Ladies Who Lead – Erin Winters

Erin Winters is the East Coast Sales Executive for www.MadeToOrder.com.  High energy,  Erin Winters Nitsa's Ladies Who Leadmotorcycle-riding, and knowledge-hungry, Erin believes in lasting business relationships where loyalty (not just the bottom line) plays a role in decisions.  Her career is a huge part of her life and she truly loves what she does. She’s as comfortable in jeans as she is in a suit, and we loved how this suit fits her and her personality!

One of the greatest influences in her professional career was a former boss, Roy Johnson, who taught her not only business techniques but also the importance of respect and loyalty. She says that “He saw something in me that no one else did, and he always encouraged me to work smarter and, bottom line, be myself.”  He also enforced the idea that employees should always be challenged and treat clients with respect and awareness.

Erin learned a lot from Johnson and still implements these ideals in her own daily work. She makes sure to be aware of what her clients need and acts accordingly to “ensure that the client is presented with a product and service that they can write home about!”  Client relationships are the keystone of her business, which she believes sets her apart in a time when this is often lacking.  Erin says, “I am an extremely loyal person, and when you have clients who continue to come to you for advice and for your business services, then you know that you’ve done something right.”

What if she wasn’t working for MadeToOrder? She’d be a paramedic!  That was her original plan, until, as she says, “life happened,” and she chose a different career path.  However, her hunger for adventure is still satisfied with her position as Sales Executive.  “When a client asks me to ‘find this product’… that’s a challenge to me!  You know how you feel when you’re on a scavenger hunt and you find a clue … that rush of excitement and the satisfaction of ‘yay…I did it?’ That’s how it feels when I find the piece that no one else could!”

Ladies Who Lead: Jennifer Filipowski

Jennifer Filipowski is another one of those “Yanks” who came to North Carolina and decided to stay because felt she could really make a difference in Winston-Salem to a greater extent than in her hometown of Chicago. (The traffic and weather helped too.)

After 25 years of managing successful marketing events and programs for prestigious companies around the globe, Jennifer decided to shift her focus closer to home and spend more time with her 9 year old daughter “while she still wants me Jennifer Filipowski is a Woman Who Leadsaround.” Her time in the male-dominated corporate world made her passionate about women’s empowerment and self-esteem issues.

“Studies have shown that the height of girls’ ambitions peak at age 8 or 9, and I think that is tragic. I want every girl, especially my daughter, to understand that they have the power to be whatever they want to be,” says Filipowski. “I think a lot of the independence and confidence I have personally stems from the things I learned as a Girl Scout, so having my daughter in Girl Scouts is the one non-negotiable activity in our household.”

After taking over as leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, Jennifer quickly found herself involved to an even larger extent with the local Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont Council overseeing more than 50 troops in the Winston-Salem area. She also joined the Board of Directors last fall.

“I especially love the Girl Scout Cookie program because it gives girls hands-on marketing, communication, sales, budgeting, and math skills. And of course they’re so yummy!” (Girl Scouts happen to be out selling cookies now, BTW.)

But her dedication to women’s issues isn’t solely focused on girls. Jennifer is also on the board of the Professional Women of Winston-Salem, a group that organizes networking events and monthly luncheons with speakers on a wide range of topics of interest to female small business owners and industry leaders. Her role there is as chair of the scholarship program, which awards annual $1,000 scholarships to single working mothers in Forsyth County who are going back to school.

“All of the women we receive applications from are so inspiring,” said Filipowski. “By going back to school they are not only trying to improve their own lives. They understand they are setting an example about the importance of education and perseverance for their children.”

When she isn’t dedicating her time and experience to these local organizations or volunteering at her daughter’s school, you’ll either find her on the golf course, at home cooking or quilting, or on a plane. An avid traveler and amateur photographer, Jennifer has a long bucket list of destinations to explore—Southeast Asia and Antarctica are currently at the top of the list. She’s also learning how to fence!

“And I’d really like to learn how to butcher a cow…know anyone who can teach me?”

Thank you, Jennifer, for being a Lady Who Leads and all that you’re doing to raise our next generation of female leaders!

Ladies Who Lead: Rachel Hoeing

Rachel Hoeing, co-founder of Triad Moms On Main, is known in Winston and all over the Triad for the website she runs with friend and partner, Katie Mooseburger—Triad Moms on Main.  At Triad Moms on Main, Rachel, Katie, and other guest bloggers share their words of wisdom on parenting and life in the Triad.  As Rachel was being outfitted and was waiting to be photographed, we chatted with her about her life as a mother and as a female small business owner and community leader.

To keep her popular website running, Rachel works full time seeking out guest bloggers,

Ladies Who Lead - Rachel Hoeing

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managing her sales team, promoting local events and businesses, and most importantly, sharing the ups and downs of motherhood with others. The blog’s topics include food, shopping, local events, parks and recreation, education, travel, family, and a just-for-moms section.  Rachel believes in sharing stories with one another, as the tagline of the site suggests “Parenthood can be the mother of all rides. So why travel alone?”

Though her company is very successful, work is not at the center of her life. She says that although she has many goals, “being the best home-maker, wife, and  parent that I can be has certainly moved to the top of my list.” The importance of family in her life was emphasized when her parents passed away and she realized “just how much they truly did influence [her].”  To give to her children as much as her parents gave her is what she wants to achieve most.

Her mother is also the driving force behind her support of Teal Toes for Ovarian Cancer (www.tealtoes.org). Her mother battled with Ovarian cancer for years, and now Rachel advocates for this organization that encourages women to paint their toes teal, especially during the month of September, to raise awareness for the disease that 14,500 women die from each year.  “…Unfortunately it is not easy to detect… and we don’t hear much about this type of cancer.  I pray daily that we will someday find a cure.”

The focus of her life is then on her husband, Kevin, and children, Jake (9) and Anna (7).  But when she’s not spending time with her family or at work, you’ll probably find her enjoying a favorite guilty pleasure: Bravo TV. “If it’s not on Bravo, I am probably not watching it.” Or… apparently… beat boxing “I think I can beat box.  Everyone else probably thinks I am spitting in the microphone.”

Thank you Rachel for sharing your time with us and being a Lady Who Leads in the community!

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