Over the years, I have been fortunate to be blessed with many skilled mentors. However, out of all of them, my mother remains the best. She’s always shown kindness to others, strength in times of adversity and actions grounded with integrity. When I asked for advice I was never given an answer. She would only listen to my problem and then tell me I had to decide what to do. As a child that was somewhat frustrating, but not a day goes by that I do not thank her for giving me the ability to make decisions on my own and be accountable for those decisions.
I pass this lesson on to my employees and those I mentor. Being a mentor is a privilege. By providing the right support and tools, you are teaching mentees how to focus their passion and provide a framework to help them reach their potential. For every position I have held throughout my career, I have prided myself on providing exemplary service, getting results, being an effective leader and having a passion for what I am doing.
I started my career path as a CPA in public accounting at Pricewaterhouse. From there I left for Bimba Manufacturing to manage their cost accounting group. I then joined Navistar, where I have been for 14 years in roles of increasing responsibility. I started in our internal consulting group and was quickly promoted to manager.
The goal was profitability maximization while keeping with our core values. Within two years I moved to controller of our Inline Engine business and was then promoted to Director of Finance and Strategy before being promoted to vice president of investor relations and financial communications. The greatest challenge for me has been balancing work and life.
At this stage in my career, it is critical that I feel good about the value I am contributing to the organization, while at the same time making sure I am still challenged and growing as a person. But, of the utmost importance is being the best mom I can be to my three kids. There are great days, good days and days I wish I could have handled better. However, every failure brings a lesson for improvement. My advice to young women is to pull the lessons from the failures, lean on your mentors for guidance, and have a passion for what you are doing. This will lead you to your highest potential.