Columbus is fortunate in that it has many qualities and resources that make it stand apart from other communities. One is leadership.
It’s been demonstrated in the workplace and through volunteer projects that have benefited residents. J. Irwin Miller, the late Cummins Inc. chairman and philanthropist, is probably the best-known example locally.
Taking time occasionally to recognize the efforts of leaders is a good exercise because it can provide a teaching moment that inspires and educates others.
The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce did a good job highlighting some of the community’s female leaders
May 1 at its inaugural Women in Leadership Lunch. The event honored women for their integrity, innovative ideas, entrepreneurship, collaboration and efforts to achieve professional excellence.
This year’s honorees were:
Tracy Embree, Cummins Inc. vice president
Jacque Douglas, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. director of special projects Lynne Hyatt, owner of Lockett’s Ladies Shop
Cindy Waddle, regional manager of Dora Hotels
The event replaced the Women’s Professional Development Conference in order to make it more time-friendly and accessible. With almost 300 in attendance, the event clearly was a success.
Attendees learned about four women who have achieved professional success and have been active community volunteers. Each honoree was featured in a short video and introduced by a surprise guest before speaking about her career path and leadership challenges.
Although they have different backgrounds and work in different industries, their messages had some common themes:
Be a person of your word and take responsibility for your actions.
Do something you love.
Collaboration with others and being part of a team is important to achieving success.
Hearing messages such as these is important not only for other women leaders but also the next generation of them. Any information shared by mothers with their daughters or witnessed firsthand by girls in attendance has an impact. Highlighting what the four honorees have done provides a tangible example of what is possible for girls to achieve.
Continuing to highlight more of the community’s women leaders in the future would provide an important educational and inspirational benefit.