Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 11


An Interview with Toni Miller
Women2Women's 2018 ATHENA Recipient
Alexis Williams,
Special Programs Intern - GRCA

What were your goals as you
were growing up? Did you
ever have a goal to be in a
business role?
Early on in my life I had a heart for helping others and felt a calling in my life to do
something to give back to others. As I aged
into my teen years I felt a calling to working
with children and youth in the church, or
some form of ministry. It was here that I was
given a lot of responsibility for planning and
leading big church programs in this area. I
went to Seminary for a couple of years to
prepare for full-time ministry, and during this
time I worked with at-risk kids in the inner
city schools of Kansas City. I never had a goal
to be in a business role but always knew that
God had a plan for my life and I just needed
to trust that plan and believe that each step
of my journey was there for a reason. And
even though I am in business, I have still
found ways to fulfill my calling to help others.
Whether is it mentoring at work, being part of
foreign missions trips, volunteering at women's
shelters and rehab programs, in my church or
one-on-one with students...I think I'm still
fulfilling my higher calling.

What, or who, would you
consider to be your role model
or that which impacted you
most in your formative years?
My mother was my role model. My mother
loved her children unconditionally and deeply.
She sacrificed so much for us. As a child I was
raised in a military family home. My father
married a war bride from Germany and our
life was about one move after another across the
US and Germany. My father was an alcoholic
who was physically and emotionally abusive not
only to my mother but also to his children. He
was gone all the time and she was left to raise
us. Ultimately, he deserted my mother when

Lead, CFO of the Year,
NRF Power Player or Athena
Award...these are all things I'm
proud of but not what defines me or
what I'm most proud of. I'm most proud
of my marriage of 38 years to my best friend,
Chris Miller, who has been my biggest supporter
and partner in life...and proud of the son we
raised that gave me an opportunity to try to
be a great model like my mother was to me.

You are a woman known for
great strength with a love of
people. Is that different today
for women leaders?
he married another woman and left her with
five children to raise. She lost everything...he
left us penniless and she had to work all the
time but never complained. The work she did
was very manual labor. Her job options were
limited because she never went to high school
because of the war in Germany. We were poor
in possessions but not in spirit. She supported
us in every way. She encouraged us to do our
best in school, she supported us in all our
activities, encouraged us to go to college and
gave us her last penny to help us out. What
better role model could a child have than the
unconditional love and support of their mother
that believed in her children and helped us be
our best despite our life circumstances.

If you needed to choose your
proudest moment in life
what would that be, both
professional and personal?
It would be easy to say things like being the
first in my family to graduate from college;
pass my CPA exam - all four parts in one
sitting; complete my MBA and be chosen as
top graduate student; achieve senior executive
leadership positions; win awards like Take the

No, I don't think so. It's a matter of choice.
We have a choice to live life with courage and
confidence knowing that we can't always control
life's circumstances, but we can choose to live
with strength and courage as we overcome
difficulties, roadblocks and trials that confront
us. We can be bold and live with greater purpose.
We need not be defined by adversity and trials
but refined by it. And that requires us to find
joy and purpose in life that goes beyond us...
how we can make positive differences in the
lives of others, and love is part of the equation.
People want to know that they are loved and
appreciated and that they matter. We should
never misjudge the love of people and putting
others ahead of ourselves as a weakness.

A question for all Americans;
what advice Do you give to
young women professionals?
As much as we want to believe that the
playing field has been leveled and all the glass
ceilings have been broken for women, they
aren't. We still work in a world where there
is still much work to be done. But we should
continue to have the courage and confidence to
(continued page 13)
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Summer 2018

Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 1
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 2
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 3
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 4
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 5
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 6
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 7
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 8
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 9
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 10
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 11
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 12
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 13
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 14
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 15
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 16
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 17
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 18
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 19
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 20
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 21
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 22
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 23
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 24
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Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 26
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 27
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 28
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Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 35
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Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 37
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Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 39
Women2Women - Summer 2018 - 40