Welcome to the May edition of Women in Leadership

This month’s interviews take a closer look at asking for what you want, nonprofit challenges, networking and advocacy.

Here are some highlights of what I learned after chatting with some pretty cool women leaders:

Amanda Lavis prefers bourbon with her chocolate.

Patti Husic invited me to tour Harrisburg in her car, with coffee.

Ann Davis was a wee bit hesitant to be interviewed.

Lisa Myers opened up her heart to me.

These are the women that I got to know a little better in the past month.

And knowing them has made me a little better.

Networking with a twist

Let’s start with Lavis. The Harrisburg attorney with the law firm of Rhoads & Sinon LLP  believes deeply in our Women in Leadership monthly newsletter. She reached out to me after the first edition published. After a few email exchanges she shared information with me regarding her Women Empowered networking group.

It sounds like a fun, sound group. They want to make networking about building quality relationships and the networking is a little out-of-the box. That’s why they meet in gyms, and at a chocolate and alcohol pairing get-together in Lemoyne. Lavis’ favorite?  Bourbon goes best with chocolate.

This week the group heads to a Lancaster escape room. I’ve been invited to tag along. Look for a future column on how well my team did.

Industry leader

Husic is a well-known leader in the banking industry in the midstate, she’s the president and CEO of Centric Bank. She was recently named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker magazine and most recently joined the 2016 Central Penn Business Journal’s class of Women of Influence winners.

Husic could probably write her own book on career advice, and I expect that I will turn to her for future newsletter issues. For the May edition we focused on her experience with “the ask” and how important it is to let your leadership team know where you want to go with your career.

During my conversations with Husic, she sprinkled in personal stories of how she helped this business owner or that entrepreneur find the right financing to help their business launch or grow. Those businesses dot the midstate landscape.

I told her that she would be fun to take a car ride with. We could grab a coffee and tour the many businesses that she has helped. She happily agreed.

Keeping community in DreamWrights

I’ll admit that I had to do a bit of selling to Davis before she agreed to share part of her career path and leadership growth with DreamWrights. She’s shy, she will tell you. She shouldn’t be. The now executive director has helped the York community theater grow in the past 15-plus years and is leading a $2.5 million capital campaign for more changes at the nonprofit.

That change can be a challenge to manage. You have to adapt to grow, but you don’t want to lose the community love and connection that is DreamWrights, she said.

A large part of Davis’ responsibilities is raising money, and developing key community relationships. “People give when they are asked. They give more if they know you,” she told me.

The hills are alive

Myers’ interview will be one that sticks with me for a very long time. The Boyer and Ritter LLC principal was gracious in sharing her stories of loss and challenges. I could tell they provide the incentive behind the help she gives to the American Lung Association.

I would bet that Myers is not a fan of tooting her own horn, but she happily shared why the association is an important group, why she is actively involved in its advocacy and how opening up about her own personal experiences will help others.

Here’s a bonus: I got to see super cute pictures of her dog, Max, a gorgeous Golden Retriever, and Myers’ baby. He’s named after Uncle Max, from one of my favorite movies, “The Sound of Music.”

Women President’s Organization

You can also check out Jason’s Scott’s article on the local chapter of the Women’s President Organization, an effort led by by Jayne Huston.

All of our CPBJ coverage on Women in Business in the midstate, can be found here.

Haven’t yet signed up for the newsletter email? You can do that here. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

Cathy Hirko
Cathy Hirko is Associate Publisher/Editorial Director for the Central Penn Business Journal and Lehigh Valley Business. Email her at chirko@bridgetowermedia.com.

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