It’s often misconstrued that success in leadership means doing it all, having it all, and being all things to all people.
But April Benetollo finds herself as a 2022 Woman of Impact because she confidently knows, “it’s not just about doing more, it’s about doing more intentional things.”
After a challenging time years ago, a deeply respected friend nominated Benetollo for Momentum’s executive leadership program. As a senior executive at Daxko, the program was fitting and Benetollo was accepted, not knowing that going through the program would be life-changing and eventually a new career for her.
As someone who had held many roles during her 16-year tenure with Daxko, Benetollo always had a bend toward entrepreneurship. But after completing the Momentum Leaders program, she discovered a deep passion for leadership development.
She said that, without Momentum, “I don’t know if I would have made it without throwing in the towel. Momentum helped me figure out how to delegate and how to free myself of some practices that were holding me back.”
Following completion of the program, Benetollo stayed involved, eventually joining Momentum Leaders as chief executive officer in 2017. In that position, Benetollo is executing her vision to expand the opportunities to advance women in leadership throughout the entire state of Alabama.
Expansion has included the implementation of an Upward-Early Career program, in addition to the Executive Leadership program and launching their first class in Huntsville this year.
Outside of the flagship leadership program, Benetollo oversees her “small but mighty team” and active alumnae network resource as many women as they can through conferences and events, mentor matching, corporate workshops, digital trainings, and remaining positioned as the thought leader for local and state-wide data on women in leadership.
“We are able to help women get rid of some of their self-limiting beliefs that come from society,” she said. One of those beliefs is taking women from the limiting mindset of “supposed to” to the empowering perspective of being “capable of.”
Benetollo is recognized as a Woman of Impact not only for her leadership over Momentum but her participation in the Alabama business community overall.
She is a frequent public speaker on leadership development, employee engagement, healthy teams, inclusive culture, and emotional intelligence. Benetollo is a founding board member of TechAlabama, and also currently serves on the Marketing and Sales Advisory Board for the UAB Collat School of Business, the Bronze Valley Board of Directors and the Mixtroz Advisory Board.
In 2019, April was named “Woman to Watch in 2020” by the Birmingham Business Journal; in 2021 April was a BBJ CEO of the Year Honoree in the small nonprofit category; and in 2022 April was honored in the Who’s Who in Nonprofits by the BBJ as well as the recipient of the Women’s Empowerment Award from the Birmingham Urban League.”
Benetollo said she has “learned the most” from her time spent with the Bronze Valley platform of startups.
Energized by young people in business, Benetollo is devoting her career to ensuring every woman has the tools needed to succeed in their respective businesses. She speaks highly of Momentum founder Barbara Royal who “was ahead of her time.” Momentum was started because of Royal’s courage to take a hard-hitting question at the time of “where are your women?” to the top CEO’s and organizations in the state.
Benetollo is following in tenacious footsteps with a vision to expand Momentum to every corner of the state. She has brought “Men with Momentum” into the fold, a program designed for men, taught by men, on the importance of diversity and inclusion within their organizations.
And, looking ahead, Momentum is expanding its community content so that women in leadership across the world can take advantage of the professional development resource as well.
Benetollo’s closing piece of advice to men or women in leadership is simply, “don’t be afraid. There are so many resources out there to help.”
Momentum’s success as one of those resources under the leadership of April Benetollo has Yellowhammer Multimedia, and the state of Alabama proud to include her as a 2022 Woman of Impact recipient.