in the Tallahassee area for networking, information and other valuable resources to engage in the community. Activities include networking and educational opportunities, events, online information, newsletters, social media updates and more. There is no fee to become a general member. To register as a member and for additional information, visit the Women Who Mean Business Community online at the website talwoman.com/ Women Who Mean Business. Working Women Wednesdays at Domi Station is a gathering of a small group of entrepreneurial women who are taking advantage of the collaborative, tech-driven, coworking community at Domi Station on Railroad Avenue. Join in each Wednesday from 1-4 p.m., with a 2 p.m. speaker’s break when a woman leader and/or entrepreneur comes to share their story. For more information contact Barbara Wescott, barbara@swellcoin.com.


WORKING WOMEN'S WEB

BIZSCENE WWMB Luncheon & Networking The Women Who Mean Business Community Luncheon and Networking Event was held on March 9, 2017. Business community members attended the sold-out event to network and to take in a presentation on social media, presented by the informative and entertaining duo, Linley Paske and Lauren Pasqualone of the LP2 Boutique Agency. The event was sponsored by the Null-Davino Group at Waddell & Reed and Chicken Salad Chick.

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6.

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WOMEN ON FIRE

KEEPERS OF THE FLAME 11.

YOU ARE INVITED to Join the Discussion and

Keep the Flame Burning 12.

Become a Member of Tallahassee Woman Magazine’s Women Who Mean Business (WWMB) Community

MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES: • Networking and Educational Opportunities 1. Michael Davino, Tim Dean, Angie Herron 2. Michelle Mitcham, Paula De-Boles Jonhson, Marcia Warfel, Barbara J. Walker, Curtis Richardson 3. Linley Paske, Michelle Weathersby, Michelle Mitcham, Lauren Pasqualone 4. Dianne Presley, Kelly Hutchinson 5. Jen Smith, Ashley Helnadollar 6. Tim Dean, Diane McCain 7. Erin Rhodes, Shari Hubbard, Kayla Holloway, Kelly Bench, Marie Mahovetz 8. Brittany Chambers, Amy Keys, Tarsha David, Danielle Miller 9. Barbara J. Walker, Michelle Weathersby, Stacy Rehberg 10. Ashley Leggett, Holly Hensarling 11. Arden Fernandez, Suzanne Conner 12. Kevin Taylor, Judee Light

• Access to Online Forums and Social Media Sites • Monthly E-mail Newsletter • First Notice of WWMB Events • Inclusion in Membership Directory

THERE IS NO FEE TO JOIN. Sign up now at talwoman.com/women-who-mean-business.


our community

Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle Are Looking for Women of Distinction

Contributed by Megan Washington

D

o you know an extraordinary woman who has distinguished herself as an outstanding member of the community? A program inspired by Girl Scouts nationally, the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle Women of Distinction Awards honor women from across the Florida Panhandle who truly stand out for their commitment to the community. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Women of Distinction awards program. The women honored for 2017 will join other women in the Florida Panhandle who have been honored as Women of Distinction since the program’s inception in 1998. All nominees will be honored during the Women of Distinction Awards Gala on November 9, 2017, at the Florida State University Alumni Center. “The Women of Distinction Awards recognize and honor the women in our community whose leadership and commitment inspire and make the world a better place,” stated Raslean M. Allen, Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc., Chief Executive Officer. “We invite you to join us by nominating the distinguished women in our community.” Nominees must live or work in Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor or Wakulla County. They should exemplify extraordinary civic, professional and/or philanthropic commitment and achievement; be a role model for girls; and demonstrate a commitment to advocacy for improving the lives of women and/or girls. Nominees are to demonstrate initiative, integrity

52 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017

and leadership characteristics and are not required to have been or currently be a Girl Scout. Nominations will be reviewed by an independent selection committee based on standardized criteria for nominees.

Suggested categories include, but are not limited to: Lifetime Achievement Diamond • Architecture, real estate, or construction • Arts • Business • Education • Environment • Government

• Law • Media and public relations • Medicine or health and fitness • Science, technology, engineering or math • Social services • Youth services

The deadline for nominations is August 31, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Nomination forms can be obtained by visiting online at gscfp.org to complete online or download.

About the Girl Scouts:

The programs and services of the Girl Scout Council of the Florida Panhandle, Inc., teach girls to discover, connect and take action, while building courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. A United Way agency, the Council currently serves 4,025 girls across19 counties of the Florida Panhandle with the assistance of 2,025 dedicated volunteers. To volunteer or join Girl Scouts, call (888) 271-8778 or visit gscfp.org.


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LOOK FOR THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS JOURNAL IN FALL 2017.

54 WWMB • Women Who Mean Business Journal | Spring/Summer 2017


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76  tallahassee woman • june / july 2017

Women Who Mean Business Journal Spring-Summer2017  

The Spring/Summer 2017 issue of the Women Who Mean Business Journal features Mary Phipps of Orchard Pond Organics. Her sweet business is a...

Women Who Mean Business Journal Spring-Summer2017  

The Spring/Summer 2017 issue of the Women Who Mean Business Journal features Mary Phipps of Orchard Pond Organics. Her sweet business is a...

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