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BETSY CERULO

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Advice:

Trust your intuition. When I listen, the end result is the best choice I could make. When I have ignored my intuition, hoping that the issue will correct itself or if I hang in there longer the person will change, it never does. It’s up to me to take action.

 

(Editor’s Note: The following narrative is in Betsy’s own words.)

Coming out in college was both exhilarating & frightening. I had no choice other than honoring the loud call from my soul. It was my family who gave me the hardest time over the years, and it was my resilience from navigating their turbulence that made me a successful business owner. My mantra has always been: “If you want something and it means that much to you, take it all the way and NEVER EVER give up.”

My family of origin’s conditionality and hypocritical treatment taught me to be true to myself and to walk my talk. They were devout in the Catholic Church, yet they were cruel regarding my choice to be LGBT. It was my middle brother, a devout Catholic priest, who embraced me with open arms. It was through his love that I had faith to keep breaking through whatever barrier my family handed to me. No one was going to stop me from loving a woman.

My legacy has been creating safe spaces for all people because I know firsthand what it’s like to feel unsafe and unwelcome because of whom I chose to love. My workplace, AdNet/AccountNet, is built on the foundation of unconditional acceptance as people are called forth to be their best selves. Our work of staffing and executive search allows us to support our customers to also create healthy workplaces by identifying high-quality candidates aligned with strong work ethics based on integrity. AdNet and I have been recognized numerous times over our 30-year history as a Top 100 MBE in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Top 25 Most Admired CEO’s in Maryland, Leader in Diversity and Top 50 Woman Owned Business in the Baltimore region. I carried that vision as I co-founded the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce in 2017.

Along with a group of fearless people, I embarked on establishing our Chamber as an important resource to foster success among LGBT-owned businesses and our allies. We have grown quickly and consistently over the past two years and were recognized as the 2018 Rising Star Chamber, awarded by NGLCC, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. At this stage in a long and joyful career, my purpose is to open people’s minds and hearts so there is acceptance and ease in workplaces. The days of discrimination and harassment need to come to an end and the more we stop the behaviors and call out the bullies, the sooner our community will spend more time being empowered to be our best selves at every turn.

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