• May 11, 2017
HCMx Radio 62: Leading with Authenticity

Guest: Mia Mends, CEO, Inspirus, & Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, USA

Host: Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Hall Group

In this episode of HCMx Radio, Mia Mends shares her personal journey of arriving in the U.S. with her family as a young child with the dream of a better life. It was instilled in her from the beginning the importance of balancing humility with gratitude, risk-taking, education, work ethic and living with purpose. Mia’s leadership is intentional, authentic and inspirational.

In September 2016, Mia became the new chief executive officer of Inspirus, part of the Sodexo Group, which helps businesses cultivate a culture of community engagement and recognition. She brought her passion, experience, and background in strategic management to the Texas-based company.

Mia obtained a BA in Economics from Wellesley College and an MBA from Harvard Business School and holds several distinctions, including being named to the inaugural UpStanding 100 Executive Power List (2016), a celebration of executives in the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) business community in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Listen to our interview to learn more about Mia, her career at Sodexo/Inspirus, and the importance of women’s leadership, including the progress that has been made and the barriers that still exist.

Mia will continue the conversation on the panel Leading with Authenticity at Brandon Hall Group’s 2-day event, A Way Forward: Women in Leadership, June 15-16 at the Delray Beach (FL) Marriott. The Summit offers female corporate leaders a community experience designed to enhance skills and share ideas. The goal is to share leading practices for creating inclusive environments to improve personal and organizational performance. Brandon Hall Group’s research has validated the need to offer targeted development opportunities for women to grow and achieve their potential personally and professionally, and to address the unique internal and external obstacles they face.

Click here for presenters and agenda:  http://www.brandonhall.com/WIL/

To listen to the Mia Mends interview, you can download the podcast anytime at the HCMx Radio site.


Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Hall Group @RachelCCooke


Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions. Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.

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