Celebrating Women’s History Month

Teddi Daniels, Benefits Administrator


Women Who Inspired Me 

Both of my grandmas – they were amazing women! They were involved in serving their communities in addition to running their households. One grandma had four children, and the other had five… so they stayed pretty busy! I definitely inherited my love of gardening from my Grandma Ohlendorf, who was a German farmer. She read her Bible every night and showed me throughout her life the benefit and power of intentionally blessing others. Also, my Grandma Daniels, who was a phenomenal cook with all sorts of dishes (I inherited that a little less, lol). My son Gabriel enjoys cooking, so that gene may have just skipped a generation.


 Overcoming Challenges as a Woman in the Workplace

At a prior employer, the General Manager of the facility directly instructed me to throw out any resumes we received from women for the Chief Financial Officer opening, since he wanted to be able to play golf with whoever was hired and only had men in his golfing group. Sometimes the way to resolve that type of situation is to find a different place of employment.


An Achievement I’m Proud of

In addition to being a mom… earning my second-degree senior black belt in taekwondo, and becoming a children’s book author are also proud moments. Both of these were very personal goals of mine that took a good bit of time (years) for me to achieve. They involved making pretty significant choices to ‘not’ do other things so that I could have the time and resources needed to achieve what I wanted to. I also had to step outside my ‘known’ box and learn to welcome constructive feedback on an ongoing basis, and make changes using that feedback. I’m not planning on writing any more books, but I am still training in taekwondo!


Finding Work/Life Balance as a Woman

As a single parent who works full-time, my priority list is very fluid at any point in time! Being flexible, and understanding how long things take to get done, helps me a lot. When I have a deadline, I like to break it into smaller pieces and work backward from that to ensure I’ll meet the targets I need to along the way. Also hitting my ‘pause’ button for just a minute is usually a good choice for me to make. Once something is said/done, it can’t be unsaid/undone.


Advice for Women in the Human Resources Workforce

Education is a great thing, so keep learning! For me, education has been an ongoing journey, and online learning has been a particularly good fit for my ‘working mom’ schedule. I earned my Bachelor’s degree years ago, and am starting to work toward my Master’s in Human Resources this summer, and really looking forward to that! As advice in general… I think it is very important to be open to listening to others and seeing things from a bigger perspective than life in only your own shoes and personal experiences.


Staying Motivated in the Face of Obstacles

I want to be the best example I can be for my son Gabriel. This is my primary motivation for the choices I make. In our kitchen, we have a German poster on the wall – ‘Es wird nicht leichter. Du wirst besser.’ Which means, ‘It doesn’t get easier. You get better.’ So the ‘success’ gauge I use is not tied with what others accomplish – it’s just with myself, and who I was yesterday. One of my biggest parenting goals is to have Gabriel understand and value using this type of gauge.

Also, I’m not a big fan of those who need to make others look bad to make themselves look good. Darkening someone else’s light doesn’t make your own light shine any brighter. The most successful people I know work hard, and intentionally enable others to succeed!


How Mentorship Shaped Me

On the receiving end… My taekwondo school is an excellent example of the power of mentorship and lifting others up. The instructors and senior students work together to help other students with patterns, sparring, board breaks, and anything else needed. One of our instructors, An, and another black belt, Jill, have both been phenomenal inspirations for me to keep training and pushing myself through actual (or perceived) challenges for the past eight years. We text throughout the week to encourage each other to get to class and on the mat!

On the giving end… As a mentor at Belmont Central Elementary and Belmont Middle School, I saw the value of building relationships and providing consistent encouragement to others. Walking alongside my students throughout the years enabled them to do better at school, and in other areas of their lives. Being a school mentor also helped me to understand, evaluate and address situations that may not be optimal, and find/make opportunities to excel despite obstacles.


Supporting Other Women in my Field

I like to look for silver linings and open doors. And I’m always happy to help others. In both my personal and professional life, I make mistakes. Learning from those mistakes is when my best growth happens. My favorite quote is “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”