Each year at its annual “25 Influential Black Women in Business” and “40 Under-Forty Dynamic Black Achievers” award ceremonies, The Network Journal shows a video profile of each of our honorees. In preparing the video, we ask each of them to give us a “favorite saying” that expresses the guiding principle or belief in his or her life. Sometimes, the expressions these honorees choose are known to us. More often than not, however, they are declarations the honorees have crafted from wrenching personal battles and hard-won victories.
As we reflect on the lessons of 2005 and look toward new experiences in the year ahead, our editors thought it would be a good idea to put some of these declarations into a single column in the hope that readers will find them inspiring. We chose the words of our 2005 “25 Influential Women.”
- “Begin with the end in mind.” Penda Aiken, Penda Aiken Inc.
- “There is no substitute for hard work.” Della Britton Baeza, Jackie Robinson Foundation.
- “I am inspired and passionate about helping those who want to help themselves.” Marsha E. Butler, D.D.S., Colgate-Palmolive Co., New York City.
- “I believe that every day I come to work, I have the opportunity to positively impact someone’s life.” Kerry D. Chandler, ESPN Inc.
- “Everything happens for a reason and in its own time.” Tammie B. Cottom, Verizon Communications.
- “Do the best you can with what you have right now.” Lynda D. Curtis, North Brooklyn Health Network.
- “If I’ve helped somebody as I pass along, then my living has not been in vain.” Thelma Dye-Holmes, Ph.D., executive director-CEO, Northside Center for Child Development Inc., New York City.
- “Persevere and conquer.” Michelle Ebanks, Essence Communications.
- “My calling and passion was indeed to make a difference in the lives of people.” Elaine Edmonds, Harlem YMCA.
- “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Verna Eggleston, Human Resources Administration, NYC Department of Social Services.
- “Creativity is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.” Deborah Elam, General Electric Co.
- “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision.” Janine Fondon, UnityFirst.com/African American Newswire.
- “The good you do today may be quickly forgotten, but the impact of what you do will never disappear.” Katherine Giscombe, Catalyst Inc.
- “I believe that we receive blessings so that we can be blessings to others.” Carla Harris, Morgan Stanley.
- “Each one, teach one.” Marsha Haygood, New Line Cinema.
- “Step out of your comfort zone with confidence.” Marilyn Johnson, IBM.
- “There are no real problems, just challenges that create opportunities for self-discovery.” Michele M. Moore, National Urban League.
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Ijeoma Nduka-Nwosu, M.D., Comprehensive Pri-mary Care Services.
- “In order to expect the best from others, we must give our very best and live up to our fullest potential.” Rita J. Sallis, Deputy Comptroller for Public Finance, New York City.
- “There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Debra A. Sandler, McNeil Nutritionals LLC.
- “Service is the rent you pay for living.” Marva Smalls, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, TV Land, Noggin and Spike TV.
- “Life is what you make it.” Marjorie A. Staten, GM Minority Dealers Association.
- “Love what you do because you’ll be doing it a lot.” Millicent Sutton, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
- “Excellence is the best deterrent to all barriers of race and gender.” Gwendolyn Y. Taylor, Arch Insurance Group.
- “Try to strive to do something you’re passionate about, to make a difference in your field, and never lose sight of your integrity.” Linda Zango-Haley, Del Laboratories Inc.
Aziz Gueye Adetimirin is the founder and publisher of The Network Journal.
By Aziz Gueye Adetimirin