By:Sharon Clinebell Issue: Collaborative Women Section:Jewel Of Collaboration
Recently the Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado hosted the Women in Business Forum entitled “Money, Management, Marketing & Me.” The forum highlighted accomplished women in the field of business and brought together business professionals and students to learn from each other, as well as from the speakers. As the title implies, the goal was to cover a wide variety of business areas. The speakers for the forum were Rhea Law, CEO and Chair of the Board, Fowler White Boggs, P.A.; Kate Warne, Ph.D., CFA, Principal/Research, Investment Policy Advisory Committee, Edward Jones; Diane Fannon, Principal, Brand Management, The Richards Group; and Debra Benton, President of Benton Management Resources, Inc., New York Times Best-Selling Author, and Executive Coach. These nationally recognized women shared their insights with businesswomen and students during the forum. Law, Warne, and Fannon are profiled here.
Ms. Law is the CEO and Chair of the Board of Fowler White Boggs, P.A., one of the largest law firms in Florida. Ms. Law has been recognized as one of the top women business leaders in Florida. She has more than 30 years experience in Government, Environmental, Administration and Land Use representation and has received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell, Legal Elite and Super Lawyers. She was inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame for Legal Elite in 2009. She was also inducted in the NAIOP Hall of Fame, appointed by Governors Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist to the Florida Council of 100 and was instrumental to bringing the Super Bowl back to Tampa, as the Vice Chair of the Host Committee.
Florida Trend Magazine named her one of the State's most influential people and the Tampa Bay Business Journal tapped her as Businesswoman of the Year. She has been inducted into the Florida Council of Economic Education Hall of Fame, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce Women's Hall of Fame and the Stetson Hall of Fame in 2008. Tampa Bay CEO Magazine named her CEO of the Year in 2008 and she was also recently named 2009 Woman of the Year by Tampa Bay Business and Professional Women. She is a proud military supporter and was selected by the Secretary of Defense as one of 60 people throughout the country to participate in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. Ms. Law has spent her career working—and playing—in what used to be a "man's world." As if that wasn't enough, she's been a race car driver, speed boat racer, has flown in an F-16, parachuted with the Army Golden Knights, and driven a tank.
While many of us use focus, determination and implementation skills to succeed in business, we don't seem to apply these same principles to succeed in our personal lives. - Rhea Law
Ms. Law spoke about “Business Planning for your Life.” She said that while many of us use focus, determination and implementation skills to succeed in business, we don't seem to apply these same principles to succeed in our personal lives. Ms. Law explained her view of relying on the four F’s: Faith, Focus, Family, and Friends. Faith refers to the belief that we are here for a reason—there is a higher purpose for our lives. Focus means that we need to find what makes us happy and fulfilled. We need to answer the question of what is our success? The definition of success changes from individual to individual and we need to find our success and not rely on someone else’s definition. Family is another important aspect and, although they may not always agree with our plans, they do want us to succeed. And finally, friends are much like family in that they are our support system and want to help us succeed. She related that early in her marriage, she and her husband decided to follow her career, even though she was a young associate at that time. Which career was to be followed was an intentional choice, not left to chance. Ms. Law indicated that work/life balance should be renamed work/life alignment. She and her family use business planning principles for their personal life, creating one-year, three-year, and over the horizon planning timelines. The over the horizon timeline refers to very long-term goals including for what they would like to be remembered. Goals in these planning horizons may include household needs, financial goals, family needs, and recreation to name a few. Their goals are reviewed quarterly and corrective action is taken as needed. Using business principles in our personal lives can help us be successful—whatever our definition of success may be.
Dr. Warne of Edward Jones has been with the Edward Jones Research department since 1997. She was named a principal with the firm in 1999 and became a member of the Investment Policy Advisory Committee in 2003. Warne holds a doctorate in economics, specializing in finance and competitive strategy, from Yale University, a master of science from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Swarthmore College. She earned her Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1997.
Dr. Warne is the Edward Jones’ market strategist in Canada and the U.K., interpreting market conditions and recommending appropriate long-term investment strategies to aid the firm's more than 7 million clients in reaching their investment goals. Dr. Warne has appeared on CBS, CNBC, CNN and Canada’s CBC and Business News Network. She has been quoted in such major publications as The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, the Scotsman, Forbes and Fortune magazines. Dr. Warne was the energy analyst at Edward Jones prior to assuming her current position as market strategist. She has worked for AT&T and General Motors, and was an assistant professor of finance at the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. Warne previously lectured at Yale University and was an economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisors.
At the Monfort College of Business Women in Business Forum, Dr. Warne’s presentation was “Making Sense of Today’s Economy and Investing.” Dr. Warne addressed the issues of the stock market over the past 10 years, what it means, and what we can expect in the future. She provided a global perspective, examining where growth potential lies and how to take advantage of it. Dr. Warne noted that women tend to be more conservative investors than men and outlined some important issues such as appropriate asset allocation.
Ms. Fannon is a Principal, Brand Management, of The Richards Group in Dallas, Texas. The Richards Group is the largest independent advertising agency in North America. Ms. Fannon has spent most of her career in the creative discipline of the advertising business, beginning in New York at Grey Advertising as a copywriter. She moved to Tracey-Locke in Dallas where she spent eight years developing award-winning creative work for Frito-Lay, Haggar, The Dallas Morning News, Phillips Petroleum, Taco Bell, and Pepsi, becoming senior vice president and senior creative director in 1985. With nine more years of creative responsibility at Bozell and again at Tracy-Locke, as executive creative director, she added Hogan, Tabasco, JC Penney, Adams Golf and Budget Rent A Car to her client list.
She left the advertising business to run The Image Bank, the photography division of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kodak. With responsibility for marketing, creative content, and operations, Ms. Fannon visited franchise offices in 72 cities in 35 countries, filling two passports, speaking passable French, eating Chinese food you don't get in this country, and learning why you use two hands to pass a business card in Japan. Five years later, her right brain began to miss advertising. Ms. Fannon joined The Richards Group as brand manager for Fruit of the Loom, The Home Depot, The Salvation Army and new business development. In her appearance at the Women in Business Forum, Ms. Fannon’s presentation was “Branding Yourself in a Tough Economy.” Ms. Fannon explained strong brands survive missteps, challenging economies, leadership changes, and the onslaught of competition. She described what constitutes a strong brand and why some brands thrive while others flounder. She explored how the same principles that guide a brand like Chick-Fil-A or Bridgestone Tires to success can provide guidance for people as they develop their own personal brand. She explained that a brand is a promise and challenged the participants to think about their brand.
There were overarching themes that were recounted throughout the day by the speakers such as the importance of having integrity, developing mentoring relationships, and showing persistence. If you lose your credibility, success is often very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Mentors are very important to a successful business career and developing relationships with multiple mentors are important. Also, being persistent and not giving up is a key factor to success. Ms. Law recounted that when she started at a law firm, every day she would ask the senior partner if there was something she could help him with. Every day he told her, “no.” One day, however, he was doing a task that he disliked so he delegated it to her. She completed the task well and from then on, she was given important tasks at the law firm. It would have been easy to have given up after the first few rejections, but she showed persistence and it paid off for her career. The value of the forum was threefold. First, the insights these accomplished women gave were very valuable and could be used immediately. Secondly, role modeling is very important, not only for the students in attendance, but also for the business professionals. These speakers took very different paths to reach their success. And finally, the interaction between audience members during the breaks added to the networking contacts for the participants. The Women in Business Forum provided an excellent opportunity to showcase accomplished women and share their experiences with others.
Sharon Clinebell is the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs at the Monfort College of Business. More information about the Monfort College of Business, including its Baldrige application summary, is available at its website www.mcb.unco.edu.