The final nominees for the Women of Influence Awards from San Diego and Orange County provided us with nuggets of wisdom!

We asked them the following question. We are delighted to share their tips, strategies and pieces of advice!

*What are the top three tips, strategies, or pieces of advice you would give to other professional women as they try to make their mark, be a leader and succeed in business?

Ryan Alexeev
Hanscom Alexeev McDaniel LLP

  1. Find what it is you are passionate about – it will keep you going during tough times.
  2. Never stop educating yourself within your field – staying on top of current issues and changes within your field/industry will keep your doors open and make you a valuable asset in the community.
  3. Take time to mentor and educate others – this helps create better business people in the community; more educated and aware consumers; as well as sets you apart as a resource and leader in your area of expertise.

Lorrie Asker
First Foundation Bank

  1. Set goals and be kind while achieving them.
  2. Build teamwork; work well with others, respect differences, rely upon and empower others, and be a reliable yourself.
  3. Make mistakes and learn from them.

Jennifer Barnes
Pro Back Office

  1. Stay organized. Clean your inbox out regularly, and keep a running to-do list.
  2. If you ever start writing a long email, consider picking up the phone and talking to the person you are writing.
  3. Speak up. Take control of meetings and offer advice. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Nancy ( Rafferty) DeRobertis

  1. Always be willing to learn more, work hard and think outside the box, making you the leader in your industry.
  2. Believe in yourself. Don’t just think of ideas but act on them, follow through and make them real.
  3. Never give up. I’ve never heard of an Entrepreneur that didn’t hear NO’s or scrutiny about their business ideas. It’s up to you to prove them wrong!!

Barbara Eldridge
Mind Masters

  1. Value yourself.
  2. Stay focused to your high priority, high payoff activities.
  3. If you want things to be different, you must be willing to change your thinking.

Jacqui Genow
J. Genow Marketing

  1. Define your own personal brand by knowing what skills you bring to the table and embracing what makes you unique.
  2. Step out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to stick with what we know out of habit or fear. But we need to constantly challenge ourselves with new experiences and new ways of thinking in order to grow and flourish.
  3. If I could go back and give my younger self one piece of professional advice, it would be to build a strong network. As young professionals we don’t always see the long-term needs of developing professional relationships or want to take the time to network. But, having a group of colleagues, mentors and like-minded professionals to give advice, guidance, support and the occasional kick in the pants throughout your career is essential to achieving our goals.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Dynamic Vision International Inc.

  1. Your mindset is your greatest asset. What you think about you bring about. Focus on the positive. Sounds cliché because we hear it all the time. Thoughts are things and you have to get a grip on the negativity to be a success.
  2. Become a master negotiator. Negotiation is about confidence to act and you must realize you negotiate every day. If you negotiate badly, your success will be diminished.
  3. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Always do a debrief on anything you do and course correct where needed.

Robin Jones
Marine Taxonomic Services, Ltd.

  1. Self-awareness is important. Hire people who are smarter than you and better than you at the skills you lack.
  2. Take action from a place of compassion — do what you love.
  3. Failure does not signal the end of something. It’s merely a redirection.

Robin S. Thorne
CTI Environmental

  1. There is a saying in sales – Always Be Closing. I would advise to Always Be Networking. The networking is not only for building your business, it’s about expanding your horizons because you may be able to contribute to that person, as well.
  2. Find someone who is willing to teach you in 15 minutes, what they learned in 15 years. Listen, take notes, review, and apply what’s applicable.
  3. Enjoy the journey and embrace the moments. You may not always get the lesson the first time, but eventually it will click. Be open minded and flexible while remaining true to yourself.

Jessica Yingling
Little Dog Communications

  1. Identify a need that you are passionate about filling.
  2. A bad day lasts only 24 hours.
  3. You’ll get a lot of advice, criticism, comments – some of it good, some of it bad, some of it unwanted. Take the good, identify the bad (and let it go), and distance yourself from the unwanted.


Did you find a piece of advice that resonates with you? Be sure to reach out and connect with the women owners and corporate professionals that shared these nuggets of gold!

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