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Empowering Young Leaders Through Partnership with LEAP

In uncertain times, it can be difficult to stay positive. Selected leaders at American Zinc Products (AZP) lifted spirits and inspired the next generation of female leaders alongside a local non-profit leadership and life development program, Leaders and Entrepreneurs for the Aspirations and Promotion of Girls (LEAP).

LEAP’s mission is “to encourage, inspire and motivate young girls to be influential leaders, entrepreneurs and powerful women in their schools, homes, communities, jobs, and businesses.”

One of the organization’s goals is to connect girls aged 10-14 with locally-employed-female professionals to highlight successful career paths right here in Rutherford County. This mission aligns very closely with AZP’s values: We want to invest in our community and provide rewarding careers to those who are from our area. When we found out about this program, we saw a great opportunity to support a locally-run initiative that shares a core objective with AZP.

Saturday morning, March 28th, two women in leadership roles at AZP remotely joined a conference call to speak about leadership and management skills to some of the girls. Mia Chapman, Community Relations Coordinator at AZP, began the discussion by sharing her experiences in leadership roles at AZP and in her personal life:

“You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader—you may be a leader and not even know it. Have you ever noticed that kindness is contagious? Positivity inspires positivity. Being approachable and kind to people is how I strengthened my leadership skills—and I still follow that rule today.”
– Mia Chapman, Community Relations Coordinator, American Zinc Products

Roselynne “Bud” Lawen, Safety and Training Manager at AZP, spearheaded the management portion of the day’s topic, starting with a story about how when she in elementary school, she never saw herself where she is today. Lawen’s teachers planted seeds in her, helping her develop into a true leader and eventually empowering her with the skills to flourish in several management positions, including her current role. The emotional conversation resonated with many of the students, who are starting to realize their own leadership potential.

“To be a good manager you must be a good leader. It’s important to remember people’s names, shake hands, and look everyone in the eye when you are talking. These may seem like small things, but they make a big difference!”
– Roselynne “Bud” Lawen, Safety and Training Manager, American Zinc Products

Although we weren’t able to meet in person, this session was a powerful opportunity for AZP and LEAP—and the beginning of a partnership we’re looking forward to continuing.