Founding and running a company and a not-for-profit organization gave me the freedom to create, collaborate and be in charge of how I spent my time, my money, and my energy.
By making strategic plans, hard decisions and a payroll I was able inspire a team to bring dreams to life.
Being a female CEO gave me the power to make tangible changes and advances in my own life and in turn lead women and girls to better choices and more freedoms.
I have learned to be a CEO by doing it for over 25 years with an active community of women CEO’s, the guidance of coaches and support from my family and friends.
5 Keys to be Better CEO
Here is my current list of CEO’s whose super powers I am inspired by:
Ariela Esquenazi is the CEO of Ariela & Associates International, one of the largest privately held lingerie companies in the country, selling over 60 million garments a year under different brand names. She started at 27 years old with $15,000. She is my friend and collaborator in helping women grow their businesses including her support for the 2020 Count Me In Revival grant competition. One of Ariela’s super powers is growth and scale through strategic relationships with global companies.
Mary Barra is the chairman and CEO of General Motors. She is the first female CEO of a major automaker. In November 2020 Mary announced her intention to accelerate an “all out pursuit of global Electric Vehicles (EV) leadership”. She has set aggressive goals to offer only electric vehicles by 2035, ending the production of gas powered vehicles to become carbon neutral. I have never met Mary but know that she has taken a giant step in the fight to save our planet. Mary’s super power is acting at an social, economic, and environmental inflection point to lead the auto industry into a future free of fossil fuel vehicles.
Rosalind (Roz) Brewer and I crossed paths when she was the President & CEO of Sam’s Club. Count Me In had received a large grant from Sam’s Club through the Wal Mart Foundation. I have watched her rise through the ranks of global corporations for 10years. She is always strategic and currently is the only Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. As more Americans count on their pharmacies for inoculations, information and health care, Rosalind with her super powers for systems that touch millions every day is the best person to be CEO of Walgreens
Nely Galan, my friend, the media mogul, single mother, Cuban immigrant, award winning content creator and women’s movement leader. One of Nely’s super powers is negotiate tough deals and scoring win wins. Read her NYT best seller “Self-Made”. Watch me interview Nely ( link to our session with her)
Princess Jenkins, the founder & CEO of The Brown Stone Woman in Harlem creates an extraordinary shopping and bespoke experience that dresses women beautifully. A satisfied customer and friend, Princess has put me in elegant affordable coats that bring compliments from strangers and highly fashionable, comfortable pieces that work everywhere, every day. Princess’s super power is to deeply appreciate the beauty and style of the customer. It guides her creation, curation and marketing over 35 years in business.
Lastly I want to bring Nancy Radmin to your attention, the founder and CEO of The Forgotten Woman. She died in December 2020 after a lifetime of disrupting the women’s clothing industry. I’ve included her obituary to remind us all of our value and legacy as CEOs. .
Nancy Radmin is the late founder & CEO of The Forgotten Woman a national clothing store chain that opened in 1977 and closed in 1998. She disrupted and revolutionized the style and availability of beautiful business and special occasion clothes for Curvy, Plus Size, Voluptuous customers. Women like me who watched and appreciated her CEO skills as a faithful customer. Her approach was groundbreaking with beautiful inventory for woman starting at Size 14, a new sizing system that eliminated judgement and in store welcome that included snacks, champagne and sales people our size.
She created a magical and empowering experience, key qualities for a great CEO.