Seizing Opportunity with CWT’s Michelle Frymire

Seizing Opportunity with CWT’s Michelle Frymire

“Doubt kills more dreams that failure ever will” ~ Suzy Kassem

When an opportunity presents itself, do you feel a spark of excitement at first and then begin to realize the challenges that may come with it? Suddenly self-doubt creeps in and stops you from taking action.

Our guest, Michelle Frymire, Chief Executive Officer of CWT, shares how taking on challenges and leaning into those tough assignments early in her career set the stage for her to advance. She has been guided by the motto: “it's not that we fall down, it's that we get back up”. 

Michelle Frymire is a senior executive with 30 years of experience in driving growth and transformation at both public and private companies worldwide. Michelle’s career reflects a demonstrated track record as a catalyst to successful execution of transformation, large scale growth - both organic and through M&A, the transition from private to public company through an IPO, and as a leader of successful transformation initiatives. Most notably, her experience in finance and strategy, and serving as a key strategic partner to boards and executive teams, combined with strong leadership and team building skills, has prepared organizations to make a global impact.

In this episode, Michelle shares her story of rising to the top, how the best way to check all the boxes for a role is to accept the opportunity and learn in the role, and how success in scaling is directly correlated to an amazing team and great culture.

Highlights:

[02:50] Michelle’s story of rising to the top
[04:35] Overcoming your fears
[06:45] Gaining clarity on your career path
[11:34] Trusting your instincts
[14:01] Getting unstuck and taking action
[17:46] Michelle’s superpower
[19:52] Seize every opportunity
[24:03] Navigating risk & uncertainty at scale
[28:51] Staying true to your values
[33:54] Creating your own personal board of directors
[38:10] Cultivating new relationships
[41:24] Biggest trends for the future
[45:06] Staying ahead of the curve
[47:43] Michelle’s message to women everywhere 

Quotes: 

“Lean into those tough assignments that nobody else wants to do. There's always a chance that you fail, but that chance is real everywhere in life. Or you may succeed and have it lead to something really exciting.” – Michelle Frymire 

“Don't be afraid to seize an opportunity.” – Michelle Frymire

“You're never 100% ready for that next role. The best way to really be ready is by doing it.” - Michelle Frymire

“The single most important thing a CEO does is build and cultivate a great team and culture.”- Michelle Frymire

“Peer relationships will make or break your career. They are the most important factor in how you're going to elevate yourself by their having confidence and trust in you.” - Michelle Frymire 

About Michelle Frymire:

Michelle Frymire is a senior executive with 30 years of experience in driving growth and transformation at both public and private companies worldwide. Michelle’s career reflects a demonstrated track record as a catalyst to successful execution of transformation, large scale growth - both organic and through M&A, the transition from private to public company through an IPO, and as a leader of successful transformation initiatives. Most notably, her experience in finance and strategy, and serving as a key strategic partner to boards and executive teams, combined with strong leadership and team building skills, has prepared organizations to make a global impact.

Michelle currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for CWT, the world’s second largest corporate travel management company serving over 5,500 clients across 140+ countries around the world, including many of the Fortune 500 and the U.S. military and government.  Michelle has played a key role in the company’s successful evolution to the world’s leading digital travel management company, and under her leadership the company is successfully navigating the impact of the global pandemic, both operationally and financially. 

Prior to CWT, she was the CFO and head of strategy for Service King Collision Repair and then U.S. Risk Insurance Group in Dallas, Texas.  While working at Service King she was recognized as Dallas’ Large Private Company CFO of the Year by D Magazine.  Prior to Service King, Michelle spent five years at The ServiceMaster Companies, first as the CFO for TruGreen, the world’s largest consumer lawn care company, and then played an integral role in ServiceMaster’s successful IPO in 2014 as the head of FP&A and global strategy. 

Michelle spent almost 20 years in the travel industry working for some of the worlds’ largest and most well-known travel companies, including American Airlines, Continental Airlines and then Delta Air Lines, ultimately assuming the role of VP of Finance for Delta Airlines in 2001.  She then joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2005 as the Chief Financial Officer for Starwood Vacation Ownership during a period rapid growth for the organization. 

Michelle currently serves on the board of directors for Spirit Realty Capital (NYSE: SRC) where she is a member of the audit committee.  Michelle has also served on the advisory board for several not for profit organizations, currently serving as the Treasurer of the board of directors for Family Gateway, a not for profit organization focused on serving the needs of homeless children and their families in Dallas, Texas.  She also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Greenhill School in Addison, Texas.

A Texas native, Michelle received her bachelor’s degree from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in Economics and her MBA from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas in Austin.  She resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband of 30 years and their four children and their four dogs.

Links:

Website: https://www.mycwt.com/

LinkedIn: michellefrymire

Twitter: mmfrymire

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