From the desk of Amanda Goyer, Chair of the Women’s Business Council and Director of Community Engagement at CAP COM Federal Credit Union.
Yesterday’s Women’s Business Council’s Voices in the Crowd event was inspired by Moth Radio Hour, and our second year bringing impactful stories to life with the help of our moderator and story coach, Christina Thyssen!
The storytellers captured the audience with their authentic and real-life stories that left attendees motivated and ready to rise against the tide, the theme all stories aligned with.
Main takeaways from each story are phrased below:
You can be strong, but a work in progress all at the same time.
You can quit, but don’t quit on yourself.
From challenge, find strength and courage.
Don’t ever let anything get in the way of your goals.
Allow defining moments, even if it’s rock bottom, to be gifts.
We would love to hear your feedback on this event for future planning! Thank you to all of our WBC members for sharing your voice!
It was great to see the women from GE stand up in the beginning of the event. The GE Women’s Network is impressive in size and we are lucky to have you as part of the WBC.
“Do it scared,” is what Tee Marie said during her talk. “Do it even if your voice shakes.” And, “this life is it, be the first one to stand up.” I love these simple words. They apply across all areas of life.
Members of the WBC, what did you think of Tee Marie’s messages?
“For the Chaos- I wrote down my work life and time management. I really enjoyed the panelists and the tips about time management really helped me see things from an outside POV. I am at a similar point in my business as Matt albeit not as large of a company where I am training and delegating more work that I have in the past. Some of the top tips I took away from the event are time blocking more strictly to really divide up my day to get the most amount of productive work done in the most efficient way.”
“One area of chaos in my life is organization at work. By the end of the day, I have piles of paperwork everywhere. This can lead from me being productive, to me spending time managing this chaos. I walked away with so much practical advice yesterday, but one of the major insights was about teamwork; surrounding yourself with people who compliment your strengths and weaknesses, and developing supportive communication with them. So what am I going to do about my chaos? Talk to my team about it, and create opportunities to grow together!”
“One of the many interesting (and relieving) things that I learned from the event was that I was not alone in feeling like my ‘chaos’ took control at times but what was most helpful was the responses from the panelists on how to control it from taking over your personal and work life. I was fascinated the panelists asked the question, “Are you productive busy or are you chaotic busy?” because at that point, I hadn’t recognized or was even aware there was a difference. As I started my day today and went over notes from the event, the question made me think twice on how I approach the most stressful of tasks or even how I approach days where I feel like there’s not enough time because there’s so much going on in my life. Self-awareness is a challenge for myself and many other professionals but what I’ve learned is that while I am self-aware, what’s most important is how I react and utilize my resources to push through that chaos.”
“This event initially interested me because most days I feel as if I’m getting nothing accomplished even though I’m running around all day long from meeting to meeting with clients. I started making lists at night because that seemed to be when the thoughts of things I needed to get done were clear and I would cross each task off as I completed them. Somehow I ended up feeling more chaotic.At the event, I immediately felt relief when one of the panelists talked about us feeling as if everyone around us is well put together but in actuality, we’re all in the same place. That helped me to understand that this struggle is real and everyone goes through it, it’s what we’re going to do about it that matters. I liked the idea of time blocking, maybe now I can endure I war lunch every day. Someone talked about prioritizing, that will also help me as I find myself running errands in between my appointments then I’m scrambling to get to where I need to be. It also felt great to know that it’s okay to carry tasks over to the next day’s list but that they should go at the top of the list because it is “unfinished business.”Lastly, I appreciated hearing that it is important to wind down at the end of the day, so now I have to find my “glass of wine” since I don’t drink and I’m intimidated by exercise.”
Angela S. Beddoe, President and CEO of Beddoe Publishing and Editor-in Chief of Herlife Magazine-New York, walked the audience through 6 principles of self-leadership in last weeks WBC event. One of our content writers, Karen Lombardo, spoke to some voices in the crowd to see what their thoughts were on Angela and the principles she spoke about.
“I fully enjoyed the speaker Angela today. She truly embodies her beliefs. It is evidenced by her accomplishments and more importantly her energy. You can tell she is grounded in truth. When I left today, I asked myself, are you living or existing? Wonderful speaker.”
“The speaker was truly blessed in all that she set her mind to (dreamt), put on paper and achieved. One thing that stuck with me is when she would lay her head on her pillow at night she would feel blessed, appreciative and grateful for all she’s done and has. I tend to forget about all the blessings, yet focus on all I could’ve done, could’ve had, which makes for a sleepless night. Going forward I plan on incorporating her method for a more restful and peaceful night.
“Positive energy generates a positive outcome! I’ll choose positive.”
In Susan’s closing remarks for the event, she mentioned some takeaways that she had. We need to take the wins we have when we can, embrace the why and celebrate change. Was there anything that struck you as applicable to your work or your experiences?
So much of what was said at today’s event really resonated with me, but there were 2 comments that I really identified with. First, that change doesn’t happen overnight and that to get from point A to point Z, there may be several phases along the way. The Pine Hollow Arboretum is 1 year deep into a major transition after losing our founder last January. We have come a long way and there are many accomplishments to celebrate, but we still have a lot of work to do. The second is that change in one’s personal life often prompts change in one’s professional life. As a mother of 3 young children who works full-time, I am constantly trying to maintain that delicate balance between family life and professional life. It was encouraging to me to realize that the equilibrium between my 2 worlds will be ever evolving and that down the road, new doors might open when the time is right.
The WBC event had a lot in it that I found applicable, both from a business and personal standpoint. With having started a new position here at the Capital Region Chamber and moving from Troy to Schenectady all in a matter of weeks, I’ve been dealing with plenty of change lately. I found the panel very insightful and the idea about celebrating change is something that really resonated with me. Overall great event.
Mark your calendars for the next event on March 13: Make Your Life an Exclamation! Not an Explanation- Sign up here.
Throughout 2019, the WBC will raise money for its adopted nonprofit, Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives. Epilepsy can affect anyone with a brain, and anyone with a brain can affect epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation exists to #EndEpilepsy.
Help the WBC raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York. Learn more here.
The hippest event of the year is coming up in November!
Come to Voices in the Crowd on November 13th to hear our fellow WBC members story slam. The women will be telling their unique stories on stage at this one of a kind WBC event.
This event is inspired by the Moth podcast and the On the Fly Story Slam in Hudson, NY created by Christina Thyssen. I had a chance to speak with Christina a few weeks ago about the Story Slam and our own Voices in the Crowd event, she said, “this is a good opportunity particularly for women in business who are discouraged from telling their stories- they kind of hide who they are at work. Women don’t talk about their personal lives because it isn’t valued in the workplace but we all have these experiences. We are asked to be tough and be like men but it doesn’t feel right.”
Come experience the sense of community that this event will evoke! Sign up herefor this lunch-time event.
My biggest take away is that “Dropping the Ball” is a phrase that generally has a negative connotation, but allowing yourself to “drop the ball” has its benefits. We hold on to things that are not as important as we perceive them, and such things can hinder us from achieving something greater.
Gemma Allen, Senior Engineer, GE Power (Last person to stand and ask a question.) My question to Tiffany: How to prioritize and work out what to ‘drop’ when there are so many things you’re excited about doing/being involved in?
I work 4-days a week at GE Power as a Senior Engineer focused on power plant value pricing. I have 3 young kids aged 9, 7 & 4. I teach Nia dance and meditation, which I adore and keeps me sane I sit on the Boards for some of my favorite local organizations… the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Girls Inc of the Capital District, and Women@Work magazine… all organizations doing good, impactful work in our community. My days are full, but I struggle with where I can ‘drop the ball’ when there is so much I would like to do!
Tiffany advised going through the exercise of assessing what activities give the most value to the world. By reflecting on what is the “highest and best use” of your time, you can be sure to align your values with your impact. If we make a list of everything we would like to achieve in a 24-hour cycle, the chances are it sums up to more than 24 hours of activity. It is only through getting clear and specific on your values, and prioritizing your activities, that you can ensure you are making the greatest impact on your life mission.
Don’t miss the upcoming WBC event: “Voices in the Crowd” on November 13th at 11:30 at the Century House. Women will be telling their own personal stories of triumph live on stage, without notes. You don’t want to miss it! Sign up here.
Have cheerleaders in your corner you can trust.
-Whether it be your Board of Directors or a community of people going through the same thing in their lives.
Walk into every new situation with an open mind and a willingness to learn, don’t come in entitled.
You may be carrying the weight of other people’s dreams on your shoulders…recognize this and be kind to yourself.
Never again. If you’ve gone through an experience that should have never happened or was wrong. Make a commitment to ensure you will do what you can to ensure that happens “never again” to another person.
Have an accountability partner to help you navigate on the path toward your dreams…
Do not shut down the voice of others. The voices need to be all-inclusive. Be not only mindful but intentional when building voices around the table.
LISTEN 90%, TALK 10%….100% of people want recognition.
You need more girlfriends! WBC is a perfect place for just that!
John Mackowiak, Director of Public Relations and Public Affairs, The Martin Group
“It was tremendously valuable to learn from the experiences of the Women of Excellence honorees. Their stories were inspiring, and their advice was actionable. Listening more. Supporting each other. Finding positive people who will have your back, rather than letting negativity hold you back. Grateful to gain such great advice over lunch!
“I found the entire event to be incredibly uplifting, and there was a lot upon which to reflect. Listening 90% and speaking 10% – important for someone as social as myself! I also liked hearing the one thing that gets each one going in her day. Particularly Dr. Hathaway, who shared the joy she finds when someone’s face lights up having learned something new. All of the honorees’ reflections remind me to revisit where I find passion in my life and work, which will ultimately help me better serve others.”
Brooklyn Esposito, Interim Director of Marketing, YWCA-GCR
“Hearing the Women of Excellence speak to their personal and professional struggles was influential as a young professional navigating a career. It’s a good reminder that when you fall down you pick yourself back up and move forward.”
“All of the Woman of Excellence 2018 recipients had great stories. What I found particularly motivating was how each woman encountered challenges but that did not prevent them from succeeding in their careers – whether trying to break into an industry that women were fairly new to or finding a support system when others were not so encouraging. My takeaway from the 2018 recipients is that with dedication and the right people in your corner you have the capability to succeed at whatever you put your mind to.”
What inspired you at the Women of Excellence luncheon?
I found all of the women to be inspiring. Each woman had her own unique story on how she got to where she is today. They each showed how perseverance, passion and desire will help overcome any obstacle life puts in your way. I left feeling I could take on anything thrown my way, professionally and personally!
“I was inspired by the passion of each of the women. It was clear that each award recipient was incredibly passionate about the work they were doing. I love that they shared their personal experiences and struggles to show that the road to a successful and meaningful career is not easy but rather filled with challenges, failures and disappointments. I loved hearing each woman share about how she chose to use those difficult moments in life to fuel her forward instead of hold her back. I was inspired by how CMSgt Amy Giaquinto described herself as “a person, that happens to be a woman” when she described herself and her role with the NY National Guard, which has broken down barriers for women who choose to serve our country in the armed forces and I will definitely put to use the advice of Nancy Martin who encouraged us all to always add “for now” to the end of our sentences. She reminded us that whatever setbacks we face in life, they are not permanent and only a season we will face “for now” which can one day be a source of motivation and/or wisdom as we push forward in our careers and personal lives.”