Advisory Link

Spring 2007 Newsletter


 1408 Melody Breeze Ct.

Roanoke, TX 76262



What’s New with Advisory Link?

Women in High Places in the Business World

Trend Watch

Quarterly Tip

Viva La Difference

Check Out Our Website


What’s New with Advisory Link?

Advisory Link has had a very busy first quarter. We attended a Women’s Advisory Board meeting in San Antonio, had a national conference call with MassMutual’s Women’s Advisory Board chairs throughout the country and had a speaking engagement on The Power Women Have.

We participated in a Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) full-day workshop recently. The workshop, Power Tools for Women Business Owners™, educates entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses by becoming politically savvy. Terry Neese, co-founder of WIPP and a past national president of the National Association of Women Business Owners, is presenting the dynamic program in six cities. Dallas and San Francisco have already had events. You can find out more information or register for one of the remaining sessions at :

April 11

St. Louis, MO  

 May 15   

Chicago, IL

June 20

Washington DC

October 16 

Atlanta, GA


On April 25-26 we will host our Automotive Women Dealers Exec-U-Link meeting and in May we will have our Women Executive and Business Owner Exec-U-Link meeting. We are also planning a series of fun-filled, educational evenings  guaranteed to draw women into dealerships.

Advisory Link would like to introduce the newest member of our team, Deidre Haines. She has joined us part-time to assist with the numerous events we have scheduled. Deidre has recently returned from Germany where her husband worked for two years. Prior to that, she was a teacher in the public school system. She has two teenage sons and is very involved in their sports and other activities.

Women in High Places in the Business World*

Women are taking their places at the CEO Fortune 500 table and rising to powerful positions of influence. They are shaping the future economics and leaders of our country. In 2006, ten Fortune 500 companies were run by women, up from nine the year before. With 20 women in top positions in Fortune 1000 companies, the power is shifting to better reflect the population at large and the working populace, albeit very slowly. In this issue some of America’s most talented and influential women will be showcased.

Indra Nooyi, who is only the 11th female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, has played a vital role in the direction and acquisitions of PepsiCo since she joined in 1994. Named CFO of the $100 billon company in 2001 and on the Wall Street Journal's list of 50 women to watch in 2005, on August 14, 2006, she became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 41 year history.

In 2002, Ann Mulcahy, a Xerox veteran who started as a sales rep more than 30 years ago became one of a few women to hold the top post in a publicly traded company. Although she faces struggles, Mulcahy has breathed new life into the corporation and is working tirelessly to promote their consulting services and commercial color printing capabilities. Her husband is a retired Xerox executive, and her older brother now runs its global services group.

After a very short retirement from her position as executive vice president at Chevron, Patricia Woertz became CEO and president of Archer Daniels Midland, a $35.9 billion agribusiness giant. She became the first person outside the Andreas family to lead the company since 1970. Utilizing her petroleum background, she is working on turning crops, such as soybeans, corn, wheat and cocoa, into fuel alternatives like ethanol and biodiesel.

Brenda Barnes, Chair and CEO of Sara Lee, rocked the feminist world in 1998 when she announced she was leaving PepsiCo to spend more time with her family. Barnes returned to the corporate world at the helm of struggling Sara Lee in February 2005. She immediately introduced major overhauls aimed at making the company a more focused branded food maker. She proved that women can exit the corporate suite for personal reasons, return and regain executive power.

Everyone knows CEO and President Margaret (Meg) Whitman’s company, eBay, the world's biggest online auctioneer and one of the biggest Internet success stories. While eBay faces increasing competition, Whitman continues to steer eBay into the future by creating new deals, systems and partners.

Andrea Jung, who became Avon Products’ chief executive in 1999 and chairman in 2001, sticks to the beauty firm's original business model, using its sales force of five million, to propel sales despite the online and boutique competition.

Widely considered one of the most powerful executives in the magazine world, Ann Moore became chairman and CEO of Time Inc. in 2002. The world's largest publisher boasts a portfolio of solid periodicals like Time, People and Sports Illustrated. Two out of every three U.S. adults read one of Time's 150 periodicals each month. Women's titles now comprise more than half of the company's income.

As a former secretary and junior college graduate, Colleen Barrett, President of Southwest Airlines, has helped keep her company on top with a simple formula: keep both customers and employees happy. Her insistence on lower costs and simple fare schedules has made Southwest the country's largest carrier, as measured by customers carried. Barrett has the combination of compassion and moxie necessary to not only succeed, but to rise to the top in the aviation industry.

Anne Belec, president and CEO, of Volvo Cars of North America Inc., is the only woman I’m aware of who has gained these high leadership positions for an internationally known automobile brand. Her responsibilities include providing executive leadership to Volvo Cars North America’s marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support, as well as overseeing operations in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.**

No list of influential businesswomen would be complete without Oprah Winfrey, chair of HARPO. Having compiled a net worth estimated at over $1 billion, she hosts an Emmy-winning hit daytime television show, owns successful magazines (O, The Oprah Magazine; O at Home) and is a cable channel at Oxygen Media, which she co-founded.

The good news in all of this is that we are at the beginning of a revolutionary change in the business world as more and more women hold C-level positions. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), a relatively new member to the prestigious CEO, CFO and CIO group, is becoming a valuable player in more and more corporations. And women are there to fill that position at companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, GE, HP, Staples, Yahoo!, AT&T and Visa, who presently have, or have had, female CMOs.

In the Summer Issue I’ll provide a glimpse into Women in High Places in the Academic World. As a teaser, did you know that half of the Ivy League Universities are lead by women?

  *  All the above women were in The World’s Most Powerful Women,, August 31, 2006  unless otherwise noted.

** Automotive News, September 26, 2005

Trend Watch

A current trend in business seems to be...less is better. But unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Home Depot found that out when they drastically cut their employees on the floor and kept the lower-cost, less knowledgeable ones. Customers became resentful of the poor service, long checkout lines and nonchalant attitude of the staff. As a result, Scott Burns, a syndicated columnist, wrote an article about the deterioration of their service and it hit the Internet. Thousands of former customers responded by sharing their stories online forcing Frank Blake, their new CEO, to make an online apology to everyone.

So why is history repeating itself? Circuit City recently announced they were laying off more than 3,500 of their highest paid hourly workers, in order to cut costs.

So what’s the trend with the consumers? Customers, including boomers and Gen Xers are demanding more service and better buying experiences at the same time companies who just don’t get it are lowering standards.

To succeed, companies need to cater to their customers, exceed their expectations and be especially cognizant of what their main shoppers—women—want. By listening to women customers, businesses can prosper in both good and bad times. By ignoring them, they will flounder and fade in stature.

Quarterly Tip

Marketing to women is not about asking the women in your organization what they want. It is about developing a specific, strategic component in your overall business and marketing plan. Design a program using someone who is an expert in this area to make sure that the necessary components for success are included, as well as mechanisms to measure them. Then resources, both time and money, must be allocated in order to insure success. The rewards will be greater than you ever imagined.

Viva La Difference

Advances in scientific research, scholarly articles and numerous consumer books that explain the fundamental differences in masculine and feminine thinking should change old traditional marketing strategies. The key word is “should.” Many businesses still pursue antiquated beliefs about what women want, how they buy and how they are different than their male counterparts. In order to reach this powerful, influential and wealthy buyer, corporate marketers and executives must know that men and women not only process information differently, but the are different in their decision-making styles, motivations and purchasing habits.

In the past, it was taboo to talk about the differences between men and women. That was partly because there was the assumption that one was better than the other and partly because there was the denial that there were any significant differences in them as consumers. After all, both wanted respect, fair treatment and a good price for a quality product. To be politically correct, businesses professed that men and women were equal, albeit, the same. Hopefully that era is over and we are at a place where we can celebrate the differences. Successful companies recognize that diversity is good, and that the contribution women make is a powerful resource for businesses, and beneficial to society.

Although women represent a huge opportunity for business, recent research suggests that much of the money spent attracting women is wasted. Most women don’t think manufacturers, advertisers or salespeople understand them. When the predominant message of products and advertising is that women are unattractive, i.e. we have limp hair or aren’t skinny enough, women end up feeling bad about themselves, rather than appreciated for who they are.   Everyone loses—women, advertisers, marketers, retailers and manufacturers. Those who understand, appreciate and yes, even celebrate the differences, will be the ones who win the loyal hearts of women and their lucrative purchasing purses.

Women represent a huge growth opportunity for businesses. Despite the importance of women as a market and the long-established presence of women in the workplace, winning over the female consumer remains the anomaly of marketing. As businesses try to grasp the emergence of women as the most valuable market on earth, they are now able to find a wealth of information on how women think and feel in books, periodicals, Women’s Advisory Boards and through consultants.

Check Out Our Website



Go to and you will find we have been busy writing articles for and Dealer Magazine (also online at

When you visit our website, check out the Marketing to Women or Employing Women brief quizzes on the home page, as well as the Facts about Women section.




Sheila Brooks, President and CEO of SRB Productions Inc., is the national spokesperson for the Center for Women’s Business Research’s Women of Color Project. Additionally, she was most recently featured in Inside the Minds: Goals for Successful CEOs, a book in which leading CEOs write about the keys to achieving long-term success.

Stephanie Vandergriff, owner of The Cookie Company, appeared in the February 5 issue of Fortune magazine. Stephanie is launching a new business division, Stephanie's Premium Bakery.

Maura Berney has been promoted to Vice President, Shared Service Center at AutoNation, effective July 1.

Becky and Alex Townes, owners of Townes Business Systems, purchased a new business – a PostNet franchise store in North Dallas.

Debbie Richman will have a private show of her whimsical pop art in New York the end of April. Her collection of work can be seen at

Ken Myers, Sergeant in the Allen Police Department, received the 2007 Chief’s Sworn Officer Award. He also was presented with the President’s Convocation for Academic Excellence Award from the University of Texas - Arlington.

Sharon King, formerly CEO of Dallas Cable TV, has taken a new position with HFG Advisors. She will be their Vice President of Marketing, starting April 16.

The D/FW chapter of NAWBO awarded Chase Bank and Donna Butterfield Corporate Partner of the year.

In each newsletter I want to congratulate a few people for their outstanding achievements or special recognitions they have received. If you have been honored, published or have another item of interest, please let me know so I can share it with others.