Northeast Ohio women leaders offer tips on seizing opportunities, pursuing your dreams: Mentoring Monday –

Posted: February 20, 2020 at 9:41 am

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The following is one of several articles previewing BizWomen Mentoring Monday, a Feb. 24 program for women professionals in Northeast Ohio that is presented by Advance Ohio, including The Plain Dealer and See below for event details.

CLEVELAND, Ohio More than three dozen professionals from fields as diverse as banking, real estate, retail, science and the arts are scheduled to participate this Monday in Mentoring Monday, a special event that seeks to connect women professionals in Northeast Ohio with successful women willing to share advice.

Ahead of Mondays event, which is presented by Advance Ohio, including The Plain Dealer and, several of the mentors were asked the following question: If you could give an aspiring businesswoman just one piece of advice, what would it be? Here are their responses:

Anne Harrill, owner, Oceanne Boutique: Look at the big picture. Sometimes we get so busy with the daily tasks we forget why we first started. It really helps me to remember my why and either push through challenges or sometimes just let them go. Deciding our values + mission statement also helped me focus on what really was important for my business.

Jean Angus, CEO, Saint-Gobain Life Sciences: Spend time to become aware of your strengths and passions. Leverage and build upon them. I personally have found my engagement, performance and career rose as I leveraged my own passions and skills.

Develop a strategy of where you might like to be in 5, 10, 15 years. Spend time with people you admire in these types of roles. They may very well offer you a footprint to follow.

Do not be afraid to say yes to new roles (even if you do not have 100% of the skills required). With learning, hard work and perseverance, you can get there.

Margy Judd, owner and president, Executive Arrangements: The best piece of business advice I ever heard came from the Rev. Tracey Lind, former dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland. She told a group of us once: Never let money be your primary motivation. Inauthentic people are easy to spot. Your vocation is where your passion intersects with what the world needs. It should give you energy and make you want to jump out of bed and do it every day. Dont settle for anything less.

Simrit Sandhu, chief supply chain and support services officer, Cleveland Clinic: Become comfortable with being uncomfortable and redefine whats safe. We often avoid situations where we might fail, but these opportunities are the ones with the most potential for learning and growth. You have to put yourself out there, you have to try the hard thing. You might stumble, but it will make you stronger and more successful in the long run.

Sue Workman, vice president for university technology and CIO, Case Western Reserve University: Random opportunities may appear throughout your career journey; these are often gifts that can propel you further or in a different direction. Dont pass these up take the challenge, learn something new, explore.

Shirrell R. Greene-Joe, director of customer experience at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, is scheduled to take part in Monday's event at Tri-C. (David Petkiewicz, Petkiewicz,

Shirrell R. Greene-Joe, director, customer experience, Cleveland Metropolitan School District: The distance between your dreams and reality is called action. Map out your plan of action, and seek those whose wisdom can groom and guide you along the way.

Jodi Berg, president and CEO, Vitamix: If you allow your personal purpose to be your rudder, you can use the wind and waves of life to achieve great things. Without a rudder, you are at the mercy of the currents.

Laura Kepley, artistic director, Cleveland Play House: My advice to an aspiring female leader is trust yourself dont waste time and energy trying to be someone elses idea of a leader. Be confident that what you bring to the table is singular and of great value and then get to work!

Tari S. Rivera, president, Regency Construction Services: Always recognize that challenges, obstacles and closed doors are opportunities!

Flo Brett, founder and executive director, Effective Leadership Academy: If you stay focused on 1) your health 2) your people and 3) your organizational culture it will lead to success.

Carol Simbeya, vice president of sales and marketing, Charter Senior Living: Recognize when fear is present and push through it with education and questions to help you succeed through any situation.

Control your reactions to situations. All response should be purposeful to allow for a purposeful self-image and response from your audience.

These are two philosophies I have always kept at the forefront of all my actions and have served me well.

Julie A. Weagraff, vice president, fund development, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio: Step outside of your comfort zone to try new things and think creatively about problem solving. Aim to make new connections every day and build authentic relationships with people who can help you advance in your career.

Destiny Burns, owner, CLE Urban Winery: Take every opportunity to educate yourself not just about the products or services your business offers but also about how to run and grow your business successfully. Do your homework, be persistent and build your support network. As you grow and scale your business, plan to work more on your business than in it.

Susan Fuehrer, president, Institute for H.O.P.E., MetroHealth: Incorporate the best traits from leaders you admire but always remain true to who you are. Be your best you.

Ramona Hood, president and CEO, FedEx Custom Critical: Be courageous. Be courageous in your willingness to take risks, learn new skills and express your ambitions and goals.

Plain Dealer reporters Olivera Perkins, Julie Washington, Ginger Christ, Jordyn Grzelewski and Rachell Dissell, and assistant business editor Melodie Smith contributed to this story.


What: A one-day mentoring program bringing together area women professionals and businesswomen seeking their insights. Presented locally by Advance Ohio, including The Plain Dealer and For the event schedule and a list of mentors, go to

Where: Cuyahoga Community College Metropolitan Campus, 2900 Community College Ave., Metro Campus Center, Room (MCC) 201.

When: 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; registration begins at 8 a.m.

Tickets: $45 each, or $360 for 10. Cost includes a light breakfast. The deadline to purchase tickets is Sunday; go to

More coverage: Join a Facebook Live event at 9 a.m. Monday at, and look for a special print section in this Sundays Plain Dealer.

Related stories:

Mentoring gets a reboot as more women professionals break into top leadership

Workplace mentorship can take many forms, says Cleveland Leadership Centers Marianne Crosley

Fount to open leather goods shop as part of LeBron James Cleveland Hustles show

Tari Rivera empowers women to pursue careers in construction, building and remodeling

CLE Urban Winery expanding as it marks year and a half in business

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Northeast Ohio women leaders offer tips on seizing opportunities, pursuing your dreams: Mentoring Monday -

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February 20th, 2020 at 9:41 am

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