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The Fierce Five: Common Connections

March 9, 2022

The Fierce Five: Common Connections

In this second installment of the WHM2022 series, you will meet my Fierce Five! These are the women who came into my life during transitions. High School to College. International grad School. Post grad school work. Big city moves. But there was just something about a shared spirit and a common connection. And, my common connection built their common. Who said women cant be FIERCE and FRIENDLY?

About the Guests:

Suzanne Anderson
Suzanne Anderson is an experienced Senior Talent professional with broad competencies developed while supporting multiple business units, service lines and geographies in professional services and consulting organizations. She’s been in the talent organization at EY for almost 20 years and is currently the Strategic Talent Consultant for the National Tax Infrastructure business unit. In her current role, she serves as business partner, advisor and coach to senior leaders on strategies for performance and development, retention, total rewards, employee relations, and change management. Suzanne has been recognized for her significant contributions in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities and has served on several boards and committees.  Her passion is revitalizing playgrounds, parks and green spaces in urban core neighborhoods, supporting kids and families in need, and feeding programs.  A native Texan and longtime friend of Laurel’s, she lives in Covington, Kentucky with her husband Jeff, her son Carter, and Westie dog, Lady Bird.

Valaree Tisa Hawkins
Valaree Tisa Hawkins was born in Odessa, Texas. She attended Permian High School (Mojo) and graduated in 1986 where she was the first black female president of a senior class. Tisa received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of North Texas and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Special education is near and dear to her heart. She was a special education teacher for nine years. After that, she was an assistant principal and principal for a total of ten years. She had an opportunity to return to special education a few years ago and is currently serving as a special education supervisor for the Ector County Independent School District. Tisa is passionate about community service. She has been a member of the Junior League of Odessa, Inc. since 1998. In 2007-2008 she led the organization as its first and only black president. Tisa is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, and has held several leadership roles in her local chapter, including president. Tisa does her best to live by a quote from Dr. Maya Angelou which states, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Angela Landrum
Angela Landrum currently serves as the Principal Consultant for Assessment Systems at the Colorado Department of Education. She led the design and implementation of the 2009 Colorado Academic Standards revision process, and led the Colorado Race to the Top Program. In 2013 Angela developed the Colorado Assessment Literacy Program which includes online professional learning modules and a workshop series on developing high-quality classroom assessments. Currently she is leading the development of the performance assessment component of the Colorado Graduation Guidelines Menu of Assessment Options. Angela has been in the classroom at the preschool, high school, and university levels, and has served in executive leadership roles in the university and non-profit sectors. She holds a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University and a M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles
(UCLA).

Lela Panagides

Lela Panagides provides organizational change consulting and HR advisory services to some of the most admired global companies. Recognized for her deep resolve and unwavering passion to create environments where everyone ca contribute and thrive, Lela harnesses the power of design thinking, service excellence, and authentic communication to help individuals and organizations develop pathways to solve complex problems, strengthen performance, and build capacity. Lela has consistently been rated as an influential community leader, speaker, and educator on topics ranging from manager effectiveness to mindfulness at work, from corporate leaders to first responders. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was a featured speaker at the Electronic Security Expo. Lela believes service to others is paramount. She is Board President of Rapid Response Housing Solutions, an all-volunteer nonprofit focused on preventing homelessness in North County San Diego. She was a founding member of the The Springfield Area Coalition for Responsibility, Equity and Dignity and gives her time and financial resources to various nonprofits such as the San Diego Zoo, Project Concern International (PCI), the Environmental Defense Fund and the NAACP. In 2013, she was recognized with the Most Influential Women Award by the Springfield Business Journal.

Veronique Shipley
VeroniQue was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and traveled extensively with her family and a Father that served in the Air Force. She ultimately found her roots in Houston, TX and went on to dance professionally for the Houston Oilers as a Derrick Doll (5-Years) and the Houston Rockets as a Power Dancer (8-Years)~  VeroniQue held the Title of Miss Black Houston and Miss Southeast Texas and continues to work with contestants within the Miss America local pageant system. VeroniQue has worked in Commercial Real Estate for 11 years and has now taken the leap to start her own Real Estate business, VJS Holdings, LLC. With her experience and certification, VeroniQue is able to offer her clients both Commercial and Residential Real Estate services and expertise. Adding to that unique combination is her experience as a project manager enabling her to take her client from land purchase, through build, to sale. As she says, “You dream it. I bring it!”

About the Host:

Laurel Rutledge’s human-centered approach, empathy, and understanding of individual needs make her a top-notch personal advisor and women’s leadership coach.

Her care and compassion have made her an indispensable guide for countless women navigating the next phases of their lives and careers. Add to that her intimate knowledge of the HR landscape, and it becomes clear why her HR clients have had such transformative experiences. Just as Rutledge has helped countless others get out of their rut and off of the ledge, so too can she help you.

After receiving her MBA, Laurel moved from accounting and consulting to human resources, driven by a desire to do good in a business environment. It quickly became apparent that the switch had been a good choice — she flourished professionally and became happier, satisfied with the difference she could make through her work.

After a 30-year career, she left the corporate world, but her passion for HR and helping others has only grown. Now, she works one-on-one with clients, leveraging her experience in leadership and personal development to help them get the most of out their lives and careers.

From her beginnings as a consultant at Deloitte to her time as VP of HR at Covestro, Laurel has seen more sides of the business world than most. She’s achieved technical mastery of HR, with a deep knowledge of the rules and regulations that must be followed.

She’s also a people person, perceptive and outgoing, with a sixth sense for helping others to see the difference between what they want and what they need. The culmination of this is in her personal philosophy: “lead with your heart, act with your head.”

Find out more at: https://laurelrutledge.com

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