Last week, J.O. President Jennifer Henderson was recognized by the Fort Worth Business Press as a Great Woman of Texas. Every year they honor women in Fort Worth who are making significant business, social and philanthropic contributions to our city. This year's ceremony at the Omni Hotel was an inspiring one.
The message that came from the evening and from the achievements of the honorees was that of empowerment. It wasn't about women being underestimated. It was a message that said, "We understand the obstacles we face as women. We aren't going to complain. We're just going to push past them to get where we're going." There was as much humility in the room as there was accomplishment.
When we asked Jennifer what being recognized meant to her she said, "It must mean I surround myself with great people." Jennifer is aware of the disadvantages she's faced as a woman in business. She recalls early on in her career not being invited to meetings on the golf course. One of her mentors gave her this advice, "Learn golf and play with the big guys." That kind of influence and the fact the she's always surrounded herself with women who told her that she could do anything led her to believe that she could.
"If there is something I set my mind out to do, I try not to let anyone else's negativity stop me from pursuing it—in fact, [their negativity] makes me try even harder so that I can 'just show them!' I'm a natural competitor and I always strive to win."
That tenacity is how Jennifer grew a one-person graphic design shop into a full-service design, marketing and public relations firm. If that isn't enough, J.O. offices are located in a building Jennifer bought and restored in the emerging Southside neighborhood. So when you think of these great women of Texas, don't think of them as just another pretty face. Behind every pretty face is a mind for business and an iron clad will. And that's worth celebrating.
Congratulations to all the great women honored this year!