Year: 2021

All Year: 2021

November 1, 2021

CABLE MEMBER PROFILE: Karen Johnson

Name: Karen Johnson
Age: 52
Company: Davidson County Register of Deeds Office
Title: Davidson County Register of Deeds
Brief description of your job responsibilities: Elected Register of Metro Nashville Davidson County, head of department that records, safeguards and makes accessible all documents pertaining to land in the county.
Cable Member Since: 2020 (was a member previously a while back)

Why did you decide to join Cable? Cable is among the premier organizations for professional women, with a well-respected profile in Nashville. Having strong relationships to connectors who influence in every arena gives me the ability to continue to grow professionally and affects my ability to have a greater impact with the work I do in serving the people of our city.

What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable? The women who make up the local chapter are leaders in our community who are driven for positive change and have excelled in their respective fields. I value connecting to women with purpose who empower and invest in other women to close the wealth and opportunity gap. 

How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization? As we all know, relationships are at the core of everything we do. Cable puts you in the midst of women who will become friends you value for their knowledge, their connections and their camaraderie.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today? The ceiling between us and the top of our professions still exists, and it is still made of glass – we see what’s on the other side, and we must be bold to break through. We still must walk where we are not always comfortable or welcome. We still must work a little later, stand out a little more to make it where men go with ease. But we ARE getting there more often than those who preceded us, inspired by other women who’ve broken through.

What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your career so far? When I was in my first Metro Council race, I won the primary but fell short by only 49 votes in the runoff. I learned that, in public service, you can always work a little harder and gain knowledge through what may appear to others as setbacks. There is no minimum and no maximum in earning the confidence of voters in your community – just that next level of hard work that you must find. I went on to win that same Council seat eight years later, outdistancing four other candidates without a runoff, and I easily won reelection before being elected county Register in 2018 in a very competitive race. Finding that extra level of commitment within myself continues to drive everything I do.

What would you say has been your biggest career achievement? I have been blessed to find success on two tracks: the corporate and political arenas. Having a master’s degree in business enabled me to work at the director level for a number of Nashville’s leading companies. In politics, I was elected to the Metro School Board, the Metro Council twice and now countywide as Register of Deeds.

What would you say has been your biggest career setback, and how did you get through it? It would have to be the aforementioned loss in my first Council race. I took the lessons learned and the votes not captured to make a stronger candidate of myself.

What is your ultimate career goal? To continue in my dream career – that of serving the people of Nashville and running the elected office entrusted to me with integrity, never settling for “the way things have always been.”

What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career? When you think you are working as hard as you can, work a little harder. When you think you know everyone you need to know, meet a few more because the relationships become richer and deeper as you advance to higher levels in your career.

Who is your professional role model/mentor, and how has that relationship benefited you? Tom Ciggaran, a health care executive and one of the owners of the Nashville Predators. Tom always believed I would excel, and he took the time to tell me so. When he walked into my new office in the Bridgestone Arena and said, “Now THIS is where you deserve to be,” I knew I had taken the right turn.

What was your very first job? Grandy’s Chicken

If you had unlimited funds and could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? My first stop would be South Africa for a visit to the continent of my roots, then I would make my way to the capitals of Europe purely to see their beauty.

If you could have one superpower for a day, which one would you choose? The power of HEALING, to rid hearts and minds of viciousness toward our fellow man.

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October 18, 2021

CABLE MEMBER PROFILE: KATHY WALSH

Kathy Walsh

Name: Kathy Walsh
Company: Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
Title: Executive Director
Brief description of your job responsibilities: Manage a statewide nonprofit organization.

Why did you decide to join Cable? I joined Cable to network with and learn from other women leaders.

What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable? I have met so many incredibly strong and successful women through my membership in Cable. The guest speakers at the meetings always inspire me.

How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization? The benefits of joining Cable include networking, educational opportunities and building relationships with other successful women leaders.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today? One of the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today is the gender pay gap. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. Women earn less than men in nearly all occupations. Unfortunately, the pandemic has set women’s labor force participation back more than 30 years. The pandemic has stalled gains made in closing the pay gap, and layoffs and a lack of childcare have forced many women out of the workforce entirely.

Another challenge facing women in the workplace is sexual harassment. Studies estimate that 25% to 85% of women have experienced some sort of harassment at work. Sexual harassment can affect women in a number of ways, including their mental and physical health, finances, and opportunities to advance in their careers.

What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your career so far? Working in the movement to end domestic and sexual violence for more than 30 years, I have had many defining moments in my career, from being hired to lead a statewide nonprofit agency to helping legislators craft and pass more than 200 new laws to help increase safety and resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence, to receiving a handwritten note from a survivor encouraging me to never give up fighting for the rights of victims of abuse. I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to do work that makes a difference in people’s lives.

What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career? My advice to a young woman starting her career is to do something you love. If you are passionate about your work, it will make all the difference in your life.

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October 4, 2021

CABLE Member Profile: Katina Beard

Katina Beard

Name: Katina Beard
Age: 48
Company: Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, Inc.
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Brief description of your job responsibilities: To ensure the financial, strategic and clinical goals are met to provide quality health care to the communities served by MWCHC

Why did you decide to join Cable? I joined Cable to interact with professional women who represent the diversity of our community. As with any area, you tend to stay focused on the people in your area of expertise. By joining Cable, I knew I would meet women whom I would not otherwise have an opportunity to connect with who would help me grow personally and professionally.

What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable? My personal and professional network has grown, and I have more resources to reach out to for help.

How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization? Cable helps you grow your professional network. For new careers, you get to meet women in your area, for mid-careers, you get to reconnect with women you’ve crossed paths with, and for end-careers, you get to see there is light on the other side.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today? The biggest challenge professional women face is the feeling of isolation. Many believe the struggles, fears and self-doubt they feel are only happening to them and no one else. The challenge is to create safe spaces for women to have real conversations of compassion and solidarity.

What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career? My advice to a young woman starting her career is to take it slowly. Build relationships for the sake of really getting to know a person and not just because you believe it will benefit your career. I would also say to stay in learning mode; it helps renew your mind.

What was your very first job? McDonald’s. And, yes … I loved it! I worked there when I was in high school, and I still remember the sense of independence it gave me to say, “I have to go to work.” But it also gave me a different work ethic because, at that time, the “no-call-no-show-you-get-terminated” policy was in full effect.

What is a catch phrase that absolutely drives you crazy? “I’m just living the dream.” Really? My dream is to live on a beach and be able to eat doughnuts without regret.

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September 27, 2021

Cable Member Profile: Alisha Smith Haddock

Alisha Smith Haddock

Name: Alisha Smith Haddock
Age: 42
Company: The Housing Fund
Title: Vice President, Director of Community Impact
Cable Member Since: 2020

Why did you decide to join Cable? I’ve been engaged with Cable for many years from the outside. I’ve known many members and have attended numerous luncheons and events, and then I finally decided to join.

What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable? I’ve learned that there is power in numbers, especially women coming together to encourage, support and learn from other women.

How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization? The benefit of Cable to someone thinking of joining is to begin looking at your career and your relationship with other women differently. You feel empowered and energized to share what you know with other women, as well.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today? Women continue to deal with sexism in the workplace. Continuing to navigate and deal with biases that attempt to hold you back in new ways is a challenge – but not impossible.

What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your career so far? Having the courage to make bold career moves and decisions that are in your best interest.

What would you say has been your biggest career achievement? Helping push a community forward in a strategic way that has had decades of challenges through no fault of their own.

What would you say has been your biggest career setback, and how did you get through it? I was in a predominately white institution that penalized me for not being white. I was unprotected and unsupported, left to fight on my own. But my biggest career setback turned out to be my biggest career setup. I thought I had failed; but what I learned was what an unhealthy executive position was really like, and then I was able to know what a healthy executive experience was once the opportunity presented itself again.

What is your ultimate career goal? To become president/CEO of an organization that serves ordinary people and helps them reach their goals.

What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career? I advise women to truly get to know themselves through much self-reflection, work diligently on their craft, and always extend a hand-up to the next woman or person.

Who is your professional role model/mentor, and how has that relationship benefited you? My mother, Abonda Smith, and grandmothers, Nora E. Ransom and Maxine J. Smith, are my role models. All very smart and capable women whose strength and belief in God made me who I am. My mentor, Sharon Hurt, inspires a fearlessness in me that helps me to push myself out of my comfort zone to help my community in new and innovative ways.

What was your very first job? Kroger on Clarksville Highway.

If you had unlimited funds and could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would freely travel the continent of Africa.

If you could have one super power for a day, which one would you choose? I would unify the world.

What is a catch phrase that absolutely drives you crazy? “When praises go up, blessings come down” – we are all incredibly blessed, we just have to choose to see it. Waking up is a blessing, and no matter how hard life gets, if we wake up, we get another chance! We are blessed.

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