Words of wisdom from the 2015 Baltimore Brava winners

The winners of SmartCEO’s Brava Awards are women on a mission. They have an insatiable hunger for knowledge, the will to help those in need and a desire to make a difference. These successful Baltimore business leaders know what it takes to overcome hardships and fight to be on top. The Brava awards are meant to recognize the top female CEOs and executives in the Baltimore area.

While all of these women have a story to tell, read on to see a selection of anecdotes, quotes and words of wisdom from this year’s winners. Let their motivation move you to make a difference.

Compiled by Leah Polakoff

“Treat everyone like a VIP, and always be nice to everyone you meet, because you never know where they will end up.” – Carrie LeBow, VP of Resource Development, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation

“Choose your battles, stand up for what you believe is right, push through the punches and get back up quickly when you fall.” – Kathleen Kirk, VP, Strategic Solutions Group, Data Systems Analysts, Inc.

“Believing in yourself isn’t always the easiest of exercises, but you must practice it and not limit your success before you even try.” – Jennifer Herson, Director of Marketing, Unleashed Technologies

“Always be an energy giver, not an energy taker. Surround yourself with the best and brightest team that you possibly can, because you are only as strong as your weakest link.” – Gina Abate, President, Edwards Project Solutions

“The key to success is passion. Passion for what you do, passion for being the best at it, passion for making a difference and passion for continuing to grow and evolve as a person.” – Kathleen Booth, Owner and CEO, Quintain Marketing

“The backs you step on as you progress through your career may wind up being the only support you have at some point, so tread lightly.” – Sharon Stover, President and CEO, LifeLogics, Inc.

“It never profits you to sacrifice your integrity for the sake of profit.” – Monzella S. Owings, Esq., President, Integrity Title & Escrow Company, LLC.

“Never give up. There are times when you hit rock bottom, but that does not make you a failure. Failure is hitting rock bottom and choosing to give up and stay there.” – Dr. Mary Teddy Wray, CEO and Owner, Laurel Bush Family Dentistry

“Ask yourself, ‘Is this the legacy I intend to leave?’ If not, there is time to course-correct.” – Violet M. Apple, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland

“You need a mentor for every stage of your career that you can share your ideas with, and who will be honest enough to tell you if you are brilliant or ridiculous.” – Dr. Barbara Hutchinson, CEO, Chesapeake Cardiac Care and Cardiac Signature

Look out for the 2015 Brava Award winners in the July/August issue of SmartCEO.

Editor’s note: Winners on this list were selected based on criteria including their companies’ growth and their dedication to giving back to the community. The winners’ remarks were culled from subsequent detailed questionnaires.