Insights from our Influential Women in Business honorees


When attorney Lana Crump and her husband were raising three children in a household with two working parents, she discovered these three strategies.

The right mindset. We all strive to be high achievers in everything we do. Someone told me early on it was OK to make a “C.” In other words, it is extremely difficult to simultaneously make “A”s as a parent, spouse, other family member, employee, friend, co-worker and volunteer. Giving myself grace was the first step.

Being honest in communicating with others about those competing obligations: Having to leave the office to tend to a sick child or cutting a family visit short to prepare for a significant client meeting. Getting over the fear of being judged negatively for making those day-to-day choices was big for me.

Finding good afternoon help at home for getting their homework done or driving them to after-school activities was key. Just a few hours made a huge difference.



“I wish I had known that many leaders who accomplish so much still have their own insecurities and feel the same way I do at the start of any new project: What am I doing and how am I going to tackle this? But they took ownership, put in the work, and figured it out. If you’ve ever felt that you were not prepared to take on a task, just lean into it, and assess what internal or external resources you have to support you. Ask others how they have approached a similar problem—lean into it and you will learn and grow as a result of challenging yourself.

—Rachel Diresto

“Not all leaders act the same and that’s OK. You can lead with a quiet authority and don’t have to be the loudest person in the room to have an impact and influence outcomes.”

—Alicia Vidrine



“I found myself single with three children—ages 11 months to 7 years—in 1999 when I came to work and found that the leadership of my nursing unit was let go. I was asked to take over temporarily. I worried that if I didn’t step into that challenge, I might not have a job either, so when others might not have taken on that challenge, I did. After one year, I went to my leader and asked her if she was going to get a permanent leader. She answered with, ‘I have been waiting for you to ask me this. I want you to remain the leader.” I have held leadership positions since then.”

—Cheri Johnson



“Persistence is the only reason I’m still in business. I expect people to tell me ‘no’ the first two or three times I pitch a sale to them. I expect ‘no’ and it doesn’t phase me. I just smile and offer to help them any way I can, and then I keep going back until they tell me ‘yes.’ I know our tutoring services work. I see the difference we make every day in the lives of students. So if I ask you to purchase tutoring sessions for a homeless youth and you tell me no, well, that’s just ridiculous. So of course I’m going to ask you again. Why would you tell me no?”

—Amanda Martin



“There was a role that I was not the successful candidate for. It was disappointing in the moment but made be resilient, flexible and ready to embrace next opportunities ahead. Don’t be defeated with in the moment setbacks … there is something meant for you ahead.”

—Melissa Dotson


I don’t have any failures, I have lessons. Being an entrepreneur is already hard and so are words, so I try not to use the word fail. I just learned a new way NOT to do something.”

—Tessa Holloway



“Go where you are celebrated, not just tolerated. You should spend time during an interview to see if you fit well with the organization and if its mission and values align with yours. Also try a lot of things. You won’t know what you love or what you hate unless you jump into a new opportunity to see what the outcome may be.”

—Jodi Conachen


“One of your greatest attributes is your integrity and your loyalty. You can be highly skilled in your chosen career, but if you don’t have integrity, you will not gain the trust and confidence of your clients and colleagues, and that will ultimately limit you in your career advancement. Also,  you define career success for you. Success is not an objective standard. Not everyone wants to be in the C-suite. Define what your career goal is and go for it.

—Lana Crump


“Women have really advanced as leaders during the time I have been practicing law and I know that trend will continue, but it is imperative to be the best at what you do. Showing up on time, being courteous, and being willing to learn from others will set the stage for the harder job of being the best.”

—Meredith Hathorn


“Be confident in your abilities and all that you have to offer. Don’t believe the self-talk and don’t be afraid in space that is uncomfortable. You’ve got this!”

—Melissa Dotson



Alicia Vidrine’s go-to tips

Set aside work once you get home and be fully present for your family. One of my superpowers is the ability to compartmentalize.

Make an effort to attend all the field trips and class parties. It will make your children feel loved and supported. I figure I will not regret spending less time in a meeting, but I will regret missed memories with my children.

Take a lunch break. It may not happen every day, but at least three out of five. Take time to visit with a family member over the phone, get some steps in, or get to know your co-workers in the breakroom.

Read the stories of all the 2024 Influential Women in Business.