Voices in the Crowd- Successfully Managing Change in the Workplace

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?


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Lauren Axford, Executive Director at the Pine Hollow Arboretum

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.


Adam Migirditch, Membership Executive, Capital Region Chamber

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.

epilepsy foundation

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

Story Slam – Voices in the Crowd

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 here for this lunch-time event.

For more information, please contact Marna Redding, Vice President of Member Services at the Capital Region Chamber, at mredding@capitalregionchamber.com or reach out to us via the blog or Facebook.

Tiffany Dufu – Voices in the Crowd


 Shakeema Harris, Purchasing Manager, Automate

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.

For more information on the WBC, please contact Marna Redding, V.P. Member Services, Capital Region Chamber at mredding@capitalregionchamber.com.

Chair Chat- Lessons from the Women of Excellence Unplugged

From the desk of Amanda Goyer, Co-Chair of the WBC, Community Relations Manager, Cap Com Federal Credit Union

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!

Microsoft Outlook - Memo Style

Voices in the Crowd – WOE Unplugged

Jen and John

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!

Jennifer Hunold, Senior Brand Manager, The Martin Group

“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.”



Shannon Forkin, Partner, Dannible and Mckee, LLP

“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.”

Voices in the Crowd- WOE Event

What inspired you at the Women of Excellence luncheon?

Takara Wiles- Creative Director, Gramercy Communications


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!


Fatin Haddad- Associate, Phillips Lytle

“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.”

Voices in the Crowd From “There is No Finish Line: Defining Success through Passion and Purpose”

Becky Daniels, ED Discover Schenectady
I really loved the question posed to our table about motivation and the change that happens when you’re able to reframe your motivation from “working harder” to “adding value.” Coming from a previous job in a corporate environment, I struggled to feel like my contributions made a tangible impact on my company or community. Transitioning to a role with an organization where I can see every day that what I do is making a difference to my community has, without a doubt, made me want to work harder, rather than working more for the sake of working more. My new role as the Executive Director of Discover Schenectady aligns my professional skills and abilities, with my personal passion for growing and giving back to the community that I love and call home. Aligning my work with my values and passion has been a game-changer for me and I cannot imagine doing anything else.


Adrianne Rickson, Director of Career Services, Maria College
My mission in life is to motivate students, family, and friends to make their life their own; you can do anything, so take the reins, and do what you love to do.  There is only one person in this world that will take the very best care of us and that is us, so look in that mirror and have a conversation with that person.  When the speaker addressed Mission, Passion, and Purpose… My mission is to have passion and purpose in everything that I do, every single day…and to practice what I preach!




Alyssa Stevens
Marketing Major, Class of 2019
The College of Saint Rose, Huether School of Business
My biggest takeaway from the WBC event was the message of the guest speaker, Jaime Butler Binley. As a marketing student, I really gained insight into what success means, from a woman in business. I liked how she stressed that there is no finish line to success. We can have big goals that take years to fulfill, but if we set small obtainable goals to meet over time we are successful at every step of the way. For me, this was very helpful because I am often overwhelmed by my large goals, as a junior in college looking for internships I have faith that I will meet my goal of becoming a social media marketing manager through time. You are always learning and growing and it is important to never give up on your dreams no matter what stage of life you are in.