Marisol Guzman reflects on impact of her PENCIL mentor

Marisol Guzman, a McGavock High School graduate, spoke with PENCIL recently about her invaluable relationship with long-time PENCIL Partner, Lynne Maynor. The two met during Marisol’s freshman year at McGavock when PENCIL hosted a professionalism workshop at the school. Lynne, formerly the Director of Leadership and Training at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, has volunteered with PENCIL for many years and always raises a hand to support Metro Schools. Now working on the product team at Moen Incorporated in Cleveland, Ohio, Marisol has remained in close touch with Lynne, whom she considers a mentor in her personal and professional life.  

Marsol Guzman & Lynne Maynor

In a recent interview, Marisol shares just how important their relationship is to her:  

How did your relationship with Lynne start? 

I was able to attend different PENCIL Partner meetings while I attended McGavock, and Gaylord, along with other companies, had different leaders that would come in and help out with the Hospitality and Finance Academy there. So, I was able to interact with Lynne then, and also during student council through those years. I was able to form a stronger relationship with her and get to know her more. 

And what makes Lynne such a strong mentor in your life?  

I think I really admire the way she carries herself, and her professionalism, and just how she’s always putting others first. She just really cares about students, faculty, and parents. She’s such a generous person – always trying to give back and see what she can do to help create change. I really aspire to be someone like that, who can really help other people and create positive change. It’s just so selfless. 

Can you think back to a specific experience in your high school career where you learned something from Lynne that has stuck with you? 

There are a few things! I remember a workshop from spring break where I had a little padfolio, and I was looking back at it this summer. I had notes from Lynne’s session where she was going over the six different “hats” philosophy, talking about how to navigate change, and how to be more introspective within yourself. I also remember going to an awards event at Belmont where Lynne got all of the Gaylord employees to sign the event’s agenda, and then she framed it and gave it to me.  

How has your relationship with Lynne impacted your career decisions? 

First of all, like, I look up to her so much, so just having a mentor and someone that I can look up to and aspire to be like has helped me. And she’s always just been there for me. When I was in college, every time I’d come back to town we’d have lunch and reconnect. She is also always giving me books! I have a ton of books on my bookshelf from her.  

Just having someone from outside of my family in my support system is amazing. I remember in college when I was brainstorming my career path, Lynne was there to bounce ideas off of and she always offered her advice and insight. Also, I remember in high school she was able to help me get to different roles at Gaylord, so it was such a beneficial relationship to me then as much as it is now. 

Has the experience that you’ve had with Lynne motivated you to consider becoming a mentor to a student, or volunteer for schools in some way? 

I really aspire to be more like Lynne in every way. Lynne is always volunteering and asking “What can I do?” She goes outside of just the business partnership mindset. In college, I was actually able to do a different kind of mentorship program, and I was able to work with high school students through after-school tutoring and things that. Hopefully down the road when I’m a little bit more established in my career, I’ll be able to make an impact like Lynne. 

Lynne had her own remarks to share about her relationship with Marisol: 

I have had the pleasure of knowing Marisol for 9 years, and she made an immediate impression on me. Though she was a quiet young lady, she was an eager learner who had a command on her development. If there was one thing that stands above all Marisol’s traits, it’s her maturity in taking responsibility for her education. She truly owned her path and stayed focused on it throughout her school years (including post-secondary).   

It wasn’t just about academics with Marisol. She has always had a broader/deeper lens to her development. Marisol took advantage of any opportunity that allowed her to work with business partners at McGavock. She stayed connected and valued their perspectives, and she is still in touch with many of the PENCIL business partners from the school. 

If there were a true role model that represents the ideals of the Academies of Nashville, Marisol is that student who has applied “My Way / My Choice”.   

I am very proud of this young girl who is now a young professional working woman today! She is a friend and colleague to me!  

You never know, maybe I will work for this young leader some day!