Tag Archives: work ethic

Successful Business Women Add Philanthropic Endeavors - AZ Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

Three Successful Business Women Add Philanthropic Endeavors To Their Already Busy Work-Life Balance

Giving back to the community is an important component of being a true success in the business world. As the greatest minds in history have declared, responsibility is the companion of power and privilege.

Regardless of workloads or fluctuations in the economy, true business leaders — whether they are corporate executives or entrepreneurs — have acted as stewards of their communities. In recent decades, family life has been added to the mix, making the work-life- philanthropic balance even more challenging, especially for women. But it can and is done every day.

Jordan Rose is the founder and president of Rose Law Group pc, the largest law firm in Arizona ever owned by a woman. She is also a mother of two young boys, and for the past 11 years has been an integral member of the American Heart Association’s Arizona Heart Ball Committee.

Rose’s inspiration to pursue law came from her father, also an attorney, who loved going to work every day.

“I never think of it as work,” she says. “I love what I do, it’s the perfect fit for me.”

The perfect fit means having a team that shares her enthusiasm, work ethic and high standards, so Rose can have time for family and charitable pursuits.

“I wake up every day quite grateful that I have others around to help me do all the things I find tremendously rewarding,” Rose says.

What Rose finds rewarding is giving her time and expertise to not-for-profit organizations such as the Arizona American Heart Association, a group that for more than 50 years has been dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke — and subsequently poured millions of dollars into this community to support life-saving programs.

“My husband’s family has a history of heart disease, and I have a passion for making any small attempt I can at helping support the medical professionals who are currently researching a cure,” she says.

Rose’s legal and business expertise give her the ability to further support this cause by reviewing and restructuring contracts, so the Phoenix Heart Ball can maintain its low cost-to-fundraising ratio, while at the same time limiting any risk or exposure to members and donors. It’s a charity she loves and a business model she admires.

“I think for-profit businesses could learn a lot about motivating people and managing by shadowing the Heart Ball board,” Rose says.

And she has this advice for working moms who also want to serve the community: “Pick a charity that you have a passion for and you will be grateful, as it will make you happy to wake up and be able to give something back.”

Like Rose, Denise Resnik runs her own business. Denise Resnik & Associates is a strategic marketing and public relations firm she started 25 years ago. Also, like Rose, Resnik has a deep, personal connection to a nonprofit, in this case the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC). In 1993, Resnik’s son was diagnosed with autism.

“We were told to love him, accept him and plan to institutionalize him,” Resnik recalls.

Wanting a better life for her son and other children with autism, Resnik used her knowledge and experience as a business owner to find a better outcome.

“I allowed my heart and entrepreneurial spirit be my guide,” she says.

Years later, what started as a mother’s support group is now the 18,000-square-foot Campus for Exceptional Children and a 10,000-square-foot Vocational and Life Skills Academy. Both are focused on advancing research and providing support for thousands of individuals with autism and their families throughout their lifetimes.

“SARRC is another full-time job for me and a major pro bono client for our firm,” Resnik says.

As for finding the work-life balance, Resnik says, “I layer many of my priorities and interests, like creating big ideas and plans, while hiking with friends and colleagues through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve with our son and daughter.”

Her business acumen helped her build SARRC, and in turn SARRC has taught her some valuable business lessons.

“Our board and staff at SARRC lead by example and demonstrate for us all what it takes to make our community a better place, and what businesses and individuals can do to forever impact our community and change lives,” Resnik says, adding that if you’re thinking about volunteering, even if your plate is overflowing, you’ll find a way to make it work.

“The return on your investment will likely exceed your expectations,” she says. “It certainly exceeded mine.”

Michelle Kerrick, managing partner of Deloitte, stands tall alongside Rose and Resnik in terms of the tremendous impact she’s making on the community. She too juggles motherhood, a demanding career and her passion for volunteering.

“My position at Deloitte has a strong market focus, so it can be a win-win-win for me, the firm and the not-for-profit,” she says. “I get the opportunity to meet other key leaders in our community, while also giving back.”

The organization Kerrick “gives so much back to” is Fresh Start Women’s Foundation (FSWF).

“I was inspired by the cause,” Kerrick says. “FSWF is all about women helping women and developing confidence and self-esteem.”

Kerrick knows that financial stewardship is key to success, so it’s no wonder her business, financial and risk management skills benefit a charity like Fresh Start.

“I started my board work with FSWF as the treasurer of the board, held a number of other positions and have also chaired the annual gala fundraiser,” she says. “I believe my background has been particularly helpful in these challenging economic times.”

In turn, her involvement with FSWF has had a tremendous impact on her life.

“When I meet women striving to improve their lives, it makes me more focused to lead a better life and be a better example to my daughter,” Kerrick says.

So although it’s not always easy being the perpetual plate spinner, Kerrick says it’s worthwhile.

“I want to make sure organizations like FSWF are available for the next generation of women.”


Jordan Rose - Rose Law Group pcJordan Rose
Rose Law Group pc

Charitable Organization: Phoenix Heart Ball
Favorite Quote: “Bring all your capacities to a situation and stick with it — apply all you’ve got to make fate unfold.” — Jim Balsillie, R.I.M.


Denise Resnik - Denise Resnik & AssociatesDenise Resnik
Denise Resnik & Associates

Charitable Organization: SARRC/Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center
Favorite Quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

Michelle Kerrick - DeloitteMichelle Kerrick
Deloitte

Charitable Organization: Fresh Start Women’s Foundation
Favorite Quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Ghandi

Arizona Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

man eating ice cream

First Job: Dan Beem, President of Cold Stone Creamery and Kahala International

Dan Beem
President, Cold Stone Creamery/Kahala International

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
My first job was as a bartender at TGI Fridays when I went away to college. It was such a great experience and taught me how to multitask and handle stressful situations calmly. It also helped me develop an intuition on reading people, which is still invaluable today.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first management job was running the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Las Vegas. The place was crazy, where a slow day was $28,000 in sales and a busy day was $125,000. It gave me a great foundation for time management, profit and loss, and public relations skills. The team we worked with there was one of the best.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?

As a bartender I made $2.13 an hour plus tips, and as a manager for Planet Hollywood I made $32,000 per year.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?

My biggest mentor has been my father. He is an incredible human being who has the strongest work ethic out of anyone I have ever met. He is one of those people that is knowledgeable on so many different things and just loves to teach. I remember in junior high thinking how I did not want to be like him when I grew up, and then waking up one day in my early 20s striving to be more like him everyday. I am so blessed to have him in my life.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
My advice would be two-fold: First, as you get comfortable start meeting with people in other departments on a regular basis. This will allow you to be able to better understand the different disciplines involved in your business and enable you to talk knowledgeably on a number of different things, which will get noticed. Secondly, I would make sure you volunteer to take on any project you can. You will learn more from leading a project than any other way and will truly become the subject matter expert. This usually transitions to people coming to you for answers and opens up additional opportunities along the way.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?

If I wasn’t doing this now I think I would own a little beach bar in Mexico. Warm weather and beautiful sunsets always sound good.

www.coldstonecreamery.com
www.kahalacorp.com

First Job: Steven G. Zylstra, President And CEO Of Arizona Technology Council

Steven G. Zylstra
President and CEO, Arizona Technology Council

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
I picked blueberries at Pottegetter’s Blueberry Farm in Allendale, Mich., with my parents when I was about 10 years old. It was hard work for a 10-year-old, but I learned that with hard work you could earn good money and buy the things you wanted in life. I earned enough money to buy an eight-transistor radio. The first song I remember listening to on my transistor radio was “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits, which was popular at the time.

I had dozens of jobs as a kid: topping onions, cutting celery, weeding pickles, butchering chickens, cleaning exotic bird cages, shoveling snow, inspecting eggs, selling seeds, delivering Grit newspaper, bus boy. I was a truck driver in my late teens. All of these opportunities taught me the value of hard work and ultimately helped me realize I could do more with a good education.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first job out of college was as a design engineer at the Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich. I had the opportunity to participate in a two-year graduate training program at Ford that was originated by Henry Ford. I had eight, three-month stints across the company in areas such as development, engine engineering, the Dearborn stamping and assembly plants at the Rouge, and body engineering. I even did a stint in product planning and had an office next to William Clay Ford Jr., the future chairman and CEO of Ford.

I learned the value of going above and beyond and trying to always exceed expectations. As a consequence of positive performance reviews while in the program, our vice president of advanced vehicle development recommended me for positions at Ford Aerospace and Communications Corp. in California at the time things got rough in the auto industry in the early ‘80s. That led me to spend the next 20 years of my career in the aerospace and defense industry.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
Picking blueberries in 1964 paid 5 cents a pound. In my first job at Ford in 1978, I made $18,000 a year — more than my Dad, who grew up on a farm and attended school through eighth-grade had earned in any year prior to that.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
I never really had a mentor per se, just role models. My father was a role model. He is still the hardest-working person I have known. I got my work ethic from my Dad. I had a high school girlfriend whose father was a role model. Beyond that, what pushes me is an internal drive to excel at whatever I do.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
After getting a great education, do what you love. People are always better at things they enjoy doing. I have always enjoyed going to work. I find it rewarding, invigorating. Always be honest and ethical. Don’t ever accept mediocre; pursue excellence. Always exceed everyone’s expectations — yourboss’, your colleagues’, your customers’, everyone. It will serve you well. Have fun!

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I have always wanted to own a Harley-Davidson dealership (maybe a good retirement gig!). While often a lonely place, I like the challenges and rewards of having the top leadership position in an organization. I would enjoy serving as the CEO of many things, especially private companies, not-for-profits and trade associations. I would love to be a golf pro on the tour … if only I had the skill.


Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

hr_industry_leader

2009 HR Industry Leader Of The Year Honoree

Patrick BurkhartName: Patrick Burkhart
Title: Assistant Director
Company: Maricopa County Human Services Department/ Maricopa Workforce Connections

Years with city: 3.5
Years in current position: 2.5
Entity Established: 1998
Employees in AZ: 71
Employees in HR dept.: 4
www.maricopaworkforceconnection.com

Words such as “tirelessly” and “diligently” are used to describe the work ethic of Patrick Burkhart as he collaborates with Maricopa Workforce Connections (MWC) to help people find jobs and assist local businesses seeking qualified employees to hire.

Burkhart is assistant director of the Maricopa County Human Services Department, and MWC is a department division.

MWC offers comprehensive recruitment and talent-acquisition services to businesses, organizations and associations located in Maricopa County and outside the city of Phoenix. Its services are particularly important in today’s recessionary times, as it researches labor market trends and helps job seekers identify their transferable skills. MWC also helps individuals refine their employment search to ensure they are applying for the right jobs using appropriate information and job-hunting techniques. MWC is funded by a federal grant under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, and offers its services for free to both businesses and people.

Building relationships is Burkhart’s forte. He establishes rapport with community partners, business leaders and others who may be beneficial to MWC’s clients. He oversees MWC operations and is always looking for opportunities to leverage support and improve efficiency. For example, Burkhart tapped the expertise of another agency to streamline MWC’s processes, reduce waste and alleviate staff stress caused by the increasing number of job-seeking clients requesting assistance at the county’s career centers.

Burkhart also took the initiative to bridge gaps between MWC and other work force development agencies in the region to form the Maricopa County Human Capital Collaborative. The collaborative applies for grant funding to enhance the efforts of local work force agencies and bring additional resources to the area.

Because MWC is federally funded and resources are directed to businesses and individuals, money is not available to pay for memberships in various organizations. Instead, Burkhart and his team work closely with chambers of commerce, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Governor’s Council On Workforce Policy at the Arizona Department of Commerce. Burkhart also works with dozens of public and private organizations that either provide services to the community or have a stake in MWC through positions on its youth council and board of directors.

MWC offers an array of business services, employer services, employed-worker training, on-the-job training, recruitment services, youth services and job fairs. MWC also informs businesses on an array of employment and training-related tax incentives. These incentives include state corporate income tax credits for the creation of new jobs at companies with less than 10 percent retail, a 40 to 60 percent reduction of property taxes for five years at small manufacturing companies, federal work opportunity tax credits and federal welfare-to-work tax credits.

MWC also offers assistance to companies that are downsizing and helps displaced employees with their transition to new employment. Services include information on unemployment insurance, career and job fairs, access to job postings, and workshops on job-search skills, resume writing, interviewing, personal finances and budgeting.

Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO of US Airways

CEO Series: Doug Parker

Doug Parker
Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: US Airways

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
My first job was as a bagger at a Kroger store in Michigan. I started part-time the day I turned 16, but then went full-time in the summer the day after school got out. I did basic bagger duties — bagging groceries, collecting carts from the parking lot, etc. While most people preferred to stay inside and bag, I was always quick to volunteer to get carts, as I preferred the more physical work. It was a good experience, primarily because it taught me a work ethic at an early age. It helped me see what life was like in the real world and gave me a true appreciation of the value of putting in an honest day’s work. I also learned that if you put the cookies on the bottom of the bag, customers get upset.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
My first job in the industry was a financial analyst at American Airlines in 1986. I took this entry-level position straight out of business school in 1986. It was a great first job because American hired a lot of MBAs into finance, so it was both easy to get acclimated with other new hires and also a great place to learn the industry from a lot of talented professionals who had been in the business for a while. I also liked beginning in finance, because it allowed me to learn a little bit about the entire company and how it all fit together versus learning a lot about one certain area. That broad scope was helpful in allowing me to understand how the airline business worked in a relatively short period of time.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
Three dollars an hour at Kroger and $34,000 at AA.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
I have had a number of great bosses over my career and I learned a lot from each of them. If I had to choose a single mentor in our industry though, I’d pick a person I never worked for, Herb Kelleher of Southwest (Airlines). I, like many people, have admired how Herb has built Southwest to be a successful airline with a true team spirit and camaraderie that other airlines haven’t ever been able to accomplish. I like how he has done so by communicating with his employees and making sure not to take himself too seriously. Over the past seven or eight years, I’ve gotten to know Herb well through industry associations, and whenever we’re together, I work very hard to observe what he does and how he thinks about situations – it’s served me well and I’m thankful that he’s given me that opportunity

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
I would tell them that this is a great industry because virtually every management discipline is important and valued. Marketing is important because it’s a customer service business; operations is obviously important because there is arguably no more complex a series of operating issues than at an airline; finance is important because the business is so capital intensive; maintenance is essentially a very complex manufacturing organization, etc., etc. As a result, I think we have areas for everyone to make a real difference, which is not true of most industries. So I always recommend that unless people really know what they want to do, they should start in an area where they can learn a little about the entire company and then over time gravitate to the area they find the most interesting. I also advise them that this business is not for the faint of heart; it’s very dynamic and a bit like a roller coaster ride — but if you like action, change and a lot of moving parts (like most of us here do), you’ll love it.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I’m not sure since I’ve never worked outside of this industry, but my guess is I’d be doing something similar in a different industry. While I love airlines, I’m not the CEO because I know so much about this business — there are many people in our company who know much more about airlines and airplanes than I do. Most of what I do is find the best people I possibly can and make sure they are engaged and motivated and working together as a team to accomplish our collective objectives. It’s that team-building piece that I enjoy, and I imagine if I weren’t here, I’d be somewhere else where those skills were important.