FIND YOUR PURPOSE
SUCCESSFUL WOMEN ON BECOMING LEADERS AND CHANGE AGENTS
BY DOREEN HEMLOCK

perez.jpgThere was plenty of good advice when more than 400 women turned out March 30 for the School’s annual Women in Leadership panel discussion. Four women leaders in finance, tech, government and nonprofits shared their experiences in becoming leaders and change agents, suggesting, as wealth manager Teresa Valdes-Fauli Weintraub put it: “You can do it all, but not at the same time.” All four emphasized the importance of empathy and a higher calling as vital to leadership and change.

Carmen Perez-Carlton recalled taking a top role at a tech firm, when going through difficulties in her personal life. “It’s taking it one day at a time and finding that bigger purpose,” said Perez-Carlton, whose firm, FiberNet, went on to become one of the fastest growing and leading fiberbased communications companies in the southeast U.S. under her leadership. The company was sold this year for $1.5 billion.

For Alina Hudak, the deputy mayor of Miami- Dade County, there’s no substitute for hard work and commitment in order to achieve long-term success. Hudak has been a trailblazer as the first woman to run a major operational department, the first Hispanic woman appointed assistant county manager and the first woman to serve as county manager.

“You just keep focused and do what you have to do to accomplish the goals,” said Hudak, who concurrentlyserves as director of the solid waste management department – with close to 1,000 employees and providing service to 350,000 households, along with the many other departments she supports.

Tracy Wilson Mourning, founder of the nonprofit Honey Shine mentoring program for girls, follows the lead of her mom, who often worked three jobs and “never looked back” to dwell on problems. She tells girls in her program to proudly walk “shoulders back, heart to God and crown on your head.”

Spring 2017
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