We have hosted three Women’s Roundtables and one Men’s Roundtable (look for two more this year!), and each has left us in awe of the wisdom our high-powered guests shared. Our guests – all highly accomplished in their fields – joined us at The Capital Grille for three hours of warm conversation and friendly exchange. Here are some of the insights they shared.

On their mentors…

My father was my mentor. He challenged me but not in normal ways. For example, I got involved in banking because he would come over on a Friday night when I was single and wanted to be out and doing something else. He would say, “Here, I want you to read this.”

I would say, “You want me to read these papers on a Friday night? You have nothing else to do? You want me to read these finance papers on a Friday night?” but I did. I sat there, and I read them. He was always, always challenging me, and I accepted the challenges.  –  Linda Rohrer, President, Rohrer & Sayers Real Estate

My dad is my mentor. I was surprised because I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to the business when I was growing up, and I thought all car dealers were like my dad. He’s mild and understated, and my dad – he’s like the nicest guy in the world. So he taught me that having integrity, caring about people and putting others before yourself can go hand-in-hand with being a successful business person.  –  Mindy Holman, President/CEO, Holman Automotive 

When I went to law school, I had never met a lawyer – not a man, not a woman and certainly not an African-American woman. I graduated from law school without knowing an African-American woman lawyer. So, I spent much of my career not seeing ahead of me someone who was at all like me, but I’ve had others who have made sure they reached out for me. And interestingly, most of them have been men. Most of them have been white. I have been the beneficiary of people who have tapped me on the shoulder and suggested things for me that I never thought to pursue for myself.  –  JoAnne Epps, Dean, Temple University Beasly School of Law

On success…

Dr. Lyle Back

I went to Rutgers for medical school, and I wasn’t even really sure why I was doing it. But one day I realized I hadn’t slept for days. I had been going non-stop in the emergency room, taking care of people, learning, sewing up people and I looked up and I went, “Oh my God, I love this.” Then you realize maybe this is why I was put here, maybe this is what I’m supposed to do. Boy, when you have that fire inside you, nothing will stop you.  –  Dr. Lyle Back, Owner, Cosmetic Surgery Center of Cherry Hill


A door opens, and you step through. Prepare yourself for those moments – that’s what success really is.  –  Mark Baiada, Founder/President, BAYADA Home Health Care

Look at all the successful people in business. Their background is sports, because it teaches them drive. It teaches them about teamwork and commitment. It teaches about all the things you need to be successful in business.  –  Neil Hartman, Anchor, Comcast SportsNet

On aging…

runyan IMG_2463I had my children when I was just shy of 31 – I embrace my age. I’m happy. I went through my 20s – I was crazy, had fun and I had a career. And when my kids point out imperfections with my body, you know what, it doesn’t make me mad. I just tell them, “I’m a mom, I’m your mom. What do you want from me?” I’m comfortable with them seeing me as their mom. I don’t mind growing old, because I love being a mom.

I’m content. I’m not trying to capture any youthfulness. I’m not trying to compete against my daughter who’s 12 and has abs.  –  Loretta Runyan, Wife of former Congressman Jon Runyan

Aging is not for the faint of heart. You have to be strong. You have to have a sense of yourself. You can’t be afraid to evolve. You can’t be afraid to reinvent. However, you do face your mortality as you move from decade to decade. My decade is now in the 60s. I’m 61. When I turned 60, it was a shocking thing. I was reading a doctor’s note, and it said “61-year-old female” as the description, and I’m thinking, “Who is that?”  –  Pat Ciarrocchi, Anchor, CBS3

I look in the mirror – and I go, “Oh, can I lose a few pounds here.” I’m certainly conscious of that, but in the work I do, there are women who are receiving our service that are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, and they would love to be able to look in the mirror and say, “I have a wrinkle.” I’m healthy, and I’m lucky to live life. I keep that perspective every day. In fact, I have my bracelet on, it says, “Embrace each day.” And it’s not corny – I live that.  –  Maryann Boccolini, CEO, Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice

On careers and kids…

diane allen IMG_2281Being able to work a very major, full-time job and raise children while being an appropriate mother can be a real challenge. I always tell young women who are looking at this that they need to find what works for them. For me, I would come home after the 11 o’clock news and wake up my son. We’d spend five minutes or three hours together. We’d go over the day, anything he needed to talk about or work on a project. I’d settle him down then wake up my daughter, and we’d do the same thing.

One time she went running to the phone at 2 am, and I said, “What are you doing?” She said, “I’m going to call Lucy,” who was her best friend. I said, “Honey, it’s 2 in the morning.” She said, “What, isn’t Lucy up with her mom?” Do what works for you and your family, and you can make it all work.  –  N.J. State Senator Diane Allen

I got out of school in 1964…at that time, as a woman you had to make a commitment to your career and if you even thought about getting out, it was all over. So I worked my butt off, and I got married when I was 34. And my father kept saying to me, “If you’re going to have a family you better start now.” And I’m thinking, “I can’t leave my career – if I leave it, I’ll never get back.” Those were the days that if you took a leave of absence – in the ’70s – forget it, you were dead. So when I was 40, I thought I was superwoman and I was going to have a family. Well, four years later after every pill and every shot, I discovered I wasn’t superwoman…If a woman would come to me now and say, “Should I have a family?” I’d say, “Do whatever it takes to do this.” I think younger women need to be free to feel they can have a family. And you know what? If you have to drop out of the workforce for a couple of years and people jump over you at work – so what? My feeling is: Let it go. You can do it, you can get back in someday. But it was a very different time for me, and I never want to see it again.  –  Anne Klein, President, Anne Klein Communications Group

On those who inspired them…

val IMG_2566My mother died when I was 7. There were five of us – the youngest was 4 and the oldest was 9. Actually, I was the one who found my mother dead in the bedroom. So, my grandparents took the five of us in. My granddad was sick, and so in a period of 18 months, my grandmother lost her mother, then lost her daughter – which was my mother – and then lost her husband. So in a period of 18 months, she lost three significant people in her life, but had these five little children that she had to raise.

And so when we talk about who it is that you emulate, sometimes we look at celebrities, but sometimes they’re sitting right there in front of you. My grandmother taught me about perseverance and being strong in the midst of adversity.  –  Val Traore, CEO, Food Bank of South Jersey

On their fathers…

My father was the hardest working individual I’ve ever known. My father will be 85 years old, and he still goes out of his way to do things for me. He still comes to my house and does lawn work for me, because he just believes he should take care of his family from the day he had me to the day I die or the day he dies.  –  Vince Maione, Region President, Atlantic CIty Electric

curetonMensTable_1085My father retired in the month of July after 65 years of working. In September he found out he had cancer of the esophagus, six months later he was dead. He never got to enjoy retirement. I’m 62 1?2. I’m going to try and retire maybe when I’m 64 or 65. I might go back to work six months later, because you get bored, but my father never got to enjoy retirement.  –  Rick Cureton, (Retired) President, Whitesell Construction (Rick retired a few months after the Roundtable)

On having it all…

The danger in the question of “Can we have it all?” is sometimes people paint a picture of what that’s going to look like in their life. And then life happens.

When I was 39, I wanted so badly to come to Camden to UrbanPromise, and I had just gotten engaged. My fiancé was my best friend, and he agreed to come to Camden with me. During our move, he was killed by a paranoid schizophrenic client he worked with. So I was at this mountaintop. I found the man, and we were adopting and going back to Camden. Then life pulled the rug out from under me. I had experienced grief and trauma before but not like that. I felt my life was over.

Life’s ups and downs can take us on such a journey. Sometimes we lock on to that thing we think we should have, and that’s the “all.” But sometimes it doesn’t happen that way.  – Jodina Hicks, Executive Director, UrbanPromise

On being a man today…

loucMensTable_1042You’re obligated to show your kids they have to provide for their kids. On top of that, it’s also important to show them how to contribute. When I get some positive press, I’ll send it to my kids and say, “Look, this is making a difference. There’s a lot of ways to make a difference. You figure out in your own world how to make a difference.”  –  Lou Cappelli, Camden County Freeholder Director

If we choose a mate who is also a professional, then we have to assume part of the domestic responsibilities. When I started dating my wife, she was in medical school and had ambition to be a physician, which she is now. When she’s on call, the pager goes off and I’m left there with my son, getting him up for school and walking him to the bus. But I value those opportunities. The evolution is being macho enough to say, “Yeah, OK, I will share my life with a woman who has ambitions to be just as successful as I am.”  –  Rick Williams, Anchor,  6ABC Action News

March 2015
Related Articles

Comments are closed.

Answering Your Questions about New Jersey's Cannabis Industry

Get SJ Mag in Your Inbox

Subscribe for the latest on South Jersey dining, weekend entertainment, the Shore and much more - sent directly to your inbox.

* indicates required
Email Format
April 2024 Issue (600 × 500 px)