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Q+A with Board Chair Mary Beth Oakes

Tuesday, June 18th is Pass the Torch Day, a day celebrating 5 years of Pass the Torch for Women Foundation! To celebrate, we are encouraging community members to share why they pass the torch for women. Board Chair Mary Beth Oakes shared her “why” and also answered some more questions about the impact of Pass the Torch Day, and the impact of mentorship in general.

I believe that supporting women, and providing strong mentorship is the key to building the best future for all of us. In my own journey, I have had the benefit of receiving support, knowledge and insight from an amazing group of mentors. Their support has directly fueled my ability to be successful. To this day, I still rely on their wisdom! I am hoping that I can make a difference in the lives of other women in the same way that my mentors have helped to shape my journey.

I am planning to share an internal communication with all our employees, encouraging them to be a mentor and to also seek out strong mentors. It takes all of us to make a difference! Our company will also be the site for an orientation for new members of the Pass The Torch for Women Foundation Board, and also the June Board meeting for Pass the Torch for Women Foundation. It will be a great day!

My very first mentor out of college was my first manager, Lisa Hudson, who is currently serving as the CEO of the Growth Coach. To this day, 29 years later, I remember the lessons Lisa shared with me, and I often reflect on her leadership style and her ability to communicate effectively with others. I knew she was someone I wanted to emulate. Having that positive experience as a 22 year-old young woman beginning her journey was absolutely incredible. Every time I have the opportunity to mentor a young woman, I think about how I can be a “Lisa Hudson”, and how I can share my best self.

The funds we raise truly have the ability to transform the lives of others by providing resources to connect mentors and mentees. I think Project Grow is an amazing example of how Pass the Torch for Women supports young women in our community with not only mentors, but also an invaluable education about how to navigate and succeed in the world. I recently had the opportunity to attend my very first Project Grow graduation, and it was so inspiring to meet the women who participated. I want to be there for every Project Grow graduation in the future. It reminds me of why Pass the For Women Foundation exists, and why we need to continue to raise funds!

To learn more about Pass the Torch Day and how you can get involved, download the marketing packet HERE