Advisory Link

Summer 2007 Newsletter


 1408 Melody Breeze Ct.

Roanoke, TX 76262



What’s New with Advisory Link?

Women in High Places in Academia

Trend Watch

Quarterly Tip

Linking Women Together

Check Out Our Website


What’s New with Advisory Link?

Advisory Link has been busy with a lot of exciting new things. We are creating a series of fun, informational and delicious events for specific retailers, especially car dealerships, that want to increase their traffic with women buyers. These events, guaranteed to attract women for the retailers, provide a win for everyone.

We will also be working with Pro Sports Wives magazine. Advisory Link will write articles, speak at their conferences and consult with their management. Gena Pitts, formerly a pro sports wife herself, created a group of one of the most affluent and influential women’s organizations in the country. This niche market has long been ignored by fans, advertisers and retailers.

Currently, we are working with the Tom Peters Company to gather data and candidates for a groundbreaking study. The Cultural Assessment Study is designed to compare cultural characteristics and traits of women-owned and women-managed businesses, departments or functions with their male-owned/managed counterparts. If you would like more information on how you can participate in this national study, email me at

We have added quarterly conference calls to our Women Executives and Business Owners and Automotive Women Dealers Exec-U-Links. This will keep participants connected beyond the three meetings a year allowing them to share best practices, challenges, successes and time sensitive issues on a more frequent basis.

Women in High Places in Academia

Women are climbing the academic ladder and breaking the glass ceiling by becoming presidents of some of the most prestigious universities in the country. In 1986, only 9.5 percent of presidents were women. By 2006 that number had increased to 23 percent. In order not to be misleading, the 2006 figure includes two-year colleges (29 percent) as well as doctorate-granting institutions (13.8 percent). When Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust became the first woman president of Harvard in 2007, half of the Ivy League universities had female presidents.*

A study by James L. Fisher, James V. Kock and Alice R. McAdory found that “female college presidents are more innovative and entrepreneurial than male presidents. Furthermore, women are more inclined to take measured risks in their jobs than are men.” More than 700 university presidents, 136 of whom were women, were studied.

Dr. Judith Rodin** became the first female president of an Ivy League university in 1994. She served as the seventh president of the University of Pennsylvania for ten years. At one time, she was the highest paid university president in the country. During her tenure at Penn, the University rose from 16th to 4th in the U.S. News & World Report college ranking and tripled its endowment. Rodin has published more than 200 articles and chapters in academic publications and authored or co-authored 11 books. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Citigroup, AMR Corporation and Comcast Corporation.


President of Brown University Ruth J. Simmons, bottom center, answers a question from the audience as fellow panelists, from left, former president of the University of Pennsylvania and current President of the Rockefeller Foundation Judith Rodin, President of Harvard University Drew Gilpin Faust, President of the University of Pennsylvania Amy Gutmann and President of Princeton University Shirley M. Tilghmann, look on, Wednesday, May 2, 2007, in Cambridge, Mass. The women met to discuss the changing role of gender in higher education. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Dr. Judith R. Shapiro, a widely respected cultural anthropologist who has done pioneering research on gender differences, became the 10th leader of Barnard College in 1994. A prominent voice on women’s education, Shapiro has led Barnard through exceptional transformations at every level, enhancing the College’s academic reputation and physical space and strengthening its financial position and public presence. During her tenure, applications soared two-fold and, with increased selectivity, Barnard has become the most sought-after private liberal arts college for women in the United States.

Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy is the 12th president of Johnson Smith University and the first woman to be elected to this post. She has held this position since October 1994. As a skilled fundraiser, Dr. Yancy has raised more than $125 million which helped usher in an era of phenomenal growth. She was instrumental in Smith becoming the first “laptop” university where all students were issued IBM ThinkPads. Dr. Yancy is credited with attracting highly qualified faculty and building many state-of-the-art facilities. She has written more than 40 articles and won numerous awards. She serves on the Board of Bank of America as well as many philanthropic organizations.

Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman was elected Princeton University's 19th president in May 2001. During postdoctoral studies, she made a number of groundbreaking discoveries including participating in cloning the first mammalian gene. She is renowned not only for her pioneering research, but for her national leadership on behalf of women in science. Dr. Tilghman is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Royal Society of London. She serves as a Trustee of the Jackson Laboratory and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Dr. Ruth J. Simmons became the 18th president of Brown University in July 2001 making her the first Black president of an Ivy League school. Her extraordinary ascent from a poor sharecropper’s daughter, one of 12, to president of an Ivy League University displays her determination to succeed and her understanding of the value of education. Prior to Brown, Simmons was president of Smith College, the largest women’s college in the United States. At Smith she launched an engineering program, the first at an American women’s college. Simmons is a featured speaker in many public venues, including the White House, serves on a number of boards, including Pfizer Inc., Texas Instruments, and Goldman Sachs Group, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees.

Dr. Amy Gutmann took the helm as the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania in July 2004. In 2005, Gutmann was appointed to the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, a committee that advises the FBI on national security issues relating to academia. She also is among a select group of presidents of research universities from around the world who advise the U.N. Secretary General on a range of global issues. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Vanguard Corporation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Partnership for Public Service and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation. Dr. Gutmann has authored and edited 15 books and has published more than 100 articles, essays and book chapters.

Dr. Susan Hockfield became the 16th president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in December 2004. Hockfield is a noted neuroscientist whose research has focused on the development of the brain and is the first life scientist to lead MIT. Additionally, she holds a faculty appointment as professor of neuroscience in the institute’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She believes MIT has an obligation to help develop new models of teaching and research for a global age. Dr. Hockfield is a director of GE, a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. She has three honorary degrees and numerous academic awards.

Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust became the 28th president of Harvard and the first woman to hold that position in February 2007. Faust has authored five books including the critically acclaimed historical account of womanhood titled, Mother of Invention, Women of the Slaveholding South. She is a trustee of Bryn Mawr College, the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Nation Humanities Center. She also serves on the educational advisory board of the Guggenheim Foundation. She has been president of the Southern Historical Association and vice president of the American Historical Association. Faust has served on numerous editorial boards and selection committees including the Pulitzer Prize history jury three times.

* The American College President: 2007 Edition

** Information on the above women was obtained from their bios viewed from their respective universities.

Trend Watch

According to The Media Audit, affluent working women with family incomes of $75,000 or more are growing in number, and 94.3 percent access the Internet during an average month. These women are not just browsers, but serious shoppers. The online shopping environment for upscale merchandise has been robust in recent years.

Diamonds, luxury vehicles, designer apparel and high-end handbags are all being purchased online. Websites such as, with annual sales that jumped 30 percent in fiscal 2005, and, are flourishing. The percentage of Internet visitors to increased 117 percent in 2005. According to Forrester, online shopping revenue reached $170 billion in 2005, $12 billion (7 percent) of which were luxury sales. Luxury sales will continue to increase as baby boomer women’s income and inheritance continue to grow.

Quarterly Tip

In order to solve a problem, you must first recognize it. Take stock of what’s happening in your business. Are women a major part of your marketing and advertising strategies? Are they a major part of your customers base? Women have the money and the power. In order for your business to increase its profitability during the next decade, you need to figure out what women want and how you can provide it to them. If you don’t know how to create and implement a plan, hire an expert who does.

Linking Women Together

One of the great things that Advisory Link does is link women together to help other women. In the process, many businesses also benefit from our linkage to them through our Women’s Advisory Board program.

Advisory Link has helped MassMutual Financial Group’s home office develop more than a dozen Women’s Advisory Boards (WABs) across the country. According to the book, Primetime Women, “These local boards provide some of the top women in each city with an outlet for their desire to contribute in a meaningful way. A substantial side benefit of this initiative is that, because the board members are so engaged with and committed to their efforts, they tend to talk about them and seek to enlist others in their programs. So in effect, MassMutual has a cadre of some of the most influential women in the city spreading the word of MassMutual’s good works, essentially acting as brand ambassadors.”

Advisory Link is proud that its program has helped MassMutual become more visible in their local communities and more involved in financial literacy programs and other philanthropic endeavors. Additionally, the WABs have been instrumental in helping recruit more female advisors, as well as provide more women with the financial instruments they need to have a secure future.

Women’s Advisory Boards are about helping corporations link with women to help them increase their sales and visibility with their target audience in a comprehensive, successful and gratifying way.  Our event series project is also designed to provide links with retailers/dealerships to influential women in their community. Linking with women is the key to business success today.

Another vehicle Advisory Link uses to link women together is its Exec-U-Link program. The Women Executive/Business Owner (WEBO) Exec-U-Link meetings link high-level corporate executives and successful women business owners together to share advice, experience, expertise and best practices. They also discuss issues and challenges they face in today’s business environment.

A unique, but very valuable Exec-U-Link is the Automotive Women Dealers. This group, which is limited to 12 members, links together female dealership owners from all over the country who are involved in the day-to-day operations of the business to share their diversified backgrounds and common goals. They discuss an array of procedures and policies, challenges they face in a very male-dominated industry and meaningful agenda topics in a confidential venue they can find no where else.

For more information on any of our "Linking Women Together" programs, contact Gerry Myers at

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.


Diane Cibrian, (picture on left) a former Congressional staffer, fellow of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and member of the South Texas Agency’s Women’s Advisory Board (WAB), has been elected to the San Antonio City Council.

Mary Alice Cisneros (picture on right) was also recently elected to the San Antonio City Council. She is a member of the South Texas Agency’s WAB and a founder and board member of American Sunrise.  American Sunrise is a community development housing organization whose mission is to act as a catalyst in the revitalization of neighborhoods by providing economic and educational opportunities that improve the lives of working families.

Maureen Sullivan Martin, Director of Alliances and Ford Dealer Development for Mobile Productivity Inc., recently served as co-chair of the very successful Girls Inc.’s “She Knows Where She’s Going” annual awards luncheon which this year raised $562,535.  Proceeds from the SKWSG Luncheon are used to provide personal development and multi-tiered prevention programs to help over 2,000 girls ages 6-18 avoid teen pregnancy and substance abuse, stay in school and pursue college education (

Deborah Sawyer, founder and owner of Environmental Design International, was one of two women entrepreneurs featured on NBC Today Show’s new segment entitled “The Third Wave” with Marlo Thomas.

Joan Schlueter, owner/CEO of On Site Hiring Consultants, Albuquerque, NM, received a White House appointment as Chair of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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.

Click HERE to download a copy of this newsletter in PDF format.