Promoting the advocacy, empowerment and advancement of today's leaders

Member Spotlight

We stole a few minutes with several of our members to get their thoughts on everything from the number one business change they wish to see in the world to how Nexus has accelerated their leadership journey. Get to know some of our leading Nexus ladies below!

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Daxa Arora

What is one way your Nexus journey has positively impacted you?

Good leadership inspires and creates a safe haven for women to learn new personal and professional skills. I feel that the Women in Leadership Nexus helps women to do just that and much more.

As the saying goes "Leaders are not born, but created." Nexus helps provide those innovative tools by offering leadership and self-growth seminars. This true guidance and tools allow women to venture out and build effective leadership skills with confidence. I have met some amazing women who share the same passion for growth and leadership regardless of our backgrounds.

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Bryna Haynes

Describe a defining moment that evolved your thoughts on modern-day leadership.

The first time I met my business coach, she was speaking at a live event. That day, I began to understand what modern feminine leadership could look like. She was vulnerable and imperfect, but she held the attention of the room in a way I'd never seen before. She was more credible because she was real. This was so different than what I was seeing in my industry online!

I started to think about how, as an online entrepreneur, I could bring more of me into my business, and how I could lead from a place of authenticity rather than having to be "the expert.” I'd been putting a wall between me and my audience because I always felt like if they knew what was really going on (like that ever-present "imposter syndrome!") they wouldn't respect me or value what I had to say. Instead, what happened was they stepped up to support me in ways I had never anticipated. I was still leading the charge, but now, they had my back. To me, the new era of leadership is about raising up the collective, not winning the race. We're all in this together.

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Susan Greenhalgh

What’s the No. 1 change you wish to see in the business world and why?

I’d like to see more meaningful communication and mentoring across disciplines in the business environment. Manager meetings where reports are given are not enough. I envision a more personal, in-depth show and tell type of interaction in addition to the usual reporting. This would break down some of the silos that exist in many organizations and result in a better understanding of colleagues’ challenges and achievements. Ultimately, a stronger and truly supportive ecosystem would be possible.


Sue Gomes

What is one way your Nexus journey has positively impacted you?

One way in which my Nexus journey has positively impacted me was in a recent job interview. During the interview, I referenced a StrengthsFinder training I had received through joining Nexus. My interviewer had also completed it. We compared results and formed a great connection. This made me feel more comfortable and confident and improved my interview experience. I'm happy to say that I got the job!


Erica Davies

How do you define next-gen leadership?

Next-gen leadership is not about a title or years of experience but about being collaborative and supportive around a shared vision, while being authentic, caring and purpose-driven with a sprinkle with a fun. Next-gen leadership is also about continuing to recognize areas of personal and professional growth within yourself and being enthusiastic to grow beyond your wildest dreams. It is my belief that when you are willing to look inward and allow yourself to grow, you are setting the ultimate example to our children to have the confidence to reach for the stars, but also show all others around you that you are strong, brave and ready to lead today, tomorrow and in the future.


Maeve Donohue

Describe a defining moment that evolved your thoughts on modern-day leadership.

For a lot of people, they chase the title and that’s all that matters to them. And then when they get there, they are not happy but they stay anyway. Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten good at understanding what I don’t want to do. For me, It’s about understanding when I don’t want to continue on a path. It’s about maintaining the agility to switch to a different path that moves me toward something I do want to keep doing. Getting to a point where I have that understanding of myself has been a great milestone for me.

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Katie McDonald

What’s the No. 1 change you wish to see in the business world and why?

I wish to live in a world in which leaders in businesses, families, communities, and government nourished themselves with intentional self care habits. From that place of inevitable wellbeing, they serve as inspiring and empowered role models. They challenge the dysfunctional and fiercely held belief that success demands self neglect through excessively long hours, often too much alcohol, restless nights, and meals-if eaten at all-that prioritize convenience above health. They demonstrate how to lead from abundance, mental clarity, vitality, and a commitment to leaving an enlightened legacy.


Julianne Sifers

What's your favorite part of a Nexus event?

My favorite part of a Nexus event would be the relationship-building opportunities and meeting like-minded professional women. I've created relationships and connections that I would not have been able to make, if not for these trainings, seminars and more casual Member Meet-Ups. I even found a professional coach within the group who was a fantastic resource in helping me to improve my confidence in the work place and public speaking skills. I find the topics and the women I meet to be inspiring both for my professional and personal growth. I'm so happy to be a part of this group!


Patrice Jean-Philippe

What is one way your Nexus journey has positively impacted you?

Natural born leaders always evaluate where they are, how can they be better and how do they get there. It’s a passion deep inside of them. But if you are not in the right environment, it’s hard for that passion to grow. The seed cannot grow by itself. It needs fertile soil and the right amount of water and sunlight. The Women in Leadership Nexus is the environment that allows natural-born leaders to grow. It’s the fertile ground a leader needs to thrive.


Courtney Fanning

How do you define next-gen leadership?

A next-gen leader looks at the big picture and prioritizes empowering their organization to grow. To grow with their market or the needs of their employees and to grow out of harmful traditional mindsets, inauthentic communications, and unproductive practices. It's not doing more, it's being better.


Jeannie Lapierre

What is the No. 1 change you wish to see in the business world?

There is a great need for the C-suite to grow in representation of women in leadership. I find it disturbing that a mere 24 women represent the Fortune 500 companies as CEOs, of which only one is Latina and joined these ranks in 2017 as the first Latina Fortune 500 CEO. Additionally, a recent article on Entrepreneur stated that the four industries women continue to dominate in as leaders are Health, Education, Recruitment and Customer service. I would love to see women dominate in fields such as science, technology, engineering and business.


Sue Gardiner

What is one way your Nexus journey has positively impacted you?

The Women in Leadership Nexus has given me more confidence in myself, both professional and personal, than I’ve ever had. The women who join this organization give so much of themselves to each other by sharing ideas and encouraging each other’s goals, because collectively, we know this helps us all achieve more. We believe in each other! As possibility expands and my career grows, Nexus is, and will continue to be, the most significant and meaningful part of my journey.

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Carole Ann Penney

Describe a defining moment that evolved your thoughts on modern-day leadership.

A few years ago, I attended a presentation on the state of nonprofit leadership in New England that was sobering. The study found that the nonprofit sector is at a key moment in time. We are on the brink of experiencing the biggest ever generational shift in leadership as boomers retire. What's more, the positions held by these leaders are by and large unattractive to the next generation of leadership. The findings resonated with me because while my career has focused on nonprofit leadership, I would not want to be an Executive Director—the leaders I've seen seem to live a lifestyle of stress and sacrifice.

My takeaways were twofold: we need to prepare the next generation of leaders who are ready to effectively address the challenges facing our communities; and we need to modernize how we structure leadership positions to make them more relevant to the needs of organizations and the needs of rising leaders. This sparked a new chapter of my career—starting my own business as a Strategic Career Coach for mission-driven leaders and a nonprofit consultant with Fio Partners.

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Jen Hogencamp

How do you define next-gen leadership?

I define next-gen leadership as the ability to lead by driving collaboration, inclusion and out-of-the-box thinking amongst all members of the team regardless of tenure or title. A great leader puts the team first and themselves last. They manage by focusing on each person’s individual strengths rather than calling out a person’s weakness.

In a world that is rapidly changing, having the ability to listen, adapt and change course when necessary, is vital. With technology driving so much of this change, students coming out of school sometimes have a leg up on the latest and greatest, so if we don’t collaborate at all levels, great ideas may be lost. Leadership of the future will be the ability to bring diverse groups of people together, which will in turn will spur innovation and thought, make the business more successful and will provide rewarding experiences and career fulfillment for all involved.