CWLI / Executive Director

This week, we bid adieu to Mical Traynor as she retires from her executive director position with CWLI. We sat down with her to celebrate all she’s done for our organization over the last two years. Read her interview here.


Mical Traynor


Retiring Executive Director, CWLI

College/University Attended

Auburn University

What is your favorite aspect of being a leader? 

My favorite aspect of being a leader is seeing the wheels turning as ideas are discussed and then bringing those ideas to fruition. Also, examining the ideas in a way that reveals potential flaws. I enjoy feeling that I have motivated someone or encouraged them to believe in themselves to take a chance.

What advice do you have for women aspiring to be leaders in their field?

Not only should aspiring women make themselves heard by taking on leadership roles, they should show how they are impacting the company/department at the bottom line. Showing how your project, idea, or team is affecting the financials in a positive way is the only way to truly be taken seriously.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? How did this person impact your life?

My mother, Doris Sanders, is top of mind because of her passing a few weeks ago.  She was definitely a positive force in my life and set an example for independence and ambition. She believed in me as only a mother can. I would also recognize a high school teacher, Sarah Parnell, as someone who saw something in me and nurtured it by having me step outside my comfort zone, offering me opportunities for leadership.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing female leaders today?

The biggest challenge facing female leaders today is an old one: We are still working hard to be taken seriously and having our unique skills valued to the degree they should be—skills like the ability to collaborate, to grow relationships through empathy, and to seize opportunity.

Approximately how many years have you been involved with CWLI?

I have been involved with CWLI for 5 years and served as ED for the last two.

With what other community organizations/activities are you involved?

I serve on the TSBDC Advisory Board, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and am a member of the Downtown Rotary Club.