(Minneapolis – October 23, 2020) – As women of all ages seek additional support and community to navigate COVID-19, there’s one Minnesota-based non-profit organization rising to the challenge. TeamWomen, a professional development group and its sister organization, Empower Leadership Academy, a group devoted to cultivating the future generations of female leaders, has experienced an increase in involvement from corporations, sponsors and participants.

As a result, TeamWomen announces the addition of two team members to support its growth:

  • Jen Huber, Interim Director of Outreach | Empower Leadership Academy. Huber brings more than 14 years of experience with multiple leadership roles at Dale Carnegie Training and will focus on developing and expanding opportunities for Empower Leadership Academy.
  • Jodi Vannett, Grant Writer. A non-profit veteran, Vannett will be instrumental in securing grants for TeamWomen operations and programs.

“This year has been extremely difficult for many, but it’s also been an important time for women to realize the power of their personal and professional networks. This is where TeamWomen shines,” said Katy Burke, TeamWomen Executive Director. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve received national interest and participation in the hybrid and virtual programs we offer that allow women and girls to connect, grow and be inspired. As we build our plan for 2021 and continue to position ourselves for growth, Jen and Jodi are imperative to help diversify and expand our operations.”

TeamWomen and its sister organization, Empower Leadership Academy, both rally around a common mission of helping girls and women rise together. Both groups offer holistic programming focused on mental wellness, resilience, confidence and leadership.

Both TeamWomen and Empower Leadership Academy were the brainchild of Pam Borton, ICF senior executive coach and winningest coach at the University of Minnesota Women’s Golden Gopher basketball program.

TeamWomen, co-founded in 2012 by Borton and Twin Cities attorney Linda Hopkins, encourages and supports women in reaching their full potential through mentoring, educational programs and networking opportunities. In 2015, Borton leveraged her real experience, certifications in emotional intelligence, positive psychology and wellbeing and launched Empower Leadership Academy. The curriculum and content was developed with a unique emphasis on providing tools to develop all competencies of leadership skills and social and emotional learning for girls in grades 5 through 12 with group academies and one-on-one training.

TeamWomen boasts a membership of more than 600 and has impacted more than 12,000 professional women through its programs. Empower Leadership Academy has positively impacted the lives of more than 1,525 girls in grades 5 through 12.



TeamWomen and its sister organization, Empower Leadership Academy, is a Minnesota-based non-profit organization with a mission is to “Inspire Women to Rise Together.” The group is guided by its three pillars of Leadership Development, Mentoring and Youth Empowerment. Founded in 2012, TeamWomen has grown to more than 600 members. Visit teamwomenmn.org or empowergirlsacademy.org to learn more.

Meet Lisa Beth Lentini, CEO and Founder of Lumen Worldwide Endeavors, who is also a TeamWomen 2020 Leadership Conference Sponsor and TeamWomen Member! Lisa Beth has led award-winning global, legal and compliance departments within large public and private companies. She masterfully aligns resources for efficiency and helps boards further strategic initiatives while mitigating risks. With extensive knowledge in corporate governance, she’s served as Corporate Secretary for multiple organizations, along with leading all aspects of M&A including due diligence, negotiating, documenting and leading the post-integration matters for dozens of deals.

Read more as she shares what drew her to sponsoring TeamWomen, her best career advice and how Lumen Worldwide Endeavors is pivoting during this time of change.

What drew you to sponsoring TeamWomen?

I was originally introduced to TeamWomen by a good friend of mine. As I was finding ways to connect and foster the leadership and development I wanted to see in our community, for leaders of all ages and stages, TeamWomen presented such a compelling approach that I felt the need to be part of that story. So, I volunteered on the steering committee for the conference and joined as a sponsor. When identifying places to focus my time, talents and treasure, TeamWomen aligned nicely with the values that Lumen espouses.

What are 3 things that separate Lumen Worldwide Endeavors from other companies within your industry?

What does Lumen mean? A Lumen is a measure of brightness and it has been said that sunlight is the greatest disinfectant. We chose Lumen as our name because we wanted to illuminate a path towards better decisions for corporations, specifically compliance and risk professionals.

Lumen Worldwide Endeavors is the only firm of its kind that combines the broad range of compliance, ethics and corporate governance experience with skilled coaching. We build programs to last because they are holistic and focus not only on the WHAT (the subject matter expertise) but on the HOW (through an emotional intelligence focus for people).

Lumen Worldwide Endeavors is about smart risk decision-making through our pragmatic, proactive, pro-business approach. While we can completely geek out on the technical aspects of our field, we really like being useful in setting up frameworks to enable better decisions and then watching our clients thrive.

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

The best career advice I have ever received: “Never count yourself out and never give up.” Your chances of getting that opportunity you never try for are zero…but even if the chances are slight, you still have a shot if you just persevere.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who survive challenges and change, and then give back; the entrepreneurs who grow and develop through the years, the professionals who give their talents in service of others, the executives who sent the elevator back down to give opportunities, and those who mentor others along the way.

How is Lumen Worldwide Endeavors pivoting during this time of change?

We are really enjoying this time of change because we have been able to spend time investing in the business. The issues we are seeing are timeless, but the “Great Pause” is starting to dramatically show what is important — both from a compliance perspective but also from a human well-being perspective.

Learn more about Lumen Worldwide Endeavors on their website.

TeamWomen is grateful to have so many rockstar board members and women who make up our community! This month, we’re highlighting Laura Boyd, a TeamWomen Member and Board of Directors Member who is the CEO of Leadership Delta.

Laura has over 25 years of experience working with organizations to help them develop sustainable growth. She has been a leader on executive teams for large companies, emerging companies, and non-profits, as well as a business owner. She believes Leadership is the ultimate Delta for change, strategy, and growth in an organization and is now taking her years of experience helping businesses become high-performance organizations.

Find out what she’s learned as an Empower Leadership Academy coach, the best career advice she’s ever received, and her thoughts on finding inspiration within ourselves!

Why did you join TeamWomen and what keeps you involved?

My whole career has been about networking with others, developing and coaching people, giving back, and lifting up young professionals. When I was looking at strong organizations to belong to, all of my own personal pillars lined up perfectly with TeamWomen. I stay engaged in TeamWomen because of the caliber of women professionals, the strong programs, and the ability to give back through the Empower Girls Leadership Academy.

What have you learned from being an Empower Leadership Academy coach?

I think a better way to say that is what haven’t I learned from being an academy coach? 🙂 There are 3 consistent learnings from Empower: 1) The girls in the program are smarter and more confident than I was at their age, which gives me great joy to see that the world is changing — even if it’s just a little bit. 2) People of all ages deal with the same “stuff.” If you provide the right direction, encouragement, compassion, and tools, people can succeed at any age. 3) We all have strengths and weaknesses. The more we focus on what we are good at and enjoy doing, the better leader we will be.

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

I have received a lot of great advice over the years, but this one sticks with me often. Dudley Ryan, Partner of CliftonLarsonAllen, told me to stop and enjoy what I was doing before I moved onto the next thing. His reference was this: “You always get to the top of the mountain and see another higher mountain and want to climb that higher mountain. There are always going to be higher mountains, but what do you truly want to do with your life?” The highest mountain isn’t always in the best interest for me.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired every day by people smarter than me, stronger than me, funnier than me, and more motivating than me, but I have worked very hard in recent years to be inspired by myself. I cannot rely on other people, nor compare myself to others, to inspire me. I need to be inspired by me first before I can truly value other’s perspectives. Every day I work hard on loving me. I pray that for everyone. It would make this world a better place.

Learn more about Laura’s work on Leadership Delta’s website.

Catch up with everything on TeamWomen in our weekly eBlast! This week, we gave a shout-out to Salo, a TeamWomen Silver Sponsor; launched our nomination forms for the 2020 WaveMaker Awards; recommended Brené Brown’s podcast; and revealed our NEW Virtual Villages! To check out our online events and register, click here.

Stay up-to-date with all things on TeamWomen by subscribing to our weekly eBlast here!

We’re honored to highlight Salo this month who is a TeamWomen Silver Sponsor! Since 2002, Salo has been connecting people, building careers and growing businesses by partnering with exceptionally skilled and seasoned leaders who find purpose and inspiration in solving today’s most difficult business challenges in HR, finance and accounting.

Learn why they’re a continued sponsor of TeamWomen; how they help women through hiring, mentoring and advocacy; and the big things happening for them in 2020 below.

What drew you to continue sponsoring TeamWomen?

Salo’s mission is connecting people to make a difference, and it aligns perfectly with what TeamWomen stands for and accomplishes. We are proud to be a company co-founded by a woman with more than 50% of women on our management team. We believe in the leadership of women, and want to do what we can in the community to help women find careers they love and build companies they’re proud of.

How does Salo support other women around them, professionally and personally?

Our business is talent, and our goal is to help individuals find happiness in their careers and lives. We support women in our business through hiring, mentoring and advocating for them. We are a company of connectors, so when we might not be the right fit, we’ll help women by connecting them to someone who can help.

What does success mean to Salo?

Did you know only 15% of employees are engaged in their work? Success to us is when this number is flipped.

What are some big things happening for Salo in 2020?

We want to continue our path to growth, while helping more companies solve complex challenges and more consultants find meaningful careers. Knowing some form of this virtual environment might be here to stay, we’re also looking at the right ways to evolve and grow our business and offerings from that perspective.

To learn more about Salo, visit their website.

Missed our eBlast on Wednesday? Get the scoop here! This week, we gave a shout-out to Eide Bailly, a TeamWomen Bronze Sponsor, and featured an article from Psychology Today about overcoming Zoom fatigue. To check out our online events and register, click here.

Stay up-to-date with all things on TeamWomen by subscribing to our weekly eBlast here!

We couldn’t be more grateful for the generous support from our sponsors, and this week, we want to highlight Eide Bailly who is a TeamWomen Bronze Sponsor!

By embracing change and focusing on innovative ideas, Eide Bailly has grown along with its clients to become one of the top 25 accounting firms in the nation. Find out what drew Eide Bailly to sponsoring us, as well as the initiatives they’re implementing to improve the advancement of women.

What drew you to sponsoring TeamWomen?

Eide Bailly believes in empowering and providing opportunities for all staff. Providing specific opportunities for networking and education for women is especially important. We encourage all staff to participate in organizations that inspire and motivate them. Sponsoring and attending TeamWomen events allow us to support an organization whose values align with ours, and it provides an additional opportunity for our staff to become involved with an organization that focuses on women’s success and growth. TeamWomen believes that we need more women in leadership, and they work to make this happen by providing leadership skills, mentoring, and support to women around the Twin Cities. Eide Bailly is honored to be a supporter of TeamWomen!

What experiences within Eide Bailly do you provide specifically for women?

Eide Bailly has an ongoing-staff moral boosting initiative for women; this initiative is referred to as First Focus. This group was set forth to improve the advancement of women as directed in the Firm’s Strategic Plan. The Committee defines this as enabling the retention of identified future female leaders; focusing on both retention and advancement for high performing females; and ensuring career opportunities for women that parallel those of men in the Firm. One portion of the Initiative is the Focus Forums. The Focus Forums’ target audience is female senior associates and first-year managers whose work focus is assurance, tax, and business consulting. Forums occur in a 5-session sequence held every 6 to 8 weeks. Attendance is voluntary but strongly recommended. Simple pre-work may be expected. Ground rules stress that the session is a safe zone and discussion during the session is confidential. What is shared with others outside the Forums is a broad summary of the outcomes and “ah-ha” moments. An additional program is provided for female managers and senior managers with 2-plus years of experience in the Firm and who have the potential and desire to serve in leadership roles in the Firm; this program is referred to as the Women’s Leadership Boot Camp. This 3-day program has multiple outcomes, some of which are as follows:

  • Increase personal understanding of the business of public accounting through robust discussions of topics that include the leverage model, the Firm’s long-range plan and strategies, the importance of business development, increasing self- and organizational awareness, and more.
  • Develop skills that enable high-performing women to gain visibility and recognition in the Firm.
  • Encourage demonstration of leadership ability.
  • Provide access/visibility to top-level leadership.

The women of our Firm attend many other great women-focused conferences and events throughout the year. Some being TeamWomen’s Leadership Conference, Women in Business conferences throughout the Twin Cities, and Minneapolis Women’s Leadership Summit.

What are 3 things (serious or fun) that separate you from other companies within your industry?

As a top 25 CPA firm in the nation, Eide Bailly has a lot to offer its employees. Good benefit packages, rewarding careers, and competitive pay is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the Firm has to offer their employees.

We feel the things that set us apart from other companies within our industry are our culture, the trusted business advisor relationship we have with our clients, and the team environment we build within. With a strong culture that highlights trust, support, respect, and integrity, Eide Bailly truly supports its employees’ careers and goals.

How is Eide Bailly persevering during this time of change?

The last several weeks and months have been uncharted territory for so many – for our staff and for our clients. We continue to create meaningful and useful content for our clients and the public to ensure they stay educated on important topics during this time.

To learn more about Eide Bailly, visit their website.

Don’t forget — we have a weekly eBlast to keep you updated on everything happening at TeamWomen, as well as resources on leveling up your professional career! Check it out here. This week, we rolled out our new COVID Relief Membership, announced our FREE partner event with Global Minnesota, and featured an article from Salo on how you can help your employees during this stressful time. To check out our online events and register, click here.

Stay up-to-date with all things on TeamWomen by subscribing to our weekly eBlast here!

As TeamWomen continues to grow and reach professionals across the Twin Cities, we couldn’t be more grateful for our sponsor Grey Search + Strategy!

Grey Search + Strategy is a strategic search and consulting firm built on a singular idea for delivering better recruiting results. With 60+ years of combined experience in search strategy, recruiting, and team-building, they’ve built a breakthrough brand on offering more strategic, long-term focused solutions to matching talent with opportunities. Driven by a passion for understanding unique challenges and discovering unique talent, they bring the two together for extraordinary results. Find out what drew the owners, Alissa and Lucas Henriksen, to sponsoring TeamWomen and how they support women while giving back.

What drew you to sponsoring TeamWomen?

We’ve always been proponents of supporting women. Lucas and I were both raised by strong, independent women. So, it was never a question that this would not be a focus for us. TeamWomen does an amazing job of lifting up women, giving them an opportunity to grow and shine, providing education and tools to be their best self, and to go after it!

What experiences within Grey Search + Strategy do you provide specifically for women?

Grey Search + Strategy is an executive recruiting and recruiting consulting company. We have clients throughout the US, but with 60% headquartered in MN. We ALWAYS give women the opportunity by making sure women are included in every search we take on. We always look to bring diversity into every single search. In addition to that, we are big on giving back and supporting women-focused organizations. We not only sponsor TeamWomen, but we focus on purchasing promotional items that support women-run/owned businesses. All of our candidates that get hired by our clients get an awesome coffee launch kit. The company we support is City Girl Coffee (where proceeds go back to coffee farms that are operated by women) – owned by my friend and amazing business owner, Alyza Bohbot (Alakef). Supporting women is a big part of our ongoing mission at Grey Search + Strategy and that won’t ever change. We also have one of the best directors, Nikki Francois, at Grey Search + Strategy. Her vision and insights as a female leader are unmatched in our industry! Our HR Business Partner is Vickie Skala. She brings years of expertise and HR strategy to our company. We are proud to have such powerful female leaders. It definitely leaves Lucas outnumbered…but that’s okay!

Grey Search is also the platinum sponsor for the Women in Business events put on by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. We’ve been doing this for over 5 years and have loved watching the attendance go from 90 to over 300 in 2019!

What are 3 things (serious or fun) that separate you from other companies within your industry?

Number one – we CARE. We go above and beyond for our clients and our candidates to make sure they have the most incredible experience. It is our job to make sure our service is top-notch and we take it very seriously. One of the number one things our clients say is that we are extremely flexible. We are a retained firm, but we are flexible in our approach. Every client we work with is more than happy and has provided testimonials to our work.

Number two – we visit every single client to make sure we understand their business and culture and we do this more than once…AND this is our expense. Not our clients. We do this before taking on a search. Our clients are giving us a big responsibility to find the best talent that matches their culture and needs, and the only way you can determine a fit is by physically being onsite and getting to know the team(s). It is our job to also go beyond the black and white of resumes – we go deeper to make sure we understand the candidate’s story. Understanding a candidate’s story and physically being on-site allows you to find a culture fit.

Number three – we guarantee we will pay back our retainer within the first 60 days if we aren’t hitting the mark. We are a retained firm, but we also guarantee that if our partnership is not meant to be, we care more about our reputation and will give back the money. Have we ever had to do that…NO! We are proud of that statistic!

What are some big things happening for your company in 2020?

We are bringing on a new senior recruiting partner that has a pretty amazing background in IT (mid-level to executive-level recruiting). IT recruiting is an area our clients have been begging us to support, and we now can say we will as we never wanted to take something on that wasn’t in our wheelhouse. Our new addition has not been announced yet, but we can’t wait to go public! YEA!!

We are also in the process of finalizing the plans for our new office space. The buildout will take a bit of time, but it’s super exciting and speaks to our brand! We can’t wait to invite you all in for the grand opening of our new space. It will be a celebration with free giveaways, networking, and pure appreciation and thanks for all of those that have supported us along the way.

Lastly, we will be launching our recruiting playbooks. This playbook will take companies to the next level when it comes to being proactive in their recruiting approach. This gets companies thinking about what they need to do before, during, and after they have a position to fill. This playbook started out as a pilot and went into full force with a nationally recognized brand in 2019 – Schwan’s! The book was customized for Schwan’s, but the generic book will be something other companies can have access to going forward. You want it customized? We can do that too! The book and our virtual or on-site training increases applicant flow and hires.

We could not be more thankful for the support and opportunity to be part of the TeamWomen family! This is truly a wonderful organization!

Don’t miss Grey Search + Strategy’s virtual talk with us on April 17th as Alissa and Lucas talk about prepping for virtual interviews! To register and learn more, click here.

If you missed our eBlast on Wednesday, you can get the scoop here! From conquering your next virtual interview to getting tips on staying healthy during trying times, TeamWomen has several virtual events and livestreams to keep you busy. Here’s what attendees have been saying about them:

“The Virtual TeamWomen Talks and Energy Huddles have been a lifeline for me during this stay-at-home time.” —Livestream Attendee

“Just a note to tell you how awesome I thought your Virtual TeamWomen Talks was today! People are looking for that positive, resilient message right now…It was such an amazing representation of TeamWomen and its brand. Loved your first webinar…So cool!” —Sue K.

To check out our online events and register, click here.

We’ve also started a new “Resources Corner” in each eBlast with important links on health and wellness, leadership development, financial services, your career, and parenting. Want to stay up-to-date on all things with TeamWomen? Subscribe to our weekly eBlast.