Peak, pinnacle, summit… and Zenith. These descriptive terms accurately convey a sense of real accomplishment. Zenith, in particular, is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “the time at which something is most powerful or successful.”
The Zenith Group, certainly then, is not a surprising title given to a very select group of women-owned businesses – members of the Women Presidents’ Organization – whose annual revenue exceeds $50M. These enterprising company presidents convene several times annually to engage in an active peer idea exchange. Their fervent collaboration results in assisting fellow entrepreneurs identify business development opportunities and accelerate growth, as well as enhancing the awareness of women-owned businesses.
In the spirit of showcasing exceptional women, SDI is pleased to be profiling a sampling of these movers and shakers over the next couple of months. Now that Women’s History Month has come to a close, let’s look to the future of women who will be making history. What they do, how they overcome obstacles and some encouraging words.
Dr. Rebecca Thomley,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Orion Associates
What: Orion Associates is a management organization providing management services to related and unrelated, for-profit and non-profit companies primarily in the social services field. Orion provides financial, human resources and training services with a supplementary focus on the diversification and addition of new service options as new opportunities arise.
Overcoming Adversity: As a community-focused organization, Orion’s mission is to adapt to the changing services needs of the community, while providing the best possible care. Repeated funding cuts during the recession impelled Orion to step up to the plate. Anticipating social services trends coupled with varying requirements from an increasingly diversified constituency prompted Orion to create even more innovative and expansive service solutions.
Their growth has been paralleled by an increasingly cultivated and developed internal administrative team that is flexible and truly mission driven.
Going above and beyond the call of duty, Dr. Thomley, with a passion for volunteerism, committed her organization to disaster relief and created the non-profit, Headwaters Relief Organization.
Evolving from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Thomley’s Headwaters organization has not only provided leadership to over 1400 community volunteers who provide rebuilding and mental health support post-disaster, but several of the volunteers have penned children’s books addressing trauma faced by those who have experienced disaster.
The impact of Thomley’s commitment to volunteerism is felt throughout the organization: 100% of management employees regularly participate in volunteer activities. Additionally, their broadening of community connections and commitment to volunteerism has helped Orion recruit and retain employees who want to be engaged in meaningful ways at work and in the community.
Encouraging Words from Rebecca: “I believe in surrounding myself with people who have knowledge and skills that are different than my own. It is important to listen and learn from others. Each person brings knowledge, experience and a perspective that contributes uniquely to the development of an organization.”
This is the first of a series and we are honored to be profiling these exceptional leaders.