The Towanda Effects--Unapologetic Boldness for Life and Career Success (Panel Discussion)
What propels you to act with uncharacteristic boldness, even just once, that in turn empowers you, positively impacts your own life and career, as well as that of other people? What is the Towanda Effect?
It's a battle cry for bold action that has been turned into a philosophy to inspire others.
- Have you ever wondered how your leaders and your colleagues have stepped into being bold early on in their career, what that looked like for them, and the impact it had?
- What are the implications of being apologetically bold and unapologetically bold?
- Where do risk and exploration intersect to push us beyond our comfort zone?
Join women’s leadership facilitator, Tonya Tiggett, and three dynamic leaders from the utilities industry who will share their stories during a lively discussion on being unapologetically bold in one’s life and career.
The panel includes:
Tonya Tiggett, Facilitator--Tiggett & Co.
Velda Otey--WiNUP Past President, Ohio Chapter Member
Linda Monge Guerrero--Manager Operations Planning, NIPSCO/WiNUP Metro Chicago Chapter Vice Chair
Dean Van Horne--Director of Customer Care, Texas Utilities South West Water Company/South Texas Chapter Member
Founder and Chief Career Strategist, Tiggett & Co., LLC
Tonya Tiggett has a passion for helping business professionals to develop the fine art of business conversation through career strategy to elevate their personal and career advancement. Tonya brings 30 years of diverse experience in the learning and development field starting in public school systems with bilingual education, later at her alma mater The Ohio State University and at Fortune 500 company JP Morgan Chase, and culminating with leading her own company called Tiggett & Co. It was during her tenure in the banking industry where she began authoring and leading professional development and career strategy programs in English and Spanish for three lines of business, reaching thousands of colleagues and twice being named an ICON Award honoree.
During her corporate career, Tonya became known for her energetic teaching approach, unique activities to increase self-awareness, and a hands-on program experience that consistently yielded immediate career and life-changing results for her colleagues. These results, combined with an entrepreneurial spirit, led Tonya to form a leadership and talent development company in 2013. Tonya feels privileged to have partnered with 45 companies to continue her quest to equip professionals to take charge of their career by increasing their confidence levels and taking ownership of their communications to realize amazing career results. To date she has worked with more than 8,500 people globally and still loves designing programs and learning experiences that are transformational. Tonya has actively supported multiple community leadership initiatives through non-profit board work, most recently with the Columbus Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as Past Board Chair, Advisory Board member to Cool Tech Girls, and as a founding supporter of a nonpartisan P.A.C. The Matriots, whose mission is to increase the number of publicly held seats by women in Ohio.
Retired Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO), American Electric Power
Velda Otey is the retired Vice President and Chief Information Officer for American Electric Power (AEP) where she was responsible for leading major technology investments across all lines of business with the goal of delivering excellent customer service and sustainable business value. AEP is one of the largest investor-owned electric utilities in the U.S. serving nearly 5.4 million customers across 11 states. She has served the IT field and energy industry for over 45 years and has been a member of WiNUP for 28 years.
In retirement, Velda dedicates her spare time to mentoring and coaching women and girls in advancing their leadership skills and focusing on STEM careers. Velda strongly believes in the value of giving- back and serves on numerous non-profit community and professional boards as well as business advisory councils.
Her local and national recognitions include Outstanding Young Women of America; International Executive Guild Registry; National Women of Color Technology All-Star Award; WiNUP Ohio Chapter Oak Award; AEP/UNCF Legacy Award; Cover of The Women’s Book; American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) Flame of inspiration; Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) 12 Women You Should Know-2011; and WiNUP International Honorary Life Member and OAK Awards.
She is currently a full-time caregiver for her husband of 50yrs (Charles).
Linda M. Monge Guerrero
Manger, Operations Planning, NiSource / NIPSCO
Linda is the Manager of Operations Planning for the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). Her team is responsible to provide 24x7 engineering support to electric operations, perform electric outage studies to ensure electric system reliability is maintained and provides engineering support to NIPSCO’s capital programs. Prior to joining NIPSCO in 2014, she worked at California Independent System Operator (CAISO) for four years as a network applications engineer. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering (EE) from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. She went on to complete all the coursework for the PhD EE degree at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where reading thousands of research papers convinced her to switch career aspirations from academia to the electric utility industry.
She joined WiNUP Metro Chicago Chapter in 2017 where she has held several leadership roles, including Vice-Chair, International Board Representative and STEM and Community Outreach Committee Co-Chair. She is an active member of multiple Employee Resource Groups at NIPSCO and volunteers her time for as many DEI efforts as she can.
Linda is at her happiest when spending time with her husband, 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter. She also enjoys trying new food, the beach, bicycle rides, strength and yoga workouts, participating in fun races and traveling.
Dean Van Horne
Director of Customer Care, Texas Water Utilities
Dean is the Director of Customer Care for Texas Water Utilities, a business unit of SouthWest Water Company. His team is responsible to provide excellent customer experience through call center interactions, billing, payments, collections, complaint resolution, and new services. Dean has more than twenty-five years of experience in operations and continuous improvement, eleven of which were in the water and wastewater utility industry in the areas of business performance and finance. He received a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Accounting from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Business Administration with a Major in Executive Management from Ashland University. He has also achieved his Black Belt Certification in Lean Six Sigma.
He joined WiNUP South Texas Chapter in 2020 along with eighteen of his team members. He is also a member of the National Association of Water Companies CX Committee.