Happy International Women's Day! While every day is a great day to celebrate the hard-working women within our organization, we like to catch every year up with a few of our fearless leaders and rapidly fire off some questions for them to answer.
They represent various departments within our organization and have 40+ years of service, so we couldn't wait to hear what they had to say.
Tania Hamaneyeva - Human Resources & Recruiting Manager
Number of years with the organization? 12 full-time, plus a few seasons.
What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t be afraid to take chances and live with no regrets. Maybe learn a few more languages 😊
What woman leader has inspired you and why? I get inspired by women every day. Entrepreneurs, mothers, teachers, volunteers – they are all change-makers and leaders in their own way and deserve to be respected and admired for their everyday achievements.
What do you think helped you get so far in your career? How can we mentor young girls to dream bigger? Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life! I love what I do: the job itself, the people I work with, the everyday challenges to conquer and learn from. This motivates me to want to get better every day as a professional and a person.
I am a strong believer in anything that facilitates world exposure, whether it is travel, working alongside or being friends with someone from another country or following the international news. I hope we can encourage more young women to expand their horizons past their town or state and learn on a global scale. Understanding just how big the world is out there will inspire many to dream bigger and understand that the sky is the limit for their aspirations and career goals.
Kerri Flood - Water Park Operations Manager
Number of years with the organization: 10 years
Who’s your favorite female role model and why? Who has inspired you and why? My parents are my biggest inspiration. They have taught me to never stop working toward bettering myself and that nothing is out of reach if you set your mind to it and work hard to get there. No matter how tough life may be in the present moment, whether it be with school, work, finances, they have always modeled for me and my sister to weather the storm and learn from those experiences. Through them, I have learned that not everything in life is going to be a breeze, but you will grow from persevering through the most difficult challenges life throws your way, all the while setting yourself up for future success.
What are some traits you think great leaders possess? Adaptable, consistent, motivating. Listening to understand so you know and can adapt to your audience, having a consistent message across the board, and motivating those around you to be the best possible version of themselves are all traits I believe great leaders possess.
What are some things you’ve learned along the way that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations? Never say no to opportunities presented to you, no matter how unrelated you may think they are to your job title. I started at Morey’s Piers as a lifeguard 10 years ago right out of high school. I have grown not only with this organization but personally because of the opportunities given to me along the way. HR, Accounting, Food & Beverage, you name the department, I've probably had some exposure to it. Understanding the ins and outs of the organization, especially outside of your own department, is important to be more well-rounded and sets you up for success within your own position.
Yadilka (Yadi) Villanueva - Pier Operations Area Manager
Number of years with the organization: 17
Who has inspired you and why? Throughout my life, I haven’t been inspired by only one person. I have found great role models along the way, from early in my life until now. I have been lucky to have encountered these talented leaders that have stroke a chord with me and inspired me to do better. By observing and practicing the behavior of these great leaders, I admire and respect I have found and developed my own leadership style.
What are some traits you think great leaders possess? I strongly believe that a good leader should be organized, supportive and empathetic. Good leaders should set clear expectations for themselves and their team. They should have the ability to delegate and empower their team members to make decisions and accomplish tasks independently. Most importantly, a great leader creates other leaders.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions? Don’t waste your seat at the table, don’t be afraid to use your voice.