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"You are the CEO of your life and career path." - Deb Smolensky

Deb Smolensky is the Co-founder and CFO of Global Women 4 Wellbeing and the VP and Global Practice Leader for Well-Being and Engagement at NFP, the ninth largest global benefits and insurance adviser, which services corporate clients of all sizes domestically and internationally.

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  • What did you have to learn the hard way in your professional life?

I learned that networking is the key to professional longevity, and that you are the CEO of your life and career path.

  • What skills do you think are the most important for an entrepreneur to have?

I think skills that are most important for entrepreneurs are communication, public speaking, compassion, mindful listening, business acumen, and a personal awareness of strengths, passions, gifts and talents.

  • What's your tech/startup prediction?

In my industry (HR and Corporate Wellness), tech will drive future solutions and growth. It's the only way; however, if done incorrectly, our space will literally experience mergers, consolidations, and exits from the industry.

  • Who was a role model to you when you were coming up in your field?

My first manager was a role model. She was a women leader in a mostly-male organization, and she wasn't afraid to speak her mind or question the status quo --  in the right way, of course.

Now for the fun stuff... 

  • What hashtag best describes you? #BetheChange
  • Which song is the soundtrack to your life? I love this question! It actually changes based on my day. When I need to make waves I listen to Rockstar by Pink, and when I'm having a really bad day I listen to Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. When I need inspiration, I'll pick I Lived by One Republic. 
  • Where is your favorite spot in Chicago? You'll find me anywhere that pampers my soul; beauty, good food, zoos, and gardens -- places like that.
  • What do you like to do in your free time? Believe it or not, I actually like creating new businesses!

Connect with Deb on LinkedIn by following this link.


Are you interested in becoming a mentor or teaching a workshop at 1871? Learn more here.  

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