Edina blooms abundantly with successful women who live full and enriching lives. We highlight three women who have been motivated to make positive change in the world. Here’s a look at their paths to achievement and a glimpse at what they want to accomplish next. We’ll also tell you about the most unusual item on each of their desks. LynMarie Winninger, president, Ascendancy Research, ascendresearch.com Describe the path to your current position. My background is in hospitality. I’ve worked for Hyatt and Sheraton Hotels as well as independently. My husband and I bought Ascendancy Research seven years ago. Companies come to Ascendancy to do qualitative research. It’s my years in hospitality that ensures that clients have an enjoyable experience in a space conducive to work. What are you passionate about? I have a predominantly female staff. It’s my joy to make growth opportunities available to them, to help employees develop and gain experience they might not get elsewhere. What is the most difficult part of your job? Long hours. Research projects can involve hosting clients from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. What is the best part? Variety. One day we’re doing research on yogurt. The next, it’s political views or healthcare. The work is always changing and always interesting. What are your hobbies? Boating and spending time with our kids. We once took a three-day dog-sledding trip around Ely. I love my kids and nature. What fear would you like to overcome? Running out of time. Life is short and the world has so many experiences to offer and people to meet. What’s the most unusual item on your desk? My magic eight ball. Whenever there is an unanswerable question during a staff meeting, we go to the eight ball. What advice would you give young women hoping to succeed in business? Give from your heart. Put yourself in other people’s shoes and you’ll know what to do. Name an item from your bucket list. I’d like to go to India—ride an elephant and do service work. Melisa Franzen, attorney for Target Corporation and Minnesota state senator, senate.mn/members Describe the path to your current position. I grew up in Puerto Rico and came to Minnesota 12 years ago for graduate and law school. I’m an attorney and have always been an active community volunteer. When I became frustrated with public policy, I decided to get engaged and do something about it. Running for public office seemed the natural next step. What are you passionate about? Health care. I want to understand it and improve it. I want to be a reasonable voice on pressing issues and try to achieve consensus. What is the most difficult part of your job? I ran as a moderate and don’t want to be pegged as always agreeing with any particular side. I know I can’t please everybody. But I want to stay true to my convictions, be able to explain my positions and sleep at night. What is the best part? People. I was a Girl Scout and was pleased to meet Girl Scouts who view me as a role model. They came in support of antibullying legislation. Some were courageous enough to share personal stories. It was humbling and made my day. What are your hobbies? Going to our cabin. I like to snowmobile, snowshoe and hike. My husband and I like to chill out. We’re thinking of getting a dog one day. What fear would you like to overcome? Failure. I’m the first Democrat and first woman to win this state senate seat. I’m also Hispanic. I believe I have what it takes to do good. But I fear the unknown. It takes strength to throw yourself into something while knowing you will occasionally fail. What’s the most unusual item on your desk? A paperweight shaped like a mouse. It was a gift from visiting Russian friends and comes from the vicinity where that meteor fell. What advice would you give young women hoping to succeed in business or public service? Consider doing something crazy. Take a risk. The experience will be worth it even if you fail. Name an item from your bucket list. To climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with my husband. We’ve hiked in Banff and the Tetons, but we’ve never done a serious mountain climb. Sarah Bell Haberman, co-founder, Haberman Modern Storytellers, modernstorytellers.com Describe the path to your current position. My husband and I left corporate America to travel the world. We launched a business in Kazakhstan and later started an adventure travel company. Our mission has always been to work with pioneers who are making a difference in the world. At Haberman, we get to tell their stories. What are you passionate about? Sustainability, health and wellness. Our work with companies is in line with that passion. We also started an organic garden and share the produce with employees and the food shelf. What is the most difficult part of your job? Finding pioneers and talent we want to work with. What is the best part? Working with amazing pioneers like Ann Bancroft. We collaborated on the mission and visioning for Bancroft’s Arctic expedition. That project put us on the map and helped us work with other innovative and inspiring pioneers. What are your hobbies? I’m a hockey and basketball mom. I also love the outdoors and reading. What fear would you like to overcome? Falling behind in the digital age. I love to sit with a book or newspaper and am not as comfortable in social media. But as a business owner, I know I need to be social media-savvy. What’s the most unusual item on your desk? Stones and shells from my travels to places like Nepal. What advice would you give young women hoping to succeed in business? Marrying your passion and deep longings with your work is a formula for success. Get out there and believe it is possible to do what you love. Name an item from your bucket list. Travel to Peru and Machu Picchu. I love the remote wilderness and going where Westerners typically don’t go.
Edina Women with Vision
Three Edina women share insights on success and working toward positive change.