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Women In Leadership

Women In Leadership

Women in Leadership 2015

The 6th Annual Women in Leadership Forum was held on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at the Pt. Defiance Pagoda. The forum was attended by 70 Junior League of Tacoma members, friends and community members. Our 5 panelists: Erin Jones, Jane Taylor, Helen McGovern Pilant, Judith Billings, and Terry Jones; were engaging, informative and inspirational. A quote from one of our panelists, Erin Jones, said, “Our most important job as adults is to reflect the beauty and giftedness of the children in our lives.”

We had two sponsors for the evening’s event: Aesthetica Clinque sponsored a beautiful selection of food for the evening and Aleks, from VIT Foto was on site to capture images of the event. You can view images on our Facebook account.  Jessica Fogel and Laura Walters were this year’s WIL Chairs. Along with assistance of moderator Lynnette Buffington and the collaboration of the Communications and Membership Councils, everyone did an amazing job and delivered a wonderful event not just to our membership but to the community. Thank you for all your time and effort for making the even such a success!

The five panelists all had interesting stories on their journey’s to leadership and what or who inspired them to become a leader. Erin Jones was adopted by her parents and grew up in the Netherlands where her parents taught at the American School of Hague. She learned about leadership from a young age of being an athlete of being on a soccer team and played varsity basketball in high school. Watching her parents make a change in children’s lives by teaching, she knew at a young age she wanted to make a change in the world through teaching. She has been involved in education for the past 24 years and is currently running for State Superintendent and is the first black woman for run for a state office in Washington State. Her motto with teaching is “Every kid will do amazing things!”

Terry Jones is the President of the U.S. Bank for the South Sound Market. She has been in banking for 32 years, starting her career at Rainier Bank in 1981. Terry, during her career at Rainier bank, she had made a comment to one of her colleagues, I want your job! Several years later, when her colleague was ready to move on, she called Terry asking her if she still wanted her job. She interviewed and then started her career at U.S. Bank. She is an active driver of Empower and organizing networking events for women. Her message to women in their careers, “I like to remind people, that regardless of where you are in your career, you can always be a leader.”

Judith Billings is an educator with over 50 years of experience of teaching, administering, writing and interpreting legislation for schools. She served as State Superintendent of Public Instruction for 8 years. After retiring from office in 1997, she has served on numerous educational organizations and has been active in HIV/AIDS-related issues. When diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the 80’s, Judith said, “she has met some of the most marvelous people.”

Jane Taylor founded the Geneva Foundation in 1993 and still is involved in the organization by serving on their board of directors and the foundations Chief Strategy Officer. She recently won the Tacoma Business Examiner’s Women of Influence award. Jane said it took her a long time to figure out what she wanted to do and her leadership advice was, “to listen to your gut feeling and make a difference in the lives of others.”

Helen McGovern Pilant is the Executive Director of the Emergency Food Network and has been actively involved in the Tacoma community. Before working at the Emergency Food Network she started her corporate career in commercial real estate and served as a city council member for the City of Lakewood. Helen said on average the EFN provides over 15 million meals annually. Her leadership advice is as current leaders it’s your job to mentor the young professionals who are starting their careers.

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