After receiving more than 500 rejections over nearly seven years, Kate Delaney landed her first job in sports journalism.
“It takes courage to handle the kind of rejection I had to handle,” said Delaney.
Delaney went on to become an Emmy-winning journalist and daily talk show host who has interviewed more than 15,000 people.
Her long list of accomplishments includes hosting “The Kate Delaney Show” on NBC Sports Radio, authoring three books and more, but reaching this level of success wasn’t an easy task.
An audience of local women heard Delaney’s story on Friday when the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce held part one of Leadercast Women at the Dietrich Theater.
Each year, the one-day event in Atlanta, Ga. features all women speakers with stories of leadership. The event is simulcast at various host sites, and afterwards, organizations like the Chamber of Commerce could broadcast the recorded event in their hometown.
Leadercast Women stems from Leadercast Live, which the chamber has been bringing to Wyoming County for the last two years.
WyCCC President Gina Suydam called Leadercast Women “a great day filled with powerful motivation.”
She echoed the Leadercast Women theme “take courage” when describing her hopes for what women in attendance gain from the event.
“Just that courage to stand up to face the challenges, whatever they may be in their life, and to be strong through those challenges,” Suydam said.
Delaney also shared advice for pursuing success, encouraging the audience to go “all in” by seizing opportunities that stay in line with their goals.
She recalled her first time in a locker room with the Dallas Cowboys and reflected on how going “all in” and being patient lead to earning her place in the sports journalism industry.
Rather than thinking of items on your to-do list as what you “have to do,” she said to think of them as what you “get to do.”
When you reach the height of your success, she said to keep improving. Michael Jordan still shot hundreds of free throws every day in his time as a professional basketball player, she said.
Finally, Delaney said to keep your “raving fans” in your corner and listen to them as you pursue your dreams.
“I challenge you to find whatever your locker room is,” she said.
The audience also heard from Elaine Welteroth, an award-winning journalist.
At age 25, Welteroth was the first African-American beauty editor for Condé Nast, and then became the second African-American editor-in-chief of “Teen Vogue” by 29.
She helped the magazine expand its coverage from teen fashion to politics and social justice while also increasing the diversity of its staff.
In a Leadercast interview, she encouraged other women to “let their authentic self shine” and use the value of their unique perspective.
“I knew my perspective was valuable and needed, and I could open the door for other people who could come in and shake things up with me,” Welteroth said. “It took courage to throw out the formulas and try something different.”
She also focused on the importance of self-care, sharing that she experienced burnout with her old mantra, “Bite off more than you can chew and chew as fast as you can.” Now, she believes there’s “no glory in a grind that grinds you down.”
Taking the core message of her book “More Than Enough,” she told the room, “When the world tells you to shrink, expand.”
The event was cut short due to inclement weather, so the audience only heard from two of the five presenters scheduled.
A grant from Women Helping Women allowed 50 Tunkhannock Area High School students to register for the event, but with the school district closing on Friday, most were unable to attend.
Suydam said both speakers had different, but strong messages to remember.
“With Kate’s message, I think it’s just persistence and how much persistence really does pay off,” she said. “With Elaine’s message, it’s don’t be afraid to be different and to stand out and make your own path.”
The second installment of Leadercast Women has been scheduled for Thursday, March 6 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Dietrich Theater, followed by the Women in Leadership Lunch for International Women’s Day at Shadowbrook Resort at noon. Attendees will see all of the speakers, Suydam said.
For more information and registration, visit wyccc.com.