ATHENA Leadership Virtue: Celebration and Joy

The York County Economic Alliance recently launched their new Professional Women's Alliance (PWA) to share resources that celebrate, support, promote, and advance the success of women in business. The PWA's first event was a luncheon featuring past ATHENA recipients who spoke about the individual virtues that make up the ATHENA Leadership Model. They have graciously agreed to share their perspectives here, as well.

By: Jody Keller

Is there anything better than a celebration? Who doesn’t love a party? And as the ancient philosopher, Cyndi Lauper said, “girls just wanna have fun." Right?

So, how does celebration and joy fit into a leadership model? Innovative companies and organizations encourage celebration – of successes, achievement, accomplishing goals, but also celebrations of their employees’ and clients’ good fortune. A culture of leadership begins with celebrating shared success with others.

Zappos.com, one of the top-rated companies in best places to work surveys, boasts high productivity, low turnover and growing profits, due to in a large part to their engaged and happy workforce. 

They publish a “culture book” annually, where employees share their thoughts on working for Zappos. This book is shared with anyone who wishes a copy. It is a vivid illustration of the strong commitment and loyalty employees have to Zappos – which is unusual for most companies. An even more unique example of celebration as an essential part of the Zappos culture is the large gong in their entrance/reception area. Anyone, employee or visitor, is invited to bang the gong and make an announcement to all gathered in the space – a personal life event such as a wedding, birth of a baby, promotion, or something that’s special to that person can be shared for all to celebrate. So, it seems to be common sense that celebration should be part of every leader’s strategy:

  1. Celebration brings people together. Research in human psychology suggests that discussion of positive events leads to more closeness and better relationships than discussing negative events. 
     
  2. Celebration doesn’t have to cost anything, and it works – recognizing and celebrating progress results in more productive teams.
     
  3. Positive emotions broaden human thinking. We’re more open to new ideas and think more creatively. Think about starting your next meeting giving the participants a chance to offer some good news and watch what happens!

On the face, the concepts of work and joy appear to be mutually exclusive – at least for some.  The question you must ask yourself is, “does work bring joy, OR do we find joy within ourselves as we work?"  

Think about this. There’s a significant difference between looking for something outside of ourselves as the source of joy – this can be a never-ending search. We buy more stuff, we busy ourselves with more activity….but are we happier?

As humans, most of us are profoundly motivated by the INTERNAL, or to use the word of behavior psychologists such as Maslow or Jung, the INTRINSIC desire for personal growth, rather than extrinsic rewards or carrots such as more money, which often serve as a motivator for a very brief time.

So it makes sense that joy comes from seeing purpose in our work, and being in an environment where positive emotion creates an urge to play and be creative. Great leaders know this.

So, I challenge you to get back to your work, whatever it may be – but be sure to celebrate more, have parties, tell jokes, have fun. It’s good for you personally and as a leader, it’s good for others, and it’s good for your organization.


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Jody Keller consults in the areas of management and organizational development and human resources management, having over 35 years of experience in the field. Previously, Jody held the position of Partner and Chief Administrative Officer of ParenteBeard LLC, the 20th largest accounting firm in the US with over 25 offices in 5 states.

She is currently the Executive in Residence at Penn State York’s Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, coaching the student fellows and facilitating relationships with businesses in York County. Prior to this role, she served in an interim CEO capacity at Steam Into History and Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, with responsibility for day-to-day operations and providing support in the search process for the permanent CEOs.  

 She received the ATHENA International Leadership award in 1994. Jody has served as a mentor for Leadership York's Mentorship York program.


The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment - qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman - or man - who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Nominations for the York County Economic Alliance ATHENA Award are being accepted until November 18, 2016.

ATHENA Leadership Virtue: Fierce Advocacy

The York County Economic Alliance recently launched their new Professional Women's Alliance (PWA) to share resources that celebrate, support, promote, and advance the success of women in business. The PWA's first event was a luncheon featuring past ATHENA recipients who spoke about the individual virtues that make up the ATHENA Leadership Model. They have graciously agreed to share their perspectives here, as well.

By: Dianne Moore

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Advocacy according to Dr. Seuss!

We all have a passion for something in our lives – it comes with the territory as a human being with a heart and soul. And sometimes that passion is focused on something we are personally devoted to - whether it be advancing what we believe or championing a cause on behalf of the greater good. Advocacy is the byproduct of a passion to be a change agent. And, important to note, it is driven by selflessness and a true desire to create positive change, not by ego or desire for personal attention.

ATHENA leaders become advocates because it’s a natural part of who they are – it’s in their DNA. They refuse to be distracted by opponents or doubters; and with their moral compass in one hand and their action plan in the other, they stay on the straight line toward their goal. That unwavering commitment to their belief drives their actions and compels them to rally support and fire up others to act along with them because advocacy is best accomplished as a collaborative effort. And that power of persuasion and magnetism that is advocacy draws people together by inspired leadership. Fierce advocates will go it alone when they have to, but more often are joined by others who share their ideals and sense of ownership of the cause.

So what’s up with adding the word “fierce” to advocacy as an ATHENA principle? Maybe because "fierce" is such a take-no-prisoners adjective (says Martha Mertz, our ATHENA founder). It tells us this is advocacy work on steroids. And also consider the definition of fierce: “intense in activity or feeling: vigorous or ardent.” So the power of the word fierce helps to illustrate the fact that advocacy for ATHENA leaders is no ordinary passion, but rather a relentless ferocity for a cause that matters deeply to them. But we need to be clear – this isn’t about picking a fight, as advocacy does not necessarily involve conflict or confrontation.  “You don’t have to raise your voice, just improve your argument.”

Our advocacy choices are also sometimes shaped by our personal life experiences or the roles we have taken on. One very special cause for me is supporting young middle school girls with making good choices for themselves that will help them to reach their greatest potential in life. Adolescence is a time in a girl’s life when self-confidence drops significantly and self-doubt rises, often times brought about by bullying and lack of direction. My own experience as a bullied seventh grader almost a lifetime ago, and without the added complication of social media, drove my desire to facilitate an annual event for local seventh grade girls called The Young Women’s Leadership Conference - now in its eleventh year and reaching over 12,000 local girls in the York community with inspiring messages of self-worth, finding and using your unique gifts to make a positive difference for others (maybe even laying the groundwork for future advocacy work), and resilience in a very tough world. And the success of this event is due to it being a collaborative effort with other advocates for these young girls, including WellSpan Health, York College, and the guidance counselors and teachers from local school districts in York County.

As a mother, there are often many opportunities to advocate for your children. Don’t even try to mess with a mother in “momma bear” mode. She is fearless and those who dare challenge her do so at their own risk. And all of the mothers in this room know exactly what I’m talking about. For me, it was supporting my youngest son who has learning disabilities. I was his fiercest advocate, never giving up on what I knew was his potential. He is now an engineering student in his third year of college and well on his way to achieving his career goals and dreams and he reminds me often how grateful he is that I did not give up on him when others did. 

And finally, as a nurse and in my long career in the health care industry in various roles, I have had numerous opportunities to advocate for the needs of patients. In particular, my passion and advocacy has been for the support of quality, affordable, and accessible health care for women of all ages.  

Advocacy (and yes I would say it has been fierce) has brought great fulfillment to my life and reminds me as an ATHENA leader, the necessity of always seeking opportunities to make a positive and impactful difference for others in both big and small ways. And quoting the amazing Helen Keller who always found ways to champion a cause on behalf of others - she described advocacy as rooted in the premise, “I cannot do everything, but I can do something.”

Martha Mertz relates advocacy to the goddess ATHENA in this way: “She provides a great lesson for us in choosing carefully the issues that we are willing to champion, and then showing up in full form and intention to accomplish what is necessary for the greater good. That, in a nutshell, is fierce advocacy.”

And so my final thoughts regarding Fierce Advocacy are just this: if, as a leader, you want to change the world in big or small ways, then find a way to be the change by doing something. And remember to always “care a whole awful lot.”


Dianne Moore is the Administrative Director of Women & Children Services, WellSpan Health. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from York College and master’s degree from Villanova University. She has been a member of the WellSpan staff for 19 years and has had various leadership roles in the organization with a focus on women’s health services development and strategy, health education, and outreach for all WellSpan hospitals. Dianne chairs the annual Young Women’s Leadership Conference in York for local seventh grade girls and is an active community volunteer, serving on several boards and committees. She has also served as an adjunct professor for York College’s Nursing Program. 

Dianne is a proud Pennsylvania Nightingale Award recipient - a statewide peer recognition for excellence in advanced nursing practice. She received the ATHENA International Leadership award in 2012.


The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment - qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman - or man - who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Nominations for the York County Economic Alliance ATHENA Award are being accepted until November 18, 2016.

ATHENA Leadership Virtue: Courageous Acts

The York County Economic Alliance recently launched their new Professional Women's Alliance (PWA) to share resources that celebrate, support, promote, and advance the success of women in business. The PWA's first event was a luncheon featuring past ATHENA recipients who spoke about the individual virtues that make up the ATHENA Leadership Model. They have graciously agreed to share their perspectives here, as well.

By: Deb Stock

COURAGEOUS ACTS, as defined by Athena:

  • the willingness to stand alone & speak the truth
     
  • to question the assumptions
     
  • to challenge the status quo
     
  • the determination to ACT in the face of fear.

When we hear the word "courage," we often think of great acts of valor. But courage doesn’t always roar. Courage is often quiet. It’s about finding your voice and sometimes finding a way to move forward when things don’t work out the way you expected.

We all have stories about doing something, in our professional or personal lives, that we were scared to do - a public speech, a decision to take your company in a new direction, or maybe traveling alone for the first time.

When we act courageously, we remember it. It changes us and then becomes part of who we are. It requires: taking risk and placing ourselves outside our comfort zone.

Acting courageously develops confidence and self esteem. If we sit it out, we miss out - on one of the most empowering experiences of all. It’s how we learn and grow.

We are surrounded with opportunities. But often the fear of the unknown keeps us from reaching out. Decision making can be risky, for a couple reasons: often we’re forced to make decisions without having all the information. As leaders, we’re expected to make unpopular decisions where we know going in that we won’t have consensus. The unknown creates fear. But we can’t let fear keep us from making a decision.

I want to share one of my own stories where things didn’t work out the way I intended, but I couldn’t pick just one; there have been many. Like:

  • running for an election that I lost
     
  • speaking in front of 1200 people and falling on the stage
     
  • investing my organization’s time and resources in pursuing a merger that I wasn’t able to close 

So what do we do when things don’t work out?

We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back in the race! It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s OK to not be perfect. But it’s NOT OK to let fear stifle our growth!

I would like to leave you with a personal observation: When you look back -

You won’t regret the things you tried that didn’t work out, but you will probably regret the things that you NEVER tried.


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Deb Stock recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of the York YWCA, and now serves as Executive Director for Turning Point Women's Counseling and Advocacy Center. She has served on national, regional, and local boards, including serving as Board Chair of YWCA USA from 2009-2012. She has also served on the boards of York Hospital, Better York, Rotary Club Of York, United Way Of York County, Family & Child Partners, Family Service Partners, New Hope Academy Charter School, on the executive committee of YWCA’s World Service Council and Global Relations Committee, and is a Trustee of 501c Agency Trust in San Jose, CA.

In 2008, York Newspaper Company named Deb as one of the top 25 most influential people in York County. In February 2010, she was awarded the Central Penn Business Journal's Nonprofit Innovation Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Deb is currently a member of Leadership York's Board of Directors. She received the ATHENA International Leadership award in 2011.


The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment - qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman - or man - who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Nominations for the York County Economic Alliance ATHENA Award are being accepted until November 18, 2016.

ATHENA Leadership Virtue: Collaboration

The York County Economic Alliance recently launched their new Professional Women's Alliance (PWA) to share resources that celebrate, support, promote, and advance the success of women in business. The PWA's first event was a luncheon featuring past ATHENA recipients who spoke about the individual virtues that make up the ATHENA Leadership Model. They have graciously agreed to share their perspectives here, as well.

By: Debbie Simon

ATHENA defines collaboration as:

Valuing the gifts each individual brings, encouraging participation from those who are often overlooked, and Deepening awareness and knowledge through diversity.

It’s teamwork at a higher level. Women have been collaborating for centuries without particularly calling it that or making a big deal about it. Think quilting bees, where women worked together to make one beautiful quilt, or even further back in time to communal raising of children and making meals in the Pilgrim days. Before women joined the workforce, they collaborated on charitable events, school events, etc.

Somewhere early in my life, maybe it was from my mother and her friends who did not have working careers, I learned that you could accomplish more by enlisting others to help. In other words: collaboration.

I believe the ultimate benefits of collaboration are:

  • Access to skills and strengths you may not possess. As my husband always says, you can’t be good at everything. By bringing together a diverse group of people, you tap into their skills and strengths to help solve a problem or work on a project.
     
  • It creates a learning experience for all who are involved. You have an opportunity to learn other skills and knowledge from those you are working with.
     
  • Collaboration allows you to solve problems and innovate faster. Trying to accomplish something on your own takes a lot longer than collaborating with others, as they may already possess the answers that you need or you can divide the work up.
     
  • Collaboration gives you access to other people you may not have had the opportunity to meet before. This helps with the ATHENA Principle of Build Relationships.

The big takeaway for me is that collaboration avoids duplication of efforts or services. It avoids reinventing the wheel, as we say.

We as women are naturals at collaboration. So as leaders, we help encourage others and foster collaboration to reap the benefits.

In the words of Aristotle, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

And this, I feel, is the true benefit of collaboration.


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Debbie Simon is a trustee of the Board of the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. She spent the majority of her career as Chief Operating Officer of SF&Company, now Baker Tilley. She has served on many nonprofit boards in York County. She is current past Chair of the Byrnes Health Education Center and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of York College of PA. She received the ATHENA International Leadership award in 2001.


The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment - qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman - or man - who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Nominations for the York County Economic Alliance ATHENA Award are being accepted until November 18, 2016.

ATHENA Leadership Virtue: Relationships

The York County Economic Alliance recently launched their new Professional Women's Alliance (PWA) to share resources that celebrate, support, promote, and advance the success of women in business. The PWA's first event was a luncheon featuring past ATHENA recipients who spoke about the individual virtues that make up the ATHENA Leadership Model. They have graciously agreed to share their perspectives here, as well.

By: Debra Goodling-Kime

“There’s very little you do in business or in the world that isn’t about relationships.” (Maureen Kempston Darkes of GM)

Relationships...We all have them; with neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, bosses, spouses, even our pets. 

We know when a relationship is good – we can get back together with someone we haven’t seen in ages and fall right back into a comfortable conversation, feeling like no time has been lost. 

In the book, Becoming ATHENA by Martha Maywood Mertz, the relationship principle is defined as:

            “Connecting genuinely with those around you. A willingness to bond with others, profoundly and productively, with trust and respect; to reach beyond status and self-interest in search of meaningful connections. Leaders engage, empower, and trust.”

The words that speak to me most about this definition are: 

Genuinely – We are not called to simulate relationships, YouTube-style. Nor to profess relationships with no walk behind the talk.

BondProfoundly and productively – We are not called to approximate relationships, going through the motions at a distance, safe from entanglement or risk.

With trust and respect … Beyond status and self-interest. 

ATHENA leaders are open to relationships from all points of origin. They don’t seek solely to “relate up,” to connect only with people who share or can raise their status. 

Nor do ATHENA leaders instigate relationships just to rack 'em up: more names in a contact file, more friends on a Facebook page.

ATHENA summons leaders to the demanding work of building relationships. 

Think about it - GOOD builders are exacting, patient, and in it for the long haul. They earn the callouses on their hands. They stand by what they create.

There is also an ART to building and maintaining relationships. They require: 

  • Sensitivity
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • And TIME  

I believe we build trust - and relationships - by retaining our humility, meeting others where they are in their journey, and making a difference in their lives. 

I don’t always do it well, but I try to give my best to others. I strive to leave every interaction having learned something from the other person and leaving something of value behind. Good relationships don’t happen overnight – they take time and effort to build and maintain. 

You never really know how you will impact others you come in contact with. All you can do is give of yourself and work hard to make a difference in others’ lives, no matter their status or income or color of their skin or ethnicity. Relationships are really all about them, not you. 

In closing, I’d like to share two quotes. 

Barbara Bush said, “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”

And, from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”


Debra Goodling-Kime has been honored with various awards for her leadership, including Alumnus of the Year at York College, one of the Top 50 Women in Business in Pennsylvania, and Central Penn Business Journal's Forty Under 40. Deb started as a teller at Drovers Bank and was eventually promoted to Executive Vice President and CFO. She left the organization after 24 years and went on to work at Shipley Energy in the finance function and as president of the Tom’s Store chain for 2 years. She then returned to banking, working in various sized banks in the region and then consulting with small banks, primarily in Maryland. She currently serves as CFO of Community Progress Council, York’s Community Action Agency. She received the ATHENA International Leadership award in 1996. She is a 1984 graduate of Leadership York's Leadership Training Program.


The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment - qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman - or man - who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Nominations for the York County Economic Alliance ATHENA Award are being accepted until November 18, 2016.

ATHENA Leadership Virtue: The Authentic Self

The York County Economic Alliance recently launched their new Professional Women's Alliance (PWA) to share resources that celebrate, support, promote, and advance the success of women in business. The PWA's first event was a luncheon featuring past ATHENA recipients who spoke about the individual virtues that make up the ATHENA Leadership Model. They have graciously agreed to share their perspectives here, as well.

By: Jean Treuthart

Authentic. It’s a deep word. It’s not easy to define. We could say that’s it’s “being real,” but what does that really mean?

Here’s what I’ve come up with. For me, being authentic happens when my personality and my talents come into alignment with my life’s purpose.

I told you this was deep stuff.

Authenticity isn’t something you have or you don’t have. It has to be developed, cultivated even, with purpose…over time

Authenticity is about being real. It’s about showing up ready to fully engage with what the circumstance presents to you. It’s balancing the need to fit in with the joy of being your perfectly imperfect self.

Being authentic is work. Why? Because life can be hard. It’s beautiful and it’s brutal. And in the middle of that duality, you’re just trying to be you. For most of us, this takes effort.

Being your authentic self is necessary. Why? Because if you try to be less than you are or deny who you are, you can end up experiencing sadness, anger, anxiety, numbness, and depression. And don’t we have a lot of that in our society these days? Dis-ease is what happens when we don’t live our truth.

Let me give you a minor example of what it feels like to give up a part of yourself.  Perhaps you can relate.

I remember dating some guy and pretending to like country music because he did. There’s nothing wrong with country music. It’s not my thing. 

Don’t tell me you’ve never done something like that—pretended to like soccer or India Pale Ale or his obnoxious friend. Why did I do that? Because I didn’t trust he would like who I really was. 

Sometimes it takes people a decade to figure out what they might have known in a couple of dates if they’d just been authentic and not performing and pretending.

Cultivating authenticity is all about choices. How far from your true self can you flex? How often are you willing to flex? What are you willing to give up to move closer to your true self?

Authentic leadership is inviting openness among the people with whom you work. It’s the willingness to admit you made a mistake. It’s letting people see your vulnerabilities AND your strengths. It’s about cultivating growth in yourself and encouraging it in others in the quest to become better people. It’s about creating values together that support your organization’s mission. 

Being your authentic self is a combination of strength and struggle that we engage in every single day. Being authentic can take you to some tough places. Peace doesn’t mean you don’t have challenges. It means you don’t get pulled too far off center by them. You’re resilient. You snap back to who you really are. 

Being authentic is necessary. Why? Because if you tap into your essence, you will create and experience joy, purpose, clarity, love, belonging, stillness. Couldn’t we use a lot more of these in our world these days?


Jean Treuthart brings over 30 years of experience in organizational leadership, revenue building, fundraising, and advocacy to her role as the CEO of YWCA York. She is a frequent community speaker on social and economic justice topics related to the fields of women’s leadership role and education. From 2003 to 2014, Jean championed access and opportunity to education at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) in the position of Campus Vice President of the York Campus. Under her leadership, the campus was the fastest growing in the college’s history with enrollment reaching just over 3,000 students. In 2015, she received the ATHENA International Leadership award for her commitment to mentoring young women.


The ATHENA Leadership Award® was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment - qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model®. The ATHENA Leadership Award® is presented to a woman - or man - who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills. Nominations for the York County Economic Alliance ATHENA Award are being accepted until November 18, 2016. 

Leading Professionals as the First Among Equals

By: Jody Keller

David Maister, an expert on management of professional services firms, authored the must-read resource for anyone who finds him/herself emerging from the ranks of professionals to lead their organization: First Among Equals. Maister asserts that in order to be successful as the one that “heads up” an organization, team, committee, or any other group, the key to effectiveness is the existence of an explicit agreement where the team knows the rules and adheres to them.

A leader should rarely have to assert authority – and although you may be “the boss," that’s not the way you act. The way in which a leader behaves – inspires - is by demonstrating a strict discipline in following a set of standards that aren’t just talked about, but are enforced.  The key to enforcing these standards is skillful management, coaching, and facilitating. In other words, leadership.

This idea is supported by Jon Katzanbach, an expert on “teaming,” who asserts that performance of a team is more a matter of discipline than togetherness. We’ve probably all experienced or at least heard of work teams where members have trouble getting past their core area of competency - where collectively, they over-analyze, attempt to eliminate every bit of risk, and have so many conversations before making a decision – they want to be “safe” – that action is delayed or completely avoided. Because of this, many leaders give up trying to work with their employees as a team. 

However, well-coordinated groups can work, with the attention being paid to managing the process, rather than the individuals. The leader needs the emotional intelligence to influence other’s feelings, attitudes and emotions. With determination and optimism, the leader will be effective in transforming this disparate group of individuals into a high-performing team.

So, how do you get this done?   

  • First, clarify your role – how do you add value as a leader? Clarify the skills and talents you bring to the role, as well as the shortcomings. This is necessary to move to the second step. 

  • Confirm your responsibilities and obligations as the leader – EXPLICITLY. There should be no doubt what your role entails and what it does not.

  • THEN…. Build relationships – one at a time. And maintain those individual relationships outside of the team meetings. Only after relationships are built, can you move to the next step.

  • Gain trust and PERMISSION to coach. Only by earning their willingness to allow you to guide them can coaching be effective.

  • From this point, you can build support for change, which is a necessity for progress in an organization.

Of course, important skills including listening for understanding, assisting/training underperformers, and confronting/tackling difficult people head-on will always be needed as an effective leader of others. 

There’s nothing more gratifying for the leader and team than to be a part of a successful event, operation, or organization where it can be said with all honesty that it wouldn’t have happened without the collective effort and energy of the “equals” who make up the whole.   


After retiring from ParenteBeard LLC in 2013, Jody has returned to her organizational development consulting practice, focusing on company culture, employee engagement, and performance management. She recently served as the interim CEO of the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center and is an active community volunteer. Current roles include chairman of the board of Turning Point Women's Counseling and Advocacy center, member of the Memorial Health Systems Foundation board, Penn State York Advisory Board, and member of Human Resources committees for SpiriTrust, Byrnes Health Education Center, and the Country Club of York. Jody has been an active member of the Rotary Club of York for over 25 years. Jody serves as a mentor for Leadership York's Mentorship York program.



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FLY at 25: Meet Jennifer Kearney

FLY at 25: Meet Jennifer Kearney

As a junior at Dallastown Area High School, I had the opportunity to participate in Future Leaders of York.  This program was very helpful in fostering my leadership skills and developing my network.  I am now a senior at Penn State, and I have seen multiple FLY Graduates since coming to Penn State in August 2011.  I have been reminded constantly of the importance of networking, which I first learned at FLY.

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Fly at 25: Meet Eric Strittmatter

Fly at 25: Meet Eric Strittmatter

As a part of the Future Leaders of York Class of 2006, I was exposed to many social, community, and government organizations throughout York County. As I finished high school and prepared to head to York College of PA for their mechanical engineering program, I looked for a way to be involved in my community. A friend of mine encouraged me to join a local volunteer fire department. I didn’t quite know what all I was signing up for at the time, but seven years later I have no regrets.

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FLY at 25: Meet Rebecca Altland

FLY at 25: Meet Rebecca Altland

I was thrilled when I learned that I had been chosen as a member of the 2006 FLY class. Leadership York gave me a fresh perspective of my hometown. I was able to discover organizations in my community that I had either never heard of or had taken for granted. One particular organization, ACCESS-York, became a focus of mine and I was even able to lead a service project in my school with the donations going back to their programs. Through that process I was able to learn about opportunities in York that have a great impact on the people in my community.

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FLY at 25: Meet Nate Caruso

FLY at 25: Meet Nate Caruso

In December 2013, I spoke to the board of Leadership York on what  I learned and what I continue to use in my life through their Future Leaders of York program (FLY). FLY is a program for sophomores and juniors in high school to meet business leaders and develop leadership skills. I learned a lot through the program, and continue to use the skills I have learned in all aspects of my life.

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FLY at 25: Meet Jill Reinholt

FLY at 25: Meet Jill Reinholt

Future Leaders of York was one of my first meaningful professional experiences. I gained knowledge and confidence through the program that has helped me to be successful to this day. After graduating from Red Lion Area Senior High School, I attended Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. I was a dual major in Marketing and Management and earned my BBA in May 2011, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

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