Originally published by Baton Rouge Business Report.

“A powerful piece of advice that my mentor shared with me is this: A ship sinks only if it allows water to get inside. The ship could be experiencing the worst storm in the deepest ocean and will still survive, but only if it does not allow the cold icy water to leak into it. Each one of us is like a ship. As long as we have a goal and do not allow negativity, doubt and discouragement to sneak into our lives, then we will reach our destination successfully.”

Age: 39

Professional experience: As the face of IBM in Baton Rouge, Dima Ghawi has immersed herself in the community, bringing a new energy and dedicated efforts in volunteering and community outreach, all in a little over a year. Currently the Talent Development Manager for IBM at the new Baton Rouge Services Center, she is responsible for implementing training programs for new employees. Her multicultural business experience with Fortune 500 companies in assignments throughout the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East has positioned her as an expert on the talent development needs of the global workforce. She has taught and consulted on a wide range of areas, such as global leadership, strategy and operations, and supply chain management.

In the news: While IBM’s own research team is kicking off its study of Baton Rouge’s traffic problems, Ghawi’s latest community outreach project is focused on educating young women about careers in STEM, working together with the Louisiana Technology Park, IBM, Louisiana Women in IT and the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition. Also a fan of TEDx talks, Ghawi gave her own TEDxLSU talk in March about her leadership transformation, entitled “Breaking Glass: A Leadership Story.” Ghawi says the talk enabled her to connect with a global online audience and inspire people in their transformational process.