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'Stiletto Network' concept enhances Moses' advocacy for empowerment

| Thursday, July 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Donora native Kim Moses is a television producer.
Donora native Kim Moses is a television producer.
This is the cover of “Stiletto Network,” which focuses on the changes women are bringing to the face of business. The book features Donora native Kim Moses, a television producer.
This is the cover of “Stiletto Network,” which focuses on the changes women are bringing to the face of business. The book features Donora native Kim Moses, a television producer.
Pamela Ryckman is the author of 'The Stilleto Network,' which focuses on the changes women are bringing to the face of business.
Pamela Ryckman is the author of 'The Stilleto Network,' which focuses on the changes women are bringing to the face of business.

Always leading by example, Kim Moses has long been a primary advocate of efforts to empower women to take charge of their lives, pursue their goals and alter the world around them in a positive manner.

That point is emphasized in “Stiletto Network: Inside The Women's Power Circles That Are Changing The Face Of Business,” (AMACOM, American Management Association, $29.95), an engaging book by longtime journalist/author Pamela Ryckman.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to be included in Pamela's excellent book,” said Moses, a Donora native and graduate of Mon Valley Catholic High School who is recognized as one of the leading producers of television programming. “It is always a pleasure and a privilege to share a forum with women who have similar goals and ideals to encourage, mentor, inspire and empower women of all ages in the business world.”

“Stiletto Network” is described as “a story of female friendship ... a tale of women banding together to improve lives and companies to achieve their destinies and change the world.”

It is, Ryckman said, a book about women but “stories women and men can appreciate.”

“It's an up-close and personal account of the groundswell of women's groups changing the traditional methods of business,” Ryckman said. “It's about what happens when bright, caring women – from captains of industry to aspiring entrepreneurs – come together to celebrate, unwind, debate and compare notes. It's also about what happens when they leave the table, when the talking stops and the action begins.”

Moses is credited in Ryckman's book with being a pacesetter in this concept because of the formation of The Vault, a group of similar “women of influence.” She and Willow Bay organized the entity, which grew into a core unit of about a dozen women “including the founders of Juicy Couture, the co-owner of the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association and one of the few female cardiothoracic surgeons in the world,” Ryckman says in her book. Bay, a veteran editor and author and former model, is a senior editor for the Huffington Post, a special correspondent for Bloomberg Television, and the wife of Walt Disney Productions CEO Robert A. Iger.

The women have been meeting monthly for the past three years.

“Everyone contributes and everyone is discreet, and they've learned that, like Moses, each one is self-made,” Ryckman said.

“We talk about everything from employee issues to problems we're having with our husbands,” Moses told Ryckman. “It's not in the PTA-coffee klatch kind of way, but more sharing points of view on where the world is heading, what's happening to kids in our communities. It's having women at the table, talking and sharing and helping us figure out where to go next. Being with these women, reaching out to others, we all end up talking about our personal stories and life journeys. It's pure magic and we're moved out of our universe for a couple of hours.”

Moses recalled that Vault dinners have included such “distinguished guests” Darla K. Anderson, film producer for Pixar, whose “Monsters University” is currently a box office hit and whose “Toy Story 3” won the 2011 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature; Nicole A. Avant, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the U.S. ambassador to The Bahamas and was sworn into office by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Nicole Feld, president of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus who is the producer of the Disney On Ice and other live shows.

Moses said “Stiletto Network” opened her eyes to an extensive “underground railroad” of women with similar goals.

“I thought I was the only woman bringing women together to help empower each other, but I discovered through Pamela's book that there's a whole underground railroad of women across the United States who are helping each other to achieve their dreams and empower the economy.”

She also explained her reasons for establishing The Vault and its basic tenet.

“I do a lot of public speaking about being a woman working at the intersection of television and digital media and I focus a lot on women and leadership,” she said. “The genesis of our monthly dinners is that we've all been out there doing a lot of public speaking on the creative, strategic and business fronts of navigating the changing landscape in the 21st century, and we have noticed that it is primarily men on the panels with us and primarily men in the audience. These men are smart, creative, strategic thinkers and we find sharing information with them to be truly great.

“However, for every one of these men there is a woman who is equally as smart and strategic but we are not hearing from her. Our small group is made up of successful women from diverse backgrounds that have unique, dynamic points of view and are impacting world. The conversations at our dinners is always an emergent process, rather than a highly structure framework. We always expect the sessions to be insightful, interesting and filled with surprises that inform each of us in very powerful ways.”

Ryckman, a journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Financial Times, among other publications, said Moses was “a natural choice” for inclusion in the book.

“Her track record speaks volumes about her many talents and, more important, her commitment to succeed,” Ryckman said. “She overcame some adversities early in her life and moved forward. She has become a major force in television and entertainment production. She and her husband, Ian Sander, have created and produced award (Emmys, Golden Globes) winning programs and created the most downloaded app in the history of Warner Bros. Kim possesses qualities that anyone – men as well as women – would do well to emulate.”

Moses and her husband are principals, executive producers, directors and writers with Sander/Moses Productions. They have developed myriad television shows including the highly success Ghost Whisperer, which aired for five years on CBS-TV and was the network's top Friday night program. It is now in syndication in 167 countries around the world.

Sander/Moses will return to CBS with another drama, Reckless, during the 2013-14 season. Shooting on location for that series will begin in August in Charleston, S.C.

Ryckman recalled that Moses' brother, entrepreneur J Moses, founder and president of The Platform Inc., which offers solutions for businesses that want to better understand, interact with and reward their customers, was instrumental in setting up a meeting with Kim.

“I was doing research on another project when I came across the idea of these successful women meeting to discuss common issues,” Ryckman said. “I was having lunch with J in New York City and when I explained this concept, he said, ‘You have to talk with my sister about this.' I'm so glad I followed up on his suggestion. Kim has been very supportive in getting other women to embrace and respond to ‘Stiletto Network' ideals.”

Ryckman, who worked in investing banking and global marketing before becoming a journalist, has a deep affinity for women in prominent business positions.

“It was a difficult transition,” she said of changing careers. “I began by doing freelance work but ran into so many roadblocks because I had two young sons and wanted to work from home. It was women who were editors who opened the door for me, who understood and provided the opportunity to pursue writing.”

In addition to focusing on Moses' 30-year professional career, “Stiletto Network” offers a revealing look at her personal life – her upbringing in Donora; how she was unceremoniously dismissed from her job in the Sports Information Department at the University of Notre Dame when her first marriage to football star Joe Montana ended in separation and divorce; her happy marriage to Ian Sander and her role as the mother of their teenage sons, Aaron and Declan.

(Additional information about “Stiletto Network” and the author is available at Ron Paglia is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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