PAIRIN Celebrates International Women’s Day

Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we are proud to feature the amazing women of PAIRIN! This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge” and we are honored to work alongside these influential women who live out PAIRIN’s Values today and every day. We asked each of them three questions and this is what they shared.

Sarah Yaksic Headshot

Sarah Yaksic, Customer Success Advocate

Q: What woman do you most admire?

A: The woman I most admire is my grandmother – she’s a great balance of strength and warmth. She’ll greet you with your favorite meal, and also give you a kick in the rear if you need it 🙂

Q: What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: My greatest challenge was when I left grad school. I had spent about half my life at that point intensely training to become a classical musician but had been diagnosed with a nerve injury that effectively sidelined me. I really went through a bit of crisis, as my whole identity had been wrapped up in that career. I didn’t know how to define ‘Sarah’ without it. Luckily, I was surrounded by supportive family and friends (some of whom had experienced a similar transition). They gave me the space to essentially grieve that loss and encouraged me to explore where I wanted to go next. During that time, I rediscovered former joys that I had lost time for and found new joys to add to my life. I came out of that time a revitalized woman, feeling whole and empowered to choose my next steps. I’m now so grateful for that period of transition and so proud of my past self.

Q: What PAIRIN Value do you want to demonstrate on International Women’s Day and why?

A: This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and at first I thought of Choose Growth Over Comfort. After a deeper reflection, the PAIRIN value I want to demonstrate is Value the Whole Person. Appreciating the diversity of all kinds and respecting multiple life roles provides a great foundation from which we can challenge inequality and celebrate accomplishments.

Erin Leverence Headshot

Erin Leverence, Product Manager

Q: What woman do you most admire?

A: My mom

Q: What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: Living a purpose-driven life according to my values. I’m still working on this one.

Q: What PAIRIN Value do you want to demonstrate on International Women’s Day and why?

A: Value the whole person. Women are multi-faceted and should be valued as such.

Alli Phillips Headshot

Alli Phillips, COO/CFO

Q: What woman do you most admire?

A: Michelle Obama, for her formidable grace, kindness, and self-possession under extreme pressure.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: My greatest challenge has always been controlling my natural impatience and relentlessness. I have developed some techniques but I have certainly not overcome it.

Q: What PAIRIN Value do you want to demonstrate on International Women’s Day and why?

A: Today, I’m feeling the need for some Birddog joy!

Carli Franks Headshot

Carli Franks, Director of Marketing & Communications

Q: What woman do you most admire?

A: I’ve been blessed to learn from so many caring and strong women in my life, including family members, teachers, coaches, professional leaders, friends and community members, so this is a hard one for me! That being said, I think my little sister is the one I look up to most (and not just because she’s taller than me). She has overcome lots of life’s challenges and always does so with determination, grit and grace. She’s the ultimate example of how a woman can successfully be a loving mother, have a fulfilling professional career, stay active in causes she cares about in the community, and even finds time for lots of bonus ways to experience joy.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: Finding balance in my life. I certainly have not conquered this challenge yet, but I’ve learned a lot and have made great progress toward a more balanced life over the years.

Q: What PAIRIN Value do you want to demonstrate on International Women’s Day and why?

A: I think this day calls for “Value the Whole Person” as we challenge ourselves to always respect multiple life roles and appreciate diverse perspectives.

Allison Headshot

Allison Grenney, Sr. Director of Customer Success & Operations

Q: What woman do you most admire?

A: My mom for always living in the moment and pursuing joy. In terms of someone who I’m not related to, Brene Brown.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: As someone with several learning disabilities, many people told me I would not go to college or be successful in a traditional professional environment. With each additional person who shared this, I became more determined to prove them wrong.

Q: What PAIRIN Value do you want to demonstrate on International Women’s Day and why?

A: Value the whole person

Carli T Headshot

Carli Tegtmeier, VP of Sales

Q: What woman do you most admire?

A: My mom.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: My greatest, and ongoing, challenge is being a mom. Many of us strive to make an impact on this world in a big way, but forget that every moment with our kids is an opportunity to shape the future – their’s and the impact they’ll make on the world. There are so many ups and downs of raising kids, and a constant question as to whether I’m doing it “right.” I can hardly say I’ve overcome the challenge of being a mom, but what I have overcome is the expectation that it needs to look a certain way, or that everything should be “perfect.” Life is messy. But if at the end of every day, my kids know they are unconditionally loved and supported, at least I know I’m doing one thing right.

Q: What PAIRIN Value do you want to demonstrate on International Women’s Day and why?

A: Value the whole person, because everyone should be seen and appreciated for all of who they are.

Susan Simpson Headshot

Susan Simpson, Director of Coaching Training

Q: What woman do you most admire?

A: Oh, gosh too many! I admire many of the ancient mystics, mothers and messengers (Julian of Norwich, St. Teresa of Avila, Mary, mother of Christ, etc) for the ways they demonstrated vision, courage, action, forgiveness and lives guided by the divine will. More recently Madeleine L’engle — the beloved poet and fiction writer.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

A: Again, hard to say which one is my greatest apart from my own stubbornness — I’m still working on that one! A few of them have been the loss of my mom to lung cancer in my 30s, loss of pregnancies and gaining fluency in the Russian language. God’s gifts of faith, hope and love have helped (are helping) me overcome.

Q: What PAIRIN Value do you want to demonstrate on International Women’s Day and why?

A: Value the Whole Person. Of all our values, this one seems to most directly convey the idea of loving people. Love has a ripple effect too! 🙂 It inspires in all of our other values. When I’m successfully valuing the whole of people — with all that they bring — I’m motivated to remain curious, to work together to own outcomes, to lean in and choose growth and to seek joy in the process.