LaWanda Flennoy is a mother, grandmother, wife, and lifelong learner. She earned an associate degree in Psychology while raising three daughters and then went on to receive a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Psychology. After spending most of her career supporting senior-level and C-suite executives at Fortune 500 companies and large organizations with 10,000+ employees, LaWanda wanted to work at a smaller firm and joined Third Horizon Strategies in January 2020 as the executive assistant to the CEO. Ten months later, she was promoted to the vice president of Human Resources (HR), while continuing to serve as an executive assistant.
Making a difference
One of the things that LaWanda enjoys the most about working at Third Horizon Strategies is being part of an organization with a progressive vision that is “committed to making a difference in places where differences need to be made.” She noted that, having come from larger organizations, she appreciates the freedom to find creative solutions and create structure, programs, and policies to help support each employee’s personal and professional development.
Convener and counselor
LaWanda has a sincere desire to help people and patiently listen to others, both of which make her a natural counselor. She said that in previous positions she had opportunities to resolve conflicts. About seven years ago, she had the vision to help people in more of a personal capacity. She invited ten women over for a roundtable discussion where each participant chose a subject for the group to discuss. Soon after, she did a similar roundtable with seven couples. Although most of the couples did not know each other, it evolved into a support group where the seven couples routinely gathered for roundtable discussions and would even reach out for advice as certain situations arose. “It made me feel good that my advice could help someone else,” LaWanda said, “and that as a group we could guide someone to resolve their own conflict.” LaWanda has been accepted into a master’s program in HR, but plans to get a second master’s in marriage and family counseling and have counseling as her “retirement plan.” Her personal mantra is, “To be truthful, especially to yourself. Perception is reality.”
LaWanda’s proudest and most memorable moment was receiving her associate degree in 2017. For over 20 years, she worked full-time and raised three daughters, which meant that progressing in her degree often took the back burner. When her youngest daughter reached high school, she started taking classes again and graduated in 2017 – in the same month that her two older daughters graduated from college, her youngest finished high school, and her granddaughter graduated from pre-kindergarten. Her story captured national attention and was featured on CBS Evening News. She said that her “three high-achieving daughters who are relentless about achieving their goals” are what motivates her the most. When asked about the one thing she wishes she had more time to do, she said, “Helping my ten-year-old granddaughter develop entrepreneurial opportunities.”