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Lauren Dixon Offers Advice & Reflection before ATHENA Event

DS News / 4.22.21

UPDATE: Lauren Dixon received the 35th annual Athena International Award on April 22, 2021!!

Original story:

Our founder and board chair, Lauren Dixon, will be honored today at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Council's ATHENA Awards as an ATHENA International Award Finalist.

As Lauren reflects on her career and the influential role she’s played for so many women in business leading into this afternoon's event, here’s what she wanted us to know.

Who inspired you, and why?

I’ve had the good fortune of driving by the Ontario County Courthouse every day where Susan B. Anthony was tried for voting over 100 years ago. That never gets lost on me. I’ve had a few hard days throughout the past 33 years and on those days, her words “Failure Is Impossible” lift me up and give me the kick in the pants to think that whatever my challenge is that day, it's nothing like what she went through. What she accomplished and persevered through has always given me hope, inspiration and a positive spirit!

How can we become brave and courageous female leaders in the workplace?

Surround yourself with positive, brave and courageous women! And don’t allow the Negative Nancys and Complicators in your life. I encourage all of our female leaders to take calculated risks and to take action immediately. I would much rather have my female leaders make 100 decisions a day instead of being frozen by the fear of making a bad decision. There is a possibility that a few of the 100 decisions may have been better, but I feel it is better to self-correct instead of dragging one’s feet on making a decision.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Make sure you interview the company you are applying to just like they are interviewing you. Find out what their core values are. Ask what they stand for. If they don’t know, run for the hills. You will have greater job satisfaction and more joy at work if the organization exists for more than just making money. It’s 40 hours a week of your life and a third of your time during the week, why not make it the best 40 hours it can be!

As the agency you founded over 30 years ago welcomes its “next generation” of leaders, what do you hope remains the same at Dixon Schwabl?

My hope is that the culture will remain the same and that we continue to focus on our people. We’ve always been a people-centric company with a family-first focus. I also hope we continue to stay committed to the community and give back. Those two things are extremely important to me.

Is there a mantra or quote you live by professionally every day?

My mantra is “We Make It Happen”! It is the belief that whatever the obstacle we will figure out the right solution. What I love so much about our business is that each day we are presented with multiple marketing challenges. I still get energized and excited about brainstorming all sorts of solutions to solve marketing problems.

On behalf of the entire Dixon Schwabl team, congratulations to all the finalists of the 2021 ATHENA Awards on this incredible achievement. Thank you for paving the way for the rest of us!