What was your dream job as a child and why?
I wanted to be a veterinarian as I loved animals. I became a licensed veterinary technician and taught Veterinary Technology at St. Petersburg Junior College in Florida.
What has been your biggest professional challenge as a female leader?
My next career after teaching Veterinary Technology was in the male dominated industry called Animal Health. I always considered myself an equal and never used my “woman card” to get attention or special treatment. I did not consider my gender a deterrent and looking back I believe my “generic way” of behaving served me well. I worked hard and had good results and that mattered to the company.
Where did you go to college and what was your first job out of school?
I graduated with an Associate degree in Science from St. Petersburg Junior College and obtained a teaching certificate and began teaching in an American Veterinary Medical Association’s accredited veterinary technician program. This was my first job out of school. Later I graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor’s degree in Management.
Tell me about your professional career track?
After I graduated with an Associates of Science in Veterinary Technology, I taught at the school for seven years. I then went to work for Sandoz Pharmaceutical’s Animal Health Division as a District Manager in the state of Florida. After several years I was relocated to Dallas to head up our Training and Development Department. I was then offered and accepted a promotion to be the West Coast Regional Manager for the Animal Health Division and moved to Phoenix. After fifteen years I retired early and subsequently founded Gabriel’s Angels where I have worked full time for the past seventeen years.
What advice do you have for young female professionals?
I frequently mentor young women professionals and my advice is not to be afraid of making mistakes because that is how you learn and ultimately develop wisdom. Own your mistakes and learn from them. No one is perfect. Work hard as no one owes you anything. You must earn respect and the corner office if that is your goal.
Any advice on how to achieve a happy work-life balance?
Ha! I think you have to be true to yourself. I once heard an adage that says. “You can have it all…just not at the same time.” Everyone has 168 hours in a week and it is up to us to choose how we spend that time. I say, “Spend it wisely!”