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Executives offer keen insights at North Central Texas event

Sunday, November 25, 2012  
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Three senior women executives offered their insights and personal experiences to more than 160 Network of Executive Women members and students at the NEW North Central Texas fall event, Nov. 14, 2012, at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, Texas.

Pamela Culpepper, senior vice president and global chief diversity officer for PepsiCo Inc.; Laura Freeland, former vice president of cargo revenue management at American Airlines; and Linda Stewart, president and CEO at Interaction Associates shared their personal reflections on the New York Times bestseller What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellen Spragins, which features short letters written by notable women. The discussion was moderated by executive coach Neena Newberry.

Freeland connected with a letter written by former "Today Show” anchor Ann Curry, which advised, "It is time to be bold about who you really are.” In her experience, Freeland said, "understanding your strengths and leveraging your uniqueness will give you the courage to be bold enough to show your true self.”

Culpepper added: "You have to create your own sense of boldness because no one will give it to you.”

Stewart related to the letter from Gerry Laybourne, founder of Oxygen Media, who advised her younger self to "Turn off the radio station in your head that points out your failures.” Stewart said she felt it has been important for her to learn how to manage her own insecurities.

Commenting on author Naomi Wolf’s advice to "Stop worrying about making people happy,” Culpepper said it is important to "be your own girlfriend.”

"The discussion was so valuable to our attendees, particularly to the students and others in the early stage of their careers, to hear such honest, revealing and candid perspectives from this group of outstanding women at the pinnacle of their careers,” said NEW Phoenix Co-Chair, Programs Melody Orrantia, regional account manager for TopDown Consulting Inc.

Among the organizations sending delegations to the event were Brookshire Grocery Co., Coca-Cola Refreshments, ConAgra Foods, CROSSMARK, Michaels Stores Inc., Mondelēz International, PepsiCo Inc., RadioShack, Safeway Inc., Zale Corporation, University of Texas at Dallas, the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University.  

(From left) Discussion facilitator Neena Newberry of Newberry Executive Coaching
joined panelists Pamela Culpepper of PepsiCo Inc., Linda Stewart of Interaction
Associates, Diane McNulty of The University of Texas at Dallas and Laura Freeland, formerly with American Airlines, at the NEW North Central Texas fall event. 

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