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Issue no. 2 - 2014 Governor Community Connection

Governor Spotlight: Helping Women Speak Up and Be Heard

By Opportunity International

A former teacher, Megan Tamte launched her company, Hot Mama, Inc., after having a baby and realizing that there was a tremendous unmet need for clothing stores that cater to mothers. “So much had changed for me – my body, my lifestyle, my schedule – and I felt like there wasn’t a store that addressed the needs of moms,” Megan explains.

Starting from a modest office in the basement of Hot Mama’s first store in Edina, Minnesota, Megan and her husband Mike now operate over 40 stores in 15 states, as well as a thriving online storefront.

In 2013, Megan was named Ernst and Young’s Upper Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year for retail, and her company is expanding rapidly. She sees her role as a Governor not only as an avenue for strategic, heart-felt philanthropy, but also as a catalyst for continued growth as a CEO.

An Insight Trip she took to Rwanda in January 2014 gave Megan a fresh perspective. “Going to Rwanda made me a better leader,” she says. “There are things I saw in the leaders there that inspired me, and I brought these insights back home.”

In particular, Megan recognizes that women often struggle with exuding strength in the workplace. A core value of her company is to encourage women to speak up and be confident. “At Hot Mama, we have 700 female employees, and we encourage them to be bold and have a voice.”

So when Megan sat in on a presentation by Rwandan Opportunity managers and clients, she took special notice of the female participants. “One woman stood up during the presentation and talked about how her business was doing and what she had done with a loan,” recalls Megan. “Then she asked a really strong and bold question to the leaders who were there. I loved that she was so smart and wasn’t afraid to ask a question and have her voice heard.”

Megan Tamte and her husband Mike became Governors in 2013. The parents of two children, they learned about Opportunity International via their church, Christ Presbyterian, near Minneapolis. Megan’s Insight Trip allowed her to witness the impact of her support as a Governor firsthand. Insight Trips create life-changing moments in your journey as a Governor. For details about upcoming trips (June through November), please contact Adele Nandan at [email protected]

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