For Mother’s Day: Loving Moms Who Were Strong Women And Mentors In Leadership

By Stan Linhorst
Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Several leaders in the Syracuse business community share how their mothers’ love, support and tenacity inspired and shaped lives.

Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

Never underestimate the influence that mothers have in shaping lives, careers and leadership.

For instance, Marc Viggiano rose to CEO of Saab Sensis. He credits his mother, Jacqueline Desimone, this way: “She taught me about the power of ideas and how well-thought-out and well-expressed ideas move people to action.”

Emad Rahim, of Syracuse, was born in a concentration camp in the killing fields of Cambodia where his father was executed and an older brother died of starvation. “The ones that were fortunate enough to escape ended up in refugee camps in Thailand,” Rahim said. “My mother (Sony Kong) strapped me on her back and escaped with some other people. They walked through the jungle for days to find the refugee camp.” Rahim earned a doctorate and has excelled as an author, professor and college dean.

Suntrana Allen, an Army veteran and entrepreneur on Syracuse’s North Side, says she was born when her mom, Linda Potier, was in 11th grade, an unmarried mother who had to start work in a factory. “Years later, my mom got her high school diploma and continued her education,” Allen said. “She taught me how to be ambitious, how to keep going, how not to let anything interrupt your life. Just because you hit a roadblock doesn’t mean you quit.”

Pamela Puri, founder of tech4kidz, says her mother, Shashi, was a rock of the house: “She instilled values, which I hope to pass on to my kids. Education was a high priority. Respectfulness. Humbleness.”

For Mother’s Day, here are excerpts from some CNY Conversations describing how mothers’ love, support and tenacity inspired and shaped lives.

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