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South Florida BizWomen

Karen-Obyrne-Modernizing-Medicine

“A great mentor of mine, Jim Moline, encouraged me during a difficult leadership dilemma to leave my ego at the door. This … was the best advice ever, since it helped me build relationships with … people that were skeptical about our working together. We actually were extremely successful and enjoyed the partnership.”
Doria M. Camaraza, Senior Vice President and General Manager-Americas South, American Express

Steve Sonberg, managing partner of Holland & Knight, taught me to aim high and to strive for positions and opportunities, even if they may seem out of reach. He had me set my sights on things that I would never have dreamed of, including a coveted seat on our firm’s board of directors. He helped me to see leadership qualities in myself that I hadn’t yet discovered.”
Tammy Knight, Partner, Holland & Knight

“When I became CEO of American National Bank, my mentor, Roxanne Emmerich, told me to ‘get out onto the skinny branches.’ She encouraged me to take risks, get out of my comfort zone and face my fears.”
Ginger Martin, President and CEO, American National Bank

“My previous Foundation Board Chair, Tom Cornish, used to tell me, ‘Focus only on the things you can control.’ Focusing on the things we cannot control is counterproductive, don’t waste energy on them. It’s OK to be prepared to react to variable situations, but it’s not OK to worry about them endlessly.”
Lucy Morillo, President and CEO, Miami Children’s Health Foundation

“Whether I got the best grade or the worst, whether I won the game or lost, whether I got the job or didn’t, the reaction I got from my father was ‘did you give them your absolute best? Because your best is pretty spectacular, no matter how it gets measured.’”
Karen O’Byrne, Chief Financial Officer, Modernizing Medicine, Inc.

“I have had a handful of great mentors. Best takeaways: confidence, conflict and change are key success factors. Believe in yourself, do not be afraid of conflict or discomfort, needed change rarely occurs without it. In conflict, focus on the situation, not the person.”
Nancy Robin, President, South Florida, Valley National Bank

“As an entrepreneur and business owner, I learned very early in my career not to be derailed by the word ‘no.’ So, I tell everyone I mentor: ‘That ‘no’ is just a ‘yes’ waiting to happen.’”
Rachel Sapoznik, President and CEO, Sapoznik Insurance and Associates

“I have known George Foyo for 25 years. While he has been my mentor for all of those, I only worked directly for him, off and on, for about six of those years. He always encouraged me to work for many leaders. You will learn more from multiple styles and situations and broaden your base of support in the organization.”
Penny S. Shaffer, South Florida Market President, Florida Blue

“Mayor Virginia Young was my first mentor and role model. She believed you could achieve anything you wanted and connected me with many wonderful people early in my career. I think of her fondly every time I pass her school and park and thank God for the positive influence she had on me and Fort Lauderdale.”
Maureen Shea, CEO, Right Management

“My mentor was the professor who recruited me as an adjunct professor when I graduated with an MBA. I was the first woman in the School of Business and his mantra was ‘No excuses – no one wants to hear why you can’t or didn’t. Get it done.’”
Ruth Spiegel, President, Miami/Fort Lauderdale Coop Cold Stone Creamery

“My mentor, Sister Grace Ann Geibel, told me many times that when facing challenges or adversity ‘courageous leaders must maintain a high degree of humility and kindness,’ and she demonstrated that to me as president of Carlow University every day.”
Jacqueline Travisano, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Nova Southeastern University

“My father has always had a real sense of justice and fighting for what’s right. He made me aware of the world around me at a young age and encouraged me to get a good education and get involved. He instilled the values I hold dearly; honesty, integrity and justice.”
Linda Worton Jackson, Cofounder of Salazar Jackson LLP

By: Staff Report on in News