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

Carolyn Bird
Casco Bay Engineering

How do you model strong leadership?

“Strong leadership is having the confidence to make on-the-spot decisions – whether it’s meeting with a client during the design phase of a project, or visiting a construction site where ideas become reality. I know that I can always rely on my analytical background, skillsets, and the collaborative relationships on which I’ve built my business in order to solve complex engineering challenges. But equally important is tuning in when instinct tells me something isn’t right, and working to resolve a particular challenge by changing course. With structural engineering, the stakes are high, so I stay true to myself and confident in what all my years of experience have taught me.”

Jen Fullmer
Executive Director

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

“Fifty years after more than a thousand Women Air Force Service Pilots flew every military aircraft in the inventory, prepared men for aerial combat, and watched 38 of their comrades die for their country, the debate of women flying in combat rages on. To me, there’s no debate. Do we need good people? Are you qualified? Do you meet the standards? Are you a dedicated and hard worker? My advice is: don’t make it an issue. Professionalism, hard work, team commitment, and humility are gender neutral. The principles of good leadership and good followership are universal. Focus your energy there.”

Jill McGowan
Jill McGowan

What is the most valuable business lesson you have learned?

“I have learned through my 25 years in business, and earlier on from my enterprising parents, that it takes healthy doses of hubris and humility to start up a company and build a brand. The hubris carries you forward when it seems like there’s no hope or prospect for growth – when the banks and investors turn you down, when a recession hits and when things simply look grim and hopeless. Humility carries you through the best days and serves as a reminder to savor those days, and it certainly helps with all my relationships with loved ones and co-workers.”