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LAVIDGE Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Alicia Wadas was honored Oct. 19 as one of three finalists in the Phoenix Business Journal's first C-Suite Executives awards.
As part of the program, the Phoenix Business Journal publishes a special section in its weekly edition recognizing winners and finalists in the award.
Here's a peek at why the rest of the world is acknowledging Alicia for what we at LAVIDGE have long known.
Name: Alicia Wadas
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Years in position: 13
How did you come into your role: Bringing a background of entrepreneurship where I developed a wide-variety of skills ranging from new business to operations to leadership and management, I joined LAVIDGE to grow the Public Relations Department. Having proven my abilities with one area, I was promoted to COO to oversee and help grow all service areas.
What is the most important thing about being a C-Suite leader: Integrity.
What is the best thing about being a C-Suite leader: The satisfaction that comes from helping others fulfill their career goals and helping grow a business that impacts the community with jobs and service.
Was your goal always to make it to the C-Suite: Yes. I’ve always pushed myself to tackle new challenges and continuously improve my skills.
What is the most challenging thing in making the transition to the C-Suite: Moving from a peer to a boss and then coaching these high performers.
What about your current job surprised you the most: Learning that I loved to step out of doing day-to-day, hands-on directing of a business, to coaching others.
What about your current job would surprise other people the most: The variety and scale of decisions made daily and constant triage of activities that may affect short- or long-term results.
How do you give back to the community: I contribute to the business community through two organizations. As a strong supporter of the First Amendment, I serve as a director of the board for Independent Newsmedia, Inc., a collection of newspapers and websites dedicated to community journalism. I am also the immediate past-president of Intermarket Agency Network, a private group of independently owned marketing agencies across the country.
My contributions to the community at large revolve around my passion for safety. I founded Safely in Mothers Arms, an organization that I led for 17 years to help women learn how to protect themselves and their families from human assault. In 2008, after graduating from the FBI Citizens Academy, I joined the FBI Phoenix Citizens Academy Alumni Association (CAAA) to further the FBI’s mission of community outreach. In 2016 I was elected to serve on the FBI National CAAA board as a director for training and awards for 60 chapters across the country.
With strong family ties to the military, I proudly serve on the Advisory Board for GratitudeAmerica, helping with its mission of providing critical support for service members, veterans and their families.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps: Ask yourself if you have natural inclination for solving complex problems, implementing solutions, and driving change—no matter how big the obstacles might seem. If so, sharpen your leadership skills. Do every task with your full attention, looking for obstacles and for opportunities at every turn. Develop open and ongoing communication with all members of the C-suite. They are your business partners and you are more effective with the input and support of this team.
Help is a few keystrokes away.