21 Women Making An Impact: Danielle Paulus, COO, Roers

Written by: Brady Drake
  • United Way Volunteer and Investor
  • Volunteer on the United Way Board of Trustees
  • 2019 United Way Volunteer Campaign Chair
  • Women UNITED Leadership Team Volunteer and Chair
  • United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program Alumna and Volunteer

What is one lesson you have learned? How did you learn it?

A lesson that I have learned is to assume positive intent whenever possible. Most often with the world moving at lightning speed, we are quick to tell ourselves a story of what has happened or why someone is reacting a certain way. By using the idea of “assume positive intent” it steers you away from negativity, gossip, or anger. I have learned that using this technique, going directly to the person, and asking questions or finding out the “why” of what happens helps to solve many issues.

I would guess if you asked my team members they would say I use this phrase often to help all of us (including me) remember that often when someone is upset or acting in a negative way, it is not about us and it’s more about that person and something they may be going through.

You have described yourself as an activator – tell us about that mindset.

I love putting solutions into action. I enjoy looking at a problem or opportunity and finding solutions to put into action. Often, we get paralyzed by thinking about the “what ifs”. I try to focus on the “why nots” or “what
is the worst thing that would happen if we try this route”? Most often it works out or we fail forward and try another route. Because I also believe there is no shame in failing, you are just presented with another opportunity to succeed.

I often use the activator mindset when finding ways to get my family involved in getting involved and giving back. We talk about the issues in our community and discuss ways we can get involved as a family to help solve those issues. Packing backpacks with food for students to take home on the weekends may seem like a small effort, but it shows my children that they can make a huge impact on someone’s life.

What advice do you have for women trying to grow and build their careers?

Work hard, build relationships, and find ways to add value. Often, people believe that they can’t make a difference unless they get promoted or have a certain title. In reality, we should all have the mindset that wherever we are in our career, we are looked at as a leader and have the ability to make a positive impact.

Building relationships at your workplace and in the community help you create confidence and have resources that can help you on your career path. Looking back, I have been lucky to create relationships in the construction and property management industries that have helped educate and mentor me. When COVID-19 materialized in 2020, it was incredibly helpful to have a group of individuals in the same industry to connect with and share best practices as we worked through the pandemic together.

You and your family recently served as the 2019 Volunteer Campaign Chairs. Tell us about your experience and your “why” to saying yes to this volunteer role.

Having our whole family be involved as the United Way Volunteer Campaign Chairs in 2019 was an opportunity we will never forget. At first, I was very hesitant being very busy in my professional career, raising three kiddos at home, and the fact that I wasn’t sure I could make that big of an impact. When we discussed the concept of my husband and I doing it as a team United Way was 100% on board. Both Kenny and I have a “Serving I Live” mentality and we make our financial and time giving decisions as a team.

Once we said yes, we didn’t look back! Kenny and I spent more time together and we got to “walk the talk” in front of our kids showing them that giving back is an important part of our values. Helping our community raise over 5 million dollars to support our neighbors in Cass and Clay counties was a true blessing. Our kids still talk about all the events and activities they participated in and were a part of.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.