Movers & Shakers

The Wonder Women of Charlotte

THE MENTOR

Kandi W. Deitemeyer, Ed.D., President, Central Piedmont Community College

Whereas others might be intimidated at the prospect of influencing thousands of students every year, Dr. Deitemeyer has risen to the challenge beautifully. Whether students attend CPCC for a degree, training, or as a pitstop on their educational journey, Dr. Deitemeyer’s influence is palpable. “My biggest accomplishment inside the office is impacting and encouraging the talent of leaders,” she says.

You may recognize her fleet feet from the recent Dancing with the Stars Gala for the Charlotte Ballet (she’s a patron of the performing arts). When she’s not busy influencing the next generation at work, she’s doing so at home with her 9 year old daughter. 

Dr. Deitemeyer arrived in her leadership role through intention and passion, and she encourages other women to do the same: “I always tell leaders, know your purpose—first! Align that purpose with great passion and enthusiasm, and go for it.” 

THE AESTHETE

Pam Smith, Owner, Morrison Smith Fine & Custom Jewelers

As a famous blonde once said, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” It’s no surprise that when asked about her favorite part of her job, Pam Smith’s reply is simple: “The jewelry, of course!” From diamonds in Antwerp, Belgium to the custom designs her jewelers create, Smith’s still as entranced with the beauty of jewelry as the rest of us. 

Her greatest accomplishment, however, is the building in which her jewelry sits. Housed in historic 1920’s architecture, it was an unfathomable challenge to renovate its 7,600 feet, but today it’s the crown jewel (pun intended) of the business. 

Smith spends much of her time giving back through various charities, both with her own time and the resources of her business. “Our goal at Morrison Smith Jewelers is to continue to grow the business so we can give back to both our employees and many other charities in our community.”

THE IMPACTER

Amy Fritsche, SVP Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Amy Fritsche is in a unique position: not only did she help her clients set goals, she’s watched many of them accomplish those goals throughout her 25 year career. “I enjoy hearing updates on their lives and being part of the solution to many of their financial aspirations and goals. It is very rewarding when they accomplish long term financial goals, such as retiring or sending a child to college,” Fritsche says.

Outside of work, she’s also intent on helping others accomplish their goals—like a family she’s helped for eight years, helping the mother purchase a car and sending the kids to camp. “When you look back on your life, there are always people that come to mind that made a big impact on you and were there at a time you really needed them,” she says. “I think we should all strive to be that person for someone else.”

THE VANGUARD

Sabrina L Brathwaite, Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

In a field dominated by men, Sabrina Brathwaite is a very special exception: “I was the first woman—not just black woman, but woman—to graduate the Merrill Lynch Financial Adviser Training Program in Charlotte,” she says. Her accomplishment allows her to do what she loves, building relationships with clients and their families and helping them set and accomplish their own lifelong goals. 

Even when she’s not at work, she’s helping families as a board member of Good Friends Charlotte, which helps those in need through different social services program. For other aspirational women, her advice is simple: “Go after what it is you want, what your passion is. I’d say, ‘Go for it! Don’t limit yourself.”