Member Spotlight – Elizabeth Braciak, NEW Western Michigan

NEW has provided me with relationships that extend well beyond membership.

Name: Liz Braciak, Market Research Analyst, Advantage Solutions

Member Since: 2016

How did you first hear about NEW, and what prompted you to join?
I was looking for networking and career enhancement opportunities. An Account Manager I was working with at the time was in the NEW Rising Stars program and highly recommended NEW’s engagement and programming.

How has NEW impacted your personal/professional life?
NEW has allowed me to bring my whole self to work and engage with people at a deeper level. Becoming more involved with NEW helped remind me of my passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion and has provided me with the courage to bring these topics to the forefront within my own workplace.

Tell us about a recent personal accomplishment or event in your life.
I have been working on learning American Sign Language. My 20-month-old daughter was born with hearing loss and we were fortunate to get her aided early, and now we get to learn ASL! My favorite sign is Uh-Oh, and my husband’s is turtle. My six-year-old decided his name sign is the sign for “D” while “raising the roof,” because he’s just that cool of a kid.

What is your favorite NEW event you’ve attended?
My favorite event for NEW was our fifteenth anniversary celebration for the Western Michigan Region in the fall of 2019. We had a panel of speakers discussing the past, present and future of diversity and inclusion from multiple industries. We had over 200 registrants for the event, and enjoyed a silent auction supporting future region programming and objectives.

There were so many great takeaways from that event, but one of my favorites came from Tim Williams, VP of Diversity & Inclusion at Meijer, who reminded us that DE&I is top of mind for shoppers, and they expect our Authentic Commitment. I feel this is even more relevant in these times and showcases the need for good corporate stewardship and social responsibility.

What other activities, aside from being an amazing member of NEW, do you enjoy in your free time?
I love to read series books. The longer and more entwined the series, the more I like it. I’ll even re-read series books in a different order (written vs chronological order, including or excluding short story editions). My current series re-read is the Ender’s Game Series. The Shadow Saga storyline is my favorite. I’ve also read certain Harry Potter books more than three times.

Lightning round!

Nickname your parents used to call you? E
You get one superpower, but you must choose between invisibility and flight. Which do you pick? Flight
Last Halloween costume? Witch
Favorite word? Egregious
What food could you eat for a week straight for every meal? Bagels
Finally, any funny stories about your time with NEW?
Some of my funniest stories surround engaging my male colleagues with NEW. Their desire to be engaged without crossing boundaries they don’t quite understand always ends in some learning and laughs. And the reminder that NEW is NOT just for women!

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