Teamwork, mentoring, holistic behavior are key to these female leaders

Women @ Work expands the voice of women in the capital region’s business community and workforce. Among the best workplaces this year are a number of companies and organizations led by women. We met with these three leaders to gain insights on a number of issues, including the climate for women in their areas, the cultivation of elders and how the response to the epidemic has affected their work.

Answers edited for clarity and location.

Dan Abuhl

Times Union

Dan Abuhl, President, Repeat Business Systems

Q: When you started in the IT office, you didn’t have many female friends. What is the situation like now and where do you feel that there are opportunities for women to succeed in your field?

A: You’re right, there were no women in IT in Albany, nor was there one in my community. … I’ve always felt that everyone adds their own special sauce to the mix and maybe part of being feminine is for me. Our company has always been leading with a combination of heart and modern technology, and it has served us well. Diversity in all aspects enhances creativity, unique ideas and perspectives, and will reach different people in different ways. Therefore, I see incredible opportunities for women in technology.

Q: What did the plague teach you about your business / team?

A: From day one, I tried to create a close team spirit for our company. I really like every man as a human being and thank you for every day that they are here. Cholera showed how real and effective our team is. The journey was tough but our team was tough. We had no change and each one stepped in every way they could. I will never forget the support and efforts of my entire team. At the beginning of the plague, our business came to a standstill so I also had time to try to figure out how we could use the time to improve. The goal was to survive and thrive, hitting the ground running when the world reopened. To this end, we have increased team building activities, even remotely, we have improved our communication and we have implemented weekly virtual sessions with fun events such as talent shows, greening guides, games, and so on. We gave more training to each department and were ready and willing. Go! I also knew the world was close and accessible so we completed an acquisition that I had already rejected because it was so far away. Nothing is too far away and this acquisition has really succeeded.

Shaloni Winston

Shaloni Winston

Assisted by the transition program

Shaloni Winston, CEO / CEO, Lexington

Q: What advice would you give early in your career on how to best prepare for becoming an organizational leader?

A: I often encourage my team to build relationships with a teacher who can help them learn and grow. This was an important part of my approach to the leadership role in Lexington. I am also a strong advocate for continuing education and for challenging myself and my team to grow and prosper. Through this process we can assess potential areas in ourselves and others, and learn what leadership in each organization means.

Q: Can you talk about the importance of Lexington to the economies of the communities it serves?

A: Lexington is a significant economic factor in both Fulton and the city. With over 1,600 co-workers, and nearly 1,300 men, women and children supported by our services, we know that together we contribute significantly to the economic life of our community. Lexington’s salaries in our communities are more than 85 85 million a year. In addition, Lexington has always sought to purchase goods and services from local retailers for about 25 25 million a year. The people we support and most of our employees live and work in our communities and contribute through purchases and taxes. We see ourselves as a valuable partner in the communities we serve and know that the economic resources we bring to the local economy make a huge difference.

Casey Hermit

Casey Hermit

Prepared by a youth research company.

Cassie Pustilnik, CEO, Youth Research, Inc.

Q: How has cholera affected the youth research business and has it led to any lasting changes?

A: Like many other organizations, YRI has spent nearly two years in remote work. This has enhanced our use of technology and inspired new ways to deliver vital information, services and training to people across New York State. It demonstrates the ability of our employees to maintain the same level of professionalism and dedication to their work while being flexible and resourceful, as we move into our new reality. It also highlighted the importance of creating a deliberate organizational culture that maximizes flexibility for employees and creates a healthy work life balance, which is one of our priorities.

What sets big employers apart is the desire to see work as part of a holistic picture of life. As YRI staff has accomplished over the past two years, our organization must work with implementation, creativity, and speed.

Q: What challenges and opportunities do you see for women in your field?

A: More than ever, women, people of color, the LBGTQIA + community, and other disadvantaged groups face obstacles to success in their endeavors. These barriers are not limited to the lack of access to quality and affordable child care but often play a significant role. Cholera has identified us as a community and is fighting this inequality as it is now so popular and widespread. Now is the time to advocate for significant investments in social and economic infrastructure to provide adequate assistance to women and families.

Women @ Work is a network group for women in the Capital Region in business and workforce. New members can subscribe for 49 a year, which includes free admission to the member meeting nine times a year, and discounts on special events, including the June 9 meeting.

For more information and to join, please visit

Women @ Work Corporate Sponsors

  • Bank of America
  • St. Rose College
  • Godfrey’s financial partners
  • Saratoga Springs and Shinkatadi Pilates
  • Saratoga Hospital
  • Equinox

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