Leading by example: The women DSN recognized embody the best of the industry

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Leading by example: The women DSN recognized embody the best of the industry

By Laura Fontana - 12/05/2019

Having the opportunity to be a part of the team that is putting together the first Drug Store News Top Women in Health, Wellness and Beauty program, I am in absolute awe of the people who are being honored this year in Chicago on Nov. 20 and 21. 

As I learned more about the accomplishments of the honorees, I became more motivated to continue to grow as an individual myself, to look to make a difference in my community and with my family, and inspire our future generations. These women are paving the way. They serve as beacons for the future and will only help young women who follow in their footsteps. 

There are numerous examples of women who stand out. One is Jessica Arman, founder of My Magic Mud, who created a new oral care product to help her daughter find an effective toothpaste that also is gentle on her teeth. She started out selling the product at farmers markets and now is in more than 30,000 stores. Arman and My Magic Mud are making a difference in the oral care category.

Then there is Psyche Terry, founder of Urban Hydration, who started the company with her husband to bring clean beauty to everyone. Now, she is giving back to her community, having founded the Psyche Terry Founder Scholarship Products that provides financial assistance to incoming freshman at Western Michigan University. In addition, the company makes a donation for every product it sells, and, in 2018, it dedicated the opening of a clean water drinking well for 300 Kenyan school children.  

When I read through the stories and achievements of all of our Top Women winners, I cannot help but think of individuals who are near and dear to my heart. These are women who I look up to every day and who inspire me to be a better mom, wife, sister, aunt, cousin and friend to my community and organization. My sister, who is a professor at DePaul University, a mother to my amazing niece and nephew, and wife, can juggle all that life throws at her.  

I look at my cousin, who made her varsity soccer team as a freshman this year and fearlessly jumped into her first year of high school, making new friendships that will last her a lifetime.  She inspires me to not take life so seriously, and that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. 

I attended the Network for Executive Women’s New Leadership Summit in September, and so many stories still resonate with me that I am in awe of what these women have accomplished and overcome. For example, Valerie Oswalt told her story of how she rose from humble beginnings in a borough of New York City to becoming the CEO of Century Snacks.

Tears rolled down my face as I heard Lindsay Roy, Hallmark Greetings’ senior vice president of consumer experience, share her story of how a tragic boating accident shaped her as a mom, wife and individual, and how it does not stop her from moving forward.

These are just a few of the more than 140 stories that DSN is helping to bring to light. I could not be more proud to be a woman within the mass retail industry and be surrounded by so many supportive and inspiring individuals, who inspire me to be better each and every day. 

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