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April 2007
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The Scoop on FEWnet
The Scoop on FEWnet

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"To tend, unfailingly, unflinchingly, towards a goal, is the secret of success."
- Anna Pavlova

Happy spring, FEWnet friends! We hope that this month's Just Dessert finds you setting your sights on new business projects while taking the time to start your summer vacation planning.

We're also spending time focusing on new initiatives, specifically how FEWnet can continue to play a relevant role in helping you network with other leading women in accounting and finance. We thank all of you who were able to complete our annual membership survey in March and we were pleased by the valuable and candid feedback you offered. The survey shed light on what is important to you as FEWnet members including the opportunity to build connections with likeminded women by way of additional events throughout the year, such as lunch speakers. The majority of you also enjoy reading Just Dessert and find the Table Talk segment particularly interesting - be sure to read up on this month's topics below. Another noteworthy takeaway from the survey is that 42 women are interested in joining a small group, which will likely fuel the creation of new groups throughout the metro area this year! We hope to implement some exciting and valuable changes based on your honest feedback and we thank you again for your participation to help make our FEWnet community even stronger.

Annual celebration! Don't forget to mark your calendar for our annual FEWnet party on Thursday, June 7, at the DoubleTree Hotel in St. Louis Park. With 200+ financial women in attendance, this "must attend"; event brings a compelling keynote speaker, a fantastic wine selection, and plenty of time to connect with old friends and new. Print invitations will be mailed out soon, but we would love to start collecting your registrations today, so please send them to Melissa Mlakar at mmlakar@certespros.com. This is a night for women in our industry to celebrate each other, so please tell your financial friends. The more the merrier we always say!

In the spirit of celebrating women in finance, we are pleased to announce that Certes Financial Pros' very own Tami Farrell-LaQua has been honored with a Woman of Achievement Award by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Tami, Director of Client Services at Certes, was selected for her outstanding professional contributions to our company, as well as her energy, enthusiasm, and strong leadership. Congratulations, Tami!

FEWnet Member Spotlight
FEWnet Member Spotlight

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"Life is a verb, not a noun."
- Charolette Gilman

Christine Battist

Christine Battist is the Director of Financial Compliance for the Mosaic Company, one of the world's leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients (i.e. fertilizer). Mosaic Company employs 7,500 people worldwide with operations in 13 countries of which the US, Canada, and Brazil are the largest.

A Wisconsin native and alum of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Christine is a recent transplant to Minnesota. Having spent twelve years prior to 2005 working in Dallas, Texas, for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Tuesday Morning Corporation, the return to the Midwest meant that her growing family would now be closer to both its roots.

As the Lead of the Mosaic Company's worldwide SOX efforts, Christine credits her upbringing with three competitive brothers as well as earning a reputation for being a strong performer, as key reasons for her ability to step into a critical role at the beginning of the Sarbanes-Oxley boom. With change being a daily reality at a Fortune 500 company that is less than three years old, we were pleased to have the opportunity to spend an hour discussing the power of networking, the rewards of mentorship, and one possible reason for Bon Jovi's longevity.

Table Talk
Table Talk

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Read about hot topics from this month's FEWnet small group discussions.

  • Exit interviews: A goldmine of valuable insight.
  • Maintaining and improving employee engagement.
  • Healthy employees = healthy companies.
  • What job factors are important to new recruits?
  • Public speaking: Minimize jitters and boost confidence.

What FEWnet Members are Reading
Title - What Members are Reading

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With management and leadership books inundating the marketplace and topping best seller lists, it's no surprise that we often feel like there isn't enough time in the day to read and absorb all of the compelling business philosophies out there. With that being said, Leadership is an Art by Max De Pree is one gem that is well worth the weekend afternoon it will take you to read it, cover to cover. Timeless themes told with a fresh perspective, this book resonates with people of all backgrounds and ages; making it a great graduation gift or the perfect departmental book club read.

Karen's Corner
Karen's Corner

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"Good" Office Politics

I consider myself fairly well read on the "business book of the moment," and am surprised when I come across books out there promoting poor office politics. Consider some of the following current business philosophies being published:

Think of your office as the battlefield. If you don't, you will be stabbed in the back first. (Gosh, I wouldn't want to see what happens to the company's real competitor.)

If someone confronts you, confront back. It is a sign of weakness not to. (I guess we're past turning the other cheek.)

Snide remarks in the office are fine, if you keep it smart. (What a wonderful idea for company culture.)

Be proactive in mentioning your peers' business failures. Or better yet, find work friends to do your dirty work for you. (No wonder we fear mistakes so much!)


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Annual FEWnet Party

Mark your calendars! Our annual FEWnet party will be held at the Park Place DoubleTree hotel on June 7, 2007, starting at 5:30 pm. Join your fellow FEWnet members for a memorable evening of networking, wine tasting, fellowship, fabulous hors d'oeuvres, and a compelling keynote speaker. Look for more information in the coming weeks. We hope to see you there!

Dealing with Covert Processes at Work

Learn about The Covert Processes Model, a multi-dimensional framework for understanding the hidden dimensions and dynamics of individuals, groups and organizations. This seminar will teach you literal symbolic methods for diagnosing and dealing with covert processes, and basic keys and strategies for working with covert processes. The presenter, Robert J. Marshak, PH.D., has worked for more than 30 years as a consultant and executive with global corporations and government agencies to plan and manage change, develop new strategies and structures, challenge limiting mindsets, and work cross culturally.

Sponsor: MN Organization Development Network
When: May 16, 2007, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Location: University of St. Thomas Minneapolis Campus, TMH Room 203
Cost: Members: $295; Nonmembers: $335
To Register: Click here for more information or call 763.208.9119

FEWnet Members on the Move
Title - On the Move

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Natalie Leiran has accepted a position as Finance Manager at Medtronic. Congratulations, Natalie!

Sandy Sponem joined the M.A. Mortenson team as CFO last month. All the best to Sandy!

Janelle Rietz-Kamenar is now VP/Director of Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis with TCF Bank. Warm wishes, Janelle!

Perm Candidates / Long-Term Contractors
Long-Term Contractors / Perm Candidates

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Certes Financial Pros is a financial placement firm specializing in providing professionals to Twin Cities' companies needing project, interim staffing, and permanent hiring support. Whether you have a temp or temp to perm need, Certes Contract is here to help with a wide variety of high level professionals to ease your team's workload.

The Perm Placement Network by Certes connects financial professionals with permanent positions in the Twin Cities while providing companies with highly qualified, screened candidates at all levels of accounting and finance. To explore this or other opportunities, visit us today!

Do you have an immediate need? Check out our current available lists and give us a call.

Long-Term Contractors Available

Perm Placement Candidates for Hire

Certes Financial Pros.
Your bridge to a better life.

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