Vice president of operations, La Tortilla Factory, 3300 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, 707-586-4000, www.latortillafactory.com
Residence: Santa Rosa
Professional background: Manufacturing, health care, hospitality, and education with emphasis in organization development.
Education: Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Human Resources and Organization Development
Staff: Seven direct reports and 220 indirect in the areas of supply chain, production, maintenance, warehouse, quality assurance, human resources, safety and customer service.
Tell us about yourself and your company: I have the privilege of working with managers on strategic planning, goal setting and organizational development and effectiveness. I also enjoy teaching business management and human resources management for Pacific Union College whenever I get the chance. I serve as president-elect for Social Advocates for Youth and serve on the board of directors for Redwood Adventist Academy. I make my home in beautiful Sonoma County with my lovely daughter, Madison.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?: Taking on the operations leadership role in 2010 and seeing the investments we made in people and innovation pay off.
What is the achievement you are most proud of?: Being the mother of a kind and generous daughter.
What is your biggest challenge today?: We already see a shortage in qualified workers in many areas of our business, which will only continue as manufacturing continues to leave the U.S. Business, government, educational institutions and workers themselves will need to consider bold new approaches to remove unnecessary barriers that slow business and job creation, and we must work together for such approaches to succeed.
Words that best describe you: Tenacious and determined. I think the word my mother used was stubborn, but I prefer tenacious.
As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?: Probably, the obstacles in my own mind; I am my own worst critic and have spent far too much time worrying. I wouldn’t say I have completely overcome this, but through my faith and my mentors I’ve learned there is a difference between reflection and worry.
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: I think a lot more of business leaders’ time will be spent in communication, education and collaboration outside the walls of their businesses in order for America as a whole to remain prosperous.
Who was your most important mentor?: I have been blessed with so many amazing people who have mentored and taught me so much. Scott Ormerod became a mentor to me at a very critical time in my life. He gave me stretch assignments and believed that I could and would accomplish them.
What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?: I’d tell them what my Auntie always told me, “Be everything the Lord intended you to be. And for pity's sake, don’t ever stand in the way of anyone else being everything the Lord intended them to be either!”
Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Lynne Wallace. I admire her because I have watched her invest a great deal of her time into mentoring her staff and her clients. She understands the culture side of business and how the leverage of a positive culture will drive business results.