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2012 Athena Awards finalists

Kimberlie Ann Barrett
President/broker/owner

Magellan Inc. Real Estate and Relocation

Education: B.S., Rochester Institute of Technology

Family: Husband, Anthony Meleo; two sons, 35 and 19; two daughters, 26 and 21

Professional and community leadership: Managing member, Eastman Management Limited Liability Corp.; trustee, International Sister Cities of Rochester
My guiding vision: I simply wish to fulfill my life’s purpose. I stay motivated because there are so many people in the world in need of a smile, a kind word, a helping hand, a hug, an extra dollar, encouragement, support, inspiration and mostly God. How do you walk away from that?

Staying focused in a tough economy: Keep your eye on the ball and let nothing distract you. My first year in business, I was very successful at a time when interest rates peaked at more than 19 percent. How did I do it? Faith, hard work and a positive attitude. None of these have anything to do with the economy.

Recent lessons learned: This past year I have learned that you can’t go halfway. Winners finish what they start, so either go all the way or don’t go. I have learned to seek the wisdom and counsel of those who have gone before me and successfully done what I aspire to do.

Judith Ford Baumhauer M.D.
Orthopedic surgeon, professor and associate chairwoman of academic affairs,

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center

Education: B.S., Springfield College, Springfield, Mass.; M.S., Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.; M.D., University of Vermont College of Medicine; MPH, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Family: Husband, Edward; three daughters, 12, 9 and 7

Professional and community leadership: President, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society; president-elect, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery; board member, American Board of Medical Specialties; member, board of trustees, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation; board member, Outreach and Education Fund, Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society

My guiding vision: To make people better, to decrease pain and increase function for my patients, get them back to what they want to do. I see the changes in my patients. I have watched patients literally walk after surgery who could not for years. That is powerful positive reinforcement.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Keep two things in mind: "Keep the main thing, the main thing" (Stephen Covey). Secondly, the greatest asset for any organization is the employees. Recognize that workers at every level are motivated by autonomy to contribute to the goal, mastery of their particular skill, and a defined purpose rather than just money.

Surprising fact: I went to college to be a gym teacher. I had a fantastic role model growing up, and he influenced me. While majoring in physical education, I also concentrated in athletic training. I loved injury prevention; however, I thought I might like to fix the fractures rather than send them.

Mary-Beth Cooper
Senior vice president for student affairs

Rochester Institute of Technology

Education: B.S., University of Delaware; M.Ed., University of Georgia; Ph.D., Michigan State University; MBA, Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester; D.M., Case Western Reserve University

Family: Husband, David; son, 19

Professional and community leadership: Board chairwoman, YMCA of Greater Rochester; committee member, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.; former board member, Hillside Family of Agencies; former chairwoman, women’s issues, and executive board member, Junior League of Rochester; former board member, Seneca Waterways Council, Boy Scouts of America.

My guiding vision: The incredible value of education and lifelong learning. I have chosen to work in an educational setting because it offers vibrancy, intellectual stimulation and the opportunity to develop human potential. Education is the answer to creating a prosperous, successful community of thinkers and doers.

Staying focused in a tough economy: It will be through the energy and teamwork of committed, hardworking community members that we will maintain our vision to create a dynamic environment for economic growth. We must continue to focus on our daily work while continually looking for growth opportunities, especially in emerging technologies such as biotechnology and informatics.

Recent lessons learned: While training for my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in October, I learned that achieving personal goals is possible if you apply tenacity, focus and preparation. All things are possible if you believe in yourself and do the hard work necessary to get the job done! I also learned that 26.2 miles is really a long way to run.

Mary Lynne Dombovy M.D.
Vice president, neurosciences

Unity Health System

Education: B.A., College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn.; M.D., Mayo Medical School, Rochester, Minn.; MHA, Rochester Institute of Technology.

Family: Husband, Michael Johnson; two sons, 25 and 19; daughter, 23

Professional and community leadership: Member, Stroke Treatment Alliance of Rochester; chairwoman, neurorehabilitation exam committee, United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties; journal editor, American Academy of Neurology; member, physician council, Unity Health System; community speaker on stroke and concussion; former chairwoman, Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission and Easter Seals New York.

My guiding vision: Lead by example with passion and integrity. Recognize that all of those you work with bring valuable ideas. Provide them the support and opportunities they need to succeed. Never seek a position for its title; focus on making a contribution. Seeing patients reach their goals is my constant motivation.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Reassess the needs of the community and how your organization’s mission meets these. Be open to innovative methods of providing services in an effective and efficient way without sacrificing quality. This approach is critical in health care as we must collaborate to focus on chronic disease management and health maintenance.

Surprising fact: I met my husband in 1974, running outside on a 20-plus-below-zero morning in St. Cloud, Minn. I had a ski mask on; he had a frosty beard. Two months later he recognized my voice as the lector in church and called. Our first date was a bicycle ride!

Laurie Ann Haelen
Senior vice president and managing director, Western New York

Tompkins Financial Advisors

Education: B.A., SUNY College at Geneseo

Family: Partner, Mary McCrank

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Monroe Community Hospital Foundation; board member, Rochester Education Foundation; past board member, YWCA; past board member, Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley; past board member, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester Inc.

My guiding vision: "Goodness is the only investment that never fails" (Emerson). Most of my career has revolved around relationships, whether with clients or employees. The best way to ensure these relationships strengthen is to be sure to recognize employee contributions on a daily basis and to make sure that clients know they are a priority. It sounds simple, but it works.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Stick to the things that made your organization successful, and find ways to build off of them. In times of uncertainty, people are looking for continuity, and so changes to an organization’s business model-even if utterly necessary-must be strategic and not done for short-term gain.

Surprising fact: I play in a rock band called Roof of the Night. We play a lot of original music, as well as covers by everyone from Johnny Cash to Kings of Leon. Most people are surprised when they find this out, as it’s not that common for financial professionals!

Pamela Heald
President and CEO
Reliant Community Federal Credit Union

Education: AAS, Monroe Community College

Family: Husband, Steven

Professional and community leadership: Member, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council; secretary, Credit Union Association of New York, Rochester Chapter; member, Women Presidents’ Organization; trustee, CULAC/CUPAC, Credit Union Association of New York; chairperson, legislative committee of Rochester credit unions

My guiding vision: To always remember to think positively, be the best that I can be, and be of service to others. What keeps me motivated is doing what I love. I love being able to work with other people to make a difference.

Staying focused in a tough economy: In challenging times, it’s good to examine your organization’s core strengths and your differentiators to capitalize on them and drive you through to success.

Surprising fact: I am a collector of early 1900s hats and clothing. I love to be dressed in period costume while showing and touring our antique cars.

Victoria Godwin Hines
President and CEO
Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester and Monroe County Inc.

Education: B.S., University of Virginia; MHA, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University

Family: Husband, Thomas; two sons, 18 and 16; daughter, 13

Professional and community leadership: Board chairwoman, Alzheimer’s Association, Rochester and Finger Lakes Chapter; member, state Public Health and Health Planning Council; board member and immediate past chairwoman, Home Care Association of New York State; member, advisory board, HSBC Bank USA N.A.; board member, St. John’s Foundation.

My guiding vision: Choose to do work that is personally meaningful to you, and then surround yourself with people who share your passion and with whom you enjoy working. I stay motivated because I am committed to our mission and because I have a happy home life with a family that fully supports my work.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Economic challenges can require tough decisions, and those decisions must be made with integrity for the organization’s mission and for the people that fulfill that mission every day. Leaders must continuously communicate strategy, goals and challenges and engage the entire organization in finding ways to meet all three.

Recent lessons learned: I have the strength and resilience that comes from building a complex network of support. I lost my mother this year and sent my oldest child off to college; both losses shook my view of my "place" in the world. But strong relationships with family, friends and colleagues provided a foundation for reshaping my personal identity and finding new joys.

Angella Pauline Luyk
CEO
Midnight Janitorial Inc.

Education: Associate degree, Monroe Community College

Family: Husband, Harry

Professional and community leadership: Co-chairwoman, Monroe County Job Service Employment Committee; vice chairwoman, free networking committee, Rochester Women’s Network; volunteer, Junior Achievement; member, Rochester Business Ethics Award judging committee

My guiding vision: My grandmother was always the type to give all she had to others, with no expectations. I run my business and life with the same motto. If someone is in need, I help them. To watch people around me grow and succeed is priceless. I honor my grandmother’s memory.

Staying focused in a tough economy: I stay motivated by remembering the reason I started my business. I am passionate about offering a quality service at a fair price. I look at the difference I make in my employees’ lives and my clients’. By not sacrificing quality, I will weather the storm and come out ahead.

Surprising fact: My "formal" business education has come from reading a lot of books and being a waitress and nanny for triplets. I learned early on that with three babies and waitressing, you had to multitask; give the people what they want no matter the cost, keep them happy and they will come back.

Diane McCue
Retired worldwide general manager, printing plates division, and vice president
Eastman Kodak Co.

Education: B.S., SUNY College at Brockport; MBA, Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester

Family: Husband, Gerald

Professional and community leadership: Board chairwoman, Brockport Foundation, SUNY Brockport; board member, Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester; member, the Committee of 200; member, Rochester Rotary

My guiding vision: Surround yourself with true diversity, great people that you trust, and deliver value to society and customers. Listen and accept help from others. Always do what is right, regardless of the consequences. I stay motivated because I love a challenge, to continuously learn and deliver results.

Staying focused in a tough economy: It is critical for organizations to not get mired down on things they can’t control. They must stay focused on things they do control, get ahead of issues, find new opportunities and adapt. Organizations should focus on the top three problems, build a plan, execute and move on.

Recent lessons learned: Since my retirement, I have learned the importance of being more balanced and the improvements it brings to your life. It is important to make time for the things that are most important to you. I have improved my health, gotten involved in new charities and am restoring a historic home.

Diana Nole
President, digital medical solutions
Carestream Health Inc.

Education: B.A., SUNY College at Potsdam; MBA, Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester

Family: Husband, Angelo

Professional and community leadership: Board member, Hillside Family of Agencies; foundation board member, SUNY Potsdam; board member and audit committee member, United Way of Greater Rochester Inc.; member, board of trustees, and audit committee member, St. John Fisher College

My guiding vision: A passion for learning and an openness to change. I am willing to ask for help, take an educated risk and learn from my mistakes. I have always enjoyed every new opportunity that has come to me. This, along with the help of many great mentors and a wonderfully supportive husband, has provided more than enough motivation to stick to it.

Staying focused in a tough economy: There is tremendous opportunity in the face of challenging economic times. Companies that truly listen to their customers, work together and respond creatively to the issues will be rewarded. Focus is the key. Remember your role as an organization and leverage your collective strengths in the execution of your goals.

I would have liked to be …: This is a tough question to answer with just a single response. If I had to choose-and not to slight anyone, including my mom-I would choose my dad. My dad is a true role model of a person that has his priorities in the right order: faith, family and career. Every day I try to be more like him. You might say I am still a work in progress.

Susan Robfogel
Partner and chairwoman, life sciences practice
Nixon Peabody LLP

Education: B.A., Smith College, Northampton, Mass.; J.D., Cornell University

Family: Husband, Nathan; two sons, 39 and 38

Professional and community leadership: Board member and former chairwoman, U.S. Congressional Office of Compliance; former appointee by President Ronald Reagan, Federal Service Impasses Panel; former chairwoman, state Data Protection Review Board; board member and former chairwoman, George Eastman House; member, board of governors and quality of work life committee, Jewish Home of Rochester

My guiding vision: Finding and doing interesting work. By constantly taking on new challenges, I am always energized. My current passion is building Nixon Peabody’s life sciences practice. We are working on finding new ways to fill gaps in drug research funding and advancing cutting-edge therapies tailored to a patient’s genetic makeup.

Staying focused in a tough economy: When it seems there is no way out of a problem, convene colleagues who understand your goals and have an open-ended brainstorming session to strategize clearing the roadblock. If keeping the building clean is the problem, include housekeepers in the discussion. A challenging economic climate should sharpen focus.

I would have liked to be …:This is hard because I have wanted to be a lawyer since age 7, when I realized I wouldn’t be a ballet dancer. I do wish I had invented something. Imagine being part of the team that develops an Alzheimer’s vaccine or a test for early detection of ovarian cancer.

Deborah Stamps
Vice president, chief nursing officer
Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, an affiliate of Rochester General Health System

Education: AAS, Monroe Community College; B.S., SUNY College at Brockport; M.S., Nazareth College of Rochester; Ed.D., St. John Fisher College

Family: Husband, William Scott; daughter, 29

Professional and community leadership: Charter president, Beta Chi Chi Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority Inc.; board member, Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region; chairwoman, health ministry, Genesee Baptist Church; member, steering committee, Future of Nursing Campaign for Action, New York State Action Coalition for the Future of Nursing; member, Excellus Advanced Care Planning Committee for African Americans and Hispanics.

My guiding vision: My guiding vision is a commitment to relentlessly pursue what I believe in, to embrace diversity and to give back to our community. I remain motivated because I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of our patients, their families and our community.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Despite economic woes, health care organizations can stay focused on their goals by making decisions based on what is best for patients and what is needed to support the health care team providing the best outcomes. Such organizations have engaged workforces that implement these ideals, thus fulfilling their mission and vision.

Recent lessons learned: I have learned the importance of developing relationships, modeling behavior, viewing situations through various lenses and collaborating with others. This requires compassion and a willingness to listen to patients, families, our community and work teams, maximizing opportunities to improve workplace environments while striving to exceed clinical and service outcomes.

Gwen Kunken Sterns M.D.
Chief, Department of Ophthalmology
Rochester General Hospital

Education: B.A., New York University; M.D., Medical College of Pennsylvania

Family: Husband, Richard; son, 35; daughter, 32

Professional and community leadership: Medical director, Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired-Goodwill Industries of Rochester Inc.; clinical professor of ophthalmology, University of Rochester School of Medicine; chairwoman, committee on aging, American Academy of Ophthalmology; board member, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Inc.; member, Women in Ophthalmology; member, medical advisory board, New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

My guiding vision: My mother was a teacher of the deaf. Seeing her joy when her students did well gave me the guiding vision for my career. Whether it is patients who face vision loss or young professionals struggling with their future, the opportunity to help others succeed is life’s greatest gift.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Health care is the greatest drain on our economy and our greatest opportunity for reform. It should be easy to bring costs down because we spend more than other nations. Our challenge is to stay focused on our goals so that every dollar spent improves the lives of our citizens.

Surprising fact: Undoubtedly a matchmaker in a former life, I play that role in the village that is my practice. Blessed with an uncanny ability to remember details of people’s lives, I have successfully joined job seekers with employers, sellers with buyers, and a joyful few who were looking for life partners.

Cheryl Lynn Yawman
Practice director
Cochran Cochran & Yale

Education: B.S., accounting, St. John Fisher College

Family: Husband, Philip; two daughters, 15 and 12

Professional and community leadership: Board and executive committee member, Sojourner House at Pathstone Corp.; member, stewardship council, finance committee, Rochester Catholic Diocese; alumni board member and former board member, Nazareth Schools; president-elect and past president, New York State Society of CPAs, Rochester Chapter; member, executive committee, Accounting Alumni Society, and member, accounting/finance/management information systems advisory board, St. John Fisher College

My guiding vision: "Ethics first." I have tried to conduct myself in a manner that stays true to this in every decision and situation. The result is the ability to gain and keep the trust, confidence and respect of your clients and colleagues. Without this foundation you can’t build long-term relationships.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Create a positive, team-oriented work environment where everyone is part of creating and accomplishing realistic goals. Reward successes, even small ones. Use economic challenges as learning opportunities for how to do things smarter and better. Continue to focus on your customers and be the very best at what you do.

Surprising fact: I have an uncle who is an internationally acclaimed musician. I had the opportunity to spend much of my high school and college years touring the country with him. I attended the Grammy Awards when he was nominated. My college graduation gift was a song named for me on an album!

Leslie Zornow
Executive vice president, chief retail banking officer,
Fairport Savings Bank

Education: B.A., Nazareth College of Rochester

Family: Husband, Mark; two daughters, 12 and 8

Professional and community leadership: Board chairwoman, Advertising Council of Rochester; member, leadership council, American Lung Association; member, development committee, Lifespan of Greater Rochester; member, patient and family advisory council, Highland Hospital; corporate adviser and volunteer, Girls on the Run

My guiding vision: My guiding vision is "pay it forward." I have been extremely fortunate in my career to work with amazing, talented individuals who have been generous with their advice and support. I look for opportunities to pay back their generosity by helping others reach their goals.

Staying focused in a tough economy: Organizations need to always keep their mission in the forefront of their minds and not let obstacles and negativity take them off course. Maintaining a positive vision and a strong belief in the value of your work is critical to navigating through the hard times.

Recent lessons learned: That it’s possible to successfully balance a career, family and community involvement as long as you continually remind yourself of your priorities. Women are repeatedly told that they can’t have it all, but I’ve discovered you can accomplish a great deal if you let go of being perfect and focus on what’s truly important.

1/6/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

 

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