The Cleveland Jewish News and Gries Financial Partners Women in Leadership event is right around the corner.

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Lauren Rich Fine

Attendees of the Oct. 17 event, hosted at The Glidden House, will enjoy wine and appetizers while they network. There will also be a panel discussion moderated by Gries Financial partner Lauren Rich Fine.

Sponsors are: Ganley Subaru Bedford, wine and networking; Singerman Mills Desberg & Kauntz Co. L.P.A. and The Socher Team, co-presenting sponsors; and Zack Bruell Events, catering sponsor.

This year’s panelists are Kathy Blackman, Susan Borison, Abbie Pappas and Shoshana Socher, who spoke with the CJN in anticipation of the event.

Kathy Blackman, Owner

The Grog Shop and B Side Lounge

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Kathy Blackman

What is your biggest accomplishment in a leadership role?

Creating and running the Grog Shop and B Side for 27 years, which includes managing the staff, appeasing customers and dealing with the plethora of musicians who come through the club on a weekly basis.

What advice would you offer aspiring women in leadership?

Try and find a balance between work and home life. Quality of life is more important than getting ahead or making money, so make sure you are happy first, if possible.

In a leadership position, what do you think women bring to the table that men cannot?

I think women in general have a more nurturing and patient nature, so we can diffuse what may otherwise turn into toxic situations more easily. Sometimes dealing with issues with a level, thoughtful head and not an aggressive knee-jerk reaction can be beneficial in the long run.

Susan Borison, Co-owner and Editor

Your Teen Media

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Susan Borison

What is your biggest accomplishment in a leadership role?

My biggest leadership role is raising five children and a media company. In both cases I knew very little about what I was getting into. I also didn’t envision any long term outcomes. For both family and business, I tackled little things every hour and every day until suddenly these children and this business grew up.

What advice would you offer aspiring women in leadership?

Ask for it. For real. If you realize that you want something, talk to people, ask for advice, and then ask for what you want.

In a leadership position, what do you think women bring to the table that men cannot?

Many women are great collaborators (men can be too, of course). We are trained to brainstorm solutions and problem solve collectively. That cultivates a creative process where best ideas bubble to the top.

Abbie Pappas, Associate

Singerman, Mills, Desberg & Kauntz Co., L.P.A.

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Abbie Pappas

What is your biggest accomplishment in a leadership role?

I think my biggest accomplishment as a “leader” is having integrated different aspects of my life – my legal career, motherhood, marriage, religious practice, Jewish communal involvement – in a way that works for me. And admittedly, this a huge work in progress. I’m still trying to figure it out. But I’d like to be a role model for younger women who are searching for an example of how all those things can be integrated.

What advice would you offer aspiring women in leadership?

My advice would just be to get involved in the things that genuinely speak to you. I don’t proactively set out to be a “leader” – I set out to help the organizations and causes that provide meaning for me. If you genuinely care about something, whether at work or in the community, then you will excel in your involvement with it.

In a leadership position, what do you think women bring to the table that men cannot?

I don’t want to frame it as women being able to bring things to the table that men cannot. Neither a stereotypically “male” nor “female” leadership style is more effective or more desirable. It’s about the diversity and balance that different types of people bring to any situation. Male, female, young, old, progressive, conservative, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse – we need the whole range of people in the boardroom in order to better our organizations and our decision-making processes.

Shoshana Socher, Owner

The Socher Team

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Shoshana Socher

What is your biggest accomplishment in a leadership role?

Moving from being a solo entrepreneur to building a team. Most people believe that being in real estate is like HGTV, and in actuality, you can turn it in to a business.

What advice would you offer aspiring women in leadership?

Be true to yourself. Once you understand the power of the phrase, “leads, listings, leverage” you can harness it and use it in any framework to your benefit.

In a leadership position, what do you think women bring to the table that men cannot?

Decline to answer until I think of something helpful to say on the subject.

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