Category: Momentum News

Any news related to Momentum alumnae, events, accomplishments, etc!

Bring in the Men

Part of Momentum’s strategic plan is to expand our efforts to involve men as advocates for women in leadership. We call it “Men with Momentum.” Recently the committee in charge of this initiative designated two representatives from their companies to attend a work group meeting on diversity and inclusion initiatives, graciously hosted by Encompass Health and facilitated by Momentum alumnae Anne Marie Seibel and Crissy Carlisle.

During the workshop participants from BBVA, Bradley, Encompass Health, Protective Life, Southern Research Institute, and UAB shared the metrics and data their companies examine to measure effectiveness of diversity and inclusion programs. Encompass Health and BBVA Compass both presented the data warehouses and reporting tools they use to track metrics such as demographics, hiring outcomes, satisfaction ratings, and retention scores. Beyond the data, the group discussed practices that lead to better outcomes in terms of on-boarding, career advancement, awareness training, and measuring impact.

By the end of our session one thing was very clear: everyone in the room would benefit from regularly scheduled sessions to share experiences. Working together to determine inclusion practices that get results will produce far greater gains than trying get there alone. Momentum is proud to serve as a facilitator and resource for this important work. Our committee will meet again in November to discuss next steps, and you can count on seeing more news about Men with Momentum in 2019!

 

 

 

 

Two Powerful Keynotes in One Day

Momentum is excited to bring two amazing and inspiring women to the Birmingham community as our keynote speakers at the February 28th leadership conference.

Luncheon keynote Carey Lohrenz is the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy. Breakfast keynote Bonnie St. John is the first African-American to bring home medals in the Winter Paralympic games.

Our conference theme, Better Together │ Uniting Leaders, will be well-supported by these speakers.

 

Carey Lohrenz knows what it takes to win in one of the highest pressure, extreme environments imaginable: in the cockpit at Mach 2. Having flown missions worldwide as a combat-mission-ready United States Navy pilot, Lohrenz is used to working in fast moving, dynamic environments, where inconsistent execution can generate catastrophic results. The same challenges are found in business: markets change, customer needs evolve and if you do not adapt quickly your company is at risk.

Carey’s experience in the all-male environment of fighter aviation allow her to deliver insight and guidance from a wide range of leadership perspectives, with broad appeal to women and men in the audience.

 

Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John became the first African-American ever to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

In recognition of this historic achievement, St. John was quoted on millions of Starbucks coffee cups and was honored at the White House by President George W. Bush. In addition to her success as a Paralympic athlete, she is a best-selling author of seven books. St. John’s most recent book, Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive and Energy, outlines a quick, easy and immediately effective program of tools and techniques to give you a competitive edge in today’s dynamic world of changes and challenges.

Online registration for the conference is open now, with early bird rates through January 5th.  There are group discounts for tables of eight, so bring your team or passionate professionals in your personal network.  Seating is limited and is expected to sell out.

Momentum has received generous funding from two Benefactor sponsors to secure the keynote speakers: UAB Medicine and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. The keynote speakers will be presented by conference co-chairs, Dr. Cheri Canon from UAB Medicine and Laura Oberst from Wells Fargo.

Dr. Canon is Professor and Chair of Radiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Dr. Canon received the American Board of Radiology’s (ABR) Lifetime Service Award in 2013, and was appointed to the ABR Board of Trustees in 2016. Dr. Canon is a graduate of Momentum’s 2006-07 class, is President Elect of the Momentum Alumnae Program Board of Directors, and a Scholarship member of Momentum’s Honor Roll of Women’s Leadership.  “My Momentum experience was transformative,” says Canon. “The program instilled in me the value of mentorship and a desire to advance women leaders; this conference provides the perfect platform for that.”

 

Laura Oberst is an Executive Vice President and head of Wells Fargo Bank’s Business Banking Group. Based in Minneapolis, she oversees more than 4,700 team members at 450 locations in 41 U.S. states.  Laura serves on the board of directors for HealthPartners, Inc., the Greater MSP Economic Development Partnership, and the North Dakota Trade Office.  A long-standing supporter of developing women’s careers, she has been actively involved in Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable and Deloitte’s 100 Wise Women initiative.  In 2015, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal awarded Laura its Women in Business award.

 

We are honored to have these highly accomplished women to serve as our 2018 conference co-chairs. Our co-chairs play a vital role in the success of the conference, from keynote selection and conference planning, to addressing our 800 conference attendees during the event. Cheri Canon and Laura Oberst will certainly deliver with a balance of graciousness and gravitas!

Nominations for Woman of Impact Award

Who do you think of when you think of outstanding women leaders in Alabama? Momentum wants to know! As we prepare for our biennial conference, to be held at the BJCC February 27th and 28th, we have opened the call for nominations for the Woman of Impact awards.

We all know of a woman who meets the criteria. Let us know who you would like to see honored with this prestigious award of achievement! Criteria and nomination forms can be found here.

Raising visibility into the contributions of the many great female leaders in our state is a key part of Momentum’s mission. Most women tend to downplay personal achievement and give credit instead to their mentors, colleagues and teams.

The concept of women promoting themselves defies cultural norms according to this post. In another article published by the Harvard Business Review, many women must experience a “fundamental identity shift” before they can promote themselves. One helpful approach is for women to focus on the personal experiences that helped them achieve their goals rather than focusing on the relationships that supported them. Recognizing outstanding women on their own merits inspires future leaders, both women and men.

Momentum’s renowned past award winners come from many different roles, industries, and backgrounds. Their bios are ready to impress. You can read more about each winner by clicking on their photos. In this video, four of our sixteen past honorees speak briefly about their respective experiences, challenges and accomplishments.

Women in Alabama deserve recognition for their many accomplishments. To advocate for the promotion of women, nominate a woman you know to receive the esteemed Woman of Impact award, then join Momentum for the ceremony to honor the winners on February 27th! Registration will begin in October.

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.

 

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.

The Sisterhood They Didn’t Know They Needed

May 18th, Momentum will graduate our 14th class of outstanding professional women leaders. Every year, at the beginning of our leadership training, we ask the class about any concerns regarding the program. And every year, we hear the same concern resurface again and again: I am worried about what it’s going to be like to be with all women, all the time. Because our participants are very high on the org chart, they have spent most of their careers interacting with a predominantly male peer group. So long, in fact, that they are convinced they get along better with men.

What is exciting to see is how these concerns melt away in a matter of minutes. In fact, as one after another they confirm the “room full of women” concern, the relationships are starting to build. They are more alike than they are different. Within the course of the afternoon, they are no longer concerned about how they will relate to the other women, or what the other women will think of them,  or of how their participation in an all-women’s program will be viewed by others. By the end of day one, they know they are surrounded by strong women with great talents, and they are proud to share the room.

As the year progresses, our class hears from renowned authors, trainers and facilitators. In between sessions they complete numerous assignments requiring introspection. In their co-mentoring groups they share experiences, discoveries, and vulnerabilities. Within a couple of months, when class day rolls around, they are no longer thinking “how can I make time for this,” and are now thinking, “I really need this!” They have found the value of Sisterhood. Very soon they will join the larger sisterhood of Momentum Alumnae, 350 women strong!

 

 

 

Former US Attorney to Address Momentum’s Class 14

Joyce Vance

Former US Attorney for Alabama’s northern district is slated to speak at Momentum’s graduation ceremony for the 2016-2017 executive leadership class.

Joyce White Vance stepped down as President Obama’s U.S. Attorney in North Alabama on January 19, 2017.  As U.S. Attorney, she served an estimated 3.1 millions residents as the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in district, directing criminal prosecutions, and civil and appellate litigation on behalf of the United States.

During her tenure, Vance and her team focused on civil rights, drug trafficking, prison reform, and public corruption cases, among other pressing issues in our state.

Vance served as a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee under Attorney General Eric Holder, and co-chaired the Criminal Practice Subcommittee from 2009 to 2017.  She also served as a member of the Civil Rights Subcommittee.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vance spent 3 years in private practice as a litigator with Bradley, Arant, Rose & White here in Birmingham, and 3 years with Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin and Kahn in Washington, D.C.

Currently, Vance frequently appears on MSNBC as a commentator on legal issues and is engaged on a variety of criminal justice reform projects.  She will join the faculty of the University of Alabama Law School late this summer.