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About SHADES OF iNFLUENCE

Who Are We?

It was a cold but sunny day in the fall of last year when we got together for a quick lunch to discuss Shades of Influence.  We had worked together for years and had now been friends for even longer and we were excited at the idea of doing something that could help us fulfill a different part of our lives through helping others.   We hadn't really ever thought of participating in a venture outside of the corporate world but during that lunch we explored what we had to offer and why we wanted to go down this path.  Knowing that we had a lot of work and leadership experience, we felt we had the ability to help others in unique and different ways by hosting events that would promote learning and sharing and by sharing our perspectives through our writing.

We walked away from that initial meeting feeling tentative but excited at what the future would hold for us.

Fast forward to today and we have a clear vision of what we are doing and we are so excited to share it with you. 

Simply put, we want to do some good in the world and contribute positively to society.  Yes, we know that seems a little vague – how are they going to do that, you may be asking yourselves.  What are they selling, you may be thinking. 

Well, we are going to do that in different ways, for example, holding events where people can come together to share their experiences or expertise to help others.  We are going to write about things that interest us because we are sure they will interest someone else out there as well.  We are going to take what we know and have learned in our lives and give it back.  We are 3 multi-dimensional women and we are going to reflect that in what we do.   

This is our passion project. 

This is us. 

Our Goal

So what is our goal here?  Well, our driving force is to create different platforms to help others tap into their potential. 

We are a group of everyday people who want to use their experiences to influence the narrative on how others foster relationships and prepare for the future

We also want to harness the power in diversity: we feel strongly that everyone has something to offer and we can all learn from each other’s experiences and outlook. 

As we plan our work at Shades of Influence, we will focus on 4 guiding questions: 

  1. Did we influence others to seek out their potential and ability to better themselves or improve their outlook?
  2. Did we educate and inspire? 
  3. Have we created or helped generate diverse conversations?
  4. Did we make a positive social or cultural impact? 

Those questions will allow us to be reflective and purposeful and will help us stay focused.   

We want to be able to influence our paths, to adjust how we look at ourselves and each other and remove the barriers that hold us back. 

We hope you will accompany us on our journey. 

 
Hazel Smith has built her career in the telecom and insurance industries, having occupied increasingly progressive roles over almost 3 decades.  She is a dynamic and passionate leader who has always strived for excellence in all that she does and all that she expects.  Hazel is the driving force behind Shades of Influence as she has recently started to redefine what success means to her on a personal level.  She is focused on her societal contribution and how she can help others to have access to the opportunities that she created for herself over the course of her career. 

Hazel Smith has built her career in the telecom and insurance industries, having occupied increasingly progressive roles over almost 3 decades.  She is a dynamic and passionate leader who has always strived for excellence in all that she does and all that she expects.  Hazel is the driving force behind Shades of Influence as she has recently started to redefine what success means to her on a personal level.  She is focused on her societal contribution and how she can help others to have access to the opportunities that she created for herself over the course of her career. 

Michelle Gittens started her career in the telecom industry and recently made the move to the public sector.  She has a Masters Degree in Education with a specialization in Workplace Learning and Change and has held senior and executive leadership roles, managing and leading both process and cultural change.  Michelle is a strong believer in lifting people up and helping them to succeed and she has spent much of her career doing just that.   

Michelle Gittens started her career in the telecom industry and recently made the move to the public sector.  She has a Masters Degree in Education with a specialization in Workplace Learning and Change and has held senior and executive leadership roles, managing and leading both process and cultural change.  Michelle is a strong believer in lifting people up and helping them to succeed and she has spent much of her career doing just that.   

Varuna Mahabirsingh has spent two and a half decades building her career in the telecom industry with the same company and she currently occupies a senior leadership role.  She is proud of the work that she has done, even prouder that she has been able to succeed and thrive for so long in a time where that type of tenure is rare.  She spends a lot of her professional time helping others to grow and develop their skills and now she is excited to contribute her experience in a more personal way

Varuna Mahabirsingh has spent two and a half decades building her career in the telecom industry with the same company and she currently occupies a senior leadership role.  She is proud of the work that she has done, even prouder that she has been able to succeed and thrive for so long in a time where that type of tenure is rare.  She spends a lot of her professional time helping others to grow and develop their skills and now she is excited to contribute her experience in a more personal way