The Stevie Awards Blog

An Update on the Remarkable Achievements of a Women Awards Winner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 @ 12:08 PM

Nearly 10 years ago, Mariah Fenton Gladis, a professional psychotherapist in the state of Pennsylvania in the U.S.A., won the Stevie Award for Lifetime Achievement in the 2006 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Here we take a look at her life and what she is continuing to achieve.

The 2015 (12th Annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business will open for entries on May 11. Request an Entry Kit here and it will be emailed to you when entries open..

1504GladisforBlogIn accepting her 2006 Stevie Award, Mariah Fenton Gladis said: "I’m honored to be recognized among a group of such remarkable women. We, as women leaders in the emerging global community, have the responsibility and the privilege of instilling both passion and compassion in the workplace and the world.”

Mariah is herself truly remarkable. She is a 34-year survivor of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and has recently given an inspirational TIM Talk (Together In Mission). This TED-like talk series, sponsored by the Lutheran Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, is an event with multiple speakers about the best ideas they have for the future.

Creating Moments That Matter

Mariah chose the topic “Creating Moments That Matter,” talking about the power that moments large or small, spontaneous or planned, can have in your life. Moments that can transform, connect, elevate, and sometimes heal. Mariah believes that as moment makers and receivers, we all have the opportunity to make positive changes in the lives of others and ourselves. During her talk, Mariah is also self-revealing of some moments that have changed her life. Here is a link to her talk.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4RaJEQrJHE

Strength of Spirit

In 1981, when Mariah was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), three prominent national neurologists gave her a 10% chance of surviving two years. Yet, three months after the diagnosis, she married Ron Gladis and went on to have two children: Luke, a graduate of James Madison University; and Cole, a graduate of Ithaca College. Today, Mariah continues to be a loving wife, a doting mother, and a licensed professional psychotherapist in the state of Pennsylvania. Her courage to continually go forward with grace and determination demonstrates the very nature of her character and the amazing survival capacity of the human spirit.

After nearly 35 years, ALS has ravaged Mariah’s body. She needs help waking, walking, dressing, eating, and multitudes of other personal chores. Her tongue muscles have atrophied and she speaks with what she calls her “ALS accent.” Wearing a special speech-enhancing microphone to enhance the articulation and projection of her voice, Mariah often tells her audiences, with characteristic humor, that she gives new meaning to the term “high maintenance woman.”

A Privileged Position

None of this, however, diminishes her powerful presence and expert ability to do her work. In fact, Mariah acknowledges that it is her personal healing journey that has expanded and deepened her capacity to heal others.

“People often ask me how I do it, listening to people’s problems all day long for over 35 years, and not get burned out, drained or disheartened. I tell them that I don’t hear problems. I see people reaching for health; wanting to change, wanting to be better human beings, wanting to create happier families. I have been privileged to work with people from every continent and from all levels of life and I hear them wanting to love and be loved more effectively, wanting to remove the barriers in their life and provide more for their loved ones on every level, economically and emotionally. This is a privileged position that I have, sharing so many heartwarming moments of laughter and tears with people working toward healing.”

Mariah Fenton Gladis Foundation

Since it was formed in 2006, the Mariah Fenton Gladis Foundation has funded special workshops: “An Afternoon of Forgiveness” is for anyone who needs to let go (check here for the next workshop); “Embracing Yourself into Wellness,” for cancer patients, offers the opportunity to create the necessary moments needed to move forward in wholeness and health; “Befriending Death/Transforming Life” explores the practical and psycho-spiritual preparations for death; and “Bless the Broken Road” presents an opportunity to experience physical or emotional heartbreak more as a gift, a resource to mine wisdom and compassion, than as an impediment to living a full life.

The Foundation has also supported needy students in life-skills training; provided private counseling for the underserved and financially destitute; given inspirational lectures on the value of hope and personal sustainability; and there is more to come. The Foundation wants to create more special workshops on self care, attract more of the served and underserved, give back more to the community—all with the concept of reaching inward and outward to provide more love, compassion, and forgiveness in the world.

Be An Agent Of Change

The goal of the Foundation is to empower people to master, monitor, accept, and enjoy their inner life as well as their life in the world. According to Mariah: “I believe that each of us is a powerful agent of change. As more people spread love, compassion, and forgiveness, the more we will create peace in our hearts, our families, our community, our country, and ultimately peace in our world.”

A Remarkable and Inspirational Woman

“I am extremely proud of Mariah,” says husband, Ron Gladis, “especially considering she’s spent more than two-thirds of her business career with the life-threatening disease of ALS. Mariah is a truly remarkable and inspirational woman.”

Mariah’s son, Coleman, is making a documentary of her life. You can see a 3-minute trailer for the film “Mariah” at http://www.mariahmovie.com.

Tags: women awards, women in business awards, women executive awards, Women in Business, women entrepreneur awards, women helping women

3 Ways a Stevie® Awards Winner is Helping Women in Business

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 @ 12:20 PM

Kristin Luck, president of Decipher, Inc., in Fresno, California, USA, won a Gold Stevie® Award for Women Helping Women in Business at the 2012 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business in connection with the organization that she founded, Women in Research (WIRe). (Entries for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives and the organizations they run, will open in May. Join our mailing list and the entry kit for the 2013 awards will be emailed to you when entries open.)

Kristin Luck, President, Decipher, Inc.In 2007, after more than a decade in the market research industry, Kristin Luck founded Women in Research (WIRe) as a means of introducing friends and research colleagues to other industry women in the Los Angeles research community. The group began informally when Kristin invited about 20 of her business colleagues to join her for cocktails.

Since then, WIRe has grown to an organization with more than 300 members worldwide. WIRe events are now hosted quarterly in Los Angeles, New York, and London. Here Kristin describes in her own words how WIRe is helping women succeed.

Networking
Says Kristin: “WIRe events facilitate networking, leadership, entrepreneurship, and other career development goals to meet the needs of professional women in the market research industry. Today, our mission is to encourage the establishment of empowering and nurturing relationships among women in market research.”

What started off as a few informal cocktail hours among female research colleagues has evolved into a non-profit industry organization that provides women in market research with a support network that includes mentoring and education opportunities.

Industry-wide Study
Although WIRe originated as an informal way of connecting women in the industry, most recently the group has garnered attention for conducting, in partnership with Lieberman Research Worldwide, Decipher, and Research-live.com, the first industry-wide study on gender and diversity in the workplace.

Gender inequality, especially as it relates to compensation, has been under scrutiny for several decades; particularly in the United States where on average women are paid 77 cents to the dollar that men are paid for the same work.

WIRe’s industry gender and diversity study, which was released in October 2012, uncovered data that helped provide insight not only into the disparity between male and female earnings in the market research industry, but also the underlying reasons behind that disparity.

Commented Kristin: “With this study, we wanted to explore earnings inequality specifically within our industry.  What we found was interesting: the study suggests that companies need to focus on salary parity and to make a shift to equalize the balance between personal life and work for their employees. This is especially important for women with children, who are less likely to progress into senior management positions.”

Gender Diversity=Success
Why should businesses care about gender diversity in senior level roles? Because studies have confirmed that companies with more women in senior management meet with greater financial success.

  • McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index (OHI) reports that “firms with three or more women in top positions score higher than their peers—findings supported by studies by Columbia Business School and University of Maryland, among others.”
  • Fast Company recently reported that Catalyst, a nonprofit focused on expanding opportunities for women in business, “found a 26% boost in return on invested capital in companies with lots of women on their boards versus companies with no women.”
  • A study conducted by MIT also found that diversity leads to better products and services.

In short, diversity improves performance, morale, and end product. Women are perceived as more empathetic and emotionally driven and they have a unique perspective on how products and services should be developed.

Concludes Kristin: “Considering these studies, if you take women out of the equation, out of the board room, out of the research process, there’s a fundamental perspective that’s being seriously missed. This WIRe study serves as a reminder that employers, no matter the industry, need to find ways to help ALL employees find a better work/life balance in order to be successful.

“Employers need to focus on creating working environments that are conducive to a healthy family life—whether or not that includes children, and regardless of an employee’s gender. “

Dialogue
Adds Kristin: “Make no mistake: Men are an important part of this dialogue. Men are welcome at all WIRe events—our most recent event in Los Angeles boasted double-digit male attendees in a group of over 60 women—and our biggest corporate sponsors (ESOMAR, The Advertising Research Foundation, uSamp, MRops) are organizations led by men. A big part of creating awareness about gender inequity in the industry is to educate BOTH men and women that it exists. We need to collectively support and encourage more women to progress to senior positions.”

Mentoring
WIRe’s first industry-wide mentoring program launched earlier this year and pairs female mentors and mentees based on their goals, interests, experience, and location.

Says Kristin: “64% of businesswomen see the absence of female role models as a barrier to their development. We need to encourage and invest in the leadership of women; mentor; and personify the characteristics you hope to see in the world around you.”

You can learn more about WIRe at www.womeninresearch.com, where you can also find detailed results from the gender and diversity study, as well as additional information about the mentoring program.

About Kristin Luck:
Kristin Luck has conquered several challenges over the years, initiating significant change in an industry steeped in tradition. She was a pioneer in the multi-media online research business, heading the fastest-growing research company in the world in the early 2000s and starting her own company in 2005. She currently serves as president of Decipher, which has appeared as one of the INC. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, a GRIT Top 50 Innovative Firm, and on the Lead411 Tech 200 List.

In addition to founding WIRe, Luck is active in multiple industry and charitable organizations, constantly pushing the envelope to create products, solutions, and methods that benefit her industry. Luck shares this passion by speaking at events around the world, writing in-depth articles for international publications, and teaching as a guest lecturer at university level.

About Decipher:
A marketing research services provider, Decipher specializes in online survey programming, data collection, data processing/reporting, and custom technology development. Utilizing Web-based applications, Decipher integrates state of the art technology with traditional research techniques. For more information, go to www.decipherinc.com.

Tags: business awards, female entrepreneurs, female executives, the stevie awards for women in business, women helping women, Decipher, Kristin Luck, Women in Research

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