Meet TeamWomenMN Member – Dr. Donna Block

Donna L. Block, MD, MBA, is the founder of Clinic Sofia OBGYN where women of all ages are given the tools to advocate for their own health and become part of a healthy, supportive community.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Block has been an OBGYN physician since 1987 and is board-certified by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She also earned her MBA in medical group management from the University of St. Thomas. Founding Clinic Sofia in 2004, Dr. Block fulfilled her dream to offer a better approach to women’s healthcare and give women the nurturing, insight and guidance they need throughout all of stages of their lives. Dr. Block is a perennial “Top Doc” honoree by Mpls. St.Paul Magazine and “Best Doctor for Women” by Minnesota Monthly, among other local honors.  The Consumers’ Research Council of America also lists her in the “Guide to America’s Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists.” Since 2009, Dr. Block has served on the Harvard Kennedy Women’s Leadership Board, a global group of leaders who work together for the advancement of women and girls.

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Meet TeamWomenMN Member – Shari Ballard

Shari Ballard is senior executive vice president and president of multichannel retail for Best Buy Co. Inc. In her role, she is responsible for all U.S. Best Buy stores, e-commerce, Best Buy Mexico and the company’s real estate strategy.

Ms. Ballard is a seasoned executive with deep retail experience. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan – Flint, she was hired in 1993 to work in a local Best Buy store, beginning as an assistant store manager and rising to general manager. After a variety of retail leadership roles, she was promoted to executive vice president of human resources and legal.

In 2007, Ms. Ballard assumed responsibility for Best Buy stores in the United States, focusing her energies on deepening customer relationships and better utilizing the full range of talent and resources that reside within the company’s stores to drive growth. She was promoted to president of Americas, U.S. and Mexico in 2010, and two years later, she was appointed the president of international, overseeing business and the transformation efforts in Canada, China, Europe, and Mexico. In April 2014, Ms. Ballard assumed the role of president of U.S. retail and a few months later, began a dual role to include chief human resources officer, a position allowing her to leverage her broad experience, expertise and knowledge of the company and its employees.

Ms. Ballard serves on the board of directors for the University of Minnesota Foundation.

 

How did you get involved with Team Women?

I’ve known Pam Borton for a long time and she is a friend of mine. When Pam started TeamWomenMN, I got involved.  I really like how it is growing and evolving into a community of mentors and support for women, not only support of developing skills, but also the need for health and wellness. I like the holistic approach to success!

What do you like most about Team Women?

I really like the full range of people involved. It’s great to connect and learn from all members.  The members who are new in their career have such a fresh, new perspective and outlook.  And, then you have someone who is more experienced in their career and has tremendous knowledge to share from their perspective. Creating that diversity is great.

How can women support women?

It’s important to have relationships and a support group outside of your internal infrastructure. No matter where you are in your career, it is always good to have a safe place to bounce things off your peers and get a different point of view. But it is equally important that your values and beliefs align with your support group. Industries can be very different and the level of job responsibility can be different but you should always share a common belief and value system – or you might not get the best outcome.  People should work to bring out the best in each other – believing in the same core values supports this process.

What do you contribute your success to?

1) Luck. I consider myself very lucky in that I have been in the right place, at the right time, with the right skills – to fill a need.  It’s not that others wouldn’t be able to do the job; it’s just that my skills, style, approach or point of view aligned with the needs of the organization at the exact time it was needed and everything else fell into place.

2) I really enjoy people. I mean I genuinely enjoy getting to know people at any level, understanding their motivations and unique skills and then putting those in action with the job. I like when people can be themselves at work and I approach my team with that attitude so I can understand them and put together a team that creates meaningful outcomes. I believe in surrounding myself with people who compliment diversity in the truest sense. When you do, it will help you collectively see things differently.

3) Learn from your mistakes and move forward. Every day is a new day to do better. When leaders fail, find out what caused them to fail. Don’t try to be the smartest person in the world.

Any last comments?

I am a firm believer in finding your mission that you love. It doesn’t matter what it is. In the grand scheme, we should ask ourselves, “Why we are doing what we are doing?” At the very core, it’s about various groups of people coming together to create something meaningful. Try to stay clear on that point – it does not matter what your title is, how much money you make, etc. Those things do not always lead to a good outcome if they are not aligned with your mission. Stay away from things that don’t feed your soul – if you have to, take a temporary day trip, but always get back to feeding your soul.

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Meet TeamWomenMN Member – Tami Hedrick

Tami Hedrick is the Director of Vikings Women and Strategic Development for the Minnesota Vikings, as well as the Head Coach and Director of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders. Tami has coached professionally for over 20 years, in the NFL and for the NLL.  Before Tami took the leadership position as Head Coach, she proudly cheered as a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader for the 1997-1998 season. Tami’s career path led her to roles as Vice President of Marketing, to a Director level role in Sales, and as the founder of several startup companies/groups in the Midwest. Tami has also appeared in multiple national pageants, was a television host for ShopNBC/EVINE, and has been a judge and choreographer for International, college and high school teams. Tami is proudest of her roles as a wife and mother to four children and three step children.

What drew you to TeamWomenMN?

Many elements drew me to join Team WomenMN, some of them being:

  • The Co-Founder, Pam Borton – anything she is involved in, I know is impactful.
  • The women – the line up of members, speakers, attendees, etc. is diverse and inspiring on many levels.
  • The power – the topics, talent and time given to this group is evident and I believe in the power of women working as a team.

What experiences have you had within the organization?

The company I work for, the Minnesota Vikings, has sponsored past TeamWomenMN events. I have personally attended luncheons, read articles created by TeamWomenMN and connected with amazing women as a member.

What can women do to support other women around them, professionally and personally?

  • Publicly praise and send kindness with thoughts and actions.
  • Promote and support women by recommending women-focused businesses or causes whenever possible.
  • Mentor others and empower them to be proud to be a woman.
  • Be an includer by inviting other women to events, giving them the opportunity to become employed and by empowering them to feel that they are worthy.

What does success mean to you?

Success means different things to different people – at different times. To me, today, success is always doing things bigger and better!

What are three things you attribute your success to?

  • Always taking on new responsibilities.
  • Hard work! Continued growth by challenging myself and others.
  • Amazing parents. My mom and dad were strong, firm, loving parents and were always there for me.

If you could change one thing in your professional career (past/present), what would you change?

A few times in my career I didn’t push hard enough for what I wanted. I’ve learned that lesson and now appreciate the journey regardless!

Any advice you would like to provide to the TeamWomenMN members?

My advice to TeamWomenMN members is to trust that everything happens for a reason and always do good. Be excellent every chance you get, and engage with other successful, strong and smart women as much as you can – they will rub off on you!

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Meet TeamWomenMN Member – Lisa Huey, in our first Member Spotlight!

Lisa Huey Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch

We’re honored to highlight 2017 TeamWomenMN Member of the Year and long time sponsor, Lisa Huey, in our first Member Spotlight. Lisa shares three things that have attributed to her success throughout her career. Learn more about what she’d change, what she’d recommend, and how TeamWomenMN has helped her.

As a Senior Financial Advisor and Portfolio Advisor with OKH Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch, Lisa’s mission is to help her clients make the right decisions around their money and to help them build wealth, leading to a comfortable retirement. Her goal is to make financial issues understandable and to reduce anxiety about money issues.

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn.

How long have you been a part of TeamWomenMN?

Since the beginning. I attended the very first conference and thought, wow, a networking group that is made up of women, supports women and mentors women – I needed to be a part of it. Additionally, I met Pam Borton, the Co-Founder of TeamWomenMN, at a golf event and was instantly drawn to her. I found Pam to be very open, friendly and approachable, and I knew with her leadership, this was the place to be.

To give you a little background, I come from the financial industry where I was the very first woman executive in a leadership position in a business made up of all men. This was back in the 80s – women did not get the same treatment back in those days. I knew that as I was climbing a tall ladder but it didn’t stop me from getting to the top.  So when I came across an organization all about women, it was so refreshing and extremely appealing because I really love to support women, watch them succeed and help them when I can.  We need each other and we need to stick together.

 

What are three things you attribute your success to?

  • Hard work. You’ve got to put in the time, roll up your sleeves and focus to get the job done. It takes focus and a lot of energy. You have to work smarter now, more than ever, but if you do that and work hard, your efforts will pay off.
  • Learn from mistakes. Forgive yourself and take a good long look at what went wrong. Mistakes are a great way to learn and should not be shamed. Bad luck is your good luck if you look at it that way. One door closes and another opens.
  • You have to have the gusto to keep going. Stay positive and optimistic and keep moving forward.

 

If you could change one thing in your professional career (past/present), what would you change?

Balance.  I am very goal-oriented and really need to focus on balance. It’s easy for me to reach business goals, but to manage my balance I have to actually schedule time with friends, family and other activities that allow me to be balanced in my life. Right now, I am focused on a triathlon (my second one) and to be successful, I need to schedule in workout time on my calendar to accomplish this goal.

Any advice you would like to provide to the TeamWomenMN members?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be available to help others. As women, we are still the minority and we need to support each other in our efforts and be available to help when we can.