BPW/Triangle develops a powerful network of leaders to advocate, educate and cultivate connections.
"HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO DARE COURAGEOUSLY TO DEFEND WHAT THEY LOVE." -- OUID
The views expressed by blog authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of each member within our organization.
Can you give us a brief introduction of who you are and your current business?
My name is Dilek Austin. I work for a company called Novozymes as a scientist, which produces industrial enzymes. All of you are using the enzymes in your household products. Even enzymes are in our bodies so they are natural things. My background is in food engineering and food science. Therefore, I work in the food division, especially on baked goods. So, the next time you buy a sliced bread, ask yourself how come the bread is still soft for a long time, that is because of the enzymes.
Why did you join BPW and what committee are you part of?
Last summer I read a book You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. When I was reading one of the chapters, I saw something that related to me. She knew she needed to do something for herself but she didn’t know what it was, and someone recommended for her to join any women’s club in her area about business or interpersonal development. She said it was the best thing she did and she figured out what she really wanted to do with her life. That’s how I found BPW, via the website. Then I connected with one of you, I think I sent an email, and was introduced to Payal and it went from there. Payal was the biggest impact on me joining.
Who is a person who has helped you in your career and how have they helped you?
It’s cliche, but my mom and my dad. Because my mom grew up in an era when women weren’t educated and it wasn’t believed that women should be educated. I’m originally from Turkey. My dad had a college degree, an engineer. We are three girls and he always pushed us to be the best of ourselves and not to depend on men. So my mom wanted better things for us. All of us became engineers -. In fact, one thing about my dad was he always told us, “I cannot give you a bunch of money, houses, cars but when you have a good education, this is a golden bracelet for you for the rest of your life.” So that I think my parents are the main pushers in my career.
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of work?
I don’t know if this is a hobby, but I became a member of a Toastmasters club 3 years ago. It is very much like your group here, but with XY chromosomes and XX chromosomes together. I really enjoy that. I like to listen to public speaking and how people can develop themselves in public speaking. Seeing people how they develop in front your eyes with the support and guidance they get is amazing feeling.
I am so crazy about crocheting. I have to crochet every night. I find it very relaxing. One of the reasons I like technology is that I don't have my mom with me to teach me more patterns, but I can still learn from online. It's why I am so grateful about technology. I can just go learn things.
Another hobby, of course, is reading books, specifically personal and professional development books. Because of a book, I am part of BPW.
If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?
This is the best question ever because I always tell my kids, if I had a power right now, I would like to stop all the cruelty. Human to human, human to animals right away. It really hurts my heart to see that. It's why most of the time, I refuse to watch the news.
What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve traveled?
I want to say Turkey. I do travel but I was born there and I really recommend considering traveling to Turkey. There's so many amazing places and so many different cultures in there. I travel to other places of the world, but still I feel like Turkey is a very beautiful country.
What is your favorite restaurant and why?
I don't have a favorite restaurant. I love to try different things. Especially for a restaurant, it has to have a feeling. I just don't like the fancy restaurants. It has to have some colors, like a Latino type restaurant or Mexican type. I just love that vivid feeling when you enter. It's the feeling I'm looking for actually.
What was your favorite TV show or movie when growing up and why?
Growing up in Turkey, everything we see on the TV is almost 20 years after you guys. Growing up, I watched Dallas. Interestingly, I ended up marrying a Texan. It was interesting to go visit the ranch in Texas where the series was done. But my favorite show is Charlie's Angels. I like kickass and strong women. It's why I really loved that show.
What has been your most interesting job and why?
The job I'm doing right now. I get to visit different places and interact with different people to help them with their challenges in the industry. At the same time, being able to help with my education through them is really rewarding feeling. I really love to help, teach and learn. I'm a lifelong learner. Whenever I chat with people I will look for learnings form them. The more I give, the more I learn from other people.
What can BPW do to support you in your career?
I love listening to podcasts. I always feel like I need to be productive every second of my life. It's just me. I started listening to this podcast, "Hello Monday." I highly recommend it for business and professional women. I’m pretty sure many of you are very ambitious. The fact that you come to this dinner meetings after work, which shows some dedication. I feel like I can align with you and learn from you and help BPW.
My name is Jami Yazdani and I was in higher education for about 15 years and I recently relocated here. I started a leadership management consulting business so I would like to be helping clients solve management problems, develop leadership skills, and build their administrative toolkits. The services I offer are coaching, training, and facilitation.
I’ve been involved in other women’s organizations so when I moved here I googled “women’s organizations near me” or something like that. I found BPW and joined. I think I’m on the marketing committee. The thing that was funny about that is I just joined, saw an event, I thought it was about marketing or business, I showed up, and it was the marketing committee meeting. So now I help with the BPW Instagram account! But I feel very welcome and they were happy to put me to work. Yeah, I thought I was coming to something completely different.
I have been really lucky that I’ve had lots of people who have helped me in my career. But the person who always sort of comes to mind is a former supervisor of mine when I was at Northern Virginia Community College. She was just such a great supervisor. She was wonderful and encouraging. After I left NOVA and after she retired, she still sends me amazing emails. Every now and then, “How are you doing? What’s going on?” And when I tell her, she’s always like, “That’s so awesome! You’re doing so great!” And so she’s just so encouraging. Her name is Carol and I often say, “What would Carol do?”
I’m a big reader. I like to cook. I like to travel when I can. That’s really all I can think of. I’m not a big hobby person. I’m too much of a perfectionist to actually do crafts or anything.
I would love to be able to sort of beam myself somewhere. You know, like kind of, “Scotty! Beam me up!” Because I would save so much travel time. Even though I enjoy a good road trip, if I could sort of be at Target and then be at home, then get to a meeting, that would be amazing.
That’s kind of a tricky one. My husband and I, when I graduated with my second masters, went to Curacao to sort of celebrate. We were there for five days and somehow they had two national holidays during the five days we were there so everything was closed and we couldn’t go on excursions, so we just sat on the beach and at the swimming pool. It was the best vacation but I think it’s because we did nothing.
This one is hard. I don’t have a favorite restaurant. I like trying restaurants. I’ll eat most any cuisine. I don’t have a favorite restaurant. Erin (Cannon) had recommended Full Moon Oyster Bar and I went there the other night. That was really, really good. I guess I could recommend that but I don’t have a favorite.
This was also hard because I watched a lot of TV as a kid, but I remember really liking Growing Pains. I think I also watch Golden Girls but I still watch that as an adult, actually. I was watching it this morning and I think I enjoy it more as an adult. Movie-wise, I enjoy Goonies and Star Wars. I watched Adventures in Babysitting like a thousand times, and I didn’t even babysit. So I’m not sure what that was about.
I think all of my jobs in higher ed were really interesting, sometimes because they were challenging. But I’ve often had jobs where I had to do a lot of things and I really like doing a lot of different things. A job that was kind of interesting, that’s not on my LinkedIn profile or my resume, when I got out of undergrad, I thought I wanted to be an archeologist so I did my field school and for a couple of months I worked for a cultural resources management firm on a dig. That was super interesting. I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Even though it was fun, I needed to be around people more - which was a good thing to realize - but it was really interesting.
So because I have a new business, of course, I would love clients and to network with people. But I’m new to the area so I also would just like to meet people and make friends. And I am in a career transition so I’m open to all kinds of opportunities. I think learning what people do and what’s out there would be most helpful.
I’m Marcy Stahl, I’m a business coach for women entrepreneurs and women in direct sales.
Why did you join BPW and what positions have you held during your tenure with BPW?
I moved from the DC area five years ago, and I was doing a lot of women’s networking up there, and as soon as I got here I was like, “Where are my people? I need to Google ‘women’s networking groups Raleigh.’” I found BPW and from the first meeting, I was just like, okay, this is my tribe, these are my people, I’m in the right place. So I joined actually pretty quickly after the state conference that year, which was fascinating hearing more of the history of the organization which has been such an advocate for women’s rights. We sometimes take our rights for granted but it’s very recent that we got those rights. So I’m a big fan of that.
I was the Membership chair for a while and then I think right into the Co-Presidency. I think I skipped the Co-President Elect. Now I am the chair of the Scholarship committee.
Yeah, that’s something I’m looking to fertilize and grow this year. Outside work, I definitely do a ton of reading, I have two rescue cats that take up a fair chunk of time, time with friends, and I’m a big lover of film and live music - and that’s something I want to be doing more of. Those are probably my main things.
If you could sit on a bench in a beautiful woods, who would you like sitting next to you on the bench and why?
What an open ended question with so many different options. So what about family? No. Friends? Maybe. Boyfriend? I’m not dating. So I circled back around to friends. One of my friends who lives in Montana and is a nature guide would be the perfect person to be sitting with because he and I love being together and he could tell me about everything around us in the forest.
What was your favorite TV show when growing up and why?
The “why” part may be harder to reflect back on and figure out. When I was young, I was super intrigued by the first Batman show. And then when I was a teenager, I would say Saturday Night Live.
What has been your most interesting job and why?
Define interesting. For sure it’s been being self-employed. I feel like that is the biggest personal growth journey you can pick. From the outside, it looks like, “Oh! You get to have control over your own schedule! Blah blah blah.” But it’s really an inner journey because it forces you out of your comfort zone every day of the week. So being an entrepreneur, for me, is my favorite job.
What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve travelled?
Tasmania! Probably Australia overall is my favorite place and being on this little island off of Australia with amazing scenery and incredible food, it was so fantastic!
And the thing that cracked me up is that Australians love meeting Americans and asking you where you’re from and what places in Australia you’re going to visit. And every time I said, “I’m going to Tasmania”, they were like, “Oh, that’s where senior citizens go.” So it was dorky at the time, but I loved it.
What book, movie read/seen recently you would recommend and why?
I am having a great time recommending this book, “In the Company of Women” by Grace Bonney. The author, who is a photographer, interviewed 100 different women who are all creative types. They’re everything from interior designers to writers to visual artists. She has beautiful photographs of them in their studio, in their space. Just to be able to see what they’ve got—the odds and ends, the pictures, everything—is fantastic. And she asks them great questions like, “the best lesson you’ve learned in your business”, “the mistake that you learned the most from.” And she asked something about advice, like good advice that you got or good advice that you ignored. She’s super inclusive in terms of the kind of women that she profiles so I highly recommend this book, and I highly recommend it in hardback and in full color.
What’s your favorite tradition or holiday?
Probably Thanksgiving. You know, just the 100% focus on food.
Probably the easiest thing is if you know of other women’s networking groups that use outside speakers, that is a great thing for me to be connected to. It’s always harder I think to talk to people about who is my ideal client and how do you know that they’re my ideal client. So speaking engagements, that’s the easiest thing.
I moved to Raleigh a year and a half ago from Seattle and previously lived in the Florida Keys. I am currently working for DH Griffin Wrecking in their Raleigh Division. My previous work background ranges from a retail manager, flight attendant, financial aid advisor at a university, massage therapist, spa director, legal assistant /office manager. My work life has not been very dull.
Why did you join BPW and what positions have you held during your tenure with BPW?
I had previously attended BPW meetings in the Florida Keys and when I moved here I was looking for a group of like-minded women. I would say the deciding factor for me was when I was on our website and I saw the t-shirt "Inspired by my Tribe" I knew I was making the right decision. I am currently on the social committee.
I enjoy hiking, my Orangetheory workouts and finding great places to eat in Raleigh and Durham.
What was the best concert you ever attended?
On the Sunset Pier in Key West, I saw Galactic with Trombone Shorty and the Blues Travelers. Two different concerts, same location.
What are you passionate about?
My passions are traveling and moving to new cities. My sisters affectionately call me Bedouin - I like to call it wanderlust.The "moving to new cities" is currently off the books since I just purchased my first home - ever - in Brier Creek. I am constantly looking for new countries to visit - my current list of places to go to is New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, and Croatia.
What is the craziest thing you have ever done (that you can share)?
With less than 6 weeks of preparation I hiked across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago for over a month. Needless to say, living 7 feet above sea level on a very flat island in the sunshine state did not prepare me very well for crossing the Pyrenees.
What are you currently watching on Netflix or TV?
I just recently finished bingeing the Australian show "Offspring" on Netflix
Which four individuals, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner with the most?
Dave Chappelle and Tina Fey - to laugh, Gene Kelly - to teach me to dance and Linda Carter because duh - she's Wonder Woman!
What is your favorite family tradition?
My parents do not do it anymore but for Greek Easter my dad would roast a whole lamb in our backyard. It is quite an ordeal because you have to start early in the morning and, before we had a machine to turn the goat, the men would dig a hole, start the coals and manually rotate the lamb while drinking ouzo. Now while this is happening - all your family starts to arrive and you are eating a drinking all day long. If you close your eyes and imagine My Big Fat Greek Wedding....that's exactly what it is like. Growing up in Queens you always knew where all the Greeks lived during Easter especially if it was raining because you would see blue tarps everywhere.
What can BPW do to support you in your career?
I do not think BPW needs to do anything but be there. I like knowing that I have women that I can talk to and ask questions. I also hope they feel comfortable to tell me if I walk out of the bathroom with my skirt stuck in my hose and can laugh about it with me.
You’ll hear it over and over again when you ask someone why they joined BPW, “I joined for the people.” And it’s true. BPW of the Triangle is an incredibly supportive network of ladies. When you attend meetings, there are certain familiar faces who are always there to greet you and make you feel welcome. BPW fosters a warm environment of encouragement and camaraderie. It’s always exciting to hear when one of the members gets an opportunity to move on to bigger and better things. Though, it’s definitely bittersweet when their business journey takes them away from the Triangle.
I wanted to take a moment to highlight one of our long time members, Karen Boardman. Karen has recently accepted a position with Sellers, Ayers, Dortch & Lyons, P.A, a law firm in Charlotte, NC. While we’re very excited for Karen and her new opportunity, we’re definitely going to miss her!
Karen has been a member of BPW for the last 6 years, and if you’ve been to a BPW meeting recently, then you’ve no doubt seen her around, greeting you as you check-in. During her time with BPW, she’s served as both the Social Chair, and has fulfilled the role of Treasurer for the last two and a half years (doing an incredible job keeping us all on track)!
I got a chance to ask Karen about her upcoming transition. She said it was funny, because she wasn’t actively looking for a change, but a friend of hers brought the open position to her attention. It turned out to be a perfect fit!
Karen will be continuing her work in corporate matters and estate planning, but she’ll also be able to bring in her experience with trademark and copyright law. In fact, thanks to Karen, this is the first time that Sellers Ayers will be able to offer these kinds of services. So if you know anyone in the Charlotte area who’s looking for legal advice, be sure to send them Karen’s way.
She will also have the opportunity to become a partner within one year, which wasn’t an option at her old practice.
Not only is this a great move for Karen’s career, but she’ll be also closer to her family. She’s going to miss the Triangle, but she’s looking forward to new adventures in Charlotte!
“It’s hard for me to put into words what being a part of BPW/Triangle has meant to me for the last 6 years. I leave every dinner meeting, board meeting, and social event feeling empowered by the truly extraordinary women who comprise this group. It’s more than networking – these women truly lift each other up and create lasting friendships. Thanks to the organization for entrusting me as Social Chair for a year and then as Treasurer for 2.5 years. Please do keep in touch! I will miss you all!”
If you get a chance, be sure to reach out to Karen and wish her well as she moves into the next stage of her professional career. And thank you, Karen, for everything you’ve done to make BPW of the Triangle such a success!
My name is Cyn Macgregor and I live in North Raleigh with my husband and my mother. He and I have four children together. We have three girls: one in San Francisco, one in Brooklyn, and one in Knoxville. And one son also in Knoxville. I have been a business owner for the majority of my work life. My business Brand & Book is focused on helping business owners build their brand and publish a book and Cyn Macgregor Art creates original, often abstract artwork that elevates your spirit, enhances your living spaces and inspires you, at work or at home.
Because my mother told me to! It’s true. When my mom, Irma, moved to the area 10 years ago she searched for a networking group to help her business. She went searching around town and after visiting this group she found BPW to be very warm and welcoming. And then she said, “You should join too!” And so I did. I’ve been in this group for about 10 years, I guess. I have held positions in marketing, programs, and I was President for the 2014-2015 year.
I live in a community that has a community garden. I love it. It used to be a tennis court and was converted to a garden. I like to “try” to grow vegetables in my little five-by-five raised bed. It’s a nice comforting spot to be. I also like to make Kombucha. It’s a kind of brewed fermented tea is supposedly good for your gut. It’s healthy but it’s kind of an icky looking bacteria. And it’s delicious! I also write and produce movies with my filmmaker/actor husband. Our recent award-winning movie “Katie’s Dog” premiered at Peak City International Film Festival and will screen November 21, 2018 at Carborro Film Festival.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Caitriona Balfe. You might know her as Claire Fraser, ya know married to Jamie Fraser in Outlander. I really love her spirit and determination and I love how she is living in the past and present at the same time. Although she knows the future, she cannot change it. It must be frustrating. Plus we’re both Scots. She’s my kin somewhere. I think she could probably play a better me!
What did you want to be when growing up?
I have a little story about this. They say you can know your true self by looking at the 10 year old version of yourself. For me, that was travel, painting, making friends, and being in awe of the Universe. That was my 10 year old self. And that year, the first man set foot on the moon. My family took a long road trip to California. That was also the year that my mother said, “No, it is not appropriate for the boys to climb inside your bedroom window.” And also I did my first abstract painting. When I was a little older, I dreamed of being either a photographer for National Geographic or creative director for a fancy NYC magazine.
What do you like to do on your days off?
I like to explore. Walkabouts. Visit new places. Play with my Nikon camera. Contribute to the creative community. Change the world.
Where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
Maldives. It’s located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. I love the idea of being in a luxe hut on top of crystal blue water, with air conditioning and a wet bar of course!
How do you define success?
The ability to work on projects that make your heart sing, without worry of money or time, with some of recognition. I want to share, also, my sweet husband is one of those guys who leaves little notes and cards every now and then. And today was one of those days. Inside the card, part of what he wrote was appropriate so I thought I’d share: “Success is not about what's in bank accounts but about what's in a person’s soul.” I thought it was really sweet. So I’m going with both of those things.
What is your favorite food?
Oh, BPW has already given me so much support. Like I said, it’s been 10 years so I have met some amazing women. I have found great friends and business associates. If you find you need something, you have a group that is ready to help you if they can. The ladies in this group support me by asking how they can help and by being open to helping me when I ask. As a solopreneur, finding new clients is an ongoing process. Currently, I am looking for contacts in two areas: (1) business people who are subject matter experts and wish to publish a book as part of their marketing strategy and (2) interior designers who are looking to build relationships with artists who provide artwork and decor. Email Cyn.
Top photo by: Rhesa Versola | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bottom photo by: Larry E. Evans
us a brief introduction of who you are and what you do at your current organization.
My name is Olivia Scarbrough. I am from Greenville, North Carolina originally and then I went to Ole Miss so I was in Mississippi in that area for about 5 years and then out of college. I moved to Memphis, and I lived in Memphis for 3 years and then last July my husband and I moved back here to be closer to family. I am a CPA with a regional accounting firm. I do tax work mostly with closely-held businesses and I sort of recently narrowed my focus down to construction and real estate.
Why did you join BPW?
I joined BPW as a way to stay involved with the community and to try to find a way to give back to the community. I was involved with some young professional type stuff when I was in Memphis and so when I moved here, I was doing some Googling and researching and that sort of thing. And then I had a really good conversation with Donna and Allison and decided this would be a good fit for me.
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?
Wine. My husband and I, we like to hike and we’ve been doing a bunch of state parks in the area. And we have two dogs so they go with us and get some of that energy out. I love to be on the water. My parents have a house on the river in little Washington. So anything by the water - the beach, the mountains - anything. Anything water related, I’m there.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do?
My husband and I discussed this the other night before the big drawing because we had a pool at work, but I think the first thing I would probably do is give a bunch of money to the two rescues that we got our dogs from. They’re awesome organizations. One’s here: Cause for Paws. And one is in Memphis. So I would probably just try to do something for them first… and then I’d probably go make some other bad decisions.
What is the best thing that happened to you within the past couple of months?
You’ve already heard about my dogs, but at one point I only had one and my husband and I got one after we kinda got settled here in Raleigh. We rescued a 3-and-a-half year old… I’m not sure what he is really… but his name is Sampson and he’s been the perfect addition to our family, because we’re not ready for human children. And I couldn’t really narrow it down to one because that was a really great thing and I also found out earlier this year that I was gonna be an aunt. My brother and his wife are expecting a little boy in January.
What is your favorite superhero and why?
So my husband says I had no childhood because I was not into cartoons and movies and I was an outside kid. I guess it’s a little unconventional but I would have to say my mom. She’s pretty awesome so if I can be half the person she is, I think that’d be pretty good.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
There’s a lot, but being in taxes I have to say people who bring in their tax work late. Don’t do it. Get in early. Get in early.
What is one TV or Netflix show you never miss?
This is Us.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I think I’d like to be creative and decorative like in a Joanna Gaines-type way. Like, take a room and totally transform it. That is totally not something I am good at.
I guess I kind of mentioned this with the other, “Why did I join BPW?” I guess to just find a way to meet other people that are very similar to myself, have similar goals, and that sort of thing. But also a way to give back to the community a little bit. I know we’ve been talking about some of our nonprofit stuff and getting involved there. So I guess creating a network of people that you admire and are similar to and that you can bounce ideas off of each other and that sort of thing. I haven’t been here very long, but hopefully in the future. There’s a lot of good stuff going on.
Member: Kim van der Heijden
Can you give us a brief introduction of who you are and what you do at your current organization?
I’m a National Marketing Director with The JuicePlus Company. My passion is to educate people/families on the importance of nutrition and specifically the power of fruits and vegetables. I love providing a solution to a problem most of us have, which is eating enough fruits and vegetables daily. I also believe that women should have the ability to be home with their kids and have a thriving career. I love helping women launch and build their at home virtual business around their families lives.
When I first moved here 3 years ago, I was searching for a way to be around like-minded empowered women. I met Marcy Stahl at a networking event and she inviting me to a meeting. I loved it and join that night.
I love to workout out especially outside – running, tennis, boot camp. I also love to watch my kids basketball games. Most weekends you will find me in a gym.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
Oprah – I think she is an amazing role model and inspiration.
Again, 2 boys and the first thing that came to mind was the Transformers and I just remember watching them and they all had their own different powers but together they could stand together and pretty much conquer anyone and so kind of made my think of women when we band together we can do anything together.
How much time do we have? I think probably the biggest thing for me would be to be authentic with your word. I have a hard time with people telling me that they are doing something and then don’t follow through with it.
What would you do for career – if you were not doing this?
This will come as a shocker but I would be a basketball coach.
What is your favorite game/board game?
Cribbage - I grew up in a family that played a lot of cards if I was really being truthful, I would say poker but with my kids I don’t play poker with them at the dinner table.
I would love to be a good photographer.
What can BPW do to support you in your business?
I would say that in the business I am in it is all about awareness and understanding. Everyone in the room knows of fruits and vegetables are good for us so just having that good understanding you might be more apt to see the people that are looking for ways to improve their health and introduce me. Or even knowing other women that may also be looking for a way to get home and be with your kids and having a career and family. If you are open to education, please contact Kim at email@example.com.
How did you end up in your current career?
In college I had the privilege of playing basketball in Europe and my body broke down because I was I was not nutritionally fit even though I was physically fit, I was not nutritionally fit. Came back to the States and had a great career starting off with Reebok, traveled the world and landed in high tech recruiting. I did that for about 10 years and just been working outside of the house in raising kids was fine for a while until it wasn’t – long commute, working for a boss, not having time for you and then I thought there has to be a way for women to be able to have a thriving career and be home with our kids, why do we have to choose. I looked for 2 years and could not find anything and then a friend called me one day and said I found what you are looking for and I said – no you didn’t because I had been looking for 2 years. Fortunately, she was persistent and I went and took a look and just absolutely fell in love with the company. Left corporate, cut my family’s income in half and got to work.
Member: Dana Pyle
Who are you and what do you do for your current organization?
I am the marketing manager for Carolina Ale House. We have 30 locations in 6 states, so I handle their brand, any brand issues, public relations, corporate philanthropy, and catchall for anything else they possibly come up with.
I got to meet with Allison Cohan. I moved here about 2.5 years ago and one of the things I was really looking forward to was reconnecting with women that were similar in mindset, professionally in their career, and also just like to have a really good time and really just to meet different people and to learn new and different things. I interviewed, if you will, a bunch of different organizations and this one felt the best, it felt like I was at home and was welcomed right away and I had a really crazy schedule and somehow got put on the board and on committees. I know Allison would say, “No”. So that’s why I joined BPW.
What are your favorite hobbies or interests outside of work?
Work is my first hobby, but I really love to cook - so much so that I will go to friends’ houses for parties I’m not invited to and cook for them… and then leave. But I really love cooking, I love traveling, and just exploring where I live. I think there’s so much that is around our community that we don’t even scratch the surface on and I love trying new things. I love it.
Wonder Woman! I didn’t even have to think twice about this question. I wish I could understand why but I’ve loved Wonder Woman since I was a little girl. But I’ve been politically motivated my entire life, which is why I’m on the Legislative Committee, and was in politics for a long time. But I think that empowerment piece and that women can be strong and they can fight for what they believe in is just as strong of a power as knocking through walls and shooting things and whatever else some other superheroes do.
What chores do you hate doing?
Laundry. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Everything about laundry - putting in the washer, putting it in the dryer, folding - I hate laundry. Hate it.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I have always wanted to own my own event planning company. I love entertaining and what I love the most about it is seeing people happy. Whether it’s walking through the door, giving them really good food, giving them a lot of drinks (because I think that’s vital) but I’ve always really wanted to own my own event planning company and it’s still a dream goal of mine and I think one day it’ll come true. I think.
I actually had to think a bit about that one. Because I think success is dependent on your life and where you are in your career. For me, success is being happy. I have always said that the day I stop enjoying my job is the day I stop going to my job. (But obviously with giving notice and all that stuff.) But finding something new - because if you can’t enjoy what you do, why are you doing it? And I think jobs are a necessity and you need a paycheck and you need to put food on the table for our families, but for me success is finding the career and the path that you want to be on and enjoying it. And some days are gonna suck, you know that, but if overall you can be really excited, and you wake up and you know that’s where you want to be, then for me, that is what defines my success and really gets me going.
To play the piano. I’m so not musically inclined and I’m desperate to learn to play any single instrument and the piano has been like my baby that I have wanted to do. I just haven’t done it. I just really need to and somebody, anybody wants to teach me, I’m ready and willing. I’m ready! I can’t sing, I can’t draw - I’m not very good at that stuff. But I could try!
What is the coolest (or most important) trend that you see today?
So I couldn’t come up with anything cool, but there’s a lot of trends I really hate. Like I don’t understand why crushed velvet has come back? If you love crushed velvet, I’m so sorry - and I’m a believer in all things - but I just don’t understand it. And I spent an hour with my girlfriend who came to visit me - I just moved into a new house a few weekends ago and we talked about culottes. I don’t understand why things have come back. So I couldn’t find any cool trends, but all I could think of was ones I really don’t like right now.
Eat and drink at Carolina Ale House.
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Check out this blog post from Ronisha Nanjiani. She held a bake sale at our BPW meeting on May 24th. She baked homemade chocolate cupcakes and Nankatai’s (Indian cookies). Through the generous members of BPW -she collected $170 that she could use to buy school supplies for underprivileged children in Charlotte. Way to Ronisha!!!
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