international women's dayWe’ve been celebrating International Women’s Day all week, but today’s the official day!

We’ve talked about why women mentors are necessary, Gini Dietrich told the story of her fictional male business partner to help her close deals back in the day, and we’ve even talked about how to become a mentor.

There’s no way the #SpinSucksQuestion couldn’t be about women.

I handle a lot of the community engagement at Spin Sucks.

I suspect one of the reasons Gini thought I was right for this job is because I talk so much.

And because I talk to the Spin Sucks community on the regular, I felt like the best way to end this year’s International Women’s Day was to focus on the people there.

I wanted to know who they’d nominate as a standout on International Women’s Day, and that’s precisely what I asked.

Who would you profile for International Women’s Day?

The catch was that it has to be someone they know in real life. Not just someone they know “of”.

As always, the answers were fantastic.

Celebrating International Women’s Day, Spin Sucks Style

Ashley Jeanes’ chose to profile her boss at Boomer Benefits:

My boss, Danielle K. Roberts is a multi-million-dollar female entrepreneur.

Co-founder of Boomer Benefits, an award-winning, top-producing agency that specializes in Medicare insurance for baby boomers, Danielle loves advising and sharing her entrepreneurial journey with other female entrepreneurs.

In 2005, she and her business partner bootstrapped their agency from a first-year income of $13K to a multi-million dollar revenue in 2018. As a result of her dedication to breaking the glass ceiling, her hustle and level of expertise in her field, Danielle built a highly-reputable insurance agency recently awarded 2019 Health Insurance Advisory Firm of the Year by Finance Monthly.

Christopher S. Penn mentioned a number of inspirational ladies:

  • Katie Robbert, my CEO, of course.
  • Shingai Manjengwa, a Zimbabwean ex-pat who runs a data science academy in Toronto.
  • Dr. Mandy Chessell, an IBM distinguished engineer, and of a handful of people who hold the IBM master inventor with more than 50 patents to her name.
  • Dr. Hilary Mason, one of the leading experts on ethics and data science, and a brilliant scientist who speaks credibly on how bias works in AI.

All the Deirdres!

Deirdre Lopian talked about another Deirdre—Deirdre Breakenridge, who we also love here at Spin Sucks:

(We cohost the #PRStudChat every month with Deirdre. If you haven’t participated, your next chance is coming up so don’t miss out.)

I would profile my mentor, Deirdre Breakenridge. She is the CEO of Pure Performance Communications, and author of five books including: Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,”, “PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences,” ,”The New PR Toolkit” and “Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy.” She has also contributed her wisdom and insight in countless other industry books.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she is a university educator (UMass/NYU respectively) an international speaker (an awesome one at that), LinkedIn Learning video instructor, podcaster, and co-founder of #PRStudChat.

It is safe to say, Deirdre doesn’t just predict the future of communication trends, she stays ahead of them, often creating the strategies for industry pros to follow to guarantee success.

She also loves taking the time to get to know and share insight with her mentees.

Her accolades and accomplishments are pages long. But what I most admire about her is her ability to continue to pave the landscape in the communications industry, take time for her industry colleagues/mentees and still puts her family life first. Her instagram feed gives us insight into her wonderful relationship with her husband, Mark, her daughter Megan’s amazing food and her pup, Lily, who requires a minimum of 1 post a week for her hard work.

I feel pretty confident in saying, Deirdre Breakenridge is the Wonder Woman of the communications industry and I am so happy she is my mentor and I have had the opportunity to spend time with and learn from one of the business.

Business Coaches

Andrea Preziotti chose to profile her business coach:

Hands down my financial and small business coach Rianka Dorsainvil. Founder of Your Greatest Contribution, and host of the 2050 Trailblazer podcast which addresses the lack of diversity in the financial planning industry. Rianka educates her clients on the nuances of being fiscally responsible in preparation for whatever life throws at you. Her approach is individualized to the client’s life and purpose. She brings clarity through mindful business coaching for small business owners in transition.

I am often amazed by how much she can accomplish in a day, in leading by example she has inspired and empowered me as a female entrepreneur to take control of my future and make it my own. Of course she’s also super easy to talk to and brings a wealth of compassion to the conversation, helping you realize your potential and capabilities.

She manages all of it with grace, poise and intelligence from maintaining communication with clients to guest articles on CNBC Business News & Finance to lining up guest interviews to raise awareness about diversity in Finance. She has been recognized by Investment News as 2017 Women to Watch Rising Star and 2015 list of top “40 Under 40” financial services professionals, in Wealth Management.

And Near and Dear to Our Hearts

And I’m going to close out with my choice, at the risk of sounding like what my daughter would call a “try-hard”:

I choose our own Gini Dietrich. I met Gini five years ago when I began working for a small company in the middle of nowhere.

One day I made the offhand comment about being in a sorority, and how we had a secret knock to let us into meetings if we were late. (If you know me at all, you’d probably never guess I was in a sorority.)

The sorority had a hard and fast rule that you could not tell ANYONE the secret knock, or secret handshake, or whatever other secret stuff we had. 

And there was a lot.

Less than an hour after my remark, I got a text from a number I didn’t know, that said, “This is Gini Dietrich and you have to tell me the secret knock.”

That started a text string I still have five years later.

While you’re probably wondering why on earth this would make Gini the person I profiled when she has a million other accomplishments, I have my reasons.

For one, this is when I knew Gini and I would be friends. We share a similar sense of humor. 

And while all Gini’s accomplishments and awards are amazing, what’s most important is: Gini is a genuinely good person. 

Over the years, she answered ALL of my questions, taught me every bit of what I know about communications despite having a degree in it (sorry, WKU…), and kept pushing me to do better.

She is genuinely happy when I succeed at what I set out to do. 

I’ll admit I haven’t had very many women mentors in my life (other than my mom and grandmother) do that for me.

There have been women I’ve worked with in the past, that absolutely refused to be happy for other women’s successes, and I thought that was just how things were.

I’m glad Gini showed me otherwise.

Now excuse me while I go find something to annoy Gini with to get this relationship back to it’s regularly scheduled programming.

Who is Your Choice?

If you didn’t get a chance to answer in Slack about the woman you would choose for International Women’s Day, you can still let me know in the comments here.

I loved reading everyone’s stories!

If you’re not in the Spin Sucks Community and didn’t even know you missed the question, you can always join here.

Like I said, it’s free and we’re awesome.

Whitney Danhauer

Whitney is living in Central Kentucky with her husband, Michael and her daughter, Evie Rose. She's an avid reader, an even more avid movie watcher, and loves nothing more than a well-placed pop culture reference. By day she writes about all things communications for Spin Sucks, by night she writes about whatever she wants. Her first novel, Good Riddance, was released in October of 2015.

View all posts by Whitney Danhauer