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Valspar hosts Executive Women's Day

12 Mar 2015 9:03 AM | Working Women (Administrator)

It doesn’t get any better than hosting an Executive Women’s Day at a golf resort owned by a WOMAN!  Sheila Johnson welcomed us to her house & encouraged us to get involved with golf; it is NOT a man’s sport! Deborah Fiedorowicz, Senior VP of Tournament Activation with the PGA tour, encouraged us to sit back and soak up the awesomeness as she introduced our vibrant moderator, Angela Ardolino, Founder of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

We were here to share a day of corporate dialogue.  The panel consisted of:

  • Elizabeth Frazier, Exec Director of TB Lighting Foundation
  • Dr. Catherine Lynch, Assoc VP, College of Medicine OBGYN, USF
  • Karyn Talaric, Senior VP, BB&T
  • Kim Welch, VP Communications, Valspar

Dr. Lynch kicked it off by sharing how physicians stay in their own space.  She encouraged the implementation of personality tests & how they are paramount for improving relationships.  We all need to understand WHO we are working with in business.

Kim Welch agreed and shared about leveraging the understanding of each other’s differences.  You need to know your negotiating parts.  She had a male mentor that led her down a successful career path.  The path might not always be straight, it can lead you in a lot of directions, but it’s all preparing us for the bigger plan.

Karyn Talarico also had trusted advisors that encouraged her to take presenting opportunities, even when you don’t understand where they will lead.

Elizabeth Frazier stepped out of her comfort zone after initially considering a career as an attorney.  She would not change the course of her experience because it helped her decipher what she did NOT want to do!

Dr. Lynch tickled the crowd when she shared that her entire family lacked creative intelligence because she grew up surrounded by physicians.  She also spoke of the importance to have good mentoring & recently spent time talking with Chief Jane Castor about this as a necessity to incorporate in your career path.  It was suggested for all of us to listen to Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk where she drives this point home.

We all nodded our heads with approval when Elizabeth spoke of bearing your soul to connect with others.  When we speak from the heart, it touches the heart. 

All the ladies spoke of the importance of taking care of ourselves.  As women, we tend to put everyone first before our own needs.  In business, we need to stay healthy and exercise along w/ proper nutrition as it is vital to keep us sharp. 

The message was strong from each leader in business up on stage.  Stay true to yourselves; be authentic and assertive along your desired path.

The excitement to hear our keynote speaker, Carey Lohrenz, was evident in the crowd.  We all had autographed books on our table and lucky ME….she was sitting RIGHT next to me & said “your question was very good.”  Validation, sometimes that’s all we need to put a little skip in our step!

How can you even compare yourself to the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the US Navy!  Her career will leave you breathless and her humor will put you right at ease.  She was simply refreshing and full of personality and vigor!  I felt honored to sit in her presence and listen to her wisdom.

She told the crowd of awe struck women to have extraordinary focus, be a catalyst!  Choose your priorities intentionally and NO is a complete sentence.  My personal favorite moment was when she showed a video of the fighter jets with the song, Best of Both Worlds, by Van Halen in the background.  It was a true TOP GUN moment!!

We learned a lot about Carey in her talk but the question that choked her up was “what is your biggest fear” and she replied, “Fear that I won’t be good enough.”  The room was silenced as we all at one time have felt the same way.  Hard to believe that even the first female fighter pilot can endure & overcome the same fears we all have!

Sharon Fekete

The Doctor Whisperer

Working Women Ambassador


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