An Interview Phil La Duke

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Your career is a big part of your life, so you have to feel passionate about what you do. It will help you grow, will help you drive your mission, and it will help you face challenges easier. You can identify a passionate person by their actions. You must also find balance in your personal life and work-life…ultimately this will make you happier.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stefanie Lucas, Chief Revenue Officer of American Leather Holdings.

Stefanie is Chief Revenue Officer of American Leather Holdings, which is the parent company for leading furniture manufacturing brands American Leather, Lee Industries, Brookline Furniture and Bench Made Modern. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the home furnishings industry to her current role.


An Interview Phil La Duke

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I grew up very poor, and I’m passionate about working with people of means and helping them understand the importance of not just looking at a resume because some people start life with far more than others. Leaders need to be supporting all people — like the college student who can’t afford to do a non-paid internship and has to take a retail job in the summer. …


An Interview Phil La Duke

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Think people, not customers. Make products that’ll solve problems and make people’s lives easier. Don’t get so wrapped up in customer profiles.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jelina Saliu. Jelina Saliu is CEO of The Laundress, a premium lifestyle brand that specializes in eco-friendly laundry detergent, fabric care, and home cleaning products. She is also the founder of Accounting Management Inc., a boutique specialized services firm that provides CFO and COO services, tax planning and accounting, and payroll and bookkeeping services.

After 11 years of working with The Laundress, Jelina stepped in as COO in 2017 to prepare the company for acquisition. In 2019, the company sold to Unilever. …


An Interview Phil La Duke

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One trait I have found to be vital for successfully running a business is the ability to make hundreds of decisions every day with confidence. Nobody is going to make the right decision every time but being able to take decisive action and succinctly communicate the rationale of your decisions to the rest of the team has turned out to be crucial in maintaining good business momentum.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Mason, Founder of the natural linens brand, Piglet.

Jessica launched the linen brand Piglet in her native U.K in January 2017 after six years of working in PR and Marketing in London and Dubai. During that time she worked with a whole range of brands — from Aesop to Ray-Ban — which helped to shape her idea of the kind of company she wanted to build. Knowing that she wanted to start a brand that used all of the digital tools at its disposal to interact with and understand its customers, Jessica spotted a gap in the market for high-quality natural linen bedding online and jumped at the opportunity. Since its launch in 2017, Piglet has gone from strength-to-strength. Starting with bedding made from 100% French flax linen available in a few simple shades, the brand’s collections now span bedlinen, sleepwear, table linen, and an accessories line. In Fall 2019, Jessica relocated to Chicago to bring Piglet to the US, where it is now thriving.


An Interview Phil La Duke

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While you can be anything, you can’t be EVERYTHING. I grew up in the 1970s with relatively young, progressive parents who tirelessly encouraged me and told me “you can be anything you want to be.” I took those words to heart and approached everything in my life as if there were no barriers. However, as I’ve become older and wiser, I’ve learned that while I can be anything, I can’t be everything, which is a very important distinction and one that took me years to learn and accept.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kendra Niedziejko. Kendra Niedziejko is the Chief Financial Officer at xMatters and has over 20 years of experience in building high-growth financial teams at technology companies. She previously served as the company’s Vice President of Finance since October 2014. At xMatters, her major achievements have included closing a $42M debt financing round with Golub Capital in August 2016, and a $40M Series D Funding Round led by Goldman Sachs in February 2018. Prior to joining xMatters, Niedziejko played a pivotal role in completing IPOs at both E-LOAN and OpenTable.


An Interview Phil La Duke

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Believe in yourself. If you find yourself bouncing around from one job to another, don’t worry. Finding something you love takes time but never give up the search. Believe in who you are. Develop the skills that drive your passion and go forth with confidence and understand that learning and growing is a never-ending endeavor.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Judy Walker. Judy Walker was born and raised in New York and later moved to New Jersey. She has been a Florida resident for 27 years. …


An Interview Phil La Duke

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Listen. I believe that in truly listening to and understanding the stories and experiences of individuals within a company, from bottom to top, we can harness the potential of our collective passions, achieve business goals and impact the bottom line, person by person.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Simone van Bijsterveldt. Simone van Bijsterveldt is CFO at MediaMonks, where she lends her expertise and vision to propel S4Capital’s content practice forward, delivering on Sir Martin Sorrell’s vision to disrupt a billion-dollar marketplace made up of holding companies and consultancies. Van Bijsterveldt started her career at KPMG, where she specialized in media and non-profit NGOs. After that, she joined Novamedia/Charity Lotteries, where she worked her way up from a controller to her first position in the boardroom as CFO. …


An Interview Phil La Duke

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I had the opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela and he said something which really validated everything I had been doing and still wanted to do. …


An Interview Phil La Duke

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Something I am really passionate about is making air medical services more accessible to patients all over the country. We have bases in almost every state, and we have worked hard to go in-network with insurance companies so that the people we serve do not get caught in the middle of the billing process. When you are recovering from a traumatic injury or illness, the last thing you want to do is get stuck navigating the financial side of healthcare.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing JaeLynn Williams. JaeLynn Williams was named CEO of Air Methods in January of 2020, after serving as the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing for about two years. As the leader of one of the country’s largest air medical service providers, she has spearheaded a variety of initiatives aimed at revamping and improving the industry. A key objective has been bringing Air Methods services in-network with insurance plans throughout the U.S. As Air Methods’ EVP of sales and marketing, JaeLynn was responsible for creating value for customers while driving growth in the two healthcare markets the company serves: pre-hospital/EMS and hospital systems.


An Interview Phil La Duke

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Get speech training and coaching early and often. People who learn to articulate and motivate with confidence become leaders faster. There are many wise people with leadership potential who cannot package their words and thoughts with the efficiency and confidence they need to move others.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Moira Vetter. Moira is the founder and CEO of Modo Modo Agency, a strategic creative agency serving Fortune 500 companies and hypergrowth mid-market companies. Modo Modo Agency has won over 275 awards in every category of marketing. In 2019 appeared on the Inc. 5000, the Chief Marketer CM200, and the Entrepreuer360. Moira is an author, a Forbes Contributor and has been recognized for entrepreneurship, including a TiE Atlanta Entrepreneur of the Year and an Enterprising Women EOY. …

About

Phil La Duke

Author of “I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business” and “Lone Gunman. Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention” and “Blood on my hands

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