Featured TRUST Member
Product Portfolio Director
Sara Hong serves as product portfolio director for Optum where she is responsible for delivering large, transformative efforts across the organization to identify and achieve productivity management and cost savings, affordability realization, technology
platform and cross-product development. Her work is driven by building strong relationships, identifying solutions and finding ways to drive complex work across multiple business areas.
Why did you join the TRUST? What keeps you involved as a TRUST member?
I've been in health care my entire career. I was overdue to join the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST. I look forward to learning from some incredible women and giving back to other women in the industry that has given me so much.
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Don't be afraid to change your course, take a leap of faith or try something new. By stretching yourself out of your comfort zone, you grow in your risk threshold, change agility and self-confidence. It's empowering to see how much you can accomplish
and where you can succeed if you don't hold yourself back.
Have you ever had a mentor? How did he/she help you most?
My mentor challenged me to assess my strengths and opportunities, my goals in my career and life, and what I needed in the current season. She then helped me chart a path that ensured I had the needed balance to be my best, whole self. My mentor's support
and encouragement helped me to put the pieces together in a way I would have never done on my own, and in the end, it was a much fuller and richer path.
What support do you need now to evolve your development as a leader? How do you want to support other women in their leadership journey?
Women lead in all kinds of places and at all stages in life. I enjoy supporting women as they look at where they go next and consider how to transition from their current adventure to identifying and landing their next one. I also enjoy supporting new
and emerging leaders.
Who or what inspires you?
My mother inspires me. I am sure many people pick their mothers. Mine is one of the hardest working, industrious people I know, and she always finds time to help someone else out. She'll make you a home-cooked meal, while custom-fitting and installing
towel bars in her bathroom, while also giving you gardening advice.
What is something not many people know about you?
When I'm not working, you'll find me doing something related to tennis. I serve on several United States Tennis Association Northern Section committees that help grow the game through Junior Team Tennis as well as awarding grants and scholarships to players,
community tennis associations and providers across the section. My son and I both play and my husband has recently taken up the game. On any given day, you'll usually find one or two of us playing somewhere and it has been great to give back to the
community that has given us so much.
Any words of wisdom to live by?
Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.
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