Oklahoma City University women's leadership attendees learn importance of personal brands
From networking and initiative to creativity and authenticity, Oklahoma City-area businesswomen shared the branding keys to their success at Oklahoma City University's fourth annual women's leadership conference.
One of her professors her junior year at Oklahoma State University told Jenee Naifeh Lister she'd make a good stock broker, because, he said, she didn't know a stranger, was active on campus, and her family was well-connected in Oklahoma City.
It's not surprising that Lister, today a senior vice president at Merrill Lynch, chooses “networker” to brand herself as a financial adviser.
Coincidentally, it was Lister's OSU “brand,” she said, that caused Merrill Lynch to recruit her from a bank nearly 30 years go. The brokerage had signed the OSU Foundation as an account and wanted an alum as part of the team, she said.
But, versus cold calling — which Lister said she detests — it was networking, or volunteering on Red Cross and other community boards, that helped launch her successful career, she said.
Lister shared her story Thursday as part of a panel on personal branding at Oklahoma City University's fourth annual women's leadership conference at the Meinders School of Business.
Other panelists included Stephania Grober, senior director of national and midmarket account sales for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma; Gail Huneryager, director of marketing and business development for Crowe & Dunlevy; and Ashley Perkins, sales director of Cox Communications Oklahoma.
Grober said her personal brand would be “confidence, creative, collaboration. Naturally, I had fears, but I always look on the bright side and think ‘what's the worst that can happen?'”
Professionals, Grober said, need to build authentic accomplishments so there's something about which to talk. “But you want a team, or others, talking about you, and to be there to implement your great ideas and support you if you do fail,” she said.
Networking, creativity and enthusiasm are among Huneryager's brand. It aligns with her initiative, after moving here from Houston 12 years ago, to call former Mayor Kirk Humphreys and ask him to lunch.
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