My first mentor in the business world broke the glass ceiling in the early 1970s to become the first female executive at New York Telephone. She was a team player, a great listener, and a person of action with remarkable communication and management skills. These characteristics have shaped my leadership style and guided me in balancing work, family, and community involvement.

My parents were my earliest cheerleaders, instilling in me the importance of education and the belief that I could do anything. I pursued a liberal arts education in college with an emphasis on communications. This path broadened my view of the world and prepared me for a moreabundant life.

Key to my business philosophy is developing people to grow the skills they need to advance the business and their own careers. As leader of a business unit competing in an evolving industry, my role is to transform my organization by preparing our team to excel in a new and demanding environment.

I stress personal accountability, teamwork, and innovation, and foster an environment where everyone feels included and motivated to contribute. That vision extends across an organization of over 7,000 people who handle over four million transactions a day.

Early in my career, I realized you could have it all, just not all at the same time. So I had to be ferocious in setting priorities. I focused on my dual commitments of family and growing job responsibilities. As my family matured, I was able to broaden my reach and became a mentor in the Women’s Association of Verizon Employees and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City. As a member of the education committee of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, I’ve helped develop cooperative programs to help enrich the lives of children in challenged communities.

Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate to have terrific role models and mentors. With that great privilege comes the great responsibility to share what I’ve learned to enhance the lives of others. Helping young people realize their potential through mentoring is an extremely rewarding experience. Ioffer the following insights as a guide to success: Maintain a high energy level in all that you do; pursue a job, along with community service, that puts a smile on your face; and remember that the most worthwhile endeavors are not achieved individually, but by working cooperatively as part of a team.