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Walgreen’s CDO offers leadership lessons at New England event

Monday, November 12, 2012  
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More than 350 Network of Executive Women members learned the value of servant leadership and mentoring at the NEW New England fall networking event, Nov. 2, 2012 at the Boston Marriott Newton in Newton, Mass.

The crowd heard career advice from keynote speaker Steve Pemberton, chief diversity officer for Walgreen Company, who previously served as the first CDO for Pemberton, author of Chance in the World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past and How He Found a Place Called Home, shared his experiences at Walgreens and recounted his powerful personal story of growing up in foster care and the long search for family.

"Bitterness is being defeated again,” he said. "At some point you have to ask, ‘What do I build now?’ I wanted to build something different and I couldn’t do that if I was bitter.”

At work, he noted, women aren’t getting the feedback they need, especially from male managers, hindering advancement.

An optional morning mentoring workshop featured Michele M. Hanson, a founding member of NEW and CEO of ExecuInsight LLC.  "If someone asks you to be a mentor,” she advised, "say ‘Yes!’”

Women with active mentors have a 27 percent higher salary than women without a  mentor, Hanson said. She emphasized the difference between a mentor and a sponsor and said it is crucial to have both to advance your career. "Sponsors can give chips on your behalf and can advocate for you in meetings,” Hanson said. "Mentors give you time and sponsors give you the next promotion.”

Mentees should set goals, know what they want and ask for it, she said. One mentor can’t provide all of a protégé’s needs. "Finding a mentor that gives you wings is crucial,” she said.

Three outstanding NEW members were recognized at the event for their work. Cathy Doyle, formerly a regional sales manager for General Mills, was honored as the Network of Executive Women’s 2012 regional leader of the year.  Doyle, who has served as NEW’s New England co-secretary, accepted the Bobbie O’Hare Award at the Network’s NEW Leadership Summit, Oct. 22, 2012 in Dallas. Doyle was a founding member of NEW New England and helped start a robust college mentoring outreach program that serves as a benchmark for all NEW regions.

Alexandra Fenelon, account executive for Nestlé DSD, and Sian Blackwell, IT manager EDI/eCommerce for Ocean Spray, were honored for their groundbreaking work on Internet and social media for NEW New England.

Among the organizations sending delegations to the event were Acosta, Ahold USA, Associated Grocers of New England, Bentley University, Bryant University, C & S Wholesale Grocers, Crossmark, CVS Caremark Corporation, Delhaize America, Greater Boston Food Bank, JOH, Kellogg Company, Kraft Foods, Nestlé Waters, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Roche Bros. Supermarkets, Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, UNFI and Walgreen Company.

The NEW New England spring networking event, to be held April 26, 2013, will feature Shelley Broader, president and CEO of Walmart Canada.

(From left) NEW New England Co-Chair, Programs Christine Szymura Colwell of Agar Supply Co. joined keynote speaker Steve Pemberton of Walgreen Co., featured
speaker Michele M. Hanson of ExecuInsight LLC and NEW Board member emeritus
Bobbie O’Hare of JOH at the NEW New England fall event.      

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