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LEAD Success Stories

11c2a5aDanielle Brown

Senior Analyst, Benefits
Oncor Electric Delivery

“North Texas LEAD has provided me the advantage of networking with fellow professionals and seek employment opportunities that I would never have access to without the organization. Because of their efforts in resume writing and interviewing skills, I was able to set myself apart from the rest of the competition and prove to employers that I was the best candidate. I greatly appreciate their commitment to keeping me informed of positions that were in my field and always giving valuable feedback when requested. Thanks to North Texas LEAD, I have now found employment with a wonderful company that will allow me the chance to grow further within my career. Joining the LEAD organization will definitely change your life as it has changed mine!”

Marsha Price

Regional Director
JPS Health Network

“I am so grateful for the opportunity provided through North Texas LEAD to establish so many valuable connections. I will be forever committed to supporting your continued success in connecting diverse leaders with organizations who value diversity within their organizations.”

Scott Ayer

Transportation Analyst
Lennox International

“The LEAD process afforded me opportunities to expand my network with some great organizations in north Texas.  LEAD played a big part in fine-tuning my approach to the entire job-seeking process.  I learned so much this year.  I will continue to apply what I’ve learned thanks to the benefit of being a LEAD candidate.”

Nicole Jones-Pellum

RN Team Lead – Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic
JPS Health Network

“As a career wife, married to an active duty member of the U.S Navy, transferring to various duty stations comes with its fair share of challenges. Thanks to North Texas LEAD and their selection process, becoming a LEAD candidate has given me the opportunity to; network with key members in the Healthcare industry, polish my interviewing skills, and successfully gain employment with a diverse and  transforming healthcare system.   My sincere appreciation is afforded to Stephanie Valdez and Stephen Bradshaw for assisting with my brand, resume writing, and launching my career in Healthcare Leadership and Management.” 

Robert Horton

VP, Environmental Affairs
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

“Without a doubt, my decision to apply to North Texas LEAD was the best decision of my professional career.  Although I had the work experience and education documented in a nice looking resume, it was not sufficient to advance to the next level.  The most beneficial lessons learned came from studying the STAR interviewing technique, listening to advice on presenting myself in an authentic manner, and learning how to develop an effective networking technique. With the prayer, guidance and support from Gyna, Stephanie, Stephen, and the rest of their support network, I was able to successfully navigate a very rigorous interview process in order to land my dream job at DFW Airport.”

Gregory Rose

City Manager
City of Maricopa Arizona

“North Texas LEAD assisted me in improving my interviewing and networking skills, which had a direct impact on me being able to demonstrate that I would be an effective City Manager. I want to thank LEAD for all the support that it has provided to me over the past months. ” 

David Treichler

Director of Business Development, Modeling & Analytics
ONCOR Electric Delivery

“Having an advocate is essential to any job search and your team was my advocate at ONCOR. I spent nearly 20 years in just two companies locally and did not have a network or advocates who could help other than your team.”

Genena Woodson, SPHR

System Manager, Office of Diversity of Inclusion

“In the current job market, job seekers need more than just a great resume, and a great smile.  You need a strong network of resources.  For me, North Texas LEAD was one of those strong resources.  Through the quarterly networking receptions, and through supportive conversations and feedback from the LEAD staff, I successfully built my confidence, and successfully built my network with key decision makers across industries.  As a Human Resources leader for more than 18 years, I felt I knew it all when it came to job search.  I was wrong.  Thanks to North Texas LEAD, I learned the current market trends in this difficult “employers” market.  Thank you Gyna & Stephanie for making this last year of transition bearable.  I look forward to a continued partnership with LEAD.”

Keith Potter

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Tarrant County College District

“Working with the North Texas LEAD team has been integral to not only my job search, but my development as a career professional.  Gyna, Stephanie and Stephen provide a valuable service to career professionals who believe self-improvement is a valuable organizational asset.  As an ASQ Certified Black Belt the LEAD program taught me how to interview and network with passion and purpose.  I highly recommend LEAD to current and future job seekers who are willing to learn, listen and grow within their respective career path.”

Chris Chilton

Director of Marketing + PR
Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)

“The challenges that older executives face in these uncertain economic times are extremely daunting. North Texas LEAD is an organization that understands what it takes to reenter the workforce both from the applicant’s perspective and from the employers. Gyna Bivens’ tireless efforts in working with major DFW companies and corporations in helping match talent to jobs is nothing short of heroic.”

Kimberly Ellison

Organizational Development Specialist
Texas Health Resources

“I am grateful for the LEAD Organization for creating an avenue of career growth opportunities for diverse candidates.  Although I landed prior to participating in any LEAD sponsored events, the rigor and professionalism associated with your candidate selection process better prepared me for my career search journey. Thanks again!” 

Andre McEwing

Supplier Diversity Manager
Tarrant County College District

“My experience of a professional management job search and working with the North Texas LEAD program has yielded the most rewarding business and educational career opportunity that I ever could have imagined. I was able to apply my entire corporate, non-profit, and business career to my current role as Supplier Diversity Manager at Tarrant County College. North Texas LEAD supported me by ensuring that my resume and interviewing skills were fine tuned. As a result, I had a very successful interviewing session with various TCCD administrators. North Texas LEAD definitely increased my professional management marketability through the preparation process. Thanks go to Gyna and Stephanie for their commitment to my career success.”

Na’Kedra Higgins, MPH

Clinical Research Assistant
JPS Health Network

“When I was laid off after nine years at a pharmaceutical company, I had no idea where I would end up next. My interviewing skills needed polishing and I had no idea how to network or brand myself. While attending a job club meeting at TWC, I was told about the LEAD organization. Going with my first mind to give LEAD a try was the best thing I could have done. Not only are Stephanie and Gyna friendly but they are dedicated to getting each candidate back into the workforce. I know that the feedback I received from the panel interview was instrumental in my obtaining employment with JPS, no longer in the laboratory but finally using my advanced degree in public health! I love my new job! Thank you to everyone at North Texas LEAD!”

Emmanuel TumiEmmanuel Tumi

Computer Support Specialist
Texas Christian University

“In the current job market, the importance for career seekers firmly establishing a “brand” to set themselves apart from the field cannot be understated. North Texas LEAD provided the platform for me to do just that! The networking opportunities and career resources that LEAD provided were invaluable to me and helped to align my skill set with a great institution of higher learning in Texas Christian University. Thank you Gyna, Stephanie and Stephen and the entire North Texas LEAD organization for all of your hard work and dedication.”

Jennifer Trevino

VP of Administration and Chief of Staff
University of North Texas Health Science Center

“Going through the process to become a North Texas LEAD candidate provided additional job opportunities, valuable exposure, and actionable interview feedback that helped me during my career change in 2006/2007. The whole process and experience gave me an advantage then and I believe that holds true today in an increasingly competitive job market. I would strongly recommend North Texas LEAD to professionals looking for career opportunities in organizations that value diverse talent.”


Oliver Wright

Technology Services Manager
BNSF Railway

“North Texas LEAD provided me with a pathway for my career. Being in IT for several years, LEAD provided a platform to showcase my skills and to introduce me to major companies within the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex. Attending a networking session hosted through LEAD provided the perfect venue for me to meet hiring managers and corporate executives of LEAD members. Today I participate in interview sessions and speak to potential candidates with LEAD. I want to give back to the organization that helped springboard my career. Thanks North Texas LEAD!”

Dianna Garcia Hosford

Coordinator of Recruitment and Outreach, School of Public Health
UNT Health Science Center

“During the downturn in the economy and the loss of my job, I decided to focus on my strengths and use my network to its full advantage. I talked to former colleagues, friends and family and let them know what I enjoyed and what I was looking for. Through these contacts I eventually found a great position in higher education which eventually led me to my current position at UNT Health Science Center, which I love! In the end, losing my job in corporate America led me to a field I love and I couldn’t be happier.”

Staci Hill

Manager, Administrative Services
Freese and Nichols, Inc.

“North Texas LEAD allowed me the opportunity to meet the LEAD Partners in an one-on-one environment at the DFW reception.  It was a
pivotal moment in my job search and certainly gave me an edge over others in the job market, affording me the benefit of meeting Human Resources Executives across the area in a  professional environment.  The North Texas LEAD staff provided continual support and feedback while being an intermediary with my prospective target companies.  I’m thrilled to be able to leverage my talent with Freese and Nichols, Inc.  This has been an opportunity of a lifetime!”

Kenneth Tarango

Change Management Specialist
Bell Helicopter Textron

“The pursuit of work was filled with its share of disappointment and quiet periods where no activity was taking place. What helped me persevere was maintaining a positive attitude through the difficult stretches. Small victories, such as receiving e-mails of inquiry or requests for phone interviews, were a big help. It also helped to leverage former colleagues as sounding boards. They helped me internalize that selections of other candidates by hiring firms were for reasons beyond my control.”

Dresdene Flynn-White

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
JPS Health Network

“As a Human Resources professional, I know how critical it is to your success to appropriately match a person with an organization. The match needs to address mutual needs, values and vision. I am thankful that the expertise of North Texas LEAD was able to accomplish that for JPS Health Network and myself.”

Kenneth Buchanan

Executive Vice-President Revenue Management
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

“Looking for employment or making a career change is a daunting task. Joining the North Texas LEAD organization helped me to gain focus on my career goals and provided me an avenue to pursue those goals. The networking and coaching opportunities were extremely valuable to me and were the catalyst to opening the door for my new career at D/FW International Airport.”

Gladstone ‘Stony’ Thomas

Director – F35 Forward
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

“The avenues to employment and career change/advancement are few in today’s economic climate. LEAD’s strategic approach helped me identify my perfect career avenue paving the way for me to meet corporate leaders who value bright talent. These leaders were also willing to expand their workforce beyond their borders. My family and I are proud TEXANS. The best part of my experience is LEAD staff will always be there for you.”

Kathy Novak-Johnson

Director, Customer Support
BNSF Railway Company

“I was introduced to North Texas LEAD through a co-worker’s acquaintance. LEAD opened my eyes to the organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I could utilize my leadership abilities and apply my career background. LEAD’s interview process was a great starting point in getting to know LEAD and what it brings to our community.”

William McCleave

Staff Engineer – Aircraft Training Devices Team Lead
Bell Helicopter Textron

“Through North Texas LEAD, I was given the awesome opportunity to meet face to face with key executives and decision makers from some of Dallas/Fort Worth’s top companies. It was a LEAD networking session that opened doors to a new career at Bell Helicopter, and gave me the strategic opportunity to present myself and my qualifications. LEAD is the bridge across the abyss of career searching.”

Konnie Espanet

Technology Services Manager – Engineering Applications
BNSF Railway Company

“I am both extremely impressed and grateful for the influence that North Texas LEAD has had on my career. They have provided numerous opportunities for me to network with senior executives from the companies that shape and make the Dallas/Fort Worth business area into what it is today. Just going through the interview process to receive the valuable feedback, was worth any efforts I made. In addition, they have provided opportunities for me to “make a difference” and give back in their efforts to grow the LEAD organization. Thank you North Texas LEAD!”

Debra Curry

Principal Engineer – Systems Engineering, Medium Helicopter Development
Bell Helicopter Textron

“When I decided to make a change in my career, LEAD was instrumental in assisting me identify companies within the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that were aligned with my career goals.  With LEAD’s assistance, I was able to identify a company where I believe future growth opportunities are available.”

Jarred Howard

Manager, Consumer Products
BNSF Railway Company

“While education and experience are critical components in any job search, securing employment in the modern-era requires job candidates to build a brand for themselves. The LEAD process helped me establish the platform of credibility that was the catalyst to the launch of my career at BNSF.”

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