Women’s voices are powerful, important, and deserve to be heard. For Women’s History Month, Tidal Basin is amplifying female voices that drive culture and change by bringing their thoughts, experiences, and advice forward. You will see video testimonials, advice, and photos of our female leaders on this page.

Nearly 60% of Tidal Basin’s workforce are women, of which 16% of are in leadership roles. That’s what makes Tidal Basin unique. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion brings various voices to the table.

Throughout history, women have worked tirelessly toward a path of equality. Their voices have had a profound impact on the generations that followed them. Because of their courage and determination, they blazed trails and achieved milestones that we recognize today.

Women’s History Month Video Spotlights

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we interviewed a few female leaders at Tidal Basin. In these videos, these leaders talk about their backgrounds, mentorship, and why they love working at Tidal Basin.

Questions and Answers

In the spirit of celebrating women leaders, we asked the ladies of Tidal Basin for their insight and advice for other women either just starting or well into their careers.

What does being a woman leader mean to you?

“The most important thing I can express is TEAMWORK. This job does not happen successfully without a team. Whether by your side or in cubicles around the country your colleagues will be your biggest cheerleaders and support. Rely on them, break bread with them when possible and pull your weight.”
-Luanne Principe

“Being a woman leader means sharing knowledge that can help other women be successful. I find it fulfilling knowing I’ve made a difference in the lives of others.”
– Dana Johnston

“Perseverance. Woman leaders need to persevere in their own careers, but also persevere so that you can put their staff/team ahead of themselves.”
– Amy Baker

“Standing up for what you know to be true and believing in your self-worth no matter where you are in your life’s journey. No matter where we are in life, we have the ability and potential to affect others in a positive way. Whether at work or play the example we set is so important and often what other women (and people) will associate with and pass on.”
– Janet Fortin

“Everything. It’s such a gift to be in a position to help empower others so they can see their capabilities, their value and their worth.”
– Michelle Hillaert

“It means that I have a chance to support and inspire other girls and women to aspire for leadership positions in which women have historically been excluded.”
– Mollie Matthews

“A woman leader is persuasive, transformational, assertive, risk-taker, precedent setter.”
– Dawn Mascoll

“In one manner, it is no different than being a male leader would be. A good leader is a good leader. But it is also very true that women leaders are examples to other women and provide inspiration to other women. Women need to see other women doing great things. For example, the fact that I got my start later in life than many others and achieved accomplishments of which I am so very proud, and without a college degree, can be used to inspire many other women that they can do well and accomplish their goals despite obstacles.”
– Crystal Kline

“A woman can be nurturing and a warrior, soft and gentle while fearless and strong. So, surpassing any gender is not necessarily the aim; instead, a woman who stands shoulder to shoulder and redefines/breaks social standards of gender-specific roles in society.”
– Michele Durrani

When you hear the word “mentor,” who comes to mind and how did they help you?

“I strive to lead by example and typically do not ask for anything I haven’t done or would elect to do myself. If you start at the bottom and work your way up; you will not only learn all the job components, but you will also respect each part of the job and in turn that generates a strong foundation of good leadership.”
-Luanne Principe

“When I think of a mentor, I have to say my father. I was the only daughter in a sea of boys, and he consistently showed me that hard work, always being kind, never burning bridges, and giving back as much as you can, whenever you can, will truly pay off. At 75, he’s still working as hard as ever, and continues to set examples for me to follow. I like to think of myself as an empowered person, not just an empowered woman, and I have my dad to thank for that.”
– Sue Currie

“Multiple people throughout my career. Different people have supported me as a mentor at different stages in my career. They helped me grow in technical delivery aspects, showed me how to manage projects, guided me in managing people, and helped me navigate my career personally and professionally. They were willing to give me the tough advice when I needed it most.”
-Amy Baker

“My Mom. The examples she has (and continues to) set in her life has stayed with me all my life. She has been instrumental in the development of my faith and always shown the importance of having a close and loving family. She always says “turn it around” as a reminder to look at even the most difficult points from a different vantage point.”
– Janet Fortin

“Belief – The women who have impacted my life the most believed in me and pushed me to rise above my own discomfort and fears. It is this belief that has helped me step into my own and experience incredible growth.”
– Michelle Hillaert

“What woman doesn’t worship RBG? It is impossible not to given all that she has done to advocate for women in the workplace, but my personal mentor is my former boss, Linda Terrizzi. Linda led by example and taught me that any confident, resilient woman with a bold leadership style and a results-driven attitude can thrive, succeed and be well respected even in a male dominated industry.”
-Mollie Matthews

“Ann Patton (author, activist, humanitarian) hired me in 1996 into an entry-level position at the City of Tulsa and constantly pushed me to climb and to take advantage of every free training offered by local, state, and federal government, even if I didn’t think it was connected to my goals. She helped me be a better writer and inspired me to do things that would leave a footprint on the world. Kim Fuller (White House presidential advance lead through five different White House administrations) constantly forced me to take credit for my success and pushed me to consistently aim higher. Everything I have done, every wonderful professional experience I have had, is a direct result of the patience, examples, and focused interest these women showed in me.”
-Crystal Kline

“When you hear the word “mentor,” who comes to mind, and how did they help you? Growing up, I was fortunate to be raised by strong women (my grandmother and my mother) who persevered through adversity; they not told me to be fearless but also showed me how to be through their actions.”
-Michele Durrani

What words of encouragement would you share with young women in college or those starting their professional career?

“We [emergency managers] do precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge”
– Luanne Principe

“Welcome new experiences, broaden your horizons, seek out new opportunities for growth and knowledge. Never limit yourself and always be willing to put in the work required to succeed. A positive attitude and willingness to learn will set you apart from others with an attitude of entitlement.”
-Laura deLoach

“Never give up, always go after the things you believe in.”Always remember “In a world where you can be anything, be kind” – Caroline Flack
– Alexandria Scatko

“Take chances. When opportunities open in front of you, take them. You don’t always have to know where they will lead.”
– Amy Baker

“Seek knowledge in a variety of areas. Learn to discern and understand on your own. Don’t be afraid to step out alone…quite often others will join you.”
– Janet Fortin

“No matter when you decide to do it, you can always become the woman and leader that you want to be. There are no set schedules.”
– Kelly Lasalle

“Emergency management is still an evolving profession. Lead the change you wish to see.
“Be fearless. Read personal development. Get to know YOU, your unique gifts and talents, then step out with confidence into the world as your best self and set it on fire.”
-Emily Kaster

“I would encourage young women to always shoot for the stars. Times of predominantly male senior leadership in the workforce is a thing of the past. Do not get discouraged by the challenges that may come your way and always believe in yourself.”
-Tamara Ficarella

You can make a significant, positive impact in this world. Set goals, align yourself with other like-minded individuals and never let anyone convince you that you can’t achieve your dreams. Always remember, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
– Mollie Matthews

Pursue what motivates you. If your career path leads down a road you didn’t anticipate, don’t be afraid to pivot. Trust your gut and rest will fall into place.”
-Michelle Burnett

“Focus, set your goals, work on your goals, stay the course and don’t be afraid to take risks, ask for help or to fall as part of the process. It is all part of the journey and once you reach your goal, work on another.”
-Dawn Mascoll

“Time is short. Take advantage of every moment, personally and professionally. Ask questions of those with more experience while you can. And remember that experience changes intention and changes plans. You may end up in a very different career or position than you ever dreamed. And remember: Don’t ever downplay your achievements. Your accomplishments are not due to luck. Yes, luck always plays a role, and yes, you will always have someone to thank, but at the end of the day, your achievements are due to your hard work and your intelligence. Don’t be shy about giving yourself the credit you deserve.”
– Crystal Kline

“A quote from my favorite Sufi Poet ‘Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open? – Rumi. Do not let your fear of failure or allow yourself to be placed in a box by any person. Your future is yours to make, and always listen to that inner voice because it never lies.'”
– Michele Durrani

Be authentic and maintain a positive attitude in everything you do. Say yes to as many opportunities as you canbecause you never know where one of those “yes’s” may lead.
– Heather Stickler

“Be inquisitive and ask questions. Build up others and never burn bridges. Treat your team like family and be leery of people who say ‘me’ and not ‘we.'”
– Cynthia Gutierrez-White