UPPER MARLBORO – Madeline Ann Lewis is a career strategist and business consultant who is on a mission to help empower women in their careers and lives, and a national organization has taken note. Through mentorship, Lewis, an Upper Marlboro resident and president and chief executive officer (CEO) of her consulting firm, the Executive Women’s […]
UPPER MARLBORO – Madeline Ann Lewis is a career strategist and business consultant who is on a mission to help empower women in their careers and lives, and a national organization has taken note.
Through mentorship, Lewis, an Upper Marlboro resident and president and chief executive officer (CEO) of her consulting firm, the Executive Women’s Success Institute, makes climbing the corporate ladder conceivable for aspiring women who are in need of guidance. The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) honored Lewis as a 2016 Woman Vetrepreneur of the Year finalist in Orlando, Fla., at the 2016 Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) on June 21.
“Out of all of the awards I have gotten since I have been in business, this for me…was just a great honor to receive this award, to not only be recognized as a businesswoman, but to be recognized as a veteran-owned business,” Lewis said.
Pittsburgh-based NaVOBA unites the nation’s three million businesses owned by veterans by providing a single voice to advocate for corporate America and the government to consider utilizing veteran-owned businesses as preferred vendors. At WBENC, JP Morgan Chase presented awards to women with veteran-owned businesses who successfully help others pursue their goals. Lewis was the only finalist from Maryland.
Laxmi “Mimi” Lohm, vice president of corporate relations at NaVOBA, said the search for four women “Vetrepreneur We Love” honorees, and one 2016 Woman Vetrepreneur of the Year winner, was open to women veteran business owners across the country. A committee selected the honorees, and the winner after survey submissions were received through the organization’s website.
“This is actually our third annual Woman Vetrepreneur of the Year,” Lohm said, explaining how each honoree may benefit from receiving prestigious recognition. “It does make a difference, especially with the different audiences such as the government contractors, the major corporations, as well as mainstream businesses. So it brings awareness that there are very successful women that happen to be veterans as well. And in some cases, if they are doing work with the corporations, the corporations have that little bit of push that they’re able to consider working or giving a contract to these women who are successful and who have great stories behind them.”
During Lewis’ career journey, even before she launched the Executive Women’s Success Institute full-time in 2012, women often sought her career tips and advice. Lewis served in the United States Army and Army Reserve for 22 years, achieving the rank of sergeant major. She later moved up the ladder in the federal government and became a senior analyst for the FBI. She retired after providing 27 years of federal civilian service and receiving the highest FBI award: the FBI Director’s Award for Outstanding Foreign Counterintelligence Investigation.
Since numerous women wondered how Lewis was able to earn a place in high positions where many women are typically not present, the trailblazer felt she could assist them on a larger scale through founding her business. Today, Lewis reminds her clients to remain focused and follow one course until they are successful.
“I mainly work with women,” Lewis said. “The reason why I do that is because I feel like women can use my services more as far as the mentoring, the personal and professional development, and things like that. I just feel that women don’t help women as much as they should to get up that career ladder.
“Men will work with men. Even if they don’t like each other, they’ll help each other up. I just feel like working with women and getting them into executive positions, or helping them to start their own business, to me that’s just where my passion lies.”
Lewis holds a doctorate of management in organizational leadership. She is the author of “Playing from the Blue Tee: Women in the Federal Government” and “Finding Your Best Inside: How to Persevere and Become the Person You Are Meant to Be,” and will launch a new guide for aspiring women to be career executives and business CEOs in September.
While developing tools to move careers forward, Lewis began conducting workshops and seminars. Research led her to create a training program called the “8 Habits of Highly Successful Women.”
“I did that by interviewing women in and around the Maryland, D.C. and Virginia area, women that were in executive positions, just to find out how they got there, the obstacles they faced, and different things like that,” Lewis said. “That helped me to put the program together to be able to serve women more efficiently, and just to help them get to where they’re trying to go and not have to face so many obstacles.”
Lewis works with local women who are committed to their goals and even provides expert guidance to women located in other areas through webinars and Skype. She said she tells women to be focused and remain disciplined enough to understand that, despite encountering some “nos” while trying to achieve their goals, they have to keep going to follow their course until they are successful.
“I have had women who have come through my program, and they have also progressed in their careers, and some that have started businesses,” Lewis said. “It’s just been fantastic to be able to give back like that and to be able to help women to progress and to reach their full potential.”
Visit www.executivewomenssuccessinstitute.com to learn more about Lewis’ services.