2016 Women’s Panel to Advise Female Students at Catawba on How to Succeed in the Real World

Highly successful young professionals, including Catawba alumnae, will share how to succeed in those first jobs out of college with Catawba coeds at the College’s third annual Women’s Panel slated from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Tom Smith Auditorium. Their presentation, “How to Succeed in t...

Highly successful young professionals, including Catawba alumnae, will share how to succeed in those first jobs out of college with Catawba coeds at the College’s third annual Women’s Panel slated from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Tom Smith Auditorium. 

Their presentation, “How to Succeed in the Real World” will provide great advice and an opportunity for networking.  Attendees can also enjoy a fondue dessert bar and a chance to win terrific door prizes at the event sponsored by Catawba’s Career Services, C2C (Catawba to Career), and Enterprise Holdings.  The public is also invited to attend.

Five panelists include Megan Spidell of Dummit Fradin, Attorneys at Law, Summer Sturgill of Enterprise Holdings, Rebecca Shomo of Novant Health Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, Jacquelyn T. Jensen of Empire Distributors of North Carolina, and Meredith Abramson of Rowan Salisbury Schools-Erwin Middle SchoolThe discussion will be moderated by Darlene Ball ’62, chair of the Catawba College Board of Trustees.

Panelists will share critical lessons they learned early in their careers and address the following topics:

  • Self confidence in the workplace (ok to fail? Need thick skin?);
  • Networking and mentoring;
  • Balancing home, work, family, self;
  • Keys to success in that first job (team player, communications, work ethic, politics).


Panelists' Bios

Megan Spidell - Dummit Fradin, Attorneys at Law
Megan is a 2009 honors graduate from Catawba College and 2012 graduate of Elon University School of Law. She is the managing attorney of the Greensboro office for Dummit Fradin, practicing primarily family law. She is a 2016 recipient of the Super Lawyers: Rising Stars award and recognized as Business North Carolina's Legal Elite. She received the 2014 National Trial Lawyers- Top 100. 

Summer Sturgill - Enterprise Holdings
Summer graduated in 2008 from The University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing. In 2011 she joined the Enterprise Rent-A-Car team as an entry level Management Trainee. While working her way up the corporate ladder, she held positions such as Management Assistant, Assistant Manager, Branch Manager, Regional Hiring Manager, and her current position as a Remarketing Account Manager.  Since her start with the company four years ago, she has received seven promotions based on her performance.  Best advice: You can never lead if you have never followed. In the words of Thomas Paine, lead, follow, or get out of the way.


Jacquelyn T. Jensen - Empire Distributors of North Carolina
Jacquelyn, a 2011 graduate of Catawba College, is a Retail Chain Account Manager with Empire Distributors of North Carolina, Inc., a wholesale alcoholic beverage distributor. She is responsible for North Carolina wine and beer sales business for Walmart, Aldi, BI-LO, Kmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Sheetz and Speedway. Previously, she worked for Johnson Brothers Liquor Company as a Retail Territory Manager. Jacquelyn is a resident of Spencer, where she lives with husband Chace.  She serves on the Historic Preservation Commission for the town of Spencer.

Best Advice: Forge your own personal path to success. Learn something from every accomplishment, as well as every failure.


Meredith Abramson - Rowan Salisbury Schools-Erwin Middle School
Meredith Knowles Abramson came to Catawba on an academic/soccer scholarship, graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She also earned her Master of Education from Catawba.  Her career in the Rowan-Salisbury School System began the day she finished her student teaching and has been in middle and high school English.  In 2014, however, her talent and love of the arts allowed her to segue into the art classroom. She won the North Carolina Association of Educator's Terry Sanford Award that recognizes creativity and innovation in teaching, and was the runner-up Teacher of the Year for the Rowan-Salisbury Schools.  On the side, she manages an art-business, Whimziggy.  She lives in Salisbury with husband Andy and daughters, Macy (13) and Miles (10).





Desiree Pugh - Desired Design, LLC  & Keller Williams
Desiree graduated from Catawba College in 2003, attending with both academic and athletic scholarships.  Devoted to playing basketball, she enjoyed her days at Catawba and graduated on the National Honor Society.  With a major in Information Systems, Desiree worked as a Web Developer/Graphic Designer for 12 years.  This year marked the beginning of her new business as a Realtor where Desiree has partnered her Desired Design. LLC with Keller Williams.  She is excited to grow her business not only for herself but also for her 3 "babes" Kaden (6), Kieran, (4), and Korin (2).


Moderator Bio

Darlene Ball ’62 was a Biology and Chemistry major at Catawba, served as SGA president and was the Whitener Award winner.  She enjoyed a long career in textiles, first at Dan River Mills in Research and later, working for close to four decades, with Burlington Industries.  At Burlington, she held 11 different positions, with her last one as Corporate Vice President of E-Business Development.  Since 2008, she has been a partner in Seating Safety Solutions.  Active in the life of her alma mater, she currently serves as chair of Catawba’s Board of Trustees and has been a member of that board since 1999.  She has also served as president of Catawba’s Alumni Association.

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