Theme Week! Mentors: Be Inspired

Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 3:21 pm by bryna

mentors11Today in her daily newsletter, Commentz, Sarah Evans, PR expert, guest speaker, and all around inspiring gal, offered the following question:

Who is your PR mentor/greatest source of inspiration? This person could be the reason you got into the field or someone who has helped you develop your skills…or has the job you aspire to.

Funny enough, this topic was really timely for a couple reasons:

Yesterday I actually met a woman, Cheryl Molenaar, who’s been inspiring me from across the country for the past two years. I’d never met her, and we’d never actually spoken (!) but there are just some people who’s words and deeds transcend all barriers. The funniest thing was that when we were introduced, she told me that I’d inspired her through my work! (Gratuitous hugging ensued, and also a really great connection for some future projects.)

Another moment came  last week when I was invited to speak at my alma mater, Loyalist College, by one of my mentors, Robert Kranendonk. I was with his group of Art & Design students, and I was really hoping that I would have something to give. I’m a writer, not a designer. But the wonderful thing about creative careers is that a lot of the concepts cross borders, and we ended up having a great (two hour long) discussion.

What I’ve learned about mentoring over the past week is that as much as we look up to others, sometimes we inspire them too. I think the underlying, core value of mentoring is mutual respect.

Kathy Filo

Kathy Filo

In Commentz, Sarah asked us to blog about our mentors. I thought this was a terrific opportunity to showcase some of the people in the lives of the Engine staff, who’ve made a huge impact.  All week long, we’ll be featuring our team and their mentors on the blog. We’d love to hear who inspires you too!

If you don’t know Kathy, she’s our Production Design Coordinator, and she gave us a taste of her design work on the blog, right here. With over 12 years in design, print production, and customer service, Kathy’s experience makes her an invaluable part of the Engine team.

Here’s what she had to say about her mentor, Larry Storing:

It’s funny that Bryna should ask us today who our mentors in business are. A couple of months ago I ran in to my mentor, Larry Storing, at the grocery store. I told him exactly this – that I truly consider him to be my mentor in business. I felt great telling him because I could see that he was proud.
I worked closely with Larry in bindery and prepress/finishing operations for over seven years in Trenton at DL Advertising Inc. before moving on to The Easier To Read Telephone Directory, Essence, Design Guys and now Engine. He was both patient and fun to work with, and he considered me to be one of his peers (being a female in a male-dominated environment, I really appreciated that).
Everything I learned at Mohawk College (I have a Graphic Art Production Co-ordinator Diploma) I put into practice with Larry: dark room camera work, film stripping, platemaking, folding, numbering, trimming, booklet-making, quoting, you name it. I did it. To this day it is that invaluable experience which I take with me every day when I design and quote on jobs for print.
Thank you, again Larry for giving me the tools I needed to succeed in our industry.

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{ 5 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. I’m so happy you posted this! It’s great to reflect on those who’ve helped us along the way.

  2. WOW!!! C.M. is one of my mentors as well. Small world, hey? I met Cheryl Sept. 2000 and my life is ever changed because of her!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Sarah! It was definitely your idea, not mine, but it was a great topic. I love reading Commentz, and appreciate all the hard work it must take putting it together. You’re a mentor to a lot of people you might never meet–but we thank you!

    Holly: Isn’t that awesome?! What a great woman Cheryl is to inspire so many cool people (us–lol). Seriously, I was so surprised to meet her, and so excited as well. thanks for commenting.

  4. Love this topic. In fact I think you have inspired me to write a blog on this too 🙂

    It’s hard to go through life and not have people you look up to for all different reasons. I have had many in my life both personally and professionally. Personally starting from the simple ones like my mother when I was young – watching and learning from her, teaching me manners and love but that one is obvious, what mother doesn’t know she is a mentor to her children. Less obvious are people like my sisters. They are both strong, independent, beautiful women that I can always find something to admire about. Professionally are people like my teachers at Loyalist. I’ve never met teachers so dedicated to the success of their students and I think every student needs teachers like them. Also are the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with the last year. I’ve met some incredible people like yourself that I look up to and admire everyday.

    I think one of the things I love about social media is that I have found people that I have yet to meet that I consider mentors. I have learned so much from specific people in online community it’s really amazing.

    Mentor week is a great reminder of the people we look up to and I’m in love with this idea.

    Thank you for the inspiring post Bryna.

  5. I’m so glad you enjoyed the topic, Charlotte! I really credit Sarah with the inspiration to write about it, but I think it’s fantastic too. I’ve actually learned a lot about my colleagues over the course of the week as well–what inspires them, their backgrounds, what they love doing. It’s been a fun discussion online, and around the office. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on it. Feel free to blog about it! The more the better 🙂

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