In June, the WBENC network will come together in Baltimore, Maryland for three days of rich programming, networking, and celebration at the 2019 National Conference & Business Fair. We are thrilled to have an amazing group of co-chairs who have collectively made this event a reality, including Capital One, EY, Pfizer Inc, Ampcus, APCO Worldwide, and Omega World Travel, Inc.
We invite you to learn more about each of co-chairs and their dedication to supporting women-owned businesses. Today, we’re proud to introduce Jim Gorzalski, Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Office of Capital One Financial Group.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
The ongoing technology revolution will have a tremendously positive impact to our businesses, the products we offer and the services we provide to our customers. This transformative environment will create new opportunities for our suppliers and will drive capabilities to help them compete at the next level – I find that really exciting.
What education/training programs should women entrepreneurs make sure to learn more about?
Capital One’s Catapult program, designed to help certified diverse businesses develop new capabilities to bridge the digital divide, has demonstrated to us the importance of design thinking, in particular. In working with our Catapult participants, we’ve found that applying the concepts of design thinking helps business owners often fundamentally change the way they do business.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
It’s not specific career advice – more like life advice you can apply to your career. It came from legendary University of Michigan coach Bo Schembechler. When talking to his players, his go-to refrain was, “Each day, you get a little bit better or a little bit worse. You never stay the same.” I really took that to heart and believe that if you work on that – just getting a little bit better each day – it’s going to lead you to success. I never spent much time worrying about my next career moves as I was pulled into something new and challenging every few years. Whether or not you know exactly where you want to be or where you want to go, you’ll need to keep getting better to get there. That is something you can control, so focus on that.
What women inspire you?
It may sound corny, but I have to say my wife, Lynda Gorzalski. She works part-time as an occupational therapist with autistic children. It’s really demanding work, and even doing it part-time she works incredibly hard. In addition to being great at her job, she holds our family together and is our rock. I’ve watched her up close and personal for 30 years now, and she’s amazing. There are also women in my organization who are dependable, prepared, good team players who are so resilient. Some are single parents or battling persistent illness or going to school at night or dealing with some real and lasting challenges on the home front. And they keep getting up, and moving, and it is motivating to witness.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be a doctor, because I liked the idea of helping people. I had one of those toy doctor kits with the stethoscope and everything, and I just really loved the thought of growing up and being able to help people who are sick get better.
What do you like about your workspace?
Honestly – I like everything. Capital One associates are really lucky to work for a company which provides state-of-the-art workspaces, designed to give us flexibility, plenty of space for collaboration, and tons of amenities that make coming to work every day a very pleasant experience.
Fill in the Blank
When I face a challenge,… I work to think of a strategy or approach to confront it with the goal of overcoming it – every time.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… not to waste time worrying about the future, because 99% of the things I worried about never happened.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.
Diversity and Inclusion inspires me because, … I believe we’re diverse by design, and that no one race or person has more inherent value than another; we were all created to thrive, get along, and help each other succeed and grow.
CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORPORATION
Headquartered in McLean, VA, Capital One offers a broad array of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients in the U.S., Canada and the UK.