I love when I find myself in a room filled with successful women who make me want to up my game. You think I’d be self-conscious, but I’ve been surrounded by brilliant, successful women my entire life.

Growing up, my Mom was the Executive Director of a local non-profit with a women’s rights-focused mission. Of course, my Mom was my guiding light in her own right…but the incredible women she surrounded herself with further demonstrated where education, confidence and passion could take you. I spent my formative years being bustled to numerous events in my hometown, networking with best and brightest women of the Great Lakes Bay region. I quickly recognized how amazing and important it was for me to have an opportunity to embrace these women, hear their stories and learn from their experiences. My years forming relationships with them were pivotal to my growth and success. I collected valuable knowledge from those who came before me, and it helped me overcome a lot of obstacles and reach my goals.

When I first moved to Detroit, I was nervous about developing another network of women I could turn to for guidance. I had built up such a robust network in my hometown…how would I re-develop that in my new home?

W@MA Influential Women’s Leadership Panelists

Lucky for me, during my very first day in my new position at my host company, I was introduced to W@MA. W@MA = Women at Marketing Associates, a diversity and inclusion initiative at my host company that aims to enrich and promote the careers of women at MA through development and leadership opportunities. This initiative provided me with the perfect opportunity to get to know some of the women at my host company and develop supportive relationships with them. It’s so motivating to be surrounded by women who are thriving in their life and careers.

Recently, W@MA hosted an Influential Women’s Leadership Panel. Female executives, leading businesswomen, and experienced professionals discussed a range of important leadership topics, including decision making, communication skills, networking and mentoring. Included in the panel was Deirdre Greene Groves, the Executive Director of Challenge Detroit. As corny as it sounds, this was such a cool moment for me. Seeing my host company and Challenge Detroit come together in a subject matter that I’m passionate about was so fulfilling and exciting.

I’m so grateful to have found my way here…spending each day with an amazing host company and organization that align themselves so closely with many of my values. As I reflected on this thought, I had to give credit to all of the phenomenal women who have helped me get here, and the women who continue to support me unconditionally in my life and career. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you! Life goal: to do for someone else what you have done for me…