executives

February Meeting Topic – Soles of a Survivor

Nhi Aronheim stands at only four feet, nine inches tall, but her story is immense.

Several anthologies including KENTUCKY WOMEN: TWO CENTURIES OF INDOMITABLE SPIRIT AND VISION, and the PBS documentary, VIETNAM 101, have profiled my harrowing journey as a child refugee who escaped war-torn Vietnam in search of the American dream.

Speaking very little English when Nhi arrived in Kentucky, she excelled in school and became valedictorian her senior year. She later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Centre College in Danville, and a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Nhi worked for four years as a telecommunications consultant for Lucent Technologies, during which time she met and married a Jewish man, and converted to Judaism in 2004. She has two beautiful children who she has raised to embrace Vietnamese and Jewish cultures.

After transitioning to sales and marketing in the mortgage industry—where she worked for over sixteen years—she retired from Citywide Home Loans as a marketing specialist, at the age of forty-one.

Next to her family, Nhi’s passion is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. She volunteers as a mediator for courts and the Better Business Bureau in Colorado, in addition to being an interpreter.

In 2013, Nhi earned a Black Belt in Taekwondo, fulfilling a promise she made to her birth mom—who wanted Nhi to learn karate before she left Vietnam—in the event she came under attack during her escape, she could protect herself.

Having come full circle from prosperity to poverty and back, Nhi hopes to encourage others to believe that in spite of overwhelming odds, they can survive any situation with a desire for improvement and the willingness to grasp opportunities in front of them.

NARRATIVE OVERVIEW

The soles of my feet still bear the scars of my horrific escape from Vietnam—where I trudged through the jungles of Cambodia at the age of twelve with a group of strangers. No experience, however, has influenced or enriched my life more than being adopted into a Christian family and later becoming a Jew.

In SOLES OF A SURVIVOR, I share my story of survival, resilience, hope, and faith in my quest to achieve the American dream.

Various articles, academic papers, and literary anthologies have focused on the experiences of Vietnam Boat People, but many of the one million refugees who fled my country’s oppressive communist regime find it too painful to share their stories in depth. I too refused to relive my traumatic experiences for almost three decades—until now.

Through SOLES OF A SURVIVOR, I fill an essential gap for understanding the adversity Vietnam refugees endured from the perspective of a young child; the experience of being adopted into a household of a different culture; and the joys of interfaith marriage.

May Speaker – Andrew Wien, The Dynamic Leadership Center

INTRO TO MINDFULNESS
Modern science has shown that the brain is malleable. What we think, do, and pay attention to changes the structure and function of our brains. Mindfulness is a way to change the wiring of our brains for the better. With training, you can improve focus and productivity, strengthen communication and relationships, better manage difficult experiences, and increase resilience. Come learn what mindfulness is and how it can help you do just that!

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
What mindfulness is and the latest neuroscience supporting it  How your brain typically performs at work, and whether or not that is effective  Quick, simple exercises to start incorporating mindfulness into your routines

ABOUT ANDREW
Andrew founded the Dynamic Leadership Center to help his generation be more productive at work. He believes that small tweaks in how we use our brain can fundamentally change our work performance, effectiveness of relationships, and overall fulfilment. (Oh, and make companies more profitable too).

Andrew’s background makes him uniquely suited to have an impact. He …
* is a millennial — he grew up during 9/11, does not carry cash, and is dependent on a charged cell phone
* has a depth of business experience — he excelled at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he saw a stark contrast between how BCG and their clients motivated and engaged their workforce
* is active in shaping the mindfulness community — he collaborates with leading experts to create content, facilitates sessions in companies and his community, and has a dedicated practice of his own.

In his free time, Andrew seeks out endurance/adrenaline sports (i.e. setting hard goals for no apparent reason) and meditation (i.e. sitting in excruciatingly uncomfortable positions for mind numbing lengths of time).

TESTIMONIALS
“It so easy to lose perspective in the workplace, like these deadlines or emails…. And it was a good way to regain perspective.” 

“It helps you make better decisions, and those decisions led to better outcomes.”

“It has made me more patient, more empathetic, more able to see things through other’s eyes.”

January’s Meeting Topic: Yippee Ki Ya-Cowboy Wisdom in the Business World

To kickoff the New Year, we welcome Todd Ordal of Applied Strategy to our January Monthly Meeting.
ToddOrdal

Real business leaders are successful, but they are not rock stars. They work hard, they are emotionally intelligent, they want to win and they want to run an ethical business that is a great place to work. In other words, they are “real” and they want real lessons on leadership, not platitudes, parables or posturing. Todd is the author of a soon to be released book, “Never Kick A Cow Chip on a Hot Day” (Morgan James, 2016).

Todd Ordal leverages his rich leadership background to help CEOs and other senior executives lead better, profit more or sleep soundly-usually without narcotics! He has led teams as large as 7,000, has worked as a CEO in multiple industries and served on many boards of directors.