The Luckiest Intern in the World

Women in High Gear Book SigningAs the current intern working for the Deeter Gallaher Group, I have truly been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Twenty four years old and just recently graduated from my dietetic internship program. I must admit that if you had asked me a year ago, I would never have imagined that I would be working in a PR/marketing/social media firm.

My field, after all, is nutrition and dietetics. However, a desire to someday own my own private practice led me to think outside of the box and reach out to Anne Deeter Gallaher–an idea for which I am now patting myself on the back. I could not have asked for a better place to learn the ins and outs of business, marketing, and the power of social media.

Anne Deeter Gallaher is quite a remarkable woman. Having grown up in the same neighborhood as the Gallaher family, I have been lucky enough to know Anne for years; and until recently, observed from afar as her self-started company, the Deeter Gallaher Group, quickly became more and more successful, attracting the attention of many business advocacy groups, local news outlets, and thousands of social media followers. So, when I realized that I needed some business and marketing experience, I knew who was at the top of my list to ask.

During my time with the Deeter Gallaher Group, I have had the opportunity to help Anne market her new book, Women in High Gear, co-authored with Amy D. Howell. This included accompanying her to a Harrisburg Business Women meeting where she spoke to an incredible group of go-getter women, sharing her own inspiring story. I was able to capture a lot of her speech on video, and have since shared it on the WiHG YouTube channel so that anyone can watch and benefit from her story.

If you want proof of Anne’s social media influence, look no further than the brilliant and creative introduction delivered by Kathy Snavely, entrepreneur and member of Harrisburg Business Women. Kathy introduced Anne “by the numbers” and demonstrated her vast social reach.

Anne shared a story on what began as a Twitter connection soon blossomed into a real-life friendship with her co-author, Amy D. Howell, of Howell Marketing Strategies. Before long, these two brilliant business minds realized that they had a wealth of experience to share with the next generation of business-minded women (and men). Thus, the idea for Women in High Gear began to take root. Watch the evolution of their journey to publication here:

Toward the end of the meeting, Anne spoke directly to my generation, to the twenty somethings and thirty somethings that are just beginning their high gear journeys. She also shares her advice for on-ramping, a term describing re-entering the workforce after off-ramping for professional development, caregiving, or raising children.

To anyone who has big dreams but also big doubts, I encourage you to not only watch these videos, but to read Women in High Gear. Speaking for my own, fresh-out-of-college generation, jumping into the real world is scary, and the prospect of starting your own business is even scarier. However, in the words of a young entrepreneur from the Harrisburg Business Women, What’s the worst that could happen? You fail. So what? You pick yourself back up and you keep going. I have to admit that the prospect of failing still terrifies me, but to borrow some wisdom from Women in High Gear, “If you don’t fail sometimes, you don’t learn.”

This book is filled with tried-and-tested advice from two women who did not let doubts and worries hold them back. Anne and Amy share their triumphs and their setbacks as they persevered to achieve what they have today.
They know you are hesitant. They know you are worried. They know that the very thought of leaving the known, safe, and secure makes you uncomfortable. With ingenuity, honesty, a little humor, and a lot of class, Anne and Amy will guide you forward. They will inspire you to push yourself. After all, “Getting uncomfortable is the best thing you can do to reach your next high gear.”

Women in High Gear available on

High Gear Presentations

Anne 2012 FINALThe Deeter Gallaher Group is committed to telling high gear stories and helping others connect the dots for business growth and success. Anne is presenting at the following events:

September 24, Minneapolis, MN: Anne will speak to The National Association of Women Business Owners – Minnesota Chapter (NAWBO-MN) about Women in High Gear and share business wisdom and inspiration for women in all stages of their business career.  Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #WiHG and #NAWBOMN from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon EST.

October 17, Harrisburg, PA: Anne will be the plenary speaker at the LDIAA (Leadership Development Institute) 20th Anniversary Conference at Central Penn College from 9:20 to 10:20 a.m. EST.

Please join Anne at these events and add to the conversation!

Marketing Profs Podcast Interview with Amy Howell

Amy D. HowellPost originally appeared on Interview by Kerry O’Shea Gorgone.

Click Here to Listen to the Podcast

Amy Howell is CEO of PR and marketing firm Howell Marketing Strategies. She’s also a sought-after speaker on social media, business, and marketing communication.

I invited Amy to Marketing Smarts to discuss the book she recently co-wrote with Anne Deeter Gallaher, Women in High Gear: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives.

Here are just a few highlights of our conversation.

To build your Twitter network, select people who genuinely engage online (11:54): “The most important thing to me is engagement and feedback. I’d rather have ten Twitter followers that I talk to regularly than a million that I don’t.”

Become a “people broker” (12:38): “If you don’t like people, you’re not going to like Twitter. If you’re not a people person, you’re missing a lot of great opportunities… Most of our business comes through relationships.”To succeed in a male-dominated work environment, learn to make people comfortable (17:32): “Get [male colleagues and clients] comfortable with you. The only way to get them comfortable with you is to have them respect you. You have to be good at what you do, but then you have to be appreciated in a way that’s not threatening to them. That’s where most women stumble.”

When mentoring others, exemplify what it means to have a good work ethic (19:10): “You have to practice what you preach. Young women especially need to set an example… Deliver on time. Deliver quality work. Do what you say you’re going to do. It’s a culmination of a lot of little things that leave you with a big impression…a lasting impression.”

My conversation with Amy included much more. I encourage you to listen to the entire show, which you may do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

Reaching High Gear

Featured on Dare, Dream, Do blog.

One of the proudest moments for any mother is to watch her children supporting each other and looking out for each other. As the mother of three sons, all of whom spent elementary through high school years on the wrestling mat, I have witnessed a few of these moments and one in particular has challenged me to reach high gear.

I can still hear Joshua, our oldest son, shout in his Type-A tone to his brothers as each one would get ready to wrestle: “You shoot! You go, Aaron!” It would echo in the gymnasium. Before the boys shook hands and before the referee blew the whistle to start the physical engagement, Joshua was sending a clear signal to his younger brothers—it’s up to you. Do it first. Don’t react, don’t retreat, don’t step back. Dive in. Shoot for the takedown. He led by example. Scrappy, determined, disciplined. He wasn’t the strongest or a privately trained athlete, but he was mentally tough and strategic.

In high school wrestling, there are 3 periods of 2 minutes each. For me, it was the longest 6 minutes of any event in my life, except for contractions during childbirth. Joshua knew that the wrestler who secures the first takedown for 2 points has a statistical and mental advantage. Studies show that 80% of wrestling matches are won by the individual who scores the first takedown—wow. It’s not the kid with the coolest wrestling shoes, or the biggest biceps, or the cocky swagger, it’s the kid with guts. It’s a mental victory, and it sets the tone for the match. What did that have to do with me sitting in the bleachers?


Joshua’s vocal insistence and relentless message to his brothers left me with a call to action. I had spent 15 years as an off-ramper—I first heard that term when I read a Harvard Business Review article in March 2005 by Silvia Ann Hewlett and Carolyn Buck Luce.  They were highlighting the business and corporate impact of educated, professional women off-ramping to raise children or care for elderly parents. And they were uncovering a significant cadre of women who were doing this.

“Many women take an off-ramp at some point on their career highway. Nearly four in ten highly qualified women (37%) report that they have left work voluntarily at some point in their careers. Among women who have children, that statistic rises to 43%” the articles states.

My off-ramp took me out of an economic provider role but into Cub Scout den mother leadership for seven years, school committees and fundraisers, room mother events on every topic from astronauts to Thanksgiving to chocolate, bulletin board decorations for church and school, vacation Bible school directorships, and CEO of our home. My husband worked as a high school chemistry teacher by day and ran a successful ceramic tile business at night.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was learning valuable business skills in my off-ramp. If you can get three boys to bed on time, you have serious negotiating skills. If you can make sure everyone gets to wrestling, baseball, Scouts, and guitar lessons—and have permission slips signed when they’re due, you have serious project management skills. The only difference was that my talents were proffered for free.

When Benjamin, our youngest, was in elementary school, I decided that it was time to on-ramp. I had worked as an editor in a publishing house prior to maternity leave and had remained a freelancer for my employer.  I didn’t want to return there full-time, and I did not want to ask permission to attend wrestling matches or be home if the boys were sick. So, I realized that I would have to start my own business. How do I do that? I have two bachelor degrees but neither is in business, and I didn’t have any business courses in college. How would I shift into high gear? I remembered a quote from Jonathan Winters and it has become my motto: “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim to it!” It was time to disrupt myself.

Much like Joshua’s clarion call to his brothers, I realized that I would have to go for the takedown.  I was 40 years old, had been working at home for 15 years, and had no experience in running a business—not an attractive business plan to take to the bank! But it didn’t stop me. I set up an office in our bedroom, printed business cards, and joined the chamber of commerce. I was so excited to be a member of the formal business community, that one of my older brothers said, “Anne, have you just heard of a chamber of commerce?”

I leveraged my soft skills to start to meet people and eventually asked five successful business leaders to be on my board of advisors. They all agreed, and each one has acted as a Sponsor for me, before I knew what that term was. They have become my clients and have willingly advanced my career at every opportunity. I asked them questions relentlessly about navigating this new world of associations, contracts, RFPs, and the most difficult process of all for me—pricing my services.

That was in 2000, and since my decision to go for the entrepreneurship takedown, I have moved to Class A office space, hired amazing employees, worked with national and international clients, am opening a second office in Nashville, and made some social media superconnections—the best was meeting Amy Howell, a force of nature in Memphis, Tennessee.

After meeting on Twitter in 2009, Amy and I realized that we shared many similarities and goals. Our deep desire to shorten the learning curves of other women is the reason Amy and I co-wrote Women in High Gear: A Guide for Entrepreneurs, On-Rampers, and Aspiring Executives.  It’s our playbook to help others navigate the world of women at work. We answer questions such as, Is high gear attainable for today’s women and the next generation of women? Can you off-ramp and still on-ramp to high gear? Can you survive setbacks and roadblocks? Will your kids be fine if you stay on the fast track? Can you acquire emotional resilience? Will executive men serve as Sponsors? Are there other paths to high gear in addition to BA, MBA, and Wall Street?

The good news is a resounding YES. And we believe there is no better time to seize opportunities and connect the dots for growth and success. Go for the takedown, high gear awaits!

How have your children taught you to dream?

Women in High Gear Debuts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Women in High Gear Debuts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania