Welcome to Momentum, Class Fifteen!

Each year Momentum welcomes a new group of outstanding, highly accomplished women into our program. They are driven. They are high-performers. They are leaders. And yet they can do more, be more, give more. Many are already well over 110% capacity in their professional and private lives, so how can they possibly add more?

That’s where Momentum comes in.

Over the course of the next nine months these women will gain top-notch training in emotional intelligence, healthy leadership, and stress management, as well as practical skills such as negotiation, branding, and vision planning.

They will learn to focus their time and energy on the things that matter most. They will learn to relinquish control in order to delegate. They will learn to ask for the resources they need to add value and drive results.

Most of all, they will build relationships with one another, the kinds of relationships most male leaders naturally find within their workplace or among any number of social circles. For the women of Class 15, there are fewer and fewer women around them as they rise through the ranks. Momentum will provide that network of advice and support as these women take on higher levels of responsibility with confidence.

The Momentum welcome retreat is designed to set the stage for this new phase of growth. Class 15 really rose to the challenge. In fact, you can see them in action in this video! Through several days of training and exercises that stretched everyone outside of their comfort zone, this class came out the other side closer and stronger. I am certain they will go far.

 

Class Fifteen, on behalf of Momentum staff and alum, we are here to support you on that journey.

April Benetollo
Interim CEO, Momentum

 

 

Market at Pepper Place Hosting Momentum Alumnae

Mark your calendars…bring your family, friends and fur babies!

September 16th 8:15-noon Momentum Alum are invited to the Market at Pepper Place to celebrate the women of Birmingham’s cuisine scene! Take a look at the program that Momentum alumna Leigh Sloss-Cora has put together for us. Come for all or any part of this fantastic morning!

 

8:15 am Coffee & Scones

Arrive at the Market and grab a coffee and nametag from the Red Cat tent (owned by Erin Isbell) and a scone or croissant from Continental Bakery’s counter (owned by Caroline Griffin). Shop the beautiful fresh produce, food items and unique gifts.

9:00 am Chef Demo with Ashley Tarver 

Meet at the Chef Demo area on 29th street and learn how to make a delicious seasonal recipe from the  chef/owner of Copper Pot Kitchen and the soon-to-be-open Za’atar Bar Ashley Tarver and food writer Christiana Roussel, with help from Jeff State culinary student Daphne Jones. Find out amazing facts about women in the food industry and cheer for the ones who have been “breaking the pyrex ceiling” in Birmingham and beyond their entire careers.

 

10:00 am Brunch and Mimosas at OvenBird

Pick a spot in the garden if the weather is nice, or relax inside, if you need the A/C. Award-winning chef Chris Hastings has a fantastic brunch menu. It’s hard to beat the Eggs Benedict or the Cornmeal Hotcake with fruit.

Leigh’s favorite? Oysters on the half shell with g&t mignonette, just to get started!

 

 

11:00 am Last Call at the Market

If you’ve had enough brunch, pick up those last minute purchases before the market closes at noon. Remember, the Market at Pepper Place is a nonprofit that was founded by a Momentum donor, is overseen by a Momentum alum and run by an all female staff. Community support is essential to keep it going! So post your pictures and help spread the word before you hug your Momentum pals goodbye and make a plan to meet up at the Market again.

 

The following Market regulars are all owned or co-owned by women, so shop their tents and support them!

Main Lot: 

·         Continental Bakery

·         Dayspring Dairy

·         Deep Roots Apothecary

·         Henke Farms

·         Homewood Gourmet

·         Monroe Sausage

·         Pie Lab

·         Red Cat Coffee

·         Silver Lane Farms

·         Stone Hollow Farmstead

·         Southern Foothills Farm

·         Thula’s Vinaigrette

On 29th Street:

·         Ashley McCullars Art

·         Bare Naked Noodles

·         Copper Pot Kitchen

·         Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes

·         Happy Trails Flowers

·         Harvest Roots Seeds Coffee

·         Inspirals Jewelry

·         Lovely Lettering

·         Lula’s Woodworks

·         Obsessions Jewelry

·         Pudding Amore

·         Red Cat Coffee

·         Zkano Socks

In the Cantina/Martin Biscuit Parking Lot:

·         Big Spoon Creamery

·         Earth Garden Naturals soap

·         Hip Hop Hooray kids Clothing

·         J. Lizzie

·         Lindsey Kelly Art

·         Prodigal Pottery

·         She She (artist)

·         Windy’s Wind Chimes

Birmingham Southern College President to Speak at Momentum Luncheon

Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith, Photo credit: Bob Farley

We are honored to have Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith, President of Birmingham Southern College, to deliver the keynote address entitled “Lead Where You Are Needed” at Momentum’s annual luncheon celebration to welcome leadership class fifteen to the program. Momentum alumnae, sponsors, class participants, and their guests are invited to register to attend.

Linda  became the first female President in Birmingham Southern College’s 160-year history in 2016, bringing many years of senior leadership experience in higher education to the position.  She has served as Vice President for Finance and Administration for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs for the University of Alabama System, and Vice President and COO for the University of Connecticut.

Linda has enjoyed bolstering BSC’s administrators, faculty and staff during its re-accreditation period, and she founded BSC’s popular Panther Partnerships mentoring program, which pairs juniors with a professional mentor and offers regular seminars in everything from career development to professional etiquette.  She has also worked as a pro-bono consultant with Human Rights First, a non-profit, nonpartisan human rights organization based in Washington, D.C., and New York, to create, implement, and advance an international campaign designed to disrupt the business of human trafficking. In this role, she has been a part of an effort to promote at the national level legislation addressing social issues and challenges that face higher education and society in general.

Flaherty-Goldsmith graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business from the University of Alabama and received her MBA with an emphasis in finance from UAB. She has a long history of community service, including as a member of the board of the National Collegiate Housing Foundation, the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, the UA Women’s Leadership Initiative, and the YouthServe Leadership Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Alabama and Leadership Birmingham and was named one of Birmingham’s Top Ten Women by Birmingham Business Magazine.

 

How Can We Thank Barbara Enough?

It is very difficult to imagine Momentum without Barbara Royal, and fortunately we won’t have to. Although Barbara announced last week she will be stepping down September 1st after fifteen years as CEO at Momentum, she will remain engaged with Momentum as a consultant for special projects. We simply cannot thank Barbara enough for all that she has done for women in Alabama–collectively, professionally, and personally.

“I can think of very few women who have had the level of influence on professional women in Alabama that Barbara has had,” said Vickie Saxon, President of Momentum’s board of directors. “In addition to extraordinary vision, Barbara has a gift for bringing together all of the elements that make Momentum a truly unique experience for every participant,” Saxon said.  “We have never uncovered another program like it anywhere; Barbara has built something that is truly unique and our business community is very fortunate to have a program of this caliber for their top female talent.”

As Barbara reminded us in her written statement to the Momentum Alumnae Program members: “Momentum is in the best overall position it has ever been relative to its standing. Our robust strategic plan, strong board, talented staff, and supportive alumnae are well-equipped to continue to expand our programs and maintain our upward trajectory in the years to come.”

Many leaders in the state have recognized the positive impact of Barbara’s work with Momentum and her many other business and community contributions since moving to Alabama from Boston over 35 years ago. She was instrumental in promoting ‘hands on’ learning in Alabama and laying the foundation for the McWane Science Center in the former Loveman’s building in downtown Birmingham. She has contributed service and raised funding for many nonprofits, including UAB, The Women’s Fund, and the YWCA of Central Alabama.

Royal will be honored with the upcoming This is Alabama’s 2017 “Women Who Shape the State” award, as well as a 2017 SMART honoree award by The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham. She looks forward to continued engagement in community, travel and enjoying her family, including husband Dr. Stuart Royal and their five grandchildren. Read the full release here. 

 

Momentum CEO Barbara Royal Announces Retirement

Birmingham, Alabama – August 28, 2017Barbara Royal, CEO of MOMENTUM, released a statement last week to announce that she will be stepping down September 1st after fifteen years with the nonprofit organization.  Royal will remain engaged with Momentum as a consultant for special projects.

“I can think of very few women who have had the level of influence on professional women in Alabama that Barbara has had,” said Vickie Saxon, President of Momentum’s board of directors and vice president of enterprise resources at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama. “In addition to extraordinary vision, Barbara has a gift for bringing together all of the elements that make Momentum a truly unique experience for every participant,” Saxon said.  “We have never uncovered another program like it anywhere; Barbara has built something that is truly unique and our business community is very fortunate to have a program of this caliber for their top female talent.”

Said Royal in her written statement to the Momentum Alumnae Program members: “Momentum is in the best overall position it has ever been relative to its standing. Our robust strategic plan, strong board, talented staff, and supportive alumnae are well-equipped to continue to expand our programs and maintain our upward trajectory in the years to come.”

Many leaders in the state have recognized the positive impact of Royal’s work with Momentum and her many other business and community contributions since moving to Alabama from Boston over 35 years ago. Royal was also instrumental in promoting ‘hands on’ learning in Alabama and laying the foundation for the McWane Science Center in the former Loveman’s building in downtown Birmingham. She has contributed service and raised funding for many nonprofits, including UAB, The Women’s Fund, and the YWCA of Central Alabama.

Royal will be honored with the upcoming This is Alabama’s 2017 “Women Who Shape the State” award, as well as a 2017 SMART honoree award by The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham. She looks forward to continued engagement in community, travel and enjoying her family, including husband Dr. Stuart Royal and their five grandchildren.

After exploring the concept with top community and business leaders, in 2002, Royal began serving as Executive Director of Momentum.  The goal was to elevate the professional potential and leadership capacity of women throughout the state of Alabama. Since its inception, more than 350 women have completed the rigorous nine-month program, developing their leadership skills and increasing their numbers, effectiveness and visibility. In turn, these women shape policy in their organizations and communities, impacting hundreds of women in their workplace and local networks. Graduates of the program have become mentors to emerging leaders, taking their seats on corporate and nonprofit boards, and running for public office.

April Benetollo, a Momentum alumna and the organization’s director of marketing and development, has been approved to serve as the interim CEO. Longtime staff member, Tina Upshaw, continues as director of operations. A search for a permanent CEO has been launched.  Momentum is accepting applications through September 22, 2017. Candidates interested in Momentum’s CEO position and how to apply can learn more at www. momentumleaders.org/careers.

About Momentum

Momentum is Alabama’s premier women’s leadership program, empowering a diverse group of promising women to achieve their full leadership potential in order to impact the cultural, political and business environment of Alabama. Leadership training from professional, national speakers, leaders and facilitators funded through corporate sponsors, honor roll giving, Momentum Alumnae Program annual dues, and program tuition. For more information go to www.momentumleaders.org.

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Media Contact: April Benetollo

Direct Line: (205) 202-6208

abenetollo@momentumleaders.org

 

 

 

Mary Elliot Named Warren Averett CEO

Warren Averett has named Momentum Alumna and Board Member Mary Elliott as its new chief executive officer.

Elliott succeeds Jim Cunningham, who will retire at the end of this year. Mary will be Warren Averett’s first female CEO and one of only three female CEO’s among the top 35 accounting firms in the country.

A member for 33 years, Elliott has worked her entire career at Warren Averett, serving in its Healthcare Consulting division. She has been chief operating officer and chair of the operations board since 2012.

Read the full article

Augusta Dowd Named President Alabama State Bar

The Alabama State Bar Association has appointed Birmingham attorney and Momentum alumna Augusta Dowd as its 142nd President.

Dowd is a partner with White Arnold & Dowd P.C. She graduated from Sewanee – The University of the South and Vanderbilt University School of Law. Following graduation, she clerked for Judge Seybourne H. Lynne of the Northern District of Alabama.

Read the full BBJ article

Terri Sewell Tapped for Post

Alabama Representative and Momentum alumna Terri Sewell was tapped by the Democratic National Committee to fight the White House’s “voter suppression scheme.”

Sewell, D-Birmingham, and former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, will lead the efforts on behalf of the DNC, Democratic National Committee, Chairman Tom Perez announced in an op-ed in Time today. The move comes as the Trump-appointed Voter Fraud Commission holds its first meeting in Washington, D.C. today.

View the full article on Al.com.

Reflections on my internship at Momentum

Kayleigh is a college junior and marketing intern at Momentum.

Alas, the day is finally here. It is my last day working at Momentum.

You see, I started with Momentum at the end of January. As part of my Brock Scholars program in the Brock School of Business at Samford University, I had to find an internship for the spring semester of my sophomore year. When I sat down with my internship adviser, she mentioned a position at Momentum. It was in marketing, which was not necessarily my focus, but I had a feeling the internship would be great experience and great exposure to the business world.

I definitely wasn’t wrong.

Top Takeaways

Recently, I described my time at Momentum as a much-needed stepping stone as I learned how to bring classroom experience into the real world. When I started in January, I was still finding my way and gaining confidence as a college student. Freshmen year was over (thank goodness), my core classes were out of the way, but I was figuring out my new identity as a business student. Suddenly, I needed to wear a blazer to class, read the Wall Street Journal, and understand the latest happenings in the stock market (and I still haven’t figured out that one yet, to be honest).

Not only was professionalism expected from me in class, but in a new work-setting as well.

Of course, the staff at Momentum made the transition from student to employee effortless. They always made me feel at ease, and were patient with me as I figured things out. The Momentum office was a place where I truly transformed. Through projects and events, I was able to bring to life some of my ideas and gain more confidence in my abilities.

Another thing I gained through my time at Momentum was exposure to the obstacles I face in business as a woman. Honestly, I was fully unaware that this would even be an issue. When I started working at Momentum, I realized how intentional businesses must be to cultivate diversity in the workplace. Implicit biases are always at work. My research for blog posts and various projects at Momentum made me realize how important it is to be a part of a workplace that advocates for diversity. That will definitely affect my decision-making upon graduation- in a positive way of course.

Truly, the greatest thing I gained from my time at Momentum was the open door to so many great leaders. I met so many incredible women through the Momentum staff and alumnae network. I was able to meet leaders that have had a tremendous positive impact on the state of Alabama. And each one of those phenomenal leaders took time to invest in me as an individual. The conversations I had and the encouragement I received is something I will never forget. I look forward to passing that same kind of encouragement on to the younger leaders who follow me.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who enhanced my Momentum experience. Momentum is such a wonderful organization. I am proud to have played a small role in their overall impact on the city of Birmingham, the state of Alabama, and beyond.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Kayleigh is a college junior and marketing intern at Momentum.

Defining social entrepreneurship

Over the last thirty years or so, the field of social entrepreneurship has grown rapidly. Why? Stanford Social Innovation Review explains it this way:

“On the most basic level, there’s something inherently interesting and appealing about entrepreneurs and the stories of why and how they do what they do…  These extraordinary people come up with brilliant ideas and against all the odds succeed at creating new products and services that dramatically improve people’s lives.”

However, the definition of social entrepreneurship is often unclear.

The difference between a social entrepreneur and a business entrepreneur is not a lack of profit. Business sustainability is impossible without profit. But, the social entrepreneur may be less likely to keep substantial financial profit. As SSIR said, “Instead, the social entrepreneur aims for value in the form of large-scale, transformational benefit that accrues either to a significant segment of society or to society at large.”

Truly, a social entrepreneur is just a catalyst for societal change.

My major

As the idea of social entrepreneurship has increased in popularity, the concept is beginning to be introduced in the university setting. In fact, I am studying Economics with a concentration in Social Entrepreneurship and Non-Profit Management at Samford University.

Personally, I want to learn how to utilize assets to forge stability in an unjust sector of society- whatever that may be.

Female social entrepreneurs

In order to make a difference, social entrepreneurs must inhibit creativity, courage, and an ability to take direct action. Here’s a few of the women in the realm of social entrepreneurship that I am inspired by:

via LinkedIn

Elizabeth Dearborn Davis

Elizabeth is the co-founder & CEO of the Akilah Institute for Women, which is the only women’s college in Rwanda. Elizabeth moved to Rwanda upon college graduation, and founded Akilah when she was 24. Launched in 2010, Akilah offers accredited diplomas in Entrepreneurship, Information Systems, and Hospitality Management. 90% of Akilah graduates launch their careers within 6 months of graduation and earn 12x the national median income.

via LinkedIn

Veronika Scott

Veronika is the founder & CEO of the Empowerment Plan in Detroit. The Empowerment Plan is a humanitarian project based in the city of Detroit. The plan centers around a coat that is self heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. But, the organization also employs homeless women to produce coats for people living on the streets. The coats are given away free of cost, and the employed women grow professionally in order to break out of the cycle of poverty.

via Pipeline Angels

 

Natalia Oberti Noguera

Natalia is the founder & CEO of Pipeline Angels, which is a network of women investors that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs. Pipeline Angels host boot camps across the U.S. for new investors and a pitch summit for start-ups looking for funding. Since its launch in 2011, 200+ women have graduated from Pipeline Angels investing boot camp and have invested over US$4M in 40+ companies.

Opportunity awaits

The world of social entrepreneurship covers a wide variety of passions, pursuits, and profits. Truly, there is opportunity for all to make a difference through their individual sector of work, even without the label “social entrepreneur.”

Read more about the topic here.