She's Brilliant

Introducing She’s Brilliant!™

Inspiration and Guidance from Women Leaders in Maine

As the proud owner of a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, I’m a huge champion of women achieving success in business, and I’m always looking for opportunities to mentor the next generation of women leaders. With this in mind, I wanted to create a collection of wisdom from women business leaders that would inspire, motivate and guide us all, and this blog is the result of that idea.

Over the coming months I hope you find the words shared in our She’s Brilliant!™ blog to be as moving as I do. We have all witnessed the remarkable power of women; it’s my experience that we’re at our best when we come together and share our gifts with one another. Enjoy.

Kim Anania
President and CEO,
KMA Human Resources Consulting

Deqa Dhalac
Intercultural Program Manager
Center for Grieving Children

How do you model strong leadership?

“As a black, immigrant, Muslim woman, I am blessed to have achieved so many goals in this country that I could never have dreamed of achieving. I have always wanted to be a force for positive change in my community, and to use my voice to advocate for those changes my fellow community members wish to see.

I believe we need to come together to lift up women and girls of color — whose voices are often left out — until we see that women from all backgrounds are equally represented in education, government, the workplace, and everywhere in between.

As a human being operating at my highest and best, I practice compassion, spirituality and joy. I trust my inner voice to guide me toward a clear path of acceptance and equality for all.”

Leslie Poake
LG&H Certified Public Accountants

What is the most valuable business lesson you have learned?

“There is a time when you start out in business and your focus is on yourself: how to stand out, how to get ahead, how to succeed. Then if you’re lucky you learn and you experience life. You have love, loss, great friendships, successes and disappointments. And you swing the other way to focus on other people in your life. You help and support people, whether it’s showing up for them, holding their hand through a personal or professional crisis, coaching them or creating opportunities for them.

There are people who will let you know how much they appreciate your efforts, but there are many times when there is no acknowledgement of what you have done. You have to be OK with that or it can eat you alive. There is an inner satisfaction that you get from helping people, whether that help is acknowledged or not. But if you find yourself feeling empty and used, you have to be able to step back and say no. I think this is sometimes very hard for women. The key is to find balance.”

Vicki Ferentz
Acadia Benefits

What advice would you offer women entering a traditionally male-dominated industry?

1. Be an attentive listener.
2. Deal with the correct person, not always the right person. Meaning, don’t jump over the correct person to get to the right person without an invitation to do so.
3. Show up on time.
4. Be kind to your own employees, and to yourself.
5. Know that you don’t need to learn to play golf (or drink beer) — but it’s ok if you do!
6. Treat others as you want to be treated.
7. Challenge yourself.