What about your work, company or role makes you most proud?
I love that we are able to help people every day, whether that’s develop as leaders, evaluate career transition options, or assess talent strategy better. My favorite thing about my role is that I get to work with clients every day as well as have both strategic direction and also oversight over the tactics that we use to accomplish our goals. Our team has varied business, consulting, and human capital backgrounds which makes it fun to learn from each other and use the team as a sounding board for developing best practices and sharing industry insights.
What is your favorite binge-worthy show or podcast?
I have recently discovered “Little Fires Everywhere” through my children... although I read the book. I rarely watch TV, so I’m grateful to them for the introduction!
What was your first job? What lesson did you learn that you will carry with you?
My first job was babysitting when I was 12 years old-for a neighbor’s young son every Friday and Saturday night. It taught me a lot about personal responsibility, prioritization and he was a great little friend. I also got a lot of homework done and stayed out of trouble as a result... For full time work, I was fortunate to go to work for The Northern Trust Company for 18 years, after graduating from Northwestern. The core lesson I learned was “always do the right thing’ when it comes to clients.
Who was the best boss you ever had and why?
Lee Selander at The Northern Trust Company: I worked for him twice -first as an individual contributor and then as a leader. He was direct, completely honest, compassionate and kept confidences and was also brilliant, great with clients and a terrific role model. He also was a champion and advocate for women leaders long before it was in the common dialogue.
Can you share a time when you had to reinvent yourself, your product/service or your brand?
In 2012 I went back to work full-time after being an independent consultant for 3 years, after my oldest child went to college. I had to develop an external network, learn a new facet of leadership (Human Capital Management) and become an expert in order to have credibility with clients. I also balanced having a broad strategy role as well as work as an individual contributor. I was fortunate that I loved the interactions and clients I was able to serve and quickly gain their trust. While formerly being an executive helped, it took a lot of self-development, seeking out mentors and advisors from the industry and encouragement from my network.
What’s your best “work from home” life hack?
Returning emails or doing conference calls while on the elliptical or treadmill-multi tasking at its best. I also keep snacks in my desk drawer so I can quickly open and eat a quick Hershey’s kiss without having to get up, between video calls...#chocolateaddict
What drew you to Chicago as a business or personal home?
My father was a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern when I was born and we stayed in Evanston - I went to public grade school, Evanston Township High School and then Northwestern. Except for 18 months living in Florida, I’ve lived in a six mile radius my entire life. We travel a lot across the country and internationally but Chicago has (literally!) always been home. My parents live close by too so it’s a blessing to be able to spend a lot of time with them as they have become older. I love living near the lake and go down to the beach or walk along the lake a few times a week.
Among the people you work with, who inspires you and why?
Internal – Its me! So I can’t have just one!! David Tyson, my Chief Operating Officer at Group 360 is truly inspirational. I was fortunate enough to hire him from BCG and he went to Northwestern undergrad and put himself through college. He’s a thoughtful, brilliant young man and was one of my son’s best friends in high school. I recently read a quote that if you are over forty, you need a MENTOR under 30. That’s David for me. He is also a student at Kellogg so he’s a very efficient person! A former colleague, Ann Morris, a brilliant Marketer; she was a great sounding board and partner for me - she’s a great communicator and highly responsive. I taught her about the Human Capital business and she taught me how to be more patient and be more streamlined. In her past she’s been an entrepreneur, and is also very close to her parents and husband and children, so we have a lot in common personally but from very different backgrounds and she really values diversity of opinion, thoughts and backgrounds. I also admire her intellectual depth and writing expertise balanced with real strategic marketing vision. Very inspirational!
External - Elizabeth Adefioye - the CHRO at Ingredion. Elizabeth came to Chicago to be a successor to a long time and very well respected and successful CHRO, Diane Frisch. She has partnered with a new CEO, she built a strong team and championed a Values and Purpose Human Capital global language that has energized the Ingredion global teams, across all functionalities. She is a champion of diversity and a highly strategic thinker. I admire that in addition to working 24/7 she is the mother of 3 incredible adult children (despite being very young!) and has a grandson she is very close to. I am inspired to do more whenever I interact with her.
As Raheela highlighted, multi-tasking and maintaining a strong professional network help her find success. We would love to hear from you and highlight your achievements and tips in our member spotlight. To be featured or to recommend another member of The Executives’ Club to share a spotlight, please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org