Meet the Member: Laurie-Leigh White

Welcome to our latest installment in our “Meet the Member” series, where we will feature a WFE member. This quarter meet Laurie-Leigh White!

Read on to learn more about Laurie-Leigh:

How did you get involved with WFE and how long have you been a member?

I went to my first WFE event in early 2011 because Laura Freudenberger invited me to a WFE happy hour downtown. I immediately knew I was surrounded with the most amazing women so wanted to join right away.

What is your favorite thing about WFE?

I met some of my absolute best friends in the world through WFE. Plus, the organization allows me to meet some amazing women.

10 Quick Questions:

1. What was your first job?

I was an admin for a local law firm in high school.

2. What do you like most about your current job?

I love learning my clients’ stories. Many started with nothing and have built businesses worth millions.

3. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Be myself. Have an image and own it. Don’t be ashamed of my fancy shoes and my ginger locks.

4. Who is your role model?

My grandmother. She’s absolutely amazing – went to undergrad and grad school in 4 years while raising two kids. An absolute trailblazer.

5. If you weren’t working at BVA Group, what would you be doing?

I’d totally be one of those people who worked for a publishing house who decided what books went to print or not. Or a flight attendant (but only first class).

6. Do you have any pets?

Yes! A 16-year-old 20-pound black cat – George. He’s my baby.

7. What are you currently reading?

The Queen of Paris:  A Novel of Coco Chanel by Pamela Binnings Ewen

8. How do you handle stress?

Is drinking an acceptable answer? Jokes. Sort of. I’ve tried a lot over the past year to not freak out so quickly but rather to process the issue that’s causing the stress, think about it and figure out a game plan to respond.

9. What do you make time for no matter what?

Working out. I hate it but necessary.

10. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I am actually a total introvert. Casually making conversation with complete strangers is so hard!  Oh, and I’m an only grandchild. Best.Gig.Ever.  🙂

 

Navigating a Multi-Generational Workforce

Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce

Julia Kramer, Executive Vice President and Chief Organizational Performance Officer at BXS Insurance, was the guest speaker at WFE’s last luncheon of the year on October 18th at the Briar Club. 

Julia’s presentation on Navigating a Multi-Generational Workforce began by defining and outlining the key characteristics of the Fabulous Four – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Although Generation Z currently has no significant work presence, Julia provided some great facts about this new generation that outnumbers Millennials. Next, Julia outlined ways to improve communication and team building based on generational differences.  As Julia quoted in her presentation: “It’s nature’s way that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us.” 

The group had the opportunity to ask questions and share their observations on generational impacts at home and in the workplace.  

Meet the Members: Laura and Ellen Freudenberger

Welcome to our latest installment in our “Meet the Member” series, where we will feature a WFE member. This quarter we are featuring our favorite mother-daughter duo, Laura and Ellen Freudenberger. Both ladies are active WFE members, we thought it would be fun to do a joint interview with them!

Read on to learn more about Laura and Ellen:

How did you get involved with WFE and how long have you been a member?

Ellen: My mom would make me come down from College Station to attend the duck hunt, I have been a member for 4 years

Laura: I think around 15 years

What is your favorite thing about WFE?

Ellen: The relationships that are formed and the support we have for one another

Laura: The awesome ladies

10 Quick Questions:

1. What was your first job?
Ellen: Pre-college, my first job was a lifeguard at the Houston Jewish Community Center; Post-college, my first job was an audit staff at Deloitte in Houston

Laura: Pre-college, my first job was working in a Jewish deli in Cleavland, Ohio; Post-college, my first job was a staff auditor for a national CPA firm

2. What do you like most about your current job?
Ellen: Currently moving to being a recruiter, so get back to me in a few weeks

Laura: I love my clients. There is something new everyday that I am learning, ALWAYS. It is always interested and full of change.

3. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Ellen: Perception is reality

Laura: First impressions stay with you forever

4. Who is your role model?
Ellen: My mom (Laura rolls her eyes) – I mean, you’ve met her, she’s amazing

Laura: My husband and to some degree my daughter, too

Ellen: Thanks mom!

5. If you weren’t [a recruiter for Ellen and Audit Shareholder for Laura] what would you be doing?
Ellen: I just switched from being an auditor, to a recruiter, so I am doing that! Fun wise, I would love to be a personal shopper.

Laura: Something in art, I have always been interested in art.

6. Do you have any pets?
Ellen: Two dogs – Bailey, a Chocolate Lab/Australian Shepherd mix and Jackson, a German Shepherd mix

Laura: Leon – a White Lab mix

7. What are you currently reading?
Ellen: Crazy Rich Asians

Laura: The Outlander Series

8. How do you handle stress?
Ellen: Eat – Want to go to lunch?

Laura: Try and work harder

9. What do you make time for no matter what?
Ellen and Laura: Sleep and Family

10. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Ellen: I used to Ice Skate

Laura: I have an identical twin – that is not an accountant

Bonus Question!
11. What “lesson from mom” do you still live by today?
Ellen: “I love you no matter what”

Laura: “You are responsible for your own happiness”

Meet the Member: Rebekah Bezerra

Welcome to our latest installment in our “Meet the Member” series, where we will feature a WFE member. This quarter meet Rebekah Bezerra!

Read on to learn more about Rebekah:

How did you get involved with WFE and how long have you been a member?

I first heard of WFE from Laurie-Leigh, but it took me a little over a year to finally attend a WFE luncheon with my boss, Carmen Eggleston. I have been a WFE member for 2 years.

What is your favorite thing about WFE?

Meeting and networking with other professional women. It is really uplifting to meet and be encouraged by other women who are going through or have been through the journey.

10 Quick Questions:

1. What was your first job?
Summer Intern at Project Grad Houston, a Houston based non-profit that helps students in low-income communities achieve their college goals. I was a Project Grad Scholar myself.

2. What do you like most about your current job?
The range and diversity of cases – every case has its own unique set of facts and challenges.

3. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

4. Who is your role model?
My mom – she left everything she knew behind to move to this country with my dad so that her children could have all the opportunities that she wasn’t afforded in her home country. Despite not having a formal education or understanding the English language, my mom made sure we received the best education possible within her power and reach. She made sure that we never took for granted the opportunities we are blessed to have in this country.

5. If you weren’t [Senior Associate – Litigation Consulting] what would you be doing?
Teaching

6. Do you have any pets?
I have two dogs – a miniature schnauzer and a bichon. I would own more dogs, but we have a rule in our family that the number of dogs cannot exceed the number of humans in the house.

7. What are you currently reading?
No Ego by Cy Wakeman

8. How do you handle stress?
I go for a run or drive down to Galveston and paddle board.

9. What do you make time for no matter what?
Family, friends, church, and the beach.

10. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I was a marksman and was on a precision rifle team throughout high school.

Bonus Question!
11. What “lesson from mom” do you still live by today?
Always do your best. My mom sewed a lot of my dresses growing up and I loved watching her cut and sew the fabric, but if anything was off in the process, she would take the dress apart and start again until it was perfect. The same translated to my homework, after school activities, and work. My mom is a perfectionist at heart and passed down the trait.

Investment Strategies

Venita Zavidny, Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager with Mercer Advisors, spoke to the WFE on March 15th at the Briar Club to provide guidance on personal financial planning

Venita started by giving advice on how to maintain awareness of your total net worth, all by focusing on paying yourself first. She outlined a way to deploy a disciplined or automatic approach to achieving this and illustrated a manner to keep track of where you are. Next, Venita talked to the group about ordinary people with extraordinary wealth to give examples of what healthy savings attitudes and practices can help you achieve.  Attitude is EVERYTHING!

When it comes to investing, Venita gave the group guidance on ignoring hyperboles, being patient, and diversifying risk.  Following those rules, the odds will tend to be in your favor over the long run.

The group asked a lot of great questions to which Venita answered with great examples and advice!