What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?
I’ve learned that trust is the most critical asset in business and there are no shortcuts to achieving it. It requires a combination of personal authenticity, having empathy for others, providing logical and persuasive points of view, and continually investing time in building relationships. As someone who is goal-oriented and enjoys the feeling of accomplishment when checking something off a to-do list, I’ve come to realize that the ill-defined task of “building trust” is actually one of the biggest accomplishments of all.
Who have been the biggest mentors in your career?
My great grandmother earned a Ph.D. when most women didn’t attend college. In 1964, she delivered a speech that started: “A victory has been won by those of us who are aware of, care about, and dare to do what we can to improve the status of women. Have you done your part?” Fast forward 50 years, my life becomes intertwined with two other female trailblazers, Sue Butler and Tracy Till, who were definitely doing their part! Under their leadership we became one of the only certified women-owned, employee-owned, B corporations. I’m so grateful for the trust they have in me to continue their legacy.
What are your hopes for the Rochester community this year?
Hopefully it’s evident that by building our inspirational new headquarters on the corner of Clinton and Broad, I am very bullish on Rochester! For the past two years we have been talking about the resurgence downtown and while a global pandemic may have hit the pause button for a year, I’m confident that we will emerge as an even stronger community that has a lot to offer students, families and businesses.