Pitch Perfect: Chief Development Officer


Why this is the Perfect Pitch: 

  • This candidate’s excitement for the company’s mission jump off the page!
  • She shares why SHE is the right person for this role and how she can personally make an impact.
  • She gives real-life examples that show her expertise, skillset, and personal passion that make her the perfect fit for this opportunity.


I’m very interested in serving as XXX next Chief Development Officer. The mission of the organization is one that I care deeply about and the role dovetails perfectly with my professional experiences and demonstrated skill set, both of which will allow me to make an immediate and positive impact.  Please allow me to tell you why.

I’ve been developing corporate social responsibility programs anchored in educational advocacy for many years. Ensuring programs are fully funded either by corporate partnerships, high-net worth individuals, foundations, or donors who simply mail in $10 a month faithfully, has been a cornerstone of my work. My successes are the result of two key strengths: my ability to develop, nurture, and sustain relationships; and my ability to convey my passion for a cause to others.

Beyond my professional experiences in this area, I’m also an elected official to the Community Education Council representing Manhattan’s District 2. In my capacity as a school board member, I co-founded a Community Engagement Program and launched an initiative that provides students in transitional housing access to free laundry services.

I’m well versed in liaising with board members, C-suite officers, corporate partners, foundations, and high net-worth individuals, among others.  I’m excited by the prospect of applying my expertise to XX as you continue to expand your reach and impact in the years ahead. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Chief Development Officer Job Description Overview: 

XXX is looking for a senior development professional to help us grow and sustain an innovative portfolio of work to enhance the English proficiency and literacy skills of low-income and immigrant parents and build their capacity to promote their children’s early learning, social-emotional growth, and school readiness. Last year, we served 722 adults and 594 children with intensive classes and reading promotion workshops. We have ambitious plans to expand.

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Establish and execute strategies to raise funds to meet our revenue goals
  • Focus on institutional donors: apply for grants, sponsorships, and develop non-traditional revenue sources to meet annual goals
  • Engage and support the Board of Directors in their role as fundraisers and brand ambassadors
  • Oversee all other fundraising, cultivation, and stewardship activities including an individual giving program, an annual gala, and several smaller events
  • Set the strategic direction and oversee all communications to achieve our revenue goals
  • Supervise three staff
  • Report to the CEO

Featured Member: Lisa Strong

Lisa M. Strong never stops moving forward. Seemingly indefatigable, she embraces all of the opportunities each phase of her life brings, welcoming the journey and throwing herself headlong into the moment. A multiple-marathoner, she is on the long run when it comes to her career as well, navigating each leg of the race with grace, perspective, and agility, which is why we’ve chosen her as this month’s Featured Member
Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?
I graduated with a BS in Marketing and International Business, and started my career in retail management with Walmart Stores, Inc. I then utilized my CPG and management experience at one of the original “big data” companies, Information Resources, Inc, where I assumed an international project management role. During this time I earned my MBA with a concentration in HR Management. I took a career break while raising my family, and was able to take on several volunteer opportunities, including establishing a 5K fundraising race for the local PTA. During my pause, I also ran several marathons and served as Vice President of the booster club for my daughter’s gymnastics team. In 2015, I went back to part-time retail work at The Runner’s Edge, a local run specialty store. I recently completed a course in Agile project management and am currently looking to re-enter the workforce full-time. I am seeking a position at a company with a mission to create positive change in the world.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest professional accomplishment is the role I played in the creation and implementation of a new user interface for our database department at IRI. I was chosen to be part of a project team whose charge was to migrate our legacy mainframe system to a Windows-based relational database. I represented my department and worked as part of a cross-functional team to design, develop, and implement the new system at home, as well as in our European offices. It was very satisfying to know that I was part of the project that would bring our clients more accurate data, our company greater efficiency, and our workforce better job satisfaction.
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise?
The hardest challenge I’ve faced work-wise was the decision to take a break to stay home after having my first child. I had been intent on going back to work after maternity leave. I loved my job and was experiencing great success. However, at that time, maternity leave was not very long, and most companies were reluctant to allow flex time/work-from-home/job sharing arrangements. I was in the fortunate position to be able to afford to stay home and enjoy time raising my baby (eventually babies). Giving up a blossoming career at a company I loved was a very hard choice. But I wouldn’t change a thing.
If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be and why?
Historically, upper-level management positions have gone to men, especially in marketing/advertising/technology fields. Things are changing, but it is still a bit of a “boys club” atmosphere at the highest levels. I would like to see women selected and promoted and put on track for C-suite positions. I would also like to see board of directors with more gender equality (not just women, but people of color, and gender non-conforming individuals as well).
What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but who are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side? 
My advice is to do research up front. Identify companies that are friendly towards women in the workplace, and who have programs in place to help you re-launch after a break from the workforce. Identify the skills you have and take a class or workshop to bring them up-to-date. Becoming current will boost your confidence. Talk to friends and coworkers. Ask them what they see in you, and have them identify your positive qualities/skills. This will help boost your confidence, and will give you an idea of how others see you, which can be used to identify jobs that may be a good fit. I’m still looking for my re-launch opportunity, so I cannot yet comment of how it is on the “other side”.
Do you have any advice on how to craft a winning pitch?
Be succinct, be honest, be yourself.
What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?
I enjoy helping people through connection, communication, and positive experiences. Those are the things that draw me to my field. In the years ahead, I hope to find a position doing meaningful work at a company whose mission is to improve the world in a positive and lasting way.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? 
Find a mentor, challenge yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Who has been your biggest cheerleader / supporter / mentor?
Helene Silverman at IRI was my first real mentor.
How do you negotiate the balance between life and work when you’re the one setting the boundaries? 
Understand that there will be compromises, but one should never eclipse the other. Sometimes work will be the main focus, but over time that should balance out with family and life.
If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her? 
Build a vast network full of interesting people from all aspects of your life/journey. They will be your biggest resource and support system for the duration of your working life.
How do you make work work for you?
I find a job that I love and it doesn’t seem like work. If you view work as a positive part of your everyday life, it won’t seem like an imposition.

Pitch Perfect: Marketing and Innovation Team

Why is this a winning pitch? 
  • The opening is key. She captures the hiring manager’s attention by sharing that she is a customer herself, which means she truly understands the business’ consumer.
  • She shares details from past experiences working on CSR initatives, demonstrating her expertise relate directly to this project!
  • Last but not least, she shares how SHE can add value and that her “scrappy mentality” sets her apart.
Job description- 
We’re looking for a marketing strategist within XXX – the Marketing Innovation Lab. XXX is about the stuff that transforms the company and does things we’re not set up to do today. We’re a SWAT team of innovators participating in high profile, high impact, and agile programs across XXX.  We’re also a think tank, an internal start-up. We’ll use controlled experiments to transform decision making into a scientific, evidence-driven process.
The ideal candidate will be a self-starter who is comfortable with ambiguity, is customer-obsessed, and who is excited about building new technology and customer-facing experiences
Pitch perfect – 
As a XXX customer, the XXX mandate sounds exciting and intriguing.
I’ve consulted on a number projects of financial institutions and my experience includes being on team charged with naming and developing an innovative investment app.
A strategic, innovative and creative thinker, I’m also an excellent storyteller / communicator who can create nuanced materials towards getting buy-in from all stakeholders. I have much experience in “start-up” environments within an established company and can embrace the scrappy mentality while addressing overall corporate/institutional concerns.
My background includes doing strategic and market planning for a telecom-related business, as well as being the inaugural and ongoing strategist for a global digital consumer initiative for Samsung. I’ve project-managed digital Annual Report and CSR initiatives on both the client and agency side (including for financial institutions).

Featured Member: Brooke Sanita


When we founded The Second Shift, Brooke Sanita was precisely the kind of member we hoped to serve. Passionate about her profession, dedicated to her family, working hard to make work work without sacrificing everything else that mattered to her in the bargain. We are so proud to cast a spotlight on her journey and share her insights with all of you.
Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?
I am an attorney who has practiced commercial, bankruptcy, and business litigation for over 10 years. I am also a mom of 3 young children, ages 6, 5 and 3.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Winning my first trial where I represented a foreign buyer from Israel, prepared the case and the witness (while he resided in Israel), and litigated the entire trial on my own—and won. I was the only woman in that courtroom other than the court reporter and I was 9 months pregnant.
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise?
Juggling motherhood and work.
If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be and why?
I wish the law would embrace mothers and let lawyers have the professional independence to work and be there for their families. It feels like you have to choose.
What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but who are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side? 
It’s wonderful to be in control of your own life and to not regret spending time with your family.
What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?
I really love the law and I hope to be able to make it work for me and my family.
Who has been your biggest cheerleader / supporter / mentor?
My parents.
If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her? 
You are going to want more than just a career so set yourself up in an area of law that is conducive to work-life balance.
How do you make work work for you?
I’m looking for opportunities that allow me professional independence and trying to learn how to ask for what I need without apologizing.

The Juggle: Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff is the founder of a hugely popular and successful fashion company, an activist for women’s causes, a wife, the mother of 3 young children, and most recently the creator of the Female Founder Collective.

She always seems to be everywhere, doing everything with grace, enthusiasm and style.  Here she shares her tips and tricks and fails for trying to juggle it all!


On Scheduling: Every Sunday, Gavin and I review our calendars for the week, and we decide who’s taking which child where; we usually split it up, and then the other one of us works out. So no matter what, we’re both getting up at like 7:15, and taking a child to school, and then the other one who takes the other child also has to hang back with the baby until our nanny comes at nine. Our nanny leaves every day around 6:45 because I leave the office at six, unless I’m going to an after-work thing, in which case we get a sitter or more often than not it’s part of those Sunday meetings. There’s a, what do you have that’s late, what do I have that’s late, and for the most part, we can usually make it work that one of us is home.


Our scheduling was very fluid until I asked him to do something and he’s like, “But you’re the one that does that!” And I was like, “Oh, I am?” So, if I had to dissect it, he’s very much all about the school stuff, and I’m all extracurricular and travel.


On Household Tasks: Whoever gets to InstaCart or FreshDirect first will do the grocery shopping. As far as laundry, thank god our nanny does it because that would definitely not get done otherwise. And she does light cleaning, too, because she just has the baby during the day, so that makes it a lot easier.


We put everything on automatic bill-pay, so there’s nothing to pay. It just is. And we try to put as much on an AmEx as possible, and then just get miles, so when we travel, the kids can live on miles.


On Saying No; Saying no is hanging out with friends and having romantic date nights. Those things suffer. It used to be that I’d be like, “Oh, come with me to the work event, it’ll be like we’re on a date!” And even that’s stopped. We close at 3:00 on Fridays, so one idea I had that worked for two solid weeks was to meet at 4, and hang out as a couple from 4 to 6. That happened twice.


On Prioritizing: In terms of the business, it was my brother who pointed out that you can’t do all this well. Not in a mean way, but either you’re in the back and you’re in the back or you’re in the front, meaning, if you’re gonna in the back, that’s a 60-hour-a-week job that requires all of your attention to run a team of 18 in eight categories; that leaves no time for traveling to stores, doing social, having the high-level meetings with partners, being out and about, hosting events at your stores. I tried for many years to do both and it was impossible. Because I’d be on the road and they’d be like, “We’re waiting for Rebecca to approve the Pantone or the leather but she’s in California at some show.” So, it was like, which one do you want to do? And if we’re not being selfish, and doing what’s best for the business, it’s probably that you’re forward. Because people relate the brand back to me. 


On List Making: I’m very much a writer and checker-offer of lists. I review the list every day and, as they get longer and longer, I prioritize them into urgent, pending, nice to do, so I’m constantly just looking at what’s top priority, what will move the needle faster, and then that’s how I approach planning my week and day. But lately, I’m not going to lie, I have sixteen lists in different pockets. I also organize them by subject, so if I really have enough time on my hands, it’ll be like, this is the FFC list, this is the Super Women list, this is the Rebecca Minkoff list, and then I separate each one of those into urgent, pending, nice-to-do. Sometimes I think people can get lost in thinking everything is urgent. And I’m like, it’s actually not all urgent. You need to prioritize, and figure out what actually moves the needle, and what’s just nice and not going to do anything.


On Email: I try and return every email, even if it’s a week late. It used to be like, oh, I’ve got to write back today, and then I was like, actually, I don’t! Unless it’s urgent. On weekends, I used to get sucked into thinking I’ve got to write back to everybody, and then I thought, actually, let me try not doing that and see what happens, and I found that if I get back to people Monday, it’s actually okay.


On Travel: These last two weeks, I was gone for four days, home for three days, and then gone for four days, and that did not go well. My daughter was crying every day at school, and the teachers actually said something to me. That’s the first time it’s been that severe. It was also the first time I’ve ever been gone for almost two weeks in a row, so I think that took a toll. I would love to be different, like, “Mommy gets to go here!” But instead I’m like, “I have to go, and I know that sucks for you, but I make money and that’s how I pay for things you like.” And they can kind of understand, but I’m definitely not able to set that example yet of “I am lucky!”


Depending on how long I’m gone for, the nanny will sometimes come earlier to help out with school. And then we have a sitter that’ll help out. Like, this week, my husband had to work late on two nights, so we had a sitter come for those nights, so we don’t tax the nanny who has to come earlier. And then I do the same for him when he’s traveling. He’s about to leave for ten days, and thank God the timing wasn’t at the same time, so then I know I’m going to have the babysitter help out at night if I have to work late, and the nanny will come a little earlier. Not much, she’ll come ten minutes earlier, but still, it makes a difference.


On Decompressing: I used to keep doing my emails on the subway, and then the whole walk home, and then I would attempt to put my phone away. But the last few months, I turned off all notifications on my phone, so no news, no nothing, which helps so much. Now, I’ll do as many emails as I can get to on my phone, and then the minute I’m at a subway, I actually look at humans as I walk down the street, and it’s a seven minute walk. I don’t look at my phone unless there’s something urgent going on, and I think that has enabled me to go from the office to seven minutes of myself to being home, and not thinking about all my replies and all the work shit, so when I get home, I’m present. And I’m not checking my phone at home until the kids go to bed, and again, it has to be something urgent going on.


What happens at night is, I put the baby down, and my husband will put the other two to bed. We did not sleep train the baby, not because we didn’t want to, but we were weak! So, I nurse the baby to sleep, and my husband puts the big ones down. He usually finishes before me. And I’ll get up and immediately get ready for bed. I’ll go, “I love you, you’re awesome, goodnight!” And I’ll go to sleep. His time is, he loves his shows that he watches or whatever, so he’ll sit on the couch for another two hours and decompress that way. I would like to join him, because we like watching TV and shows together, but I just can’t right now. Until this baby sleeps through the night, I’m useless after 10.


Network like a pro!


Networking through your own personal connections is the easiest and most efficient way to maintain contacts who already know you and can vouch for you.  However, it’s important to extend your reach outside of your own network and there are simple ways to do this using social media and Slack.


Here is a round-up of some basic ways to connect with like minded professional women through simple on-line networking groups.


LinkedIn: https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-linkedin-groups


Facebook: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephanienewman/2018/07/26/why-you-should-join-these-7-facebook-groups-for-women-entrepreneurs/#2ce20e7314a0


Slack: https://fortune.com/2016/02/09/women-network-slack-group/

Featured Member: Marie Thomasson

We will never tire of reading our Featured Member Q+As. Each one is packed full of wisdom and one-of-a-kind insights for navigating a meaningful life, professionally and personally. Marie Thomasson’s is no different. A self-described “mom, practitioner of risk, facilitator of dreams and ambitions,” Thomasson certainly knows a thing or two about setting your own star and charting your own journey. Here, she shares what she’s learned along the way … so far.
Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?
Today, my focus is to bring the world of money, investing, and business into the female dialogue. I am passionate about the idea that, as a gender, we need to grab the reins in our own way, utilizing our strength as women to look at money and our relationship with it in a positive, empowering way. When we stop looking for someone to save us—or realize we are smart enough, capable enough—to do and achieve whatever we desire and dream of, we take action towards more than just our goals.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest professional moment has been the ability to step away from full-time corporate work and create a life that aligns with my values, with so much of that due to the Second Shift. I did what I thought was impossible as a single mother of twins.
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise?
I’ve found that it’s far easier to work for someone else, on their timelines and deliverables, than self-imposed ones. Even today, it requires a great deal of discipline to ensure that tasks are completed that are “important but not urgent” when the only accountability is to myself.
If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be and why?
I believe financial services lacks integrity and authenticity, and I feel that more inclusion of women would help change that. As a woman and a mother, it’s very difficult to find work in financial that enables you to have a balanced home/work life without feeling guilty.
What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but who are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side? 
I don’t know that our journey is ever finished. For instance, I kept waiting for my personal situation to change (i.e. be in a romantic partnership) to finally step forward on my goals and ambitions. At a certain point, I decided to stop waiting and take a risk on myself. There is no failure because I never stop moving forward. I believe the simple act of doing will give you the confidence you’re seeking, so what are you waiting for?
Do you have any advice on how to craft a winning pitch?
Yes! Don’t repeat your resume! We’re all human and these pitches aren’t getting reviewed by bots, so ditch the key words and focus of delivering your pitch in a warm, engaging tone.
What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?
The moment I recognized my strength as my interpersonal skills and not my number crunching, everything shifted. I am gratified by each and every client I work with to find the narrative behind their numbers. For me, moving from working with institutions to individual, the people in the pension funds, I’ve created a career that I see no longer as a paycheck, but as a calling. To me that’s the ultimate accomplishment, and I am simply grateful for each day I continue along that path.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? 
Who has been your biggest cheerleader / supporter / mentor?
My former boss, Louis Lucido, has been an incredible mentor and supporter of mine. And I’d have to follow him up with Loren Pokorny, whom I had the pleasure of working with at Microsoft, through the Second Shift platform. Working with Loren was pivotal as it was the first experience I had where I felt that I could “do” the self-employment thing, in a way that really aligned with my life.
How do you negotiate the balance between life and work when you’re the one setting the boundaries? 
Get clear! Only recently I sat down with a group of women in a mastermind and realized that if I’m honest with myself, I can’t work a full-time schedule if I want balance of any kind in my life. I was putting so much on my plate that I was not enjoying my time with my kids, and that pretty much defeats the purpose of why I’ve chosen to chart this path!
If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her?
Loyalty, first and foremost, to oneself. 
How do you make work work for you?
I have created a life and lifestyle that allows me to work when I want, with whom I want, and how I want. I can’t ask for more.

The Juggle: Eden Eats!


THE JUGGLER: Eden Grinshpan

HER JOB:  Host of Top Chef Canada and cookbook author. 

MARRIED FOR: 6 years

NUMBER OF KIDS: One, age 2 


On The Morning Tag-Team: Every morning, we wait until the baby wakes up—obviously. Recently, she’s been waking up later, which is amazing, but, also, then we’re like really fucking rushing out the door. We wake up at around 7:30 and then either Ido or I will go and get the baby; we’ll all play in bed a little bit, and then one of us will go and make breakfast and lunch. Sometimes it’s the both of us while we’re drinking coffee. Then we’ll get Avy’s lunch box together and Ido will take her to school because it’s on the way to work for him. And then I … honestly, it really depends, I have so many different kinds of jobs right now and it’s been like that for the last couple of years; when you’re in this industry, you’re always doing new projects, so right now I’m working on my first cookbook that comes out fall 2020. So, either my assistants will come over and we’ll make a list of all the ingredients we’ll need for the day, and then one of them will go out and shop and we’ll start cooking. Or, I’ll go take some meetings, or I’ll go to Dez for lunch service. It really does change every day.


On Childcare: Avy’s in daycare and she finishes around 3:30 PM. If I’m available, I’ll go and get her, but I also have a nanny who picks her up when I’m not, and she is with her until the end of the day. I am usually home at around 7 or so. I like to be there to put her down every night for bed, and to have a couple hours at the end of the day (and at the beginning) to be together and to play and to have our time as a family.


On 50/50: Honestly, it’s so tough because sometimes I need to travel for work and I am also the host of Top Chef Canada so if I’m working, Ido steps in and has to do everything else. Right now, I am working from home, so I have more flexibility. Because I’m grocery shopping for the book, I tend to do more of the grocery shopping. To be honest, I probably do more laundry, too, and he does more signing up. Stuff like that. “Babe, can you just sign the baby up?” But honest to God, if Ido was at home and I was out, he would take on those household roles too. We really split things up.


On Building A Team: We have a nanny that we love and over the last couple years we have been able to just accumulate a group of really great nannies so if one can’t do something, then, hopefully, another one can. And if that’s not the case, either Ido or I just has to maybe turn something down, and step in, because, unfortunately for us, we don’t live in the same country as our parents. So we can’t rely on Bubby to come and watch the baby last minute. But we also have a group of incredible friends and they’ve been a great resource for me. Like, last month, I had an event that I was contractually obligated to go to. Ido was out of town and I was home alone and my babysitter couldn’t come in. And it was like one of those moments where you’re like, what the fuck? So, I just called one of my closest friends and she and her husband brought their newborn to my house and watched my daughter for me. I feel very lucky to have such amazing people around me here.


On Systems: My husband would love for us to be way more organized. He’s way more organized than I am. I am a scatterbrain and leave everything to the last minute. Poor guy. We communicate a lot through text because we’re both really busy throughout the day. And, on like a Sunday night, we’ll sit in bed and go through our week together, and make sure that if we need babysitters, we book the babysitters and any other extra help we need, and we just try to prioritize and plan so that everything is as seamless as possible.


On Asking For Help: The reason they say it takes a village is because it really takes a frickin’ village. Like, there are never enough hands! It took me a while to ask for help when Avy was born, and I wish it didn’t, because if I had taken more help in the earlier days, it just would have been easier for me. I made it more difficult for myself than I should have because I wanted to do everything by myself; it does not need to be that way. It doesn’t make you a better mom or whatever the hell that means. All it does is make you more stressed out because you feel like all of the weight is on your shoulders. So I’m all about taking the help where you can get it and just allowing as many people to take part in this journey with you. It shouldn’t just be the parents and the baby alone. It should be a community of people.


Featured Member: Monique Francine Kuester

A native midwesterner, Monique Francine Kuester, her husband, and her two teenage children found themselves starting over again on the East Coast. An expert in compliance, contracts and regulatory affairs for many large life and health insurance carriers, she was a Senior Compliance Professional for over two decades. This alone would be impressive, but its Monique’s openminded, all-embracing aptitude for change, growth, and re-invention that earned her this month’s spotlight as our Featured Member. See how she does it, in her own words.
Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?
For 20 years, I performed as a Senior Compliance Professional for several life and health insurance carriers. More recently, I represented the employers in Iowa as a member of the Appeal Board for the Iowa Association for Business and Industry. I worked with state executive administrative and legal staff adjudicating unemployment decisions and also had the opportunity to educate employers about the workings of the board and the responsibilities of the talent acquisition staff to avoid an appearance in the workforce process.
To freshen my resume, I obtained a Master’s Degree from Roger Williams University School of Law, successfully graduating with a Master in Studies of Law. I found RWU Law’s innovative and versatile Master of Studies in Law program offered a practical and career-focused approach geared toward a mid-career professional. Although my professional background is very strong on its own, I worried that it might seem a little stale. I wanted something new and different to offer employers. Currently, I am excited about the opportunity to cultivate my consulting career, utilizing my combined experience in the insurance industry, benefits, employment and labor, all under the umbrella of compliance—on my own terms.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest professional accomplishment was the moment I was able to walk across the stage to receive my Master’s Degree, flanked on my right by my 16-year-old son. I have always been professionally confident—I know what I know—but this was a new and unique challenge that I conquered in half the allotted time.
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise?
Without a doubt, it is this recent professional situation that I find myself in, searching for the right fit. In my twenties and thirties, with much less education and experience, I took the ease of the job search for granted. My mantra was, “If you build it, he (they) will come.” I have worked hard to build a strong foundation, and been willing to expand and grow, but I still find that all of that is not enough on my own.
If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be and why?
It would be the misguided view people outside the field have that what we do in compliance is just pushing papers. I want people to know that it requires critical thinking, organization, and a passion for detail, to name a few qualities. Internally, I wish that the legal field would embrace the uniqueness of the compliance function and the symbiotic relationship between the two functions, realizing that there is room at the table for everyone.
What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but who are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side? 
Advice for my sister-friends in the struggle to make a career change: Take a chance on yourself and surround yourself with good people. Believe that you have EVERYTHING to bring.
What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?
I am continually drawn to the field of compliance because it touches so many areas every professional encounters.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? 
There hasn’t been just one piece of advice that I have received. My philosophy is made up of the encounters that I have been blessed to have with the many people that have and continue to impact my life; those who count themselves as my “biggest cheerleaders”
Who has been your biggest cheerleader / supporter / mentor?
I have had the good fortune to be influenced by many amazing cheerleaders: my first boss and mentor, R. Lucia Riddle, who introduced me to the wild world of compliance. She is the professional woman I wanted to be when I grew up. The Dean of my law school, who is the most amazing and progressive intellectual person I have ever met. Professor Debra Johnson, who was there in ways that can not be captured in just a paragraph. Mike Ralston, President of ABI, who went to bat for me when I made the leap of faith to blindly change careers and continues to support me today.
How do you negotiate the balance between life and work when you’re the one setting the boundaries? 
I am constantly working on the work-life balance. If I come up with the magic mixture, I am going to declare it my own intellectual property, patent it, and sell it on Amazon. In other words, I wish I knew the answer to this question. Right now, work is taking priority and thankfully my family in on board!
If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her? 
Don’t be so tough on yourself and expect the unexpected because it is going to be exciting.
How do you make work work for you?
I make work work for me by taking advantage of every encounter, good or bad, to enhance my experiences. I use positive and negatives to propel me to the next adventure. What ever the work encounter, I parlay it into an employment or educational opportunity that I can then take to my next encounter. I use each professional chance to make the next one better.

Pitch Perfect: Project Manager for Digital Media Company

My name is XX, I have over 16 years of strategic and operational retail experience. I have worked for retailers such as Chanel, Elie Tahari and Assouline Publishing, as well as consulted for PwC.   

I have experience managing inventory planning, supply chain, merchandising and store operations for luxury and mass merchant retailers and department stores.In my previous roles I oversaw sales operations and inventory management across warehouses including monitoring of current inventory levels, identifying replenishment needs, maximizing new receipts and minimizing stock transfers. Likewise, I established product planning and forecasting models to maximize sales, ROI and reduce out of stocks.    

I was excited to see your project and believe I have relevant expertise to add value to your organization. I am available to begin work immediately. Please let me know if you need further information.  

Why we like it:
  • The pitch is concise yet effective. From the get-go, she shares what makes HER unique and why she is the right fit for the role.
  • This member clearly communicates her past experience and how her skills directly relate to the project.
  • Last but not least, she shows her enthusiasm for the opportunity. Remember, employers want to see your passion!
Job Description: 
Worth is a media company that reaches a community of successful, influential, diverse and aspirational people. The brand comprises digital (Worth.com), live and magazine products. Now under new ownership and leadership, the 27-year-old brand is looking to optimize, transform and reinvent itself as a global media platform—and we’re looking for a talented Product Manager – Publishing & Marketing Tech to oversee the delivery of a variety of projects across our tech stack.