Top 10 most inspiring women 2020
Linda Arrey Nkwenti
Linda Arrey Global LLC | Author of Memoirs of a Working Mother, CEO/President at Women in Leadership Development and Empowerment Inc (WILDE), Nonprofit Consultant and Life Coach at Linda Arrey Global | Visit Website
Tell us a little about what you do (business, career, etc) How did you get started?
I have spent several years as a Certified Life and Leadership Coach, helping women breakthrough from a place of feeling stuck, to a season of thriving, efficiency, success, and finding overall fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives. As women, we can’t be successful CEOs, while lacking in our roles in the home and vice versa. So attaining a certain level of balance and success in all areas of our lives is a priority with the women I work with. My clients call me ‘The People’s GPS’. I can take you where you need to go; we will explore all the different routes; but, you have to be willing and capable of driving. In life commitment and consistency are key.
Through my consulting firm, Linda Arrey Global, I coach, speak professionally, write, and offer nonprofit startup and sustainment services. I have been blessed to deliver keynote addresses, speak on panels, and facilitate workshops nationwide and internationally. My book “Memoirs of a Working Mother: Fighting for Balance, Managing Expectations and Channeling Love”, is a self-help tool for women to thrive at home and work through an anecdote of personal stories, tips and expert tools. With over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, serving corporations and communities in various capacities, I curated, The Nonprofit Institute, a premier academy for current and potential Nonprofit Entrepreneurs to transform their vision into compliant, sustainable and impactful 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organizations, even if they have zero experience. As a Nonprofit Consultant, I also offer one-on-one consulting services to nonprofit organizations, of various sizes, who simply need the right strategies to have a successful launch/relaunch, or need help with running their nonprofit as a thriving business, while executing successful programs and raising funds the right way.
I am a philanthropist at heart. I feel blessed to be the CEO of Women in Leadership Development and Empowerment (WILDE), a professional women’s 501(c)(3) organization serving women and underserved communities through workshops, mentoring, conferences, leadership, and community service initiatives that focus on our four pillars of mental wellness, physical wellness, spiritual wellness and financial literacy.
When I’m not in 6 inch heels, you would often find me in combat boots. I am an Active Duty Captain in the United States Air Force Medical Service Corps, currently serving as a Chief Financial Officer, right here at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
In everything I do, I would say my most valuable and precious roles are being wife to my husband, Tse, and mother to two of God’s greatest creations, our daughters.
You’re the CEO for Women In Leadership Development and Empowerment (WILDE.) Can you tell us a little about the organization and its mission?
I sure can. WILDE is a membership based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of professional women from diversified backgrounds and experiences who unite to assist women through personal and professional development initiatives. Our primary mission is to assist women and underserved communities through Leadership, Mentorship, Education and Community Service. We do so through programs, workshops and events that center around the four pillars I mentioned earlier: Mental Wellness, Physical Wellness, Spiritual Wellness and Financial Literacy.
Some of our exciting programs include Give Mom A Break Day™, curated for working mothers to avoid burnout by pausing and focusing on self-care. Some experiences we offer during this free event include manicures, massages, relaxation activities, medication, time management tools, meal prep tools, quick workouts, lunch and many more. It is truly a day by moms made for moms to relax, release and rejuvenate.
Our largest event of the year is the annual Women’s Wellness and Business Conference during which we offer expert workshops and presentations that go deeper into wellness, building your tribe, finance and business. The 2020 conference was postponed due to safety precautions in light with the Coronavirus, and we hope to have the event later in the year.
That said, with an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S., WILDE recently launched a campaign to help battle the coronavirus pandemic one mask at a time, by donating surgical and/or N95 masks to Mission Essential Healthcare Workers and Expectant Mothers in the state of Delaware, and other neighboring states, based on availability and immediate needs. To apply for masks or to donate to our COVID-19 Support campaign, please visit https://wildeinc.org/covid19
What is the most important business or personal discovery you’ve made? How did it affect where you are today?
To be Authentic, yet Flexible. In the Air Force we say, “Flexibility is the key to Air Power”, a famous quote by Gen. Giulio Douhet.
We have to be ready at any moment to give up whom we are, for whom God has destined for us to become. Authenticity makes us true to ourselves and our beliefs. It makes us relatable and genuine to connect with our inner self and audience. It makes us honest with ourselves and transparent with our audience. Whether you are cultivating personal or business relationships, you are more likely to sustain the interest of your audience with authenticity, than trying to be someone else, or what society expects you to be. Flexibility on the other hand reminds us that when faced with adversity, it is okay to bend, but we should never break. There are times when change is needed, times when we need to reinvent ourselves, such as now when the entire world is faced with the Coronavirus pandemic. But we must also remember to stay true to ourselves, always bend, and never break.
When you’re not working, what can you be found doing?
The beach is my happy place. I am also a homebody. I enjoy spending quality time with my family. Playing with the girls, cooking, date night, nice dinner at home, and simply cuddling on the couch and watching a great movie is a day well spent in my world. Oh, I enjoy shopping online 🙂
How did you push through a turning point (career or life) and what did you learn from it?
Motherhood remains one of my biggest challenges, yet brings me the most joy. At age 29, I started experiencing period clots and heavy bleeding, also known as menorrhagia. I was later informed by my doctor that I had uterine fibroids. My doctor and I were discussing options of removing the fibroids, when I found out that Tse and I were going to be parents, I was pregnant. To say the least, I had a difficult pregnancy and at 24 weeks, I was placed on bedrest. The fibroids grew with the baby and made my day-to-day activities near impossible.
For someone who is used to being very active, staying on bedrest was a hard pill to swallow. But I knew I had to push through and find creative ways to stay occupied. My priority remained to bring a healthy baby to the world and also be alive. So I started journaling, alot. I also opened an online ladies fitness apparel store Fitness Chicks, right from my couch, with my computer and cellphone. And I launched a Facebook comfort group for other expectant moms who simply needed to chat and share their experiences with assurance that they were not alone.
I also made the conscious decision to see the positives of my moments of silence and to nurture the moments with my unborn child and the new relationships I was cultivating. I transformed from a woman almost faced with depression from bedrest, to now enjoying my time and days. One thing I didn’t have to worry about was money. For that I felt blessed. As an Officer in the Air Force, I was gainfully employed. As an entrepreneur, my businesses were running themselves. I could also still pick up my phone or jump on a zoom call to coach a client without leaving my bed or couch. I was finally resting my body and utilizing my mind to do the things I love. But, I had to think of the women who lost their jobs while on bedrest without a source of income. These women did not only have to worry about getting better, but also worried about the next meal or rent money. I wanted to help. I started sharing what I have learnt over the years with the women in my group and also wrote to them in my journal. I believe financial flexibility is important in life, and it is equally great to have an alternate source of income, where possible. I poured everything I knew into my book “Memoirs of a Working Mother”, and it truly is my gift to the women of the world. As mothers, God equipped us as the givers of life, we wear our crowns and capes everyday to provide and protect our creations.
With God’s blessings, I didn’t only survive bedrest and uterine fibroids, but I evolved a better person and mother. We welcomed our precious Angel, and she and her sister haven’t stopped challenging us and rocking our worlds with joy ever since.
Why Linda Arrey Nkwenti is On this List
“I first met Linda at (I think!) a BBB & Delaware State Chamber Networking event. She carries herself like a CEO but still retains the warmth she demonstrates to her friends and fellow female peers. Her military and philantropist heart collides to make her a living, breathing example of inclusivity. She’s a connector and has introduced me to other fabulous, inspiring women. She gets it and I adore her for it.”
More 2020 Most Inspiring Women
Dr. Teri Quinn Gray is the Technology Operations & Portfolio Manager with DuPont Transportation and Industrial (T&I) business. She is an inspiration to women who want to work in the STEM field.
Rebecca Simeone Lennon created the Graphic Design & Color Print Department at DLS Discovery Creative. Whether it’s photography or designs, she puts her heart and soul into everything she works on.
Jennifer Vitak is an Insurance Agent at Liberty Mutual Insurance and the organizer for Women United. She’s a networking expert and brings a ray of sunshine to every event she’s attending.
Janet Killian is the Owner/Founder of Gemini Janitorial Services & a Children’s author! Janet is a fantastic leader and extremely humble. It’s no surprise that everyone who meets her loves her.
Chrysa Cohen is the owner of Continental Jewelers, a family-owned jewelry store that opened in 1955. She takes pride in knowing that the store is on top of every phase in the jewelry industry.
Dr. Eunice Gwanmesia is an educator, author, consultant, speaker, coach, philanthropist, and mentor. Her story as an immigrant is inspiring and we are honored that she shared it with us.
Barbara Day works at Unique Impressions and assists people in finding the BEST marketing and promotional tools for their business. Everything she does is with 100% enthusiasm and pride.
Nicolle Surratte is Chief Inspiration Officer at NspireD, LLC where she advocates health & wellness as a lifestyle. As a breast cancer survivor, she discusses breast cancer awareness & education.
Gigi Gaul is an administrative assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences at Wilmington University. Gigi loves giving her time to several DE nonprofits.