Walmart vice president has empowering messages for women executives.

Joanne Mena (EMBA ’10) left “Leadership: What’s Next for Me?,” a lecture by Sherry Harriman, divisional vice president of Walmart Supply Chain Florida-Puerto Rico, with specific action items. Mena was among the 30 women who attended the presentation sponsored by the Chapman Executive Women’s Association (CEWA). The April 2011 event was held at the College of Business Complex at Florida International University (FIU).

Mildred Zayas, Rocio Gonio, Jacqueline Cabrera, Sherry Harriman, Joanne Mena, Karen Cantor and Stefanie Anding

“Harriman offered such good ideas that I found myself taking notes and now I’m following through,” said Mena, human resources manager for Southern Wine & Spirits of South Florida.

Harriman gave the executive women precise suggestions for continuing upward mobility, including learning to market themselves and to actively participate in building the business.

She also encouraged women to ask for help.

“When someone wants to know what they can do for you, have a couple action items ready,” Harriman told the group. “Think about possible interactions in advance.”

Her advice on leveraging resources especially resonated with Mena.

“In addition to having a mentor, Harriman suggested having a sponsor, a higher level executive who can assist you and recommend you,” Mena said. “I’ve only been with my company three months so many executives don’t know me. Now I have made appointments to meet with each of them.”

Karlene Randle Manderson, Laura Berger and Brenda Leguisamo (PMBA ’09) were among the attendees at Sherry Harriman’s talk.

CEWA member Olga Gonzalez (EMBA ’10), vice president for Walmart Internal Audit Latin America, recommended Harriman for the event.

“She is very successful working in the male-dominated environment of supply chain management,” Gonzalez said. “Plus, she is able to have a work life balance, something few people can achieve and manage.”

CEWA enjoying first year of launch.

CEWA was formed in October 2010 by ten women, all of whom earned their Executive MBAs (EMBA) in 2010: Stefanie Anding, President Jacqueline Cabera, Secretary Karen Cantor, Rocio Goni, Vice President Yolanda Foster, Olga Gonzalez, Joanne Mena, Suzette Millo, Trudy Sankey and Mildred Zayas.

Membership in CEWA is open to all women with advanced business degrees from FIU and at least seven years of management experience.

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