Aniek Genovese, Senior Specialty District Sales Manager


“I believe in bringing passion into work and life.” –Aniek Genovese

     Aniek Genovese, Senior Specialty District Sales Manager at Eli Lily and Company in Atlanta Georgia, loves helping others, new opportunities, and performing well. Accomplishment is Aniek’s favorite word. She strives to show her girls what a woman can achieve, whether it is at work with a new career move, or at home medaling in a race. She received a BS in Business Administration and Management from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

     The thrill of influencing others has always driven Aniek. Her passion for selling started at an early age. She remembers always finding something to sell at the end of her driveway. Having the ability to sell seashells in Florida shows how innate selling was for Aniek. One of her first jobs, being a cashier at Publix, combined her love for sales and providing an exceptional customer experience.

     In addition to her sales expertise, Aniek also has a lot of experience leading. One of the first times Aniek remembers leading was when she was a junior in high school. She loved physics, and her teacher provided her with the opportunity to be a TA. The two people Aniek pulls her leadership skills from the most are her parents. Her father was an executive, and her mom was a teacher. Both inspired her, and she still draws from the lessons they taught her.

     Women in the workplace often have to work hard to reach senior leadership positions. While Aniek has faced challenges during her career, she always finds a way to succeed through hard work and peer collaboration. Barriers have helped build her character and taught her how to adapt. As a married woman with children, Aniek has learned she often has to do things differently. She does not accept no for an answer and has found unique ways to display her talent and capability.

     Eli Lily has employees take a test upon hiring that helps to describe their personality characteristics. Aniek can be described as red/yellow which combines competitiveness and being proactive with a fun attitude. As a leader, Aniek encourages diversity of thought and flexibility. She also wants her team to feel like a family. She not only acknowledges hard work but celebrates it. Aniek also thinks strategically and finds ways to translate her ideas into success in the field.

     A project Aniek would like to focus on in the future is helping children learn inclusive leadership in the classroom. She recalled the quote, “If you are not intentionally including someone, you are unintentionally excluding them.” She wishes children at a young age learned more about conflict resolution, the importance of attitude/ behavior, and diversity. She encourages inclusivity to her daughters and stresses not only being polite but saying hello when they are out in the community.

     Aniek’s two favorite times of the day are waking her children up and picking them up from school. You may not know that Aniek was born in Belgium, she would love to go to Europe with her entire family. Running, cooking on the green egg, and cleaning are ways that Aniek relaxes. Aniek vacuums so much (every other day) that her daughter Addison said going to sleep to the sound of the vacuum is soothing.


Aniek encourages future leaders to:
Always… remember you are in control of your career.
Never… be someone you’re not.
Follow… your gut because your head can be too rational and your heart can be too emotional.

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Connect with Aniek:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aniek-genovese-5126a64

Marc Spiegel, Co-Founder Rubicon Global


“You have to be willing to take risks and accept the consequences. But you also have to treat every person from top to bottom in a way that would make your mother or grandmother happy.”

-Marc Spiegel 

     Marc Spiegel, co-founder of Rubicon Global relishes in the success of others and does not fear taking chances. Marc was recently named as one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 under 40 for 2016. This list honors the top business leaders in the Atlanta area who also demonstrate social responsibility.

     The purpose of Rubicon Global, located in Atlanta GA is “to disrupt the waste and recycling industry and create less expensive, more sustainable solutions”. The interview took place at Rubicon’s offices in Buckhead which have a picturesque view of the city of Atlanta. Some may see the success of an entrepreneur or a business and be remised about the work that goes into the achievements. Starting a business as a young entrepreneur is no easy feat. Marc believes it requires finding people who not only believe in your concept, but are willing to invest in the idea.

     Marc received a BS in Sports Administration/Finance and a MPA, both from University of Louisville. Yes, he is an avid Louisville fan. His daughter Ansley even decided to enter the World shortly after a big Louisville win. Marc will definitely teach Ansley about personal financial responsibilities. He wishes elementary schools taught personal finance so young people could begin learning imperative skills needed throughout life.

     The fear of losing motivates Marc to consistently put forth his best effort. Marc has always been competitive which stemmed from his involvement in sports as a youth. One of Marc’s favorite jobs was as an unpaid intern for a AAA baseball team. Unsurprisingly, he was the only intern to move up the ranks and be promoted from throwing t-shirts to the press box.

     Watching various leaders throughout his life taught Marc lessons about the type of leader he did not want to be. In contrast, stories about his grandfather’s ability to relate to a variety of people taught Marc about admirable leadership qualities. As a leader, Marc strives to foster an environment that provides positive work-life balance. He also focuses on active listening and believes trust is a key component to every relationship/ partnership. Marc continually measures himself against the leader he was ten years ago.

     Stress can be a problem for entrepreneurs, especially those at Marc’s level. Family and friends are the center of Marc’s life. The first dollar the company made was his favorite object, it is now a wedding photo of him and his wife Cote. Marc likes to relax with his wife and friends which typically involves watching sports or eating out. Marc also enjoys traveling and would love to spend two months in Australia. He could also envision himself living abroad for a few years. If you want to bring Marc a treat, he adores any type of chocolate ice cream.

     Marc believes an effective leader in the entrepreneurial realm should be able to operate in the unknown. Marc truly loves being an innovator and has founded multiple companies. He believes starting your own business is one of the best ways to control your own destiny. Opportunity is Marc’s favorite word. He is grateful for every situation that has helped established him into the leader he is today, one who is recognized as a high achiever.


Marc encourages future leaders to:
Always… outwork. You have to be able to look everybody in your organization in the eye and not ask them to work harder than you.
Never… lose sight of where you come from or what you stand for. Never lose the desire to respect people inside and outside of your organization.
Follow… your instincts and know that you may sometimes be wrong.

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Connect with Marc:
Website: https://www.rubiconglobal.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-spiegel-22743011


Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell, City of Kalamazoo

Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell believes in Kalamazoo and has a great sense of what the community needs. He is motivated by action and the drive to have a lasting impact. If you have talked to Mayor Hopewell, you know that he is congenial and enjoys laughter. The smiles of children are one of his favorite parts about the job.

     Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell has been the mayor of Kalamazoo City in Michigan since 2007. He received his B.A in Public Services and EMS Administration from Siena Heights University. He also has a Master’s in Organizational Learning and Performance from Western Michigan University.

     The interview took place at a scenic and impactful location, Pretty Lake Camp. The nonprofit organization “has provided a cost-free summer camp experience to over 50,000 at risk youth from Kalamazoo County.” Pretty Lake Camp not only has a rich history for Kalamazoo but for the mayor as well. He attended the camp for fourteen summers during his youth. He worked as a counselor, health officer, summer director, and now serves on the Board of Directors.

     Mayor Hopewell’s leadership experiences started before he became a camp counselor. As a youth, Mayor Hartwell got involved in many organizations that assisted others. He first remembers leading in elementary school when he was captain of the safety guard. He was also an Eagle Scout as well as a CPR/ First Aid instructor. You may be surprised to find out that one of Mayor Hopewell’s first jobs was as a hotdog “slinger”. He performed this task at WMU football games for a short time and later at A&W.

     Mayor Hopewell learned a lot of valuable lessons in school. One of his junior high school teachers had a lasting impact on his life. Bruce Arney, a driven and caring man, taught the students to hold themselves to expectations and follow their dreams. If Mayor Hopewell could add classes to the school curriculum, he would have a class focused on success strategies that would teach note taking skills, active listening, etc. He would also have a class about cultivating passions. Students could explore their passions and find out what they could do to fulfill their dreams.

     If you have the pleasure of working with Mayor Hopewell prepare yourself to enter “the village of can”. He believes in asking for what you want because the worst that can happen is you receive a no. He stresses that “no is just a word. It is not a mantra or a driver. No is an enabler, an opportunity.” You will likely hear him use the words inform, truly, appreciate and clearly often.

     When recalling his state of the city addresses, Mayor Hopewell fondly remembers his second experience. He had the desire to give the speech at a place other than city hall so that the event would be a dynamic celebration. It took place at Lincoln School Auditorium which was fitting because Kalamazoo is the city of promise. The event went well and highlighted citizens in the community including firefighters and a rescue team.

     For those that have aspirations to work in the public sector Mayor Hartwell has useful advice. He recommends gaining life experiences from different communities by living in different places. He also suggests having quality mentors to help cultivate the leadership skills within you

     Mayor Hopewell embodies the type of leader you want for your community. He has not gotten lax during his tenure and attends every community event he possibly can. One citizen wrote a message on a sticky note during the interview. It said, “You are learning from an amazing man who decided to improve his community.”
When he’s not running the city,

     Mayor Hartwell enjoys superhero cartoons, sci-fi, movies, and a good meal. He also tries to find time for cycling. One day when he has more free time, he aspires to travel to Australia.


Mayor Hopewell encourages future leaders to:

Always… follow strongly first and dive in and do. Challenge leadership when you can and always be engaged.
Never… use the word I, or at least try not to. If you succeed most of the time, you are focusing more on the citizens/ team than yourself.
Follow… your heart.

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Connect with Mayor Hopewell:
Website: http://www.kalamazoocity.org/mayor-bobby-j-hopewell
Email: mayor@kalamazoocity.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kalamazoocity
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kalamazoocity

Margo Marks, HR Manager

What qualities would you like your Human Resources (HR) representative to possess?

     Margo Marks, HR Manager at Razorfish likely has all of the qualities that just ran across your mind. Margo embodies home away from home with her radiating warmth, the ability to be silly, and knack for relationship building.

     Margo’s first leadership experience involved helping others as a member of Junior Civitan, a volunteer service organization. She later became president of her high school’s Junior Civitan Club and a member of the State board of the organization. Margo still believes in making an impact on the community. She knows everyone cannot be a big donor, however, people can give their time to help those in need.

     Margo has a B.A in Sociology and Education from the University of Denver. Margo shared about her college experiences. She started at UGA, then realized a smaller school would be most beneficial for her educational needs. The ability to interact with her professors and other students on a deeper level enhanced her learning experience. The decision to move colleges was a difficult one, but she describes it as life changing.

     Margo’s parents gave her the support she needed when she left home for Denver. She admires their leadership styles and the values they instilled in their children. Both of her parents have participated on many boards. Margo describes her mother as passionate and environmentally conscious. Margo loves that her father genuinely loves helping organizations and admires his ability to help them succeed.

     Margo did not know that she would end up in H.R. After working in various nonprofit jobs after college, she decided she needed a break. The interlude from work led to Margo’s most unique job, making cookies for the Holiday season. During this time, she talked to her friends and asked them the same question, “Why do you like what you do?”

     One friend’s response led to Margo working as a recruiter which was her first exposure to H.R. Now, as a seasoned HR representative, Margo has an answer to the question she once asked friends long ago. She likes working in H.R because she enjoys connecting with others through many facets.

     Margo’s honesty, bubbly personality and focus on family, have not always been considered strengths. These factors can be barriers for women in the workplace. However, Margo feels that, “You can have hard conversations and still treat people with respect and kindness. That will help them learn from the experience”. Margo describes her leadership style as a gentle nudge. As a leader, Margo believes in gaining trust and mutual respect. She shoots straight in a way that people can process.

     People looking to advance their career, will probably end up speaking to a recruiter or H.R representative. Margo has been in both roles, and she provided tips for job seekers. She encourages people to be confident and know your worth. Also, advocate for yourself and determine your balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.

     Once you’re in a role, Margo recommends assuming best intentions with people. She posed the question, “What would someone think about you if they met you on one of your worst days?” That person might believe you are angry, sad, or distracted when that could be very different from your genuine personality. We can all give people opportunities to show who they truly are and realize parents, managers, employees, millennials… are all people.
“Every interaction is a time for a fresh start.”

     When she’s not at work you may find Margo participating in an outdoor activity with her husband and two sons. Her favorite word is jump because she thinks of her boys jumping down the stairs, enthusiasm, and the ability to jump in. Margo desires to visit all 50 states; she only has three remaining (Hawaii, North Dakota, & South Dakota). Margo’s favorite object is her wedding ring because it represents family and home. Hopefully, that endearing fact will prompt her husband to book that trip to Hawaii.



Margo encourages future leaders to:

Always… be yourself because that is when you are most comfortable which leads to success. Also, always remember where you started.
Never… intentionally behave badly which includes holding others back for personal gain.
Follow… the path as it unfolds, be open to what lies ahead so that you can grow. Sometimes the hard right turns are the ones that are most important.

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Connect with Margo:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/margomarks
Email: margo.marks@razorfish.com

Joseph Wilson, Trial Attorney

“Always have goals in place and do everything that is necessary to get directly to the goals you set.”

-Joseph Wilson

     Joseph Wilson, a confident and driven trial attorney, works at Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC in Atlanta, Georgia. He has a B.S in Accounting from Jacksonville State University and a Juris Doctorate from Washington University.

     Sports have been an important part of Joseph’s life, and they helped develop him into the leader he is today. Joseph started playing baseball and basketball at a young age and remembers rallying his team at ten years old through a riveting speech. Yes, the speech worked and Joseph continued garnering leadership skills through sports, even at the collegiate level. His favorite object is still a basketball.

     Joseph admires his dad’s quiet, yet effective leadership style and ability to provide an example for others. Joseph also admires Johnny Cochran for his involvement with police brutality cases. Malcolm X is another leader Joseph respects for his bravery and ability to speak eloquently, even under pressure. These three leaders have different job titles, yet have commonalities in their desire to help the community. If you talk to Joseph about a typical week in his life, you will find that he too strives to use his skills for the good of the community.

     According to the American Bar Association, less than 5% of lawyers are African American. This statistic helps depict the barriers that some may face when seeking a career in law. Joseph recommends finding caring and trustworthy mentors who invest in your success. He is a mentor and helps many children through his involvement with the Emerging 100 of Atlanta. Joseph is the Parliamentarian for the organization. You may see him greeting students on their first day of school or participating on a panel to discuss police interaction and civil rights.

     As a leader, Joseph strives to instill confidence in others. He also believes in getting the job done. Joseph distinguishes himself from other lawyers in many ways. For example, he believes in injecting humor in the courtroom. Joseph has always loved to laugh and makes sure his environment is a positive one. He also enjoys giving legal tips via social media to assist people with legal problems they may encounter.

     If Joseph could alter the school curriculum, he would ensure that history classes taught the accurate history of the United States. He feels that it is incumbent and would remedy a lot of the issues we have in our society today. The desire for factual history aligns with his favorite word, knowledge. When Joseph gets the time to relax, he likes to lay down or sleep. Joseph’s bucket list is goal driven and highlighted by financial targets and verdicts.


Joseph encourages future leaders to:
Always… set goals and find the quickest or most linear path to the goal.
Never… intentionally burn bridges.
(However, Joseph feels that all failure facilitates learning.)
Follow… your heart and your brain. Weighing decisions based on both is essential.

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Connect with Joseph:

Instagram: josephwilsonesq
Email: jwilson@frg-law.com

Donald Beamer Jr., President of Monsieur

“I want to make an impact on the World.” –Donnie Beamer


     Donald Beamer Jr., an approachable and innovative entrepreneur, is the President of Monsieur in Atlanta Georgia. Donnie graduated with a BS in Economics from Georgia Tech and obtained his MBA from the Wharton School at UPENN. “Monsieur is the leader in the automated bartending arena and has been featured in CNN, TechCrunch, and Business Insider. Monsieur has been deployed at over 20 locations including the Kentucky Derby, Regal Cinemas, and Marriott Hotels.”

     If you think that owning your own business or receiving an advanced degree may be unattainable because you are a minority, look no further than Donnie. He thinks that it’s important for future leaders, especially his daughter Blake to know that anything she desires is attainable. Donnie feels that a person’s mindset and inability to think beyond what they know can create barriers. He encourages future generations to believe they deserve success and not minimize their accomplishments.

     While Donnie had a Jerry Maguire “show me the money” moment when saying leaders should follow the money, the resounding theme throughout the interview was family. His primary motivator is to provide for his wife and daughter so they can have everything they desire. Watching videos of his daughter makes him smile throughout the day. Donnie admires Barak Obama and Martin Luther King Jr., however, listed his father first when asked about inspirational leaders. Donnie also recalls his first leadership experience as being an older brother and taking on the responsibilities being the oldest entails.

     If you have the opportunity to work with Donnie, expect to be encouraged to strive for greatness. Donnie is passionate about his company and recommends everyone to bring passion to their job. He will encourage you to utilize your skills and work with your strengths so you can position yourself for success. As a leader Donnie has three A’s he lives by: accountability, approachability, and authenticity. These qualities translate to him following through, sharing in the outcome, and encouraging people to voice ideas and concerns. He will also embolden you to be your authentic self and have integrity.

     Donnie enjoys sports and competed as a track and field athlete at Georgia Tech. Currently, he is working on his golf game, an essential skill for today’s businessman. At the beginning of every May expect Donnie to be celebrating his birthday by watching the latest Marvel movie. If you live in Atlanta, you may run into Donnie getting ice-cream with his family or playing Pokémon Go. He celebrates being a nerd and also loves light sabers and swords. He plans to buy his first sword when he crosses traveling to Japan off his bucket list.

     Donnie wishes schools taught personal finances so that people could learn about topics such as credit scores, credit cards, student loans, etc. One of Donnie’s first jobs was working at Blockbuster. For those of us old enough to remember, who imagined a day we wouldn’t go to a store to rent movies? Donnie expressed how this example represents the changing World, and the impact technology can have on what becomes routine. Monsieur is an example of innovation that provides a drink alternative, don’t be surprised when you increasingly see Monsieur beverage machines at venues and events.

 

Donnie encourages future leaders to:

Always… look deeper and don’t take things at face value. Seek feedback and understanding because whether it’s a win or loss, there is something you should learn from the engagement or incident. Look back and see if what you did right is repeatable. It’s often because you sit down and reflect on failures, that the situation becomes beneficial.

Never… think in absolutes.

Follow… the money or where people are investing.


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Left to Right: Donnie Beamer, Mario Taylor, Barry Givens

Connect with Donnie:

Website: http://monsieur.co/


 

Janice Maatman, Faculty Specialist & Director of Undergraduate Nonprofit Education

“I really enjoy bringing people together who are very diverse.” –Janice Maatman


     Janice Maatman, a warm professor full of knowledge and willing to share it, who prefers you call her Jan. Jan is a masters faculty specialist and director of the undergraduate nonprofit education program at Western Michigan University. She graduated with a BA from Hope College with a major in English, minor in Music, and a teaching certificate. Jan also graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary.

     Jan will be retiring in May 2017 and serves as a wonderful example that yes, you can follow your passions and have more than one career. She always desired to work in the public sector and feels it was a part of her heritage. Jan has taught 8th and 9th grade English in New Jersey, been a campus minister in Ohio, a CEO and planning director in Michigan, and will retire at WMU after 15 years with the University. No matter what role she’s in Jan always creates a personal mission for each job which helps motivate her.

     Jan admires Jimmy Carter especially for his work post-presidency with The Carter Foundation, his desire for diplomacy and concern for people. She also remembers a regular volunteer she met when she was CEO at Ministry with Community named Mary Bader who was a Sister of Saint Joseph. Jan admired her leadership style and always remembers a quote Mary said, “God loves you just the way you are, but too much to leave you that way.”

     Jan experienced barriers early on in her career related to being a woman. However she always followed her calling and has always had the support of her husband, Vaughn. They even job shared at a time while raising their two children. Jan encourages women to advocate for their rights in the workplace and believes a woman can have a family and a career.

     If you have the pleasure of working or volunteering with Jan expect lots of laughs, stories filled with practical advice, and for her to ask you technology questions. Jan is motivated by helping people understand complexities. She also desires to treat people as equals whether it be the homeless, her students, or colleagues. Jan is a truly collaborative leader who welcomes participation from those around her.

     Jan plans to enroll in comparative religion classes in the near future. She feels that taking a comparative religion class can help students with conflicts and open them up to different perspectives. You may not know that Jan has lived above a choir college where she recalls being woken up by music at 3am. Another fun fact about Jan is that her first real job was at a fluoride treatment center. Sixteen year old Jan encouraged the workers to get their jobs done in a timelier manner so they could leave early and go to the beach.

     Post retirement you may find Jan at her book club, skiing, sailing, or hiking. She also can’t wait to spend more time with her granddaughters and watch them grow. If you’re lucky Jan may make you a strawberry rhubarb pie or offer you sweet tea on her deck. If you’re looking to get Jan a retirement gift, she enjoys a dry Chardonnay.

 

Jan encourages future leaders to:
Always… say thank you and appreciate those who work with you.
Never… drink too much at a party.
Follow… your emotions with your mind. So if something makes you feel, open your mouth and your mind will begin to articulate what you’re thinking.
(Jan especially gives this  last piece of advice to women who may be introverted or afraid to speak or ask questions in a classroom or work environment.)


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Connect with Jan
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janice-maatman-204bb5a
Email: janice.maatman@wmich.edu

To learn more about:
NLSA at WMU: http://www.nlsawmu.org/
SPAA at WMU: https://wmich.edu/spaa


In Memoriam: Robert Mason, Jr. featuring Sonja Mason


Robert Mason Jr., a true servant leader whose passion for helping others will forever be remembered by those who had the pleasure of knowing him.


     Robert’s wife of 41 years Sonja was interviewed for this blog, not only because she knows everything about Robert but because she too enjoys assisting those in need. Sonja likes to volunteer, and she and her family look forward to taking part in Mercy Care’s annual candlelight vigil. Sonja has one son, a daughter in law, three grandsons, and a granddaughter. The vigil is now the Robert L. Mason, Jr. Candlelight Memorial and honors those who died while homeless. Robert loved assisting with this event, so it’s a fitting tribute to his legacy. Sonja remembers a time when Robert had her read the names at the vigil at the last minute, and she discussed how much fun her grandchildren have handing out coats at the vigil.

     Robert grew up in Dublin, Ga and served in the United States Air Force. He attended Salem State College and received a BS in Social Services. Robert believed in continuous education and enjoyed attending conferences. His role as the Director of Community Relations at Mercy Care was one facet that enabled him to touch the lives of those who needed assistance. He worked at Mercy Care for over twenty years. Robert was also actively involved at his church, Big Bethel AME and was described as, “a faithful and devoted servant of God.”

     Sonja discussed Robert’s tendency to be the “go to guy” for those in his life from the clients he served to his nieces and nephews. He was the person you called if you or someone in your life needed help; he always connected individuals with the right resources. Sonja describes Robert as always kind and compassionate, a man who saw the best in others, even if that meant giving a person multiple chances. Sonja remarked about how many people Robert helped that she didn’t even know about until later.

     Patricia Brooks, a Clinic Manager at Mercy Care discussed a time in which she and Robert worked together on the mobile coach. Robert wanted to see every person even though they did not have enough time that day. He made sure everyone received information to come into the clinic because he truly wanted to aid every person he could. Patricia remembers Robert as, “consistently cordial and a model leader”.

     Tom Andrews, the President of Mercy Care and CEO of Saint Joseph’s Health System has fond memories of Robert. He remembers Robert as, “a very special man with a sincere dedication to the Mercy Care mission and those we serve.  He had such a calm and thoughtful approach to everything he did and when you were with him you felt his genuine presence that made you feel connected.  As everyone knows, Robert was a very proud individual, whether it was his work or his attire, he always strived to do good and look good! Robert was very helpful in guiding me when I first came to Mercy Care.  He was so well respected by our partner agencies and helped me develop very important relationships.  In many ways though, Robert was the go to person with many of those agencies because of the respect he had throughout our community”.

     Robert was the type of coworker you listened to when he spoke, not because he was authoritative but because of his wisdom. Robert encouraged others to do more than expected, and he was very active on committees. Robert often spoke of his family, hometown, and love for cooking at work.

     When asked about leaders that inspired Robert Sonja listed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, John Lewis, and President Obama. Sonja believes the most interesting job Robert ever had was when he worked on a Brinks security truck for six months. Those in attendance when Robert’s life was honored heard numerous stories about what an honorable man Robert was, one who always served others with a smile on his face. Those that believe servant leaders don’t exist, never met Robert Mason, Jr.

     Sonja is currently enjoying retirement and desires to travel the country visiting national parks. She enjoys volunteering with her sorority and at Mercy Care, it helps to fulfill her. Mercy Care was an unlikely place for Sonja to volunteer however a bond formed between her and the organization. She speaks highly of the leadership team and friendships that have formed. Sonja also likes going to the theater, spending time with good friends, and nestling up with a good book. Time with her grandchildren makes her smile, and she hopes to convince them to travel cross country with her. She and her family traveled to the White House earlier this year, and she expressed how much they enjoyed the trip and how proud Robert would have been, especially with their desire to dress sharply.

Sonja encourages future leaders to:

Always… be honest, open, friendly, and prepared.

Never… lie.

Follow… someone with integrity.

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This year’s Robert L. Mason, Jr. Candlelight Memorial is tentatively scheduled for December 21st, 2016 and occurs at
424 Decatur St SE, Atlanta Ga

For more information about the event and Mercy Care visit: https://www.mercyatlanta.org/

 

Lori Flowers, Marketing Director

“Every day do at least one thing out of your comfort zone.” –Lori Flowers


     Lori Flowers, an enthusiastic and tenacious leader works at Radio One in Atlanta, Georgia as the Marketing Director. Lori has a BA in English from Fisk University and a Master’s in Journalism from Arizona State University. Lori lights up every room she enters, even if that room is her office as she’s standing next to a cardboard cutout of Beyoncé. No, it’s not because of her love for makeup or stylish attire. Lori’s infectious and passionate personality cause people to take pause and desire to get to know her. It’s not surprising that one of her first leadership experiences entailed leading the cheer squad in college.

     Cathy Hughes who founded Radio One is one of the leaders that has inspired Lori due to her groundbreaking foray into entertainment. Lori also credits her mother as being one of her biggest PR agents.
Not only does Lori always strive to go the extra mile in her career while planning and marketing events, she has also set out to “save our daughters” professionally and personally. One of Lori’s main motivators involves helping young women flourish and she has found many ways to impact lives.  Lori created the Radio Chicks mentoring program to assist women in her industry. She also works with Pinky Promise encouraging women to cherish their worth.

     If you have the pleasure to be on a team with Lori, expect for her to be straight up, lay out her expectations, and help you add the extra pizazz you need to wow others! Lori urges everyone to work hard, so you know what you’re talking about and can take on any challenge.

     If Lori could give her younger self advice, she would recommend speaking out more at the beginning of her career. How to purchase a house is a class Lori wishes they taught in schools. Those that know Lori may not know that she was once a romance writer for a newspaper helping write ads. Lori enjoys watching The First 48, pralines and cream ice cream and would love to travel to the Fiji Islands. Her husband O.J is one of the reasons she smiles.

Lori encourages future leaders to:

Always… go with your gut.

Never… be afraid to take on risks.

Follow… your instincts.


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Connect with Lori

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/loriiflowers