Category Archives: Member Spotlight

Insights, Enhancement and Education on Topics that matter to Women in Business

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August 5, 2020

Cable Member Profile: Carolyn Tumbleson

Name: Carolyn Tumbleson
Company: Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University
Title: Development Director
Cable Member Since: 2012
Current or Past Cable Committee or Board Role(s): Current: Programs Director, Community Engagement Committee; Past: Secretary, Programs Chair, President Elect, President

Why did you decide to join Cable?
Returning to the workforce after a dozen years as a stay-at-home mom, I knew being surrounded by supportive professional women would help with a successful transition.

What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable?
I have gained remarkable professional skills from Cable opportunities, starting with the Center for Executive Leadership courses. I have participated in all Center for Executive Leadership programs and the mentoring program. My favorite is Hot Topics events where Cable members share their own expertise in areas touched on in other programs.

How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization?
We all have professional transitions in our lives, and returning to the workforce motivated me to join Cable. The organization offers many opportunities to build relationships and skills to prepare for planned (and unplanned) career transitions. I see clear links where Cable experience led to life-changing opportunities, including my current role at the Jones College. I encourage prospective members to view Cable as a safe place to learn and practice new skills while building important relationships.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today?
Right now, we are facing unprecedented uncertainty in all areas of our lives. We see more remote and flexible work options; at the same time, women are more likely to be taking on the greater share of child care, at-home schooling, caring for parents and domestic labor. Pre-COVID unemployment for women was lower than for men; now the unemployment rate for women is higher.  Mid-career women temporarily leaving the workforce not only face financial stress but create gaps in opportunities for higher pay and promotion.

What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your career so far?
Taking my skills in professional sales to nonprofit fundraising. When I returned to the workforce as a single parent, I knew I would not have the ability to travel for work anymore. The nonprofit sector offered a chance to use my expertise and build additional skills here in our own community. Becoming focused on the needs in our community and connecting people with the passion and interest to meet those needs is a rewarding profession.

What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career?
I would advise women early in their careers to join Cable, naturally! Look for opportunities to volunteer with a diverse network of people. Build a network based on relationships, not “connections” or “likes.”

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July 27, 2020

Cable Member Profile: Lisa Shacklett

Lisa Shacklett headshot

Name: Lisa Shacklett
Company: Young Leaders Council
Title: Executive Director
Cable Member Since: 2005
Current or Past Cable Committee or Board Role(s): Cable Above and Beyond Award, 2011; Cable Board Member, 2011–2015; Cable Board Walk of Fame Event Chair, 2011, and Committee Co-Chair, 2011–2013

Question: Why did you decide to join Cable?
Answer: Cable was recommended to me by a work colleague, and I joined after my first meeting. Initially I saw the organization as a way for me to increase exposure for my employer.

Question: What have you gained/learned from joining an organization like Cable?
Answer: Cable has helped me to grow my relationships, skills and confidence. The relationships formed in Cable helped me to see myself through their eyes, and they saw me as stronger and more capable than I saw myself. Cable handed me roles that stretched me, and I rose up. Cable introduced me to the strongest, smartest, most well-connected and giving group of women I had ever been a part of.

Question: How would you describe the benefits of Cable to someone thinking about joining the organization?
Answer: Cable is the one group in town that will not only grow your business but also help you grow as an individual.

Question: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges professional women face in the business world today?
Answer: Trying to juggle it all, and at the same time! I’m amazed that I survived at work, at home, at church and for my family while working and raising children. Friends often comment about how I do what I do, basically managing three jobs today; but it is so much easier now that my children are grown. It takes a lot of brain power and energy to keep up with homework, laundry, schedules for children and family, doctor visits, all while working, keeping house and mothering. My house was always cleaner, my refrigerator stocked, meals planned and cooked in those days, and now my house is dirty and we eat out a lot, because I don’t care about those things as much as I once did! I’m learning now how to give myself GRACE, and I wish I had learned that many years ago.

Question: What would you say has been the single most defining moment in your career so far?
Answer: In 2016, my position at Lipscomb University was eliminated, which was a hard blow to me personally and professionally. But it also gave me the opportunity to step into a dream I had had for 30-plus years and start my own business. I created The Wedding Plate, a tabletop rental boutique, as a result of collecting vintage china and glassware for my daughter’s wedding in October 2016. That same year, I opened an Airbnb apartment, started a consulting practice and began breeding Annabelle, my beloved golden doodle. My businesses received 5-star reviews almost daily, at a time when I needed to be reminded that I had value. I learned that my value is not in my title, paycheck or what others say about me. I now have a portfolio career, managing Young Leaders Council, The Wedding Plate and Shacklett Hotel Airbnb, and I’ve never had so much fun or felt so much purpose in my work until this experience.

Question: What advice would you give to a young woman just starting her career?
Answer: Find a place to work that allows you to be yourself, expects that you will make mistakes and pushes you to be the best version of yourself. You spend more time ‘at work’ than you do with a spouse, so have fun or find somewhere else to be. Life is too short to hate your job or boss.

Question: What was your very first job?
Answer: I went to work for a gift shop in Hickory Hollow Mall as soon as I turned 16. I learned how to manage a busy schedule, sales techniques and the importance of customer service at a young age. I actually fired another employee at 17 who was continually late or called out sick. I learned early that I had high standards for myself and others, and that is still true 40 years later. I expect a lot of out my employees, but never more than I’m willing to work or give myself. My first real job after college was for AT&T. I started during a strike and crossed a picket line for the first two weeks, not a great onboarding experience!

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November 11, 2019

Member Spotlight: Deb Sandvik

Deb Sandvik

Deb Sandvik is the Executive Director of HopeKids, an organization that serves children with cancer or other life-threatening medical conditions as well as their families. After moving to Nashville in 2005 from Los Angeles, Deb joined Cable when an acquaintance advised her that the organization provided the best networking opportunities in the city. Her ultimate career goal is and has been to help those in need – whether that is through her leadership of her team members or through the work she does directly with the families at HopeKids. One piece of advice that Deb would give to young women who are starting their careers would be to find a mentor. While she has worked with many mentors in her professional career, the person who has taught her the most is her mother. “She taught me how to create work-life balance and to always help others,” said Deb. 

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