April Professional Member of the Month

Leah Appelgate

DPT Group; Marketing & Business Development

Our line of work is built on the value of relationships and opportunities; what have you found is the best way to communicate in times of conflict?  It’s human nature to go into high stakes conversations unable to listen and process the other person’s point of view because we are so focused on ensuring we don’t get sidelined. But really, the other person only seeks to be heard and understood…just like I do. Situations end well when I set my agenda aside (for the moment) and really dig into what the other person is wanting to communicate…no matter how hard it is to hear. The conflict then turns to a conversation and the other person is ready to hear my concerns. I’m not perfect at this but it’s always encouraging to recognize a bit of ourselves in someone else even if that similarity is both feeling mad!

Sometimes our careers can be demanding; how do you wind down in the evenings to maintain a balanced lifestyle?  I could say something profound, but it wouldn’t be true! I moved into my own “fixer-upper” house last year so it’s been work at work and work at home on repeat. Sometimes winding down means mindless TV and Girl Scout Cookies for dinner. 

In 2017 technology is at our fingertips - what is your favorite app and/or website?  As the marketer for my company I might be a little late to the “social media management” party as I only just invested in Hootsuite. This website lets me schedule LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook/etc. posts months in advance which 1) maximizes my time, 2) keeps me organized and accountable, and 3) makes me look on top of my game!

As professionals, we are versed in community interaction and collaboration; what are you involved in outside of your profession?  A few years ago, I realized something about myself and as I looked around me I found a similar theme in so many of my female friends: we were holding back and not pursuing our dreams. In response, a friend and I started a monthly night out to share good food and inspiring conversation with any women who would rise to the challenge. Since then, our little dinners have grown to a quarterly community event for hundreds of women from all ages and backgrounds called The Fountain. Every woman is unique, but our differences and challenges bring unity and foster community. Self-doubt, identity, and the pursuit of joy are subjects everyone resonates with. We are currently working to become a 501(c)(3). You can check out more on our Facebook or Instagram.

We are Iowa Women in Architecture; who were the female role models that inspired you?  It’s probably not surprising but as a millennial, many of the female role models I’ve credited for challenging me or shaping my thinking are through social media. They have blogs. Or books. They are advocates for the underdog. They are community activists. They say the hard things and really believe the sky is the limit. They are outspoken but use their words wisely. And most of them teach me how to love Jesus but not shy away from leadership.