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Paula Green

Vice President of Development
American Cancer Society of Greater Philadelphia

What inspired you to join/start your business?

The ACS has been around for over 100 years, but I came to the organization three years ago as the Executive Director of Community Development in Greater Philly, which includes South Jersey and Delmarva as well. I was inspired to join ACS by the mission of saving and celebrating lives and fighting for a cure for a disease which affects all of us.

What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?

As a women in nonprofit leadership, my biggest challenge was, in the past, being heard in rooms that were full of male leaders. Despite an overwhelming number of women who work in the nonprofit space, it's astounding how much the leadership of these organizations, especially the largest ones, have been dominated by men.

What was your most satisfying moment in your career?

Being able to tell the story of my mother-in-law's battle with leukemia during our ResearcHERS campaign. The program allowed me to highlight a woman researcher who helped create the treatment that extended her life by many years.

How do you define success?


What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Start every day with 3 statements:

  • "Today I will focus on..."
  • "Today I am grateful for..."
  • "Today I am going to let go of..."


Also, more recently, Adam Grant said something like - we shouldn't always be talking about best practices, we should be talking about better practices -- that really resonated with me.

What women inspire you and why?

Michelle Obama, for all of the obvious reasons - her focus on her family, her career, the choices she's made as First Lady and in her life since.

Lady Gaga for overcoming initial rejection and how she's been able to straddle being outside of the mainstream while maintaining a steady voice, which eventually became part of the mainstream

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

My advice to any woman leader is to listen to your inner voice no matter what is going on around you. And be authentically yourself.

Describe yourself in three words.

Positive, aspirational, stubborn

Fill in the Blank:

  • When I face a challenge, I... research it. The more I know about it the better I'll be able to overcome it.


  • If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… stop trying to control the things you can't,just keep moving forward.


  • The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.


  • By this time next year, I will be… so happy to be around people.


  • The best thing that happened to me last week was… spending time with my 1-year-old granddaughter, Danica.


  • To get my creative juices flowing, I… walk.
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