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December 10, 2022

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Posts By Career Expert

Sylvia Lafair


Four Fast Track Programs:
Don’t Bring It to Work: Decoding Office Politics
Ouch! Resolving Conflict at Work
Get the “But” Out of Your “Yes”: Communicating with Clarity and Purpose
The Creative Edge: Unleashing Innovation
Executive Series:
Total Leadership Connections (TLC): Four Session Offsite


Sylvia Lafair, PhD, is an international leadership and communications expert and President of CEO – Creative Energy Options, Inc., a global consulting company focused on optimizing workplace relationships. Dr. Lafair’s talents to make the complex simple, has revolutionized the way employees cooperate and teams collaborate.

Her award winning book “Don’t Bring It to Work” (Jossey Bass) has been ranked in the top of Amazon’s Best Selling Workplace books. She is often quoted as a workplace relationship expert in newspapers and magazines across the country, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, CIO Magazine, New York Times, as well as being on radio, webinars, television, and presenting at national conferences.

Sylvia Lafair has two business blogs: “Elegant Leadership”, and “On the Cutting Edge of Change”, and is a contributing writer in,, and, as well as other trade publications.

CEO’s flagship program, Total Leadership Connections™ utilizes the tools of PatternAware™ Leadership to help individuals understand how behavior patterns can derail success and how to transform them into productivity, purpose, and profit.

As an executive coach and leadership educator, she has 30+ years of experience with all levels of management from corporate officers of global companies to executives of non-profits, owners of leading family-owned businesses, and entrepreneurs. She holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and has taught at Hahnemann University.

As a workshop leader or keynote speaker, Sylvia engages audiences with her natural storytelling ability. Her quick-witted humor, charisma, and energy are infectious and her knowledge gives substance and depth to all presentations. Her thought-provoking messages leave audiences with information to take back to the office and immediately put into practice.


As a workshop leader or keynote speaker, Dr. Lafair engages audiences with her natural storytelling ability. She weaves her knowledge of what makes a successful workplace, where people are happy to go to work every day, into real stories about workplace cultures. Dr. Lafair’s thought-provoking messages leave audiences with information to take back to the office and immediately put into practice.

Rave Reviews

“Sylvia Lafair is an amazingly acute analyzer of human behavior. She’s pinpointed the patterns that can make you sink, soar or simply muddle through your career. If you want to take your work life, your team or your company to the next level or, better yet, the level beyond that, do this important work. The payoff is the elusive breakthrough you’ve sought for years.”
Tyler Mathisen, CNBC Managing Editor and Host of “High Net Worth”

“Sylvia Lafair teaches us how to recognize and change our own ineffective workplace behavior and how to help others get past the family baggage and office politics that prevent all of us from doing our best work.”
Daniel Pink, Author A WHOLE NEW MIND

“Sylvia Lafair’s rare view of “systems” and “systems thinking,” is helpful to individuals and families, as well as business people working to build appreciation, cohesion and success.”
Frances Hesselbein, Chairman and Founding President, Leader to Leader Institute

“Wonderful tools for anyone wishing to make their work environment more successful. It addresses the baggage that we all bring to the workplace and gives wonderful revelations as to how to move forward from this and build on our strengths. It is about leadership of the highest level.”
Carole Haas Gravagno, Board Member, Philadelphia Orchestra


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orkinFounded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest management services in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia and the Mediterranean. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries, including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Orkin partners with customers to create and provide customized plans to prevent, treat and control pests in and around the home and workplace.

Professional Development & Training

In 2010, Training magazine honored Orkin for the eighth consecutive year as one of its prestigious Top 125 organizations that excel in human capital development. Orkin University’s one of-a-kind $10 million dollar training facility in Atlanta features a full-scale functional house and a commercial facility including a commercial kitchen, restaurant, bar, hospital room and hotel room. In 2006, Orkin launched its interactive satellite network – Orkin TV – that links employees through first-of-its-kind live broadcast technology.

Giving Back to Our Communities

As part of its ongoing commitment to community service, Orkin collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on several public education initiatives involving pest-related health risks. Orkin and its sister pest control companies launched Fight the Bite in 2008 – a program to help American homeowners reclaim their yards and save lives in Africa by waging war on mosquitoes and the deadly diseases they can carry. Since then, Orkin has given more than $350,000 through its Fight the Bite program to the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign — a global, grassroots effort dedicated to saving lives by preventing malaria in Africa. One hundred percent of the donation funded the purchase and distribution of tens of thousands of mosquito nets to African countries. In 2010, Orkin has pledged to donate another $225,000 to Nothing But Nets. Please visit Orkin: Fight the Bite, for more information on how you can help.

Orkin is also committed to educating communities on pests through its website on termite identification, prevention, treatment and control ( and Junior Pests Investigators ( Junior Pests Investigators (JPI) is a free series of K-6 lesson plans designed by educators (that meet National Science Standards) to teach children to think differently about pests and pest management.


Orkin has been “keeping pests in their place™” for more than 100 years. During that time, the company has seen many important changes, including changes in its workforce. While Orkin may be known for the Orkin Man, Orkin women have also played a key role in the company’s continued success – which is why Orkin is continually committed to helping women advance in their careers. Recognizing the lack of women in the pest management industry, Rollins, Inc., Orkin’s parent company, formed the Women’s Resource Group initiative in 2008 to help recruit more women into Rollins’ family of pest control companies, and foster the professional growth of female leaders already employed. Whether you are interested in an entry-level position or looking to advance your career, Orkin offers long-term career opportunities with advancement potential to all motivated employees. Visit to find out more about Orkin and what we can do for you and your career.

Employee Profile

Dawn Marie Echeverria, operations manager, Phoenix, Arizona

What are your job responsibilities at Orkin?
My primary responsibility as an operations manager is to assist with ongoing development of my team in the Phoenix branch. My passion is helping each team member succeed. I also assist with managing the branch’s business, including maintaining and growing our customer base and increasing revenue.

How long have you been at Orkin? How does Orkin fit into your career path?
I joined Orkin in 1999 as a pest control technician. I had been working as a video store manager and thought a career at Orkin offered better job opportunities and benefits than a video store company career.

I first started at Orkin as a technician and then moved on to an office position as an appointment scheduler. Although I enjoyed my time in the field, my office job helped me learn more about the company. Over the years, I also have served as a branch account manager, back-up new customer specialist, region administrative assistant and operations manager.

What skills are required for women to succeed at Orkin?
Women who thrive at Orkin prefer non-traditional jobs and are interested in advancing their careers in a performance-driven company. These women are typically independent, organized and ambitious, and enjoy a fast-paced environment.

How has Orkin supported and encouraged you to succeed, both professionally and personally?
While I was on maternity leave for my fourth child, I learned there was a job opening for a region administrative assistant in Orkin’s Southwest Region office. I was excited by the opportunity and knew I could succeed in this position. Since I did not want to leave my newborn with a babysitter, I brought her with me to the interview. At the end of the interview, I learned I would need to complete two phone interviews and then wait two weeks for the final decision. After the phone interviews, I called the region manager to confirm when he might be making his decision. He said he would be making it by Friday morning – in my excitement at the time, I forgot I had surgery scheduled for that morning.

On that Friday, I told all of the nurses, doctors, assistants and everyone who would listen about this important phone call that would change my life. I stalled the surgery as long as I could before the doctor told me it was time to go. Just as they were rolling me into surgery, my phone rang and I immediately yelled “stop!” so I could take the call. The region manager offered me the position. I thanked him repeatedly for the position and when asked, told him I was on my way into surgery. He very politely responded that he would call next week when I got back to work. After the call, I proceeded into the operating room and was greeted by the doctor, who gave his congratulations on my promotion.

Throughout my career at Orkin, I have been grateful for the support of my family and the Orkin management team who have helped me balance my career and my children. I feel fortunate to work for a company where family is important, and have the support of a loving husband who encourages me with each promotion.

What advice do you have for other women and companies to succeed in the current economy?
At Orkin, we are focused on providing high-quality service so our customers see the value in hiring Orkin. For our customers who are struggling in this economy, we are trying to help them get through this time.

As an operations manager, I also am focused on helping my employees cope with this challenging economy, both personally and professionally. I think that if I can help my team remain positive and optimistic, then as a team we will creatively create new ways to build our business; we will survive the current economy; and we will be a stronger team after these economic challenges.