Over 400 people attended the Crain's Cleveland Woman of Note Awards Luncheon at La Centre in Westlake on June 6th. The Awards were given to 12 women in response to hundreds of nominations.
The women were chosen because of their professional skills and foresight and their ability to make a difference in some significant way.
Brian D. Tucker of Crain's Cleveland Business was the Master of Ceremonies and the opening talk was given by Theresia Oreskovic of Peter & Company Jeweler's, one of the event sponsors.
Ms. Oreskovic's husband died seven years ago and she remembers her son suggesting that she sell the business. She was, after all, comfortable and they had been successful, so maybe it was time for her to stop working. But she was not ready to quit and had wonderful plans for the business.
As she says "Now seven years later, my son doesn't ask me that anymore." She says people have successful businesses because they have a passion and love for what they do. Without that, Ms. Oreskovic doubts a business can succeed.
The event honorees were:
Betty L. Brown President and Co-owner, National Yellow Pages Media LLC.
In 2003, Ms. Brown was inducted into the American Advertising Federation of Cleveland Hall of Fame. She was the first African American and only the 5th woman to be inducted in the Club's more than 100 year history. She gave credit to God and thanks to her mother for her achievements.
Trina Cutter, President and CEO of Channel 45 and 49.
As a wine enthusiast, Ms. Cutter has learned the value of the expression "Let It Breath", especially as it pertains to red wines. She has applied that same lesson to her life and her work in Public Television and finds it very helpful and successful.
Leslie Dunn, Co-Chair Cuyahoga County, Invest In Children.
Ms. Dunn stressed the need for each of us to strengthen the community through community service and at the same time enrich our personal and business lives by doing so.
Helen Kelly Dylag, President and CEO Far West Center.
Ms. Dylag says she has only learned one lesson - and she learned it from both Buddha and her mother. The advice? Simply Do Your Best.
Matilda (Mattie) Harris, President and COO Industrial Transport Co.
Ms. Harris described the role of a leader as one who must define reality and produce more leaders. She says that she has a personal Board of Trustees consisting of her family, clergy, friends and work associates and encourages woman to rely on their own personal Board of Trustees as well.
Kerin Kaminski, Cofounder Giffen & Kaminski LLC.
Ms. Kaminski likened opening her own law practice to the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid where the stood at the edge of the cliff. She said that like Butch and Sundance she and her business partner started running off the cliff and never looked back. They jumped and landed safely.
She outlined 5 steps to successfully opening your own business:
- Find a need in the market that you can fill with expertise and passion.
- Have the courage to ask for help.
- Have a business plan with a mission and a vision and if you are going to have a partner be sure you share that same vision.
- Build you own definition of success.
- Find good people to work for you and be sure they have a good sense of humor.
Mary Lynn Laughlin, CFA, Lakepoint Investment Partners.
Ms. Laughlin has as her foundation her mom, husband, sisters and sons. She is active at John Carroll University. She started the business seven years ago, knowing she could take a big step like that because of the foundation she had.
Stephanie McHenry, President, Cleveland Region, ShoreBank.
It is Ms. McHenry's mission to create economic equality for all people. She is also a previous winner of the Crain's Cleveland Business 40 under 40.
Cynthia Moore-Hardy, President and CEO Lake Hospital System.
Ms. Moore-Hardy credits her success to her mother and sisters who set the bar high for her, always believing she could reach it. Her 84 year old father is still a source of advice for her. Whenever there is a challenge, he reminds her of the story of the Willow Tree. Like a willow tree, he advises her to "bend, but don't break."
Mary Samide, Geauga County Commissioner.
Ms. Samide is enjoying the exciting journey she is experiencing. She says the best gift you can give someone is to help instill in them a sense of high self esteem and self worth. She says further that it is a gift her father gave to her.
Deborah Sutherland, Mayor of Bay Village.
Ms. Sutherland acknowledges that without the sacrifices of her family she would never be able to have a life in politics. She thinks people in the Cleveland area have lost sight of how fabulous the area is and remembers a pertinent quote "You have to travel far to discover what is here."
Jennifer Thomas, Director, Civic Innovation Lab.
Ms. Thomas moved back to Cleveland nine years ago and is glad she did. She says this is the first time in her life she has taken advantage of mentors and stresses the importance of them.
Although the women, their positions, their businesses and their circumstances were all different, they shared a commonality. They all talked about the influence family, friends and mentors had on them and stressed the importance of going outside your own comfort zone to help others succeed.
"Giving Back" was a common thread among these successful and inspiring women. To a woman, they all "walked their talk" and served as superior examples to all present.