ATLANTA, GA – On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Pathbuilders graduated nearly 80 women from the 2016–2017 Achieva class.  Achieva is one of Pathbuilders’ four cross-company programs designed to develop high-performing women who aim to build an executive presence and excel as high-impact leaders within their organizations.

Tuesday’s event marked the close of this year-long mentoring and leadership development program.  Over the year, program participants engaged in unique one-on-one mentoring relationships with senior executives in the Atlanta area, participated in monthly educational workshops and connected in monthly peer group sessions with other participants in the program.

The graduation featured an executive panel who discussed various approaches to and examples of creating and driving a high-performing culture.  Panelists included Cyril Turner, senior vice president of Delta Connections and president of Delta Global Services & Delta Private Jets; Rock Anderson, executive vice president & chief people officer at Cox Automotive; Meredith Lackey, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Georgia Power; and Vera Arthur, senior vice president, human resources & enterprise communications at SWM International.  Together, they tied together concepts from the year-long program and inspired the audience of mentees and mentors to continue to grow as leaders. 

Another highlight of graduation each year is the recognition and celebration of the Outstanding Mentee and Mentor of the Year.  Each year, mentees and mentors nominate those who go above and beyond to make Achieva an even more enriching experience for their partners. 

Pathbuilders recognized Kris Ruedebusch, associate director of North American sales capability at Kimberly-Clark Corporation as the Outstanding Mentee of the Year.  Ruedebusch was recognized for stretching herself to take on a greater scope of responsibility while taking full ownership of her growth.  As a result of her commitment to the program and successful partnership with her mentor Pam Tipton, Director of Executive Programs at Goizueta Business School, Kris received her organization’s top performer award and was offered a promotion within her organization. 

Also recognized is an outstanding mentor who goes above and beyond and helps his/her mentee accomplish her identified goals, finds unique ways to challenge his/her mentee or helps the mentee overcome a particularly challenging hurdle.  The amazing group of mentors all positively impact their mentees both personally and professionally, developing them to be better leaders.  This year’s Outstanding Mentor of the Year is Kathryn Gerrick, vice president of procurement for InterContinental Hotels Group.

“I am so grateful for my mentor and this program,” said Ying McPherson, senior manager, commercial analysis at WestRock Company and Gerrick’s mentee.  “My mentor’s targeted guidance helped me remain agile and resilient amidst a lot of personal and professional change.”

The Pathbuilders series of progressive professional development programs includes:

  • Insignia: Entry-level women establishing credibility, developing self-awareness, learning to set priorities and gaining insight into how the business works.
  • Percepta®: Emerging leaders learning to think broadly, manage others and make conscious choices – driving their careers and achieving exceptional business results.
  • Achieva®: Mid-level managers with the potential to be senior leaders – learning to navigate politics, building executive presence and moving the company’s most critical initiatives forward.
  • Inspiria®: Senior executives positioning themselves to have maximum impact – envisioning and creating cultures where others seek and achieve extraordinary success.

Participants in the 2016 Achieva program are from the following organizations:

Aaron’s Inc.

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

Assurant Solutions

Assurant Specialty Property

BBDO Atlanta

Capstone Logistics

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Colonial Pipeline Company

Cotiviti Healthcare

Cox Communications, Inc.

Crowe Horwath LLP

Dell SecureWorks

Equifax, Inc.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Gas South, LLC

Genuine Parts Company

Global Payments Inc.

Graphic Packaging International

HAUFE Inc.

Havertys Furniture Companies, Inc.

Holder Construction Company

Jamestown LP

Junior Achievement of Georgia

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Landis+Gyr

Manhattan Associates, Inc.

McKesson Corporation

OFS Fitel, LLC

Piedmont Healthcare

PowerPlan, Inc.

PrimeRevenue

Printpack, Inc.

Scientific Games Holdings Corporation

Solvay Specialty Polymers

Southern Company

SWM International

The Coca-Cola Company

Time Warner, Inc.

Travelport

Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.

ViaSat, Inc.

WestRock Company