Gina Sheridan, Mia Comeriato, & Lakeisha Temple

Gina Sheridan

Name:  Gina Sheridan
Leadership Charlotte (LC) Class:  32
Title/Company: Chief Marketing & Communications Officer / Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
Hometown: Louisburg, NC

Education: University of North Carolina Wilmington, BA Communications

Current leadership goals: I strive to provide leadership and structure for the CRVA’s Marketing & Communications team as we recover from a year of crisis, change and uncertainty. COVID-19 substantially impacted the global hospitality landscape. It’s safe to say no other industry was hit as hard, with impacts devastating the industry as a whole and in particular, the 1 in 9 people in Charlotte who work in the hospitality and leisure sector. I’ve also dedicated myself to developing and executing strategy to support the CRVA’s commitment to openly and earnestly promote equality, inclusion, and compassion…what we call digging deeper.

1. If you could describe your Leadership Charlotte experience in three words or phrases, what would they be?
Stirring, Compelling, Thought-provoking

2. What advice that you would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants?
Like anything in life – you get out of it what you put into it. Be present. Be vulnerable. Reflect. Really get to know your classmates, especially those you wouldn’t naturally gravitate toward. Make a point to connect with the staff, lead team and alumni who you interact with during program days.

3. What do you remember most vividly from your Leadership Charlotte experience and why?
Some program days I would leave feeling energized and ready to take on the world and other days I would come home drained and burst into tears. I gave myself permission to just feel, to sit with raw emotions and take time to explore what was stirred in me and determine what I wanted to change and how.

4. What’s a lesson that you learned through LC that has stuck with you and why?
Active listening. I’m one who is typically uncomfortable with those awkward silences in conversation and find myself speaking up instead of using a pause to reflect on the meaning of what a person had just said. Program days and relationships in Leadership Charlotte are fundamentally built on understanding other perspectives which often differ from ours. I learned the importance of focusing more on what classmates were saying, and less on my own interpretation; the value of listening to understand, to unpack the meaning of words and the silences in between rather than to immediately reply.

5. Favorite way to spend a weekend in Charlotte:
With my family! My son Beckett is nine, so my husband and I love watching him experience all that the Queen City has to offer.

Fun fact – more than half of Charlotte’s visitation is comprised of travelers who are visiting friends and relatives. Check out our list of things to do, where to eat, shop and experience the outdoors while friends and family are in town.

Mia Comeriato

Name:  Mia Comeriato
Leadership Charlotte (LC) Class:  33
Title/Company:   Chief Human Resources Officer, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
Hometown:   Hartville, Ohio

Education:   BA in Business Administration and Psychology from Malone University, Canton, Ohio

Current personal or leadership goals:   Be in the moment, find joy in the little things, and inspire others to be the best version of themselves.

1. If you could describe your Leadership Charlotte experience in three words or phrases what would they be?
Eye Opening; Insightful; and Transformative.

2. What advice that you would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants?
Be present in every way so you get the most out of the experience.  Disconnect from work and all other distractions as much as possible.  Most everything can wait one day.  Some of the best learnings and ah ha moments will come from discussions with your classmates as much as the actual programmatic part of the day.  Resist the urge to break off by yourself to check messages and instead engage with the class.  Program days are long, no doubt, but if you have the chance to participate in the social gathering at the end of the day, do that too.  You have the opportunity to form meaningful and lasting relationships.  Trust me, you will not regret it!

3. Favorite nonprofit or community organization in Charlotte and why:
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is my favorite nonprofit organization because of the mission and vision. Yes, I am partial because I have served the organization for over 30 years.  And, this is not to discount all of the wonderful community organizations in Charlotte serving a meaningful purpose.  We actually collaborate with many such organizations to meet the needs of those we serve in areas such as education, health, welfare, finance, legal, childcare and emergency assistance. Goodwill changes lives through the power of work and exists to help people see possibilities, seize opportunities and prosper.  It is my honor to be a part of something so special and transformative for members of our community!

4. How has your life after Leadership Charlotte surprised you and why?
My initial experience with Leadership Charlotte ten years ago was unexpected.  I fully anticipated learning more about our great city and meeting other professionals who wanted to do the same.  What I did not expect was how much I would learn about myself and the kind of leader I wanted to be. Through my experience in the program, I began to explore how I was showing up versus how I wanted to be seen and the kind of impact I wanted to have on people in my professional and personal life.  Leadership Charlotte was the beginning of an awesome journey for which I am eternally grateful!

Lakeisha Temple

Name:  Lakeisha Temple
Leadership Charlotte (LC) Class:  40
Title/Company: The Hartford Insurance Company, Underwriting Director
Hometown: Newport News, VA

Education: Clark Atlanta University, BS Business Administration; Montreat College, MBA

Current personal or leadership goals: It is my leadership goal to not follow anyone else’s blue print.  I am creating my own starting with being my most authentic self.

1. If you could describe your Leadership Charlotte experience in three words or phrases what would they be?
Transformative; Enlightening; Powerful

2. What advice that you would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants?
As someone who is very introspective, do not over think every situation or experience.  Allow yourself to be vulnerable and open to the sharing and receiving of all perspectives.  You will not regret it.

3. How do you use your Leadership Charlotte experience today?
As a leader I have the responsibility to create a vision, motivate, challenge and advocate.  My LC experience has provided me with an insurmountable amount of knowledge and accessibility to resources to be an effective leader within my company and my community.  I may not have all of the answers but I certainly know there are over 2000 LC Alumni that I can connect with to begin collaborating.

4. Favorite nonprofit or community organization in Charlotte and why:
Classroom Central-I have a strong affinity towards children and their education.  Classroom Central’s mission to equip all Charlotte students and teachers with the necessary school supplies eliminating one more distraction to effectively learning is simple but invaluable for so many.

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