10 Leading Ladies of 2015



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michelle micky nye farm freshMichelle “Micky” Nye

Occupation: President, Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy

What makes her inspirational?

Micky Nye didn’t always have aspirations to be the CEO of a large grocery store chain. But when looking at her history, you would have to say it’s in her blood. She started as a cashier at Shaw’s Supermarket in New Hampshire. She moved through Shaw’s to manage the seafood and deli departments, then became Director of Bakery for all Shaw stores in New Hampshire. After a short stint with Pathmark Stores as their Bakery Director, she went back to Shaw’s as a District Manager. She later became Director of Operations for SUPERVALU, which moved her to their Albertson’s stores as District Manager then Vice President of Operations in Southern California. Two years later, SUPERVALU moved her to VP of Operations at the Shoppers Food and Pharmacy chain in Maryland. In September 2013, she took over as CEO of another SUPERVALU family member—Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy.

What do you feel has been the key to your success?

“I have been very blessed throughout my career to have been mentored by some of the best leaders in the industry. Of all that I learned, the one key component was the importance of the team and recognizing that I actually need them more than they need me. I would like to think my successes have been the result of being able to leverage my team’s capabilities and helping them to achieve more than they thought was possible.”

What has been your proudest moment?

“From a business perspective, you can never dwell too much on the past or you never move forward. Accordingly, I must look at most recent success and highlight my current company’s team that has seen and experienced many changes and worked through them in recent years. Through the loyalty of our team members, our customers and our community partners, Farm Fresh has demonstrated that it can stand on its own as a regional chain and continue to compete against other big-box chains.”

What’s the best advice you can offer young women?

“Listen to your instincts and serve with integrity; surround yourself with the best people you can and then let them do what they do best. As a team, you’ll get so much more accomplished. Don’t try to do it all yourself; the list of challenges never end—take on those that matter and need to be solved then drive for a solution. You will never know what you are capable of unless you go for it. Once you commit, go big or go home.”

 

tracy keller girl scouts colonial coast coastal virginia magazine leading ladiesTracy Keller

Occupation: Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast.

What makes her inspirational?

Tracy Keller took over at CEO for the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast in March 1997 after serving a five-year stint as the National President of the Association of Girl Scout Executives. As CEO, The Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast is one of 112 councils chartered by the Girl Scouts of the USA, the world’s leading organization dedicated solely to girls. The Colonial Coast serves more than 13,000 girls throughout southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. As CEO, Tracy has received the Girl Scout Thanks Badge I in 2005 and the Thanks Badge II in 2012 (the highest award presented by Girl Scouts to an adult). She has also been recognized as a Top 40 Leader Under 40 by Inside Business in 2008, earned the Distinguished Alumni of the Decade Gold Award from Virginia Wesleyan College in 2010, awarded the Woman of Distinction recognition from the YMCA of South Hampton Roads in 2012 and was inducted into the Association of Girl Scout Executive Staff Hall of Fame in 2012.

What do you feel has been the key to your success?

“Hard work, constant learning, having written goals, being open to feedback, having a great support system for my faith, my family, my passions and my work. I am surrounded by amazing and caring role models in this community who care so much about making our world a better place. I count my blessings often! I also try to be a positive person in life. I find that when I’m around positive people I feel healthier and can do more for others because I have more energy. When I look at people who have endured so much yet stay positive, it inspires me to do the same”.

What has been your proudest moment?

“I have many proud moments each and every day from watching my four children grow into individuals and find their voice and passions, as well as the opportunity to witness so many of our 13,000 Girl Scouts discover their voice and use it to take action to make our community an amazing place.”

What’s the best advice you can offer young women?

“Write goals, own what makes you unique and valuable, find your voice and use it, know you are good enough, be bold and be kind. Like Anne Frank said, ‘Everyone has inside herself a piece of good news. The good news is that you really don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish and what your potential is.’”

 

laynee timlin virginia wesleyan college coastal virginia magazine leading ladies​Laynee Timlin

Occupation: Executive Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, Virginia Wesleyan College

What makes her inspirational?

Laynee Timlin joined Virginia Wesleyan College in November 2009 as Director of College Communications. After three years in that role she was promoted to Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff. In July 2015, she was again promoted to her current position. Prior to joining Wesleyan College, she served as a speech/language pathologist for Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) for 20 years, where she was recognized as “Teacher of the Year” twice. She served as the school system’s Partnership Coordinator and subsequently as Director of Community Relations, earning her “Administrator of the Year” by the Virginia Beach Association of Education Professionals (2002­­–2003) and the Virginia Association of Educational Office Professionals in 2004.

What do you feel has been the key to your success?

“My parents, both educators, were kind and caring, never critical or judgmental. Whatever I wanted to pursue was supported by them. I’ve also been really fortunate to cross paths with many great people. I’ve always been dependable, responsible, hard working and driven, a little perfectionistic and detail-oriented, yet flexible and adaptable when needed. I’m enthusiastic and empathetic. I like working collaboratively with others, and I’m a peacemaker. I’m curious—I ask a lot of questions, and I’m full of ideas. I love to learn. I’m always thinking strategically about how I can help make things better. I’m motivated by a good cause and a worthy challenge.”

What has been your proudest moment?

“Becoming a mother and a grandmother. I cherish the moment when I enter a room and my grandchildren squeal in delight and come running to me with open arms. Earning the love and respect of a child/your children tops my list. Raising children is an incredible responsibility and a life-changing experience in self-sacrifice and unconditional love that, happily, never ends. I’ve worked hard to combine parenting with a career that I love.”

What’s the best advice you can offer young women?

“Take advantage of every opportunity, even if it looks like hard work for little reward. Keep things in perspective—a good sense of humor can help navigate most of life’s stressful situations. During difficult times of conflict, stand up, rather than leaning back or leaning in. Be genuinely interested in others—you can learn a lot by listening to people’s stories. Look for potential in people and nurture it. Stay curious and never stop learning. Be an advocate for underdogs and always give much more than you expect to get. Be coachable and value honest feedback—it’s a gift and a path to personal growth. Express gratitude and show appreciation. Reflect often. Practice humility.

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