Title: CEO of Pathwise Partners, an executive coaching and strategic planning firm, and author of the recent book “Uncommon Candor: A Leader’s Guide to Straight Talk.”
Born: Sept. 23, 1953, in Virginia Beach
Education: bachelor of science in psychology, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1976; master’s in industrial/organizational psychology, Old Dominion University, 1979; leadership coaching certification, Georgetown University, 2002
Career: Old Dominion University, psychology department, 1979-82; Central Fidelity Bank, various positions, including her last as president of the bank’s region based in Northern Virginia, 1982-98; Carl M. Freeman Cos., senior vice president of organizational development for the real estate development firm, 1998-2001; Freeman Business Solutions, founder and senior strategist, 2001-03; Pathwise Partners, owner and CEO, 2003-present.
Where do you live: Westover Hills
Best business decision: “In a significant merger, we immediately hired and successfully retained the strongest talent in the acquired company. It meant we had a better-than-expected and faster return on investment with the merger.”
Worst business decision: “Lots to choose from here. ... I was part of a team that launched an unsuccessful golf online business in the dot-com bubble of the late ’90s.”
Mistake you learned the most from: “See the worst business decision above. Lesson: Stick with your core competencies.”
What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years? “As with all of us in this post-recession, high-velocity time of technological evolution, continually learning for the ever-changing circumstances.”
First job after college: Researcher with the Performance Assessment Lab at Old Dominion University, studying the effects of work stressors on women’s performance, funded by grants from the military. Also worked the midnight shift at a juvenile detention center.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently? “Work overseas early in my career.”
Movie or book that inspired you the most, and why? “New ones every year. Currently, Sonia Sotomayor’s ‘My Beloved World.’ She proves the American dream and shows how asking for advice at every step of her career propelled her to the top legal job in the country.”
Favorite/least favorite subjects in school: “I loved science and statistics. The only part of history I enjoyed was studying U.S. presidents.”