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We Support Diversity and Gender Equality – An Issue Greater Than Just “Equal Pay in the Workplace”

The story behind Orlando Women Magazine and Website has always been to empower, inspire and support women in our local communities and the workplace. We believe in diversity and gender equality, equal pay for equal work and believe that no woman should have to be in fear of harassment or assault in her community or workplace. Women have made unquestionable advances — from American boardrooms and courts of law, to political and sports arenas — but inequality remains,  especially in poor or rural areas. By simply being inclusive of an equitable number of women in an organization, it has availed itself of a larger talent pool, increased its attractiveness to potential talent, increased its ability to retain talent and has brought an insightful eye to market to potential users and clients of the organization’s products or services. While outcomes of equality in the workplace should be achievable equally among genders, these outcomes may not necessarily be the same for all. Still, it’s essential to advance the trend of acceptance and advancement in gender equality to ensure that access and enjoyment of the same rewards, resources and opportunities are available to all. This includes freedom from gender discrimination and its stereotypes, pregnancy and parenting, freedom from discrimination in fields of employment where women have traditionally been excluded or discouraged and the systemic undervaluing of work traditionally performed by women. Workplaces need to provide equal opportunities and pay for equal work; there is no justifiable reason based on gender not to do so. There should never be limits to the equal participation of women in the workforce. All should have access to all positions and industries; including leadership roles regardless of gender. Women represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce and the number of women in politics is increasing rapidly. At some point in their career, one in four women has been subjected to harassment at work. Management has a responsibility to ensure they act early to both identify and stop harassment, but unfortunately, in many companies, occurrences are often ignored. If there are signs of harassment taking place within the workplace– no matter how big or small – it should be rectified immediately, and preventative processes reevaluated to avert such occurrences from happening again. Organizations have a responsibility to maintain an environment that is free of sexual harassment. Today we are asking that our communities’ most prominent workplaces and community organizations take a step to join Orlando Women Magazine and its website to advocate for respectful, fair and dignified treatment of women. Thank You Rich Borell Founder & Publisher


We Support Diversity and Gender Equality – An Issue Greater Than Just “Equal Pay in the Workplace” The story behind Atlanta Metro Women Magazine and Website has always been to empower, inspire and support women in our local communities and the workplace. We believe in diversity and gender equality, equal pay for equal work and believe that no woman should have to be in fear of harassment or assault in her community or workplace. Women have made unquestionable advances — from American boardrooms and courts of law, to political and sports arenas — but inequality remains,  especially in poor or rural areas. By simply being inclusive of an equitable number of women in an organization, it has availed itself of a larger talent pool, increased its attractiveness to potential talent, increased its ability to retain talent and has brought an insightful eye to market to potential users and clients of the organization’s products or services. While outcomes of equality in the workplace should be achievable equally among genders, these outcomes may not necessarily be the same for all. Still, it’s essential to advance the trend of acceptance and advancement in gender equality to ensure that access and enjoyment of the same rewards, resources and opportunities are available to all. This includes freedom from gender discrimination and its stereotypes, pregnancy and parenting, freedom from discrimination in fields of employment where women have traditionally been excluded or discouraged and the systemic undervaluing of work traditionally performed by women. Workplaces need to provide equal opportunities and pay for equal work; there is no justifiable reason based on gender not to do so. There should never be limits to the equal participation of women in the workforce. All should have access to all positions and industries; including leadership roles regardless of gender. Women represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce and the number of women in politics is increasing rapidly. At some point in their career, one in four women has been subjected to harassment at work. Management has a responsibility to ensure they act early to both identify and stop harassment, but unfortunately, in many companies, occurrences are often ignored. If there are signs of harassment taking place within the workplace– no matter how big or small – it should be rectified immediately, and preventative processes reevaluated to avert such occurrences from happening again. Organizations have a responsibility to maintain an environment that is free of sexual harassment. Today we are asking that our communities’ most prominent workplaces and community organizations take a step to join Atlanta Metro Women Magazine and its website to advocate for respectful, fair and dignified treatment of women. Thank You Rich Borell Founder & Publisher


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www.fairbanksflorist.net | 321-695-5440


www.fairbanksflorist.net | 321-695-5440


An Exclusive Interview With Former President of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons,

Dr. Lynn Jeffers Q: You recently served as President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Can you tell us what this meant to you and did you accomplish what you set out to do? LJ: Being President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons was an honor and a privilege. Despite the COVID pandemic, we were able to accomplish what we set out to do. At the beginning of my presidency, I wanted to focus on technology/innovation/disruption and on valuing our physician members. I created a presidential task force on technology that will build an infrastructure within ASPS that will not only address technology used by the society in our work, but also support our members interested in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. We are also looking at the big ideas such as artificial intelligence, biosensors, block chain, etc. and making sure that we keep our society well-positioned to address potential opportunities and threats. In addition, we had a deliberate focus on making sure to recognize and engage our volunteer physician leaders. At the end of the day, this is a member organization, and we are thankful for their dedication and time that they give to ASPS and our specialty. Of course, we could not have anticipated COVID-19 and I am very proud of ASPS’s response to this pandemic. We were able to set up a COVID resource page for our members with regular webinars. We set up a clearinghouse for members to offer PPE and ventilators to other facilities in need. This caught the attention of the White House COVID Task Force which ultimately led us to help source over 6 million masks to New York alone as well as working with FEMA and other governor’s offices. When it was time to consider reopening, we responded to our members’ needs for access to PPE by having ASPS buy PPE in bulk and thus allowing our members access to PPE. Ultimately, I am so proud of the response of our physicians and our staff in coming together, being proactive, and responding effectively to the COVID pandemic. Q: Why is it important for a plastic surgeon to be a member of ASPS? LJ: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world. We are here not only for our plastic surgeon members but also our patients. Our advocacy, research, education efforts (of the public as well as plastic surgeons) promote patient safety, ethics, and excellence in plastic surgery. We continue to promote collaboration and science not only in the US but globally with our global partners. We continue to support important

initiatives such as our clinical registries, task forces, and research endeavors that will lead to data that we need to better address topics such as implant safety, surgical safety, proper training, and best practices. ASPS is here also for our members to provide resources for their everyday practices both operationally as well as clinically and also helps to facilitate communication, networking and camaraderie among our members. Q: Can you tell us about your current positions as Chief Medical Officer at St John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, and Medical Director of the Integrated Breast Center at St. John’s? LJ: I currently serve as the Chief Medical Officer at Dignity Health St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital which is a part of CommonSpirit Health. During the COVID crisis, I covered an additional hospital while their CMO was out. The Integrated Breast Center offers a community-based team-based approach to breast cancer care. The Center is nationally accredited and has been the recipient of a number of national grants. For the last 11 years, we have held a Breast Symposium that has grown from 30 attendees to 300 attendees last year. This year, of course, we will host a virtual symposium, but we look forward to being hold one in person next year (hopefully!). Q: Tell us about your private practice you have as a plastic surgeon in Ventura County, Calif, and why you chose to become a plastic surgeon. LJ: I am in solo private practice and share the office with my husband who is an Orthopaedic surgeon . I specialize in breast surgery, as well as non-invasive and minimally-invasive procedures such as injectables (Botox/fillers). I was drawn to plastic surgery because in plastic surgery, you create and rebuild. That really appealed to me. One of my first exposures to plastic surgery was watching one of my research mentors in the operating room build an ear for a patient who was born without one, using the cartilage from her rib. It was fascinating and I was hooked. Today, I am so grateful to be able to help people every day. Many of my breast cancer reconstruction patients, I have known for years and there really is no comparison to the satisfaction you get, knowing that you make a difference in people’s lives. Q: Most of your medical education was done in Michigan … how did you end up in Southern California? LJ: I grew up in southern California. I went to Michigan because I was accepted into medical school out of high school

AMA meeting during her first campaign for a seat on the AMA Council on Medical Service and thus did my undergraduate education, medical school education, and residency training in Michigan. I returned to California after finishing my training, and I now live in the same community in which I grew up. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? LJ: It is definitely a day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, adjustment. I am fortunate to have a very supportive family including having my parents living nearby. My husband and I joke that our children did ok, DESPITE us. For better or worse, we were too busy to helicopter parent our kids and they had to learn independence and resourcefulness early in life. I have many stories that we laugh about now. Balance is a moving target, but I would say that it starts with self-assessment and being aware of what is really meaningful--what are your real priorities. I don’t sleep much, but even so, more recently, I find that I have had to set limits and recognize that you can’t do all things all of the time. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? LJ: Never underestimate the importance of relationships. It is the personal connections that not only make the work we do meaningful but also, I believe, personal connections are the key to success. I also believe in the importance of leaving things better than you found them both in terms of the organization itself but the people. I have certainly benefited from the mentorship of many people and I hope to be that for others. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? LJ: Some of the most meaningful milestones in my career

were starting my own practice, spearheading the Integrated Breast Center, assuming my Chief Medical Officer (in addition to my practice), being elected as one of 11 members of the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Service, and most recently, my term as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In fact, at the end of my presidency, I was chosen for two awards: the ASPS Patients of Courage and the Young At Heart award that really meant so much to me as it really reminded me why I do what I do -advocating for my patients and mentoring those after me. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? LJ: Sometimes, women may have a difficult time finding mentors and seeing role models in leadership, depending on the arena. Also, it can take some work to understand how to navigate a particular environment and finding ways to be heard that are effective. Studies have shown that women cannot employ the same tactics in the boardroom as men do, as they are not as effective for women. With more recognition of these differences, more work is being done as to effective strategies specifically for women, we can promote better functioning teams and organizations. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as a Doctor? LJ: Being a physician is such a rewarding profession. Every day you can look in the mirror and know that you can help people directly. However, know that the number of years of education, training, and sacrifices can be daunting, so find your mentors and find your “why”. Make sure to pay attention to self-care and to not neglect the other portions of your life as those are just as crucial to a whole, meaningful life.


An Exclusive Interview With Former President of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons,

Dr. Lynn Jeffers Q: You recently served as President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Can you tell us what this meant to you and did you accomplish what you set out to do? LJ: Being President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons was an honor and a privilege. Despite the COVID pandemic, we were able to accomplish what we set out to do. At the beginning of my presidency, I wanted to focus on technology/innovation/disruption and on valuing our physician members. I created a presidential task force on technology that will build an infrastructure within ASPS that will not only address technology used by the society in our work, but also support our members interested in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. We are also looking at the big ideas such as artificial intelligence, biosensors, block chain, etc. and making sure that we keep our society well-positioned to address potential opportunities and threats. In addition, we had a deliberate focus on making sure to recognize and engage our volunteer physician leaders. At the end of the day, this is a member organization, and we are thankful for their dedication and time that they give to ASPS and our specialty. Of course, we could not have anticipated COVID-19 and I am very proud of ASPS’s response to this pandemic. We were able to set up a COVID resource page for our members with regular webinars. We set up a clearinghouse for members to offer PPE and ventilators to other facilities in need. This caught the attention of the White House COVID Task Force which ultimately led us to help source over 6 million masks to New York alone as well as working with FEMA and other governor’s offices. When it was time to consider reopening, we responded to our members’ needs for access to PPE by having ASPS buy PPE in bulk and thus allowing our members access to PPE. Ultimately, I am so proud of the response of our physicians and our staff in coming together, being proactive, and responding effectively to the COVID pandemic. Q: Why is it important for a plastic surgeon to be a member of ASPS? LJ: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest plastic surgery organization in the world. We are here not only for our plastic surgeon members but also our patients. Our advocacy, research, education efforts (of the public as well as plastic surgeons) promote patient safety, ethics, and excellence in plastic surgery. We continue to promote collaboration and science not only in the US but globally with our global partners. We continue to support important

initiatives such as our clinical registries, task forces, and research endeavors that will lead to data that we need to better address topics such as implant safety, surgical safety, proper training, and best practices. ASPS is here also for our members to provide resources for their everyday practices both operationally as well as clinically and also helps to facilitate communication, networking and camaraderie among our members. Q: Can you tell us about your current positions as Chief Medical Officer at St John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, and Medical Director of the Integrated Breast Center at St. John’s? LJ: I currently serve as the Chief Medical Officer at Dignity Health St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital which is a part of CommonSpirit Health. During the COVID crisis, I covered an additional hospital while their CMO was out. The Integrated Breast Center offers a community-based team-based approach to breast cancer care. The Center is nationally accredited and has been the recipient of a number of national grants. For the last 11 years, we have held a Breast Symposium that has grown from 30 attendees to 300 attendees last year. This year, of course, we will host a virtual symposium, but we look forward to being hold one in person next year (hopefully!). Q: Tell us about your private practice you have as a plastic surgeon in Ventura County, Calif, and why you chose to become a plastic surgeon. LJ: I am in solo private practice and share the office with my husband who is an Orthopaedic surgeon . I specialize in breast surgery, as well as non-invasive and minimally-invasive procedures such as injectables (Botox/fillers). I was drawn to plastic surgery because in plastic surgery, you create and rebuild. That really appealed to me. One of my first exposures to plastic surgery was watching one of my research mentors in the operating room build an ear for a patient who was born without one, using the cartilage from her rib. It was fascinating and I was hooked. Today, I am so grateful to be able to help people every day. Many of my breast cancer reconstruction patients, I have known for years and there really is no comparison to the satisfaction you get, knowing that you make a difference in people’s lives. Q: Most of your medical education was done in Michigan … how did you end up in Southern California? LJ: I grew up in southern California. I went to Michigan because I was accepted into medical school out of high school

AMA meeting during her first campaign for a seat on the AMA Council on Medical Service and thus did my undergraduate education, medical school education, and residency training in Michigan. I returned to California after finishing my training, and I now live in the same community in which I grew up. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? LJ: It is definitely a day-by-day, even hour-by-hour, adjustment. I am fortunate to have a very supportive family including having my parents living nearby. My husband and I joke that our children did ok, DESPITE us. For better or worse, we were too busy to helicopter parent our kids and they had to learn independence and resourcefulness early in life. I have many stories that we laugh about now. Balance is a moving target, but I would say that it starts with self-assessment and being aware of what is really meaningful--what are your real priorities. I don’t sleep much, but even so, more recently, I find that I have had to set limits and recognize that you can’t do all things all of the time. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? LJ: Never underestimate the importance of relationships. It is the personal connections that not only make the work we do meaningful but also, I believe, personal connections are the key to success. I also believe in the importance of leaving things better than you found them both in terms of the organization itself but the people. I have certainly benefited from the mentorship of many people and I hope to be that for others. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? LJ: Some of the most meaningful milestones in my career

were starting my own practice, spearheading the Integrated Breast Center, assuming my Chief Medical Officer (in addition to my practice), being elected as one of 11 members of the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Service, and most recently, my term as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In fact, at the end of my presidency, I was chosen for two awards: the ASPS Patients of Courage and the Young At Heart award that really meant so much to me as it really reminded me why I do what I do -advocating for my patients and mentoring those after me. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? LJ: Sometimes, women may have a difficult time finding mentors and seeing role models in leadership, depending on the arena. Also, it can take some work to understand how to navigate a particular environment and finding ways to be heard that are effective. Studies have shown that women cannot employ the same tactics in the boardroom as men do, as they are not as effective for women. With more recognition of these differences, more work is being done as to effective strategies specifically for women, we can promote better functioning teams and organizations. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as a Doctor? LJ: Being a physician is such a rewarding profession. Every day you can look in the mirror and know that you can help people directly. However, know that the number of years of education, training, and sacrifices can be daunting, so find your mentors and find your “why”. Make sure to pay attention to self-care and to not neglect the other portions of your life as those are just as crucial to a whole, meaningful life.


African American film critics. Being accepted as a member meant a lot because we get access to the team and talent behind films that mean the most to our culture.

Wycleff Jean interview at Andrew Young Leadership Awards.

Our Exclusive Interview with Influencer

Kim Ford

Kim Ford Is A Keynote Speaker, TV Host & Media Consultant. She Has Appeared On CNN As An Entertainment Correspondent Where She Shares Her Take on What’s Relevant in Film, Television, & Celebrity News. Q: After college, where did you feel your career path would take you? KF: Honestly, I wasn’t really sure. All I knew was I wanted to live in Atlanta. I knew I’d figure it out when I got there. It took a while, but I finally figured it out. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? KF: My jobs after college were random and all over the place. I first worked at Macy’s in the handbag department

until I locked in a “real” job after college. After Macy’s I entered the Management Trainee program at Enterprise Car Rental. Working there taught me a lot about owning a business, sales calls, and teamwork. The hours were long and sometimes I had to wash cars in my suit. I hated it back then. Now I understand the lesson was to get the job done no matter how uncomfortable I was. That’s a skill I use today. Q: Can you share with our audience some details about your role as a CNN/Headline News entertainment contributor? KF: I appear as a guest Entertainment Contributor on CNN/HLN to give my take on what is relevant regarding film and television. Typically, when there is a special segment. Q: In March 2019 you were accepted into AAFCA (African American Film Critics Association). Can you tell us what it meant to you? KF: AAFCA isn’t an award. It’s the world’s largest organization of

Q: Tell us about Jubilee Mag, how it started and where you see it going. KF: Jubilee Mag was an online mag I started in 2007 that covered faith, culture, and style. I created it because I saw a void in the industry for positive media. I built my own website and gained access to events like the BET Awards, Essence Fest and countless press junkets affiliated with NBC, CBS, Sony, Warner Bros, and many others. In March 2020, the growth of my audience led to me to leave Jubilee Mag behind and evolve from just an online magazine. My audience wanted more of me as a personal brand instead of a magazine. As a result, I launched iamkimford.com covering entertainment, personal development, and lifestyle. Q: You must keep a hectic schedule between speaking engagements and TV commitments. How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? KF: It’s all about prioritizing. The commitments my children have come first. I schedule everything else around that. My kids are older, so that makes it a lot easier. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? KF: Since I didn’t study media in college, I was concerned about what I didn’t know that should know. I’m in grad school now, but for many years it was a concern in the back of my mind. It’s definitely possible to do it without grad school, but it was a personal goal of mine.

NBC press dinner for ‘This Is Us’. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KF: It’s hard to narrow it down to one woman. There’s definitely a village of women I admire for various reasons. A few are: Oprah, for obvious reasons. Myleik Teel for her entrepreneurial journey. J Lo because she’s been timeless for decades. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KF: I’m actually writing a book about that right now. It’s called “It’s Never Too Late”, releasing late summer 2020. A lot of women think just because they’ve had major setbacks, it’s too late to pursue their dream life. If God called you to it, “It’s Never Too Late”. Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women who want to reach your level of success? KF: Do your research. Pay attention to the greats. Find your lane and dominate.


African American film critics. Being accepted as a member meant a lot because we get access to the team and talent behind films that mean the most to our culture.

Wycleff Jean interview at Andrew Young Leadership Awards.

Our Exclusive Interview with Influencer

Kim Ford

Kim Ford Is A Keynote Speaker, TV Host & Media Consultant. She Has Appeared On CNN As An Entertainment Correspondent Where She Shares Her Take on What’s Relevant in Film, Television, & Celebrity News. Q: After college, where did you feel your career path would take you? KF: Honestly, I wasn’t really sure. All I knew was I wanted to live in Atlanta. I knew I’d figure it out when I got there. It took a while, but I finally figured it out. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? KF: My jobs after college were random and all over the place. I first worked at Macy’s in the handbag department

until I locked in a “real” job after college. After Macy’s I entered the Management Trainee program at Enterprise Car Rental. Working there taught me a lot about owning a business, sales calls, and teamwork. The hours were long and sometimes I had to wash cars in my suit. I hated it back then. Now I understand the lesson was to get the job done no matter how uncomfortable I was. That’s a skill I use today. Q: Can you share with our audience some details about your role as a CNN/Headline News entertainment contributor? KF: I appear as a guest Entertainment Contributor on CNN/HLN to give my take on what is relevant regarding film and television. Typically, when there is a special segment. Q: In March 2019 you were accepted into AAFCA (African American Film Critics Association). Can you tell us what it meant to you? KF: AAFCA isn’t an award. It’s the world’s largest organization of

Q: Tell us about Jubilee Mag, how it started and where you see it going. KF: Jubilee Mag was an online mag I started in 2007 that covered faith, culture, and style. I created it because I saw a void in the industry for positive media. I built my own website and gained access to events like the BET Awards, Essence Fest and countless press junkets affiliated with NBC, CBS, Sony, Warner Bros, and many others. In March 2020, the growth of my audience led to me to leave Jubilee Mag behind and evolve from just an online magazine. My audience wanted more of me as a personal brand instead of a magazine. As a result, I launched iamkimford.com covering entertainment, personal development, and lifestyle. Q: You must keep a hectic schedule between speaking engagements and TV commitments. How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? KF: It’s all about prioritizing. The commitments my children have come first. I schedule everything else around that. My kids are older, so that makes it a lot easier. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? KF: Since I didn’t study media in college, I was concerned about what I didn’t know that should know. I’m in grad school now, but for many years it was a concern in the back of my mind. It’s definitely possible to do it without grad school, but it was a personal goal of mine.

NBC press dinner for ‘This Is Us’. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KF: It’s hard to narrow it down to one woman. There’s definitely a village of women I admire for various reasons. A few are: Oprah, for obvious reasons. Myleik Teel for her entrepreneurial journey. J Lo because she’s been timeless for decades. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KF: I’m actually writing a book about that right now. It’s called “It’s Never Too Late”, releasing late summer 2020. A lot of women think just because they’ve had major setbacks, it’s too late to pursue their dream life. If God called you to it, “It’s Never Too Late”. Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women who want to reach your level of success? KF: Do your research. Pay attention to the greats. Find your lane and dominate.


She Barely Survived a Deadly Mountain Plane Crash That Took The Lives of 160 Passengers. Making Her Second Chance of Life Count, An Exclusive Interview With Motivational Speaker,

Mercedes Ramirez Johnson

In 1995, Mercedes Ramirez Johnson narrowly survived a commercial airplane crash where about 160 people died, including her parents. As one of only four survivors of this tragedy, she vowed that she would make her second chance at life count… and that she has – not just for herself, but also for the tens of thousands of people who have heard her story and her message. Mercedes has received national awards for her work, influence, commitment to helping others. People Magazine’s Spanish edition, People en Español, named her one of the country’s top young Hispanic up-and-comers. INROADS, Inc., an international organization dedicated to developing talented minority youth, voted her Alumni of the Year. She was also awarded Volunteer of the Year for Christ Haven for Children, a Texas-based home for neglected children. In memory of her parents, she established a scholarship for minority students at Northwest Missouri State University, where she actively served as an Executive Member of the university’s Foundation Board. Q: Every year, we’re incredibly lucky to have and celebrate our birthday. For you, it’s also an anniversary of an incredibly sad event that happened on your 21st birthday.  Is there something special you do for your birthday that you can share with us? MRJ: Every year, my birthday is always bittersweet. The reason for this is that I feel a little guilty celebrating my birthday since it’s the anniversary of my parents’ death. But my birthday is also incredibly life-affirming since on that very day in 1995, I was given a second chance to live life with my heart and mind wide open. It has taught me to appreciate the beauty of life, family, friends and fulfilling my dreams, not just for myself but for my family.   Q: What type of injuries did you sustain and how long was your recovery?

MRJ: I was hospitalized for nearly three months after the plane crash. Initially, the doctors in Colombia told my family I had a 2030% chance of survival due to the severity of my injuries. I broke my right femur bone, fractured my lower spine, broke quite a few ribs, and sustained massive internal injuries in my stomach, so I had to undergo many surgeries to repair the fractures, skin grafts, and do some rerouting of my intestinal tract. Q: Do you still keep in contact with your fellow survivors? MRJ: No, unfortunately, I lost track of most of the survivors. Occasionally, I see family members of Mauricio Reyes, but I’d love to get reconnected with them all. I know that everyone has accomplished success in their lives, and I consider myself privileged to be a part of such a remarkable group of people who have made the most of their life. Q: How long did it take before you felt you could fly again? MRJ: I used a baseball game in St Louis against my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, as an excuse to board a plane just about a month and being released from the hospital. It was terrifying, but it was under an hour-long, and I knew I needed to start the process of getting over my newfound fear of flying. Every little bump and dip felt frightening, but every flight from that point forward became a little less scary. I’m glad my sister convinced me to take that first flight because the world is too beautiful of a place to not enjoy it with the people I love.   Q: What was your first thought when you learned the flight crew had failed to adequately plan and execute the approach to runway? MRJ: For months, I was filled with bitterness and anger. I was trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out what would have led to their numerous mistakes and oversights. I kept wondering why

they weren’t more careful and mindful of their responsibilities. But after months of prayer and therapy, I grew to accept it wasn’t because of bad intentions. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life as a jaded negative person; because that’s NOT the type of person I’d like to be WITH, so why would I allow myself to BECOME that? The pilots were two good men who just had a really bad day at work that day. They had friends and family that were devastated by their loss just as much as I was devastated from losing my parents. Q: When did you realize that you wanted to become a motivational speaker? MRJ: I would never have pictured myself being a “motivational speaker.” Just the title makes me cringe… it makes me think of smoke machines, thumping music, and crazed audiences willing to pay half of their life savings for some guru to tell them how to live their life. I’m a storyteller; I’m an eternal student — my favorite part of my work is researching my clients’ industries, victories, and problems, then crafting a program that catapults them to working and living with a clearer outlook better tools to succeed. In 1996, a schoolgirl scout troop invited me to share my story about my plane accident in the basement of a church, which happened just weeks after being released from the hospital. From there, my career as a storyteller blossomed. It’s inspiring to see how it’s turned into such a fulfilling career. It helps give me so much purpose.   Q: Can you share with our audience when and to whom your first speech was given? MRJ: The first time I openly talked about my plane crash to a group was the girl scout troop, but my first real speech was in Chicago at a collegiate Hispanic leadership conference. It hit close to home because I was a member of this same Hispanic leadership organization throughout my high school and collegiate years. I felt like I was in the audience watching myself. It was emotionally overwhelming, and I had to regain my composure to finish the speech through tears. After that, I realized I had to learn how to give a genuine, emotionally compelling talk while at the same time emotionally removing myself from the talk. It’s too painful not to. Q: You’ve given many speeches since that terrible accident over 25 years ago.  Is there one question that you’ve been asked that is still difficult to answer?

MRJ: The first time someone asked me if I felt guilty that I survived and not everyone else really threw me back. Honestly, at first, I felt insulted because I thought that person was insinuating I could have done something to save others, which I couldn’t. I was knocked unconscious at impact and didn’t wake up in the wreckage until the following day. But instead of guilt, I feel responsible for living a life of kindness, generosity, and adventure. I feel that if I live a FULL life, that it’s a life worth being proud of. Not just for me to feel pride, but for all the people who would were denied that second chance to live out their days. Q: Tell us what the Second Chance Living concept means and how it has helped those you’ve shared it with. MRJ: God, the universe, and all the rescue/medical staff that played a role in saving my life are responsible for the second chance at life I was given. Sadly, it took losing my parents, nearly losing my own life, and living through the hell of a plane crash to make me realize that every day on this earth is a precious gift. Each day we wake up, we’ve been given a brand new second chance at life. What an incredible opportunity that is! To wake up with a clean slate and a fresh start to right your wrongs and be the truest version of yourself that day. When we value each day as a new chance, that’s when we can muster the courage and the energy needed to slay the dragons in our way and make our little slice of our worlds better by our actions, our words, and our interactions by being intentional. Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted you and your family?  Have you made use of video conferencing to continue speaking?  MRJ: This is going to make me sound so weird, but I LOVED being home with my sons. These past few years, I went through many changes in losing two sons that were born with a genetic terminal condition, ending my marriage of 21 years, and navigating motherhood of two teenage twin boys. So, quarantine gave me a chance to finally breathe. I had been running nonstop for so many years that this gave me a chance to focus solely on people in my inner circle. It gave me time to grieve, time to heal and celebrate the loves in my life. From March until early summer, all my speaking engagements had been canceled or indefinitely postponed. Then little by little, my clients came back with revamped conference and meeting plans, and my master bathroom has now been permanently transformed into my live virtual keynote studio. I’ll be all dolled up in a suit, full makeup, great lighting, and using all kinds of professional jargon to make myself sound smart — but my client has no idea that it’s all smoke and mirrors in front of my bathtub just a few paces away from my toilet! Although I miss interacting with my clients in person at their amazing events, it’s still a blast to play a role in their endeavors. I’m looking forward to the day where I can meet and hug my audiences again. In the meantime, my bathroom studio has been a hit which I’m grateful for! Q: Is there a lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? MRJ: Without authenticity, gratitude, and drive, there won’t be anything such as long-term success or happiness. When


She Barely Survived a Deadly Mountain Plane Crash That Took The Lives of 160 Passengers. Making Her Second Chance of Life Count, An Exclusive Interview With Motivational Speaker,

Mercedes Ramirez Johnson

In 1995, Mercedes Ramirez Johnson narrowly survived a commercial airplane crash where about 160 people died, including her parents. As one of only four survivors of this tragedy, she vowed that she would make her second chance at life count… and that she has – not just for herself, but also for the tens of thousands of people who have heard her story and her message. Mercedes has received national awards for her work, influence, commitment to helping others. People Magazine’s Spanish edition, People en Español, named her one of the country’s top young Hispanic up-and-comers. INROADS, Inc., an international organization dedicated to developing talented minority youth, voted her Alumni of the Year. She was also awarded Volunteer of the Year for Christ Haven for Children, a Texas-based home for neglected children. In memory of her parents, she established a scholarship for minority students at Northwest Missouri State University, where she actively served as an Executive Member of the university’s Foundation Board. Q: Every year, we’re incredibly lucky to have and celebrate our birthday. For you, it’s also an anniversary of an incredibly sad event that happened on your 21st birthday.  Is there something special you do for your birthday that you can share with us? MRJ: Every year, my birthday is always bittersweet. The reason for this is that I feel a little guilty celebrating my birthday since it’s the anniversary of my parents’ death. But my birthday is also incredibly life-affirming since on that very day in 1995, I was given a second chance to live life with my heart and mind wide open. It has taught me to appreciate the beauty of life, family, friends and fulfilling my dreams, not just for myself but for my family.   Q: What type of injuries did you sustain and how long was your recovery?

MRJ: I was hospitalized for nearly three months after the plane crash. Initially, the doctors in Colombia told my family I had a 2030% chance of survival due to the severity of my injuries. I broke my right femur bone, fractured my lower spine, broke quite a few ribs, and sustained massive internal injuries in my stomach, so I had to undergo many surgeries to repair the fractures, skin grafts, and do some rerouting of my intestinal tract. Q: Do you still keep in contact with your fellow survivors? MRJ: No, unfortunately, I lost track of most of the survivors. Occasionally, I see family members of Mauricio Reyes, but I’d love to get reconnected with them all. I know that everyone has accomplished success in their lives, and I consider myself privileged to be a part of such a remarkable group of people who have made the most of their life. Q: How long did it take before you felt you could fly again? MRJ: I used a baseball game in St Louis against my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, as an excuse to board a plane just about a month and being released from the hospital. It was terrifying, but it was under an hour-long, and I knew I needed to start the process of getting over my newfound fear of flying. Every little bump and dip felt frightening, but every flight from that point forward became a little less scary. I’m glad my sister convinced me to take that first flight because the world is too beautiful of a place to not enjoy it with the people I love.   Q: What was your first thought when you learned the flight crew had failed to adequately plan and execute the approach to runway? MRJ: For months, I was filled with bitterness and anger. I was trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out what would have led to their numerous mistakes and oversights. I kept wondering why

they weren’t more careful and mindful of their responsibilities. But after months of prayer and therapy, I grew to accept it wasn’t because of bad intentions. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life as a jaded negative person; because that’s NOT the type of person I’d like to be WITH, so why would I allow myself to BECOME that? The pilots were two good men who just had a really bad day at work that day. They had friends and family that were devastated by their loss just as much as I was devastated from losing my parents. Q: When did you realize that you wanted to become a motivational speaker? MRJ: I would never have pictured myself being a “motivational speaker.” Just the title makes me cringe… it makes me think of smoke machines, thumping music, and crazed audiences willing to pay half of their life savings for some guru to tell them how to live their life. I’m a storyteller; I’m an eternal student — my favorite part of my work is researching my clients’ industries, victories, and problems, then crafting a program that catapults them to working and living with a clearer outlook better tools to succeed. In 1996, a schoolgirl scout troop invited me to share my story about my plane accident in the basement of a church, which happened just weeks after being released from the hospital. From there, my career as a storyteller blossomed. It’s inspiring to see how it’s turned into such a fulfilling career. It helps give me so much purpose.   Q: Can you share with our audience when and to whom your first speech was given? MRJ: The first time I openly talked about my plane crash to a group was the girl scout troop, but my first real speech was in Chicago at a collegiate Hispanic leadership conference. It hit close to home because I was a member of this same Hispanic leadership organization throughout my high school and collegiate years. I felt like I was in the audience watching myself. It was emotionally overwhelming, and I had to regain my composure to finish the speech through tears. After that, I realized I had to learn how to give a genuine, emotionally compelling talk while at the same time emotionally removing myself from the talk. It’s too painful not to. Q: You’ve given many speeches since that terrible accident over 25 years ago.  Is there one question that you’ve been asked that is still difficult to answer?

MRJ: The first time someone asked me if I felt guilty that I survived and not everyone else really threw me back. Honestly, at first, I felt insulted because I thought that person was insinuating I could have done something to save others, which I couldn’t. I was knocked unconscious at impact and didn’t wake up in the wreckage until the following day. But instead of guilt, I feel responsible for living a life of kindness, generosity, and adventure. I feel that if I live a FULL life, that it’s a life worth being proud of. Not just for me to feel pride, but for all the people who would were denied that second chance to live out their days. Q: Tell us what the Second Chance Living concept means and how it has helped those you’ve shared it with. MRJ: God, the universe, and all the rescue/medical staff that played a role in saving my life are responsible for the second chance at life I was given. Sadly, it took losing my parents, nearly losing my own life, and living through the hell of a plane crash to make me realize that every day on this earth is a precious gift. Each day we wake up, we’ve been given a brand new second chance at life. What an incredible opportunity that is! To wake up with a clean slate and a fresh start to right your wrongs and be the truest version of yourself that day. When we value each day as a new chance, that’s when we can muster the courage and the energy needed to slay the dragons in our way and make our little slice of our worlds better by our actions, our words, and our interactions by being intentional. Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted you and your family?  Have you made use of video conferencing to continue speaking?  MRJ: This is going to make me sound so weird, but I LOVED being home with my sons. These past few years, I went through many changes in losing two sons that were born with a genetic terminal condition, ending my marriage of 21 years, and navigating motherhood of two teenage twin boys. So, quarantine gave me a chance to finally breathe. I had been running nonstop for so many years that this gave me a chance to focus solely on people in my inner circle. It gave me time to grieve, time to heal and celebrate the loves in my life. From March until early summer, all my speaking engagements had been canceled or indefinitely postponed. Then little by little, my clients came back with revamped conference and meeting plans, and my master bathroom has now been permanently transformed into my live virtual keynote studio. I’ll be all dolled up in a suit, full makeup, great lighting, and using all kinds of professional jargon to make myself sound smart — but my client has no idea that it’s all smoke and mirrors in front of my bathtub just a few paces away from my toilet! Although I miss interacting with my clients in person at their amazing events, it’s still a blast to play a role in their endeavors. I’m looking forward to the day where I can meet and hug my audiences again. In the meantime, my bathroom studio has been a hit which I’m grateful for! Q: Is there a lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? MRJ: Without authenticity, gratitude, and drive, there won’t be anything such as long-term success or happiness. When


where you are today? MRJ: My biggest fear after the plane crash has been losing the people I love. Sadly, my youngest set of twin boys were born with a rare genetic terminal disorder (Mucolipidosis Type 2). According to the doctors, they were given a life expectancy of 3-7 years when they were born. Wynn lived to be six years old, and Dorian lived to be ten. Those sweet little angels transformed me into a better human being. They made my two older sons more empathetic and caring. They made their father more appreciative of the little things since little victories were all we had with them. I think God gave me those two earth angels because he knew I could handle it, that I wouldn’t drown myself in all that was “wrong,” and that I’d take the time to relish all that was right. I’m so thankful the Lord entrusted me with those boys for the short time that we had them.

you are REAL, then you’re trusted; you go within yourself to fight for your dreams and experience success by being true to yourself. When you have a grateful heart, you are able to savor the milestones (big and small) along the journey and feel so much more fulfillment in the process. You can forge your own path, set your own goals, and break your own barriers when you have drive; without it, there is no direction, and you feel like the never-ending hamster in the wheel. Q: What advice would that you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? MRJ: Don’t make yourself small for ANYONE. Not in your personal life, not in your professional life — nowhere. Don’t wait till you meet all the qualifications, have enough confidence in your own abilities to learn as you go. Speak up! Quit apologizing! Don’t ask for a seat at the table. Take it. Spend your time with people that speak words of goodness and encouragement, with people that bring out the best in you. You don’t have to use money to invest in yourself. Instead, to broaden your perspective and deepen your knowledge base, you should listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, and attend free online classes. Find a hobby of your OWN that brings you joy that doesn’t revolve around your partner or your children. Buy the shoes, the suit, or the lipstick that makes you walk with a bit more swagger when you’re about to walk into a room or situation that scares you. You’ll feel like you own the room by the time you leave, and you’ll wonder why you were ever intimidated in the first place. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? MRJ: I majored in International Business in college, so I hoped I

would be in a fast-paced career traveling the world. My father used to work for TWA, so as a family, we used to fly around for free, so that was a big reason why I went into International Business was to incorporate my love of traveling, my drive for business, and my knowledge of foreign languages for life. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? My very first job was in high school when I worked for a family-owned jewelry store. My friend in high school’s parents owned the store, so I worked there as a cleaner. I was surrounded by gorgeous jewels, so my eyes are always sparkling since I inherited a love of jewelry from my parents. It taught me about receiving instruction/constructive criticism in a way that I didn’t take it personal. The first time my boss told me I didn’t clean the display cases well enough, I remember I went down to the basement of the jewelry store and bawled my eyes out since my parents used to have me do chores around the house all the time, so I always consider myself a cleaning and polishing expert. This first job also taught me that I am terrible at time management. I couldn’t handle working there and getting all my homework and studies done to the level I was accustomed to. However, I quit the job after three months. Q: If we interviewed all your clients … what is “one” common word that comes up when they describe working with you? MRJ: Real. I’ve had so many clients afterward tell me, “when you were on stage, I felt like you were talking directly to ME.” I’ve been told that they felt like I was a friend who was having a one-on-one conversation with them. There are all kinds of speakers/experts who go on stage and have a certain persona or branding that they stick to, and it feels like an incredibly awesome production, but sometimes people may think, “I wonder what they’re really like.’ Well, when people see me, they get the real me, scars, bumps, limp, and all. That’s just the truth. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? MRJ: Work-life balance is a beautiful myth because our brains cannot do more than one thing at a time. Instead of trying to juggle it all, have it all, and do it all; I’ve learned to say no. I’ve learned to focus on one thing at a time. If I’m watching a movie with my sons, I’m going to ignore the email alerts or the phone calls, and I’m going to enjoy that movie with my boys. Suppose I’m prepping for a client’s keynote. In that case, I’m going to lock myself into my room with a sign posted on the door that says “don’t come in here unless you’re bleeding or in need of immediate medical attention” because my of pride in helping people, and I always had so much fun watching sons wouldn’t call their dad and expect him to drop a client meeting how she had this magnetism that drew people to her, made people laugh, and knew how to make people feel loved and welcomed. And to ask what’s for dinner so why would I let them do that me? my sister, Sylvia. She’s nine years older than I am, and she took on the Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that role of caretaker and comforter for me after our parents died. Amid her own grief, she took care of me, and she’s never stopped caring for you can share with our audience? MRJ: Sometimes your biggest failures or biggest sources of fear can me since. I’ll never be able to truly express how much she means to turn into the most rewarding opportunities. You can’t be scared, me. I wouldn’t be me without her. intimidated, or overwhelmed. You can FEEL scared, intimated, or overwhelmed, but don’t BE those things. You feel it, then release it Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? and get back to the business of being badass. MRJ: Being a woman isn’t meant for the weak. I don’t need to remind Q: Can you tell our audience one of the most memorable women of the insurmountable expectations we put on ourselves to the moments in your career? mama bears of our family, the school volunteers, and community/ MRJ: The first time I spoke in front of a huge audience was social action leaders, the leaders in the workplace, and rock a swimsuit life-changing. While I was still a college student, I was asked to speak at the pool. I would still come back as a woman in my next life, just at the National Catholic Youth Conference. They were anticipating that this time, I would just come back as a woman who didn’t care 15,000 attendees. I had to go to my college speech professor and what other people feel or think of me. How freeing that would be if we asked him, “how do I craft a speech for 15,000 teenagers?” He pa- all just frolicked around being kind, doing what makes us happy, and tiently coached me through the process. The night before I gave the making our world a better place with our heads held up high. speech, I had a dream that I was in a lecture hall giving a presentation in class in school, and while I was giving the speech, I was going row by row, making eye contact with all of my classmates. When I Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to got to the 3rd row, I saw my parents sitting there smiling and watch- succeed in the workplace? ing me proudly. In my dream, I said, “Oh my God! What are you MRJ: Learn as much as you can, find a mentor, hang out with sucguys doing here!” and I wanted to run up and hug them, but they cess-minded people, and bring your full self to work. Don’t create a put their fingers over their lips in a gesture to be quiet, and they both work persona — be your true self. waved their hand to signify carry on. I could remember waking up that morning from that dream in tears, but when I hit that stage, I Q: What is your coaching philosophy for success? didn’t feel a single once of nervousness because I could feel their love MRJ: Make yourself proud every single day. and encouragement with me on that stage. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? MRJ: My paternal grandmother was an incredible woman — brave, loving, kind, tenacious in caring for her children, and humble. My mother — she was a joyous person, courageous to come to the United States without knowing a soul, and she took care of her family in Nicaragua financially until the day she died. My mother took a lot

Q: How do you know if a client is right for your service? MRJ: I work with clients that have open hearts and open minds. It’s like being in a relationship — if you meet someone that already knows it all, why would they need to hang out with you? Same with clients — all organizations have blemishes and problems they need to fix. If they are honest enough to address them, then we can roll up our sleeves and be brave enough to fix them.


where you are today? MRJ: My biggest fear after the plane crash has been losing the people I love. Sadly, my youngest set of twin boys were born with a rare genetic terminal disorder (Mucolipidosis Type 2). According to the doctors, they were given a life expectancy of 3-7 years when they were born. Wynn lived to be six years old, and Dorian lived to be ten. Those sweet little angels transformed me into a better human being. They made my two older sons more empathetic and caring. They made their father more appreciative of the little things since little victories were all we had with them. I think God gave me those two earth angels because he knew I could handle it, that I wouldn’t drown myself in all that was “wrong,” and that I’d take the time to relish all that was right. I’m so thankful the Lord entrusted me with those boys for the short time that we had them.

you are REAL, then you’re trusted; you go within yourself to fight for your dreams and experience success by being true to yourself. When you have a grateful heart, you are able to savor the milestones (big and small) along the journey and feel so much more fulfillment in the process. You can forge your own path, set your own goals, and break your own barriers when you have drive; without it, there is no direction, and you feel like the never-ending hamster in the wheel. Q: What advice would that you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? MRJ: Don’t make yourself small for ANYONE. Not in your personal life, not in your professional life — nowhere. Don’t wait till you meet all the qualifications, have enough confidence in your own abilities to learn as you go. Speak up! Quit apologizing! Don’t ask for a seat at the table. Take it. Spend your time with people that speak words of goodness and encouragement, with people that bring out the best in you. You don’t have to use money to invest in yourself. Instead, to broaden your perspective and deepen your knowledge base, you should listen to podcasts, watch documentaries, and attend free online classes. Find a hobby of your OWN that brings you joy that doesn’t revolve around your partner or your children. Buy the shoes, the suit, or the lipstick that makes you walk with a bit more swagger when you’re about to walk into a room or situation that scares you. You’ll feel like you own the room by the time you leave, and you’ll wonder why you were ever intimidated in the first place. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? MRJ: I majored in International Business in college, so I hoped I

would be in a fast-paced career traveling the world. My father used to work for TWA, so as a family, we used to fly around for free, so that was a big reason why I went into International Business was to incorporate my love of traveling, my drive for business, and my knowledge of foreign languages for life. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? My very first job was in high school when I worked for a family-owned jewelry store. My friend in high school’s parents owned the store, so I worked there as a cleaner. I was surrounded by gorgeous jewels, so my eyes are always sparkling since I inherited a love of jewelry from my parents. It taught me about receiving instruction/constructive criticism in a way that I didn’t take it personal. The first time my boss told me I didn’t clean the display cases well enough, I remember I went down to the basement of the jewelry store and bawled my eyes out since my parents used to have me do chores around the house all the time, so I always consider myself a cleaning and polishing expert. This first job also taught me that I am terrible at time management. I couldn’t handle working there and getting all my homework and studies done to the level I was accustomed to. However, I quit the job after three months. Q: If we interviewed all your clients … what is “one” common word that comes up when they describe working with you? MRJ: Real. I’ve had so many clients afterward tell me, “when you were on stage, I felt like you were talking directly to ME.” I’ve been told that they felt like I was a friend who was having a one-on-one conversation with them. There are all kinds of speakers/experts who go on stage and have a certain persona or branding that they stick to, and it feels like an incredibly awesome production, but sometimes people may think, “I wonder what they’re really like.’ Well, when people see me, they get the real me, scars, bumps, limp, and all. That’s just the truth. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? MRJ: Work-life balance is a beautiful myth because our brains cannot do more than one thing at a time. Instead of trying to juggle it all, have it all, and do it all; I’ve learned to say no. I’ve learned to focus on one thing at a time. If I’m watching a movie with my sons, I’m going to ignore the email alerts or the phone calls, and I’m going to enjoy that movie with my boys. Suppose I’m prepping for a client’s keynote. In that case, I’m going to lock myself into my room with a sign posted on the door that says “don’t come in here unless you’re bleeding or in need of immediate medical attention” because my of pride in helping people, and I always had so much fun watching sons wouldn’t call their dad and expect him to drop a client meeting how she had this magnetism that drew people to her, made people laugh, and knew how to make people feel loved and welcomed. And to ask what’s for dinner so why would I let them do that me? my sister, Sylvia. She’s nine years older than I am, and she took on the Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that role of caretaker and comforter for me after our parents died. Amid her own grief, she took care of me, and she’s never stopped caring for you can share with our audience? MRJ: Sometimes your biggest failures or biggest sources of fear can me since. I’ll never be able to truly express how much she means to turn into the most rewarding opportunities. You can’t be scared, me. I wouldn’t be me without her. intimidated, or overwhelmed. You can FEEL scared, intimated, or overwhelmed, but don’t BE those things. You feel it, then release it Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? and get back to the business of being badass. MRJ: Being a woman isn’t meant for the weak. I don’t need to remind Q: Can you tell our audience one of the most memorable women of the insurmountable expectations we put on ourselves to the moments in your career? mama bears of our family, the school volunteers, and community/ MRJ: The first time I spoke in front of a huge audience was social action leaders, the leaders in the workplace, and rock a swimsuit life-changing. While I was still a college student, I was asked to speak at the pool. I would still come back as a woman in my next life, just at the National Catholic Youth Conference. They were anticipating that this time, I would just come back as a woman who didn’t care 15,000 attendees. I had to go to my college speech professor and what other people feel or think of me. How freeing that would be if we asked him, “how do I craft a speech for 15,000 teenagers?” He pa- all just frolicked around being kind, doing what makes us happy, and tiently coached me through the process. The night before I gave the making our world a better place with our heads held up high. speech, I had a dream that I was in a lecture hall giving a presentation in class in school, and while I was giving the speech, I was going row by row, making eye contact with all of my classmates. When I Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to got to the 3rd row, I saw my parents sitting there smiling and watch- succeed in the workplace? ing me proudly. In my dream, I said, “Oh my God! What are you MRJ: Learn as much as you can, find a mentor, hang out with sucguys doing here!” and I wanted to run up and hug them, but they cess-minded people, and bring your full self to work. Don’t create a put their fingers over their lips in a gesture to be quiet, and they both work persona — be your true self. waved their hand to signify carry on. I could remember waking up that morning from that dream in tears, but when I hit that stage, I Q: What is your coaching philosophy for success? didn’t feel a single once of nervousness because I could feel their love MRJ: Make yourself proud every single day. and encouragement with me on that stage. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? MRJ: My paternal grandmother was an incredible woman — brave, loving, kind, tenacious in caring for her children, and humble. My mother — she was a joyous person, courageous to come to the United States without knowing a soul, and she took care of her family in Nicaragua financially until the day she died. My mother took a lot

Q: How do you know if a client is right for your service? MRJ: I work with clients that have open hearts and open minds. It’s like being in a relationship — if you meet someone that already knows it all, why would they need to hang out with you? Same with clients — all organizations have blemishes and problems they need to fix. If they are honest enough to address them, then we can roll up our sleeves and be brave enough to fix them.


Marina Gavric

Marina Gavric Health & Fitness Training www.marinagavric.com

Age is Nothing But a Number Y

ou don’t spend 20 years in the fitness industry without learning a few things about numbers. A valuable term I learned early on, and attest to, is the age old adage that “Age is nothing but a number”. Each of us has a calendar age and a biological age. We’ve all seen this … Often I will see a 30 or 40 year-old who may look and feel considerably older than his or her actual age … or a 60 or 70 year-old who may look and feel considerably younger. How and why is that? Good health and well-being, so much of it is in our mind. Also our diet and exercise. It includes an attitude, our habits, our way of life. Healthy and vibrant, the good news is we don’t have to be stuck, where we might not be happy. The choice is ours and there are things we can do to improve. We should control our health rather our health control us. Health, fitness and wellness, no matter what our age, is a great recipe that works … and is everyone’s best reward. When and how did those years get stuck within layers of unhealthy fat, lining our frames? Can you pinpoint the time you became older than you really are? Think back. Was it when you were 12 trying to get out of gym class? Maybe in college when all your time was spent studying and socializing over noodles

and cocktails? Perhaps your fitness years were lost when the children began ruling your world or work sucked you in to the career abyss? Is it possible you just haven’t found your way out. Resolving when you began losing those years is key to getting them back. No matter what your current age or fitness level, taking action in changing your fitness age, to grow younger as you age, to become a fitter and wiser you, begins with some simple, clean life choices we can all make. Ask yourself: How old am I? How old do I feel? What is my fitness age? If I have lost years of vibrant life, when did I lose them? How can I get them back? And when do I begin taking action in the fight to take them back? Don’t let your “real” age rule or get the better of you. You can do it ... let your fitness age take the spotlight! … Stay Hydrated, Stay Focused, Stay Fit!


Ourgoali st oi ns pi r e,empower& s uppor twomeni nci t i est hr oughoutt heU. S.


S

Damsel in Defense: A Brief History of Women in the Military

ince this country was founded, women have proudly served as active members in the U.S. military. From battlefield nurses to full members of the military, their active roles in the armed forces have inspired change for women across the board. Military contributions by females go all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Although they were not able to enlist as soldiers, women at the time still served their country as combat nurses and caregivers in camps.   It wasn’t until the Civil War that females began to enlist in the Army. However, women were forbidden from serving in the military. Many ladies of the day disguised themselves as men to pass through the recruiter’s station.   During the Civil War, over 400 women enlisted as secret soldiers. One of the most famous secret soldiers of the Civil War was Pvt. Cathay Williams.   Williams initially served in a support role against her will because of her status as a captured slave. It wasn’t until 1866 that she became the first black female to enlist in the U.S. Army under a male pseudonym, William Cathay. She was eventually honorably discharged in 1868 after a physician discovered her status as a female.   Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, females were viewed as merely caretakers for servicemen. The Great War changed the country’s perspective on women in the military entirely. Their service helped push for the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

Despite the passage of the 19th Amendment, ladies were not recognized as full military members until 1948. President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law following the second World War. This act formally recognized women as members of the armed services.   Since the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was passed, many influential females have made a career for themselves in the military. Among those incredible women is retired U.S. Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody.   Dunwoody was directly commissioned into the Women’s Army Corps in 1975 following graduation from college. In 1992, she became the first woman to command a battalion during the First Gulf War. She also became the first woman to ever reach a four-star offer rank in the United States military.   Another woman with an impressive military career is Jennie Marie Leavitt. Leavitt blazed a trail for women in the Air Force through a series of firsts. She was the first woman to graduate from the Air Force Weapons School and became the first woman to control the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base. Today, she is a Command Pilot with over 3,000 in the F-15E under her belt, including over 300 combat hours.   Women in the military have come a long way from where they started. Today, women account for about one-fifth of the officers in the military and represent about 17% of the total armed forces. Standing on the soldiers of giants, servicewomen today are encouraging and empowering the military women of tomorrow.


S

Damsel in Defense: A Brief History of Women in the Military

ince this country was founded, women have proudly served as active members in the U.S. military. From battlefield nurses to full members of the military, their active roles in the armed forces have inspired change for women across the board. Military contributions by females go all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Although they were not able to enlist as soldiers, women at the time still served their country as combat nurses and caregivers in camps.   It wasn’t until the Civil War that females began to enlist in the Army. However, women were forbidden from serving in the military. Many ladies of the day disguised themselves as men to pass through the recruiter’s station.   During the Civil War, over 400 women enlisted as secret soldiers. One of the most famous secret soldiers of the Civil War was Pvt. Cathay Williams.   Williams initially served in a support role against her will because of her status as a captured slave. It wasn’t until 1866 that she became the first black female to enlist in the U.S. Army under a male pseudonym, William Cathay. She was eventually honorably discharged in 1868 after a physician discovered her status as a female.   Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, females were viewed as merely caretakers for servicemen. The Great War changed the country’s perspective on women in the military entirely. Their service helped push for the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

Despite the passage of the 19th Amendment, ladies were not recognized as full military members until 1948. President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law following the second World War. This act formally recognized women as members of the armed services.   Since the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was passed, many influential females have made a career for themselves in the military. Among those incredible women is retired U.S. Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody.   Dunwoody was directly commissioned into the Women’s Army Corps in 1975 following graduation from college. In 1992, she became the first woman to command a battalion during the First Gulf War. She also became the first woman to ever reach a four-star offer rank in the United States military.   Another woman with an impressive military career is Jennie Marie Leavitt. Leavitt blazed a trail for women in the Air Force through a series of firsts. She was the first woman to graduate from the Air Force Weapons School and became the first woman to control the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base. Today, she is a Command Pilot with over 3,000 in the F-15E under her belt, including over 300 combat hours.   Women in the military have come a long way from where they started. Today, women account for about one-fifth of the officers in the military and represent about 17% of the total armed forces. Standing on the soldiers of giants, servicewomen today are encouraging and empowering the military women of tomorrow.


L

et’s first ask why someone might want to become an attorney. One reason might be that it affords the opportunity to help others. Pro bono and public interest work can be very fulfilling for some. Many lawyers go on to serve in academia and government to influence local, national or worldwide thought and policy. The intellectual challenge of being an attorney appeals to many for the diverse practice areas and careers to which the learning can be applied. And so, we seek the advice of these experts because we can’t always rely on our own smarts for critical challenges in our lives. One aspect might be when we need assistance to ensure that we are in compliance with the law – to protect ourselves or others. We search for those who have applied themselves with rigor to pass the bar exam. There are many kinds of examples of situations when you might overlook the valuable guidance that might be offered by a qualified attorney. Would you think to hire an attorney if you won the lottery? What about a complicated real estate transaction or settling the estate of a loved one? Certainly, if you’re a business owner, you might sometimes need help in reviewing a contract or with a merger or acquisition. Lawyers are the experts that know the best way to avoid problems by following proper protocols and filing the right documents. A lawyer who specializes in your case can help you avoid costly mistakes. Be sure to feel comfortable sharing all of the details relevant to your concern. Challenging evidence against you or calling witnesses and other experts is best left to a professional. Consider the knowledge, integrity, experience and, yes even, the fees. Gain an understanding of how you can help or hinder your objective. Let’s tip our hats to the following remarkable women!


L

et’s first ask why someone might want to become an attorney. One reason might be that it affords the opportunity to help others. Pro bono and public interest work can be very fulfilling for some. Many lawyers go on to serve in academia and government to influence local, national or worldwide thought and policy. The intellectual challenge of being an attorney appeals to many for the diverse practice areas and careers to which the learning can be applied. And so, we seek the advice of these experts because we can’t always rely on our own smarts for critical challenges in our lives. One aspect might be when we need assistance to ensure that we are in compliance with the law – to protect ourselves or others. We search for those who have applied themselves with rigor to pass the bar exam. There are many kinds of examples of situations when you might overlook the valuable guidance that might be offered by a qualified attorney. Would you think to hire an attorney if you won the lottery? What about a complicated real estate transaction or settling the estate of a loved one? Certainly, if you’re a business owner, you might sometimes need help in reviewing a contract or with a merger or acquisition. Lawyers are the experts that know the best way to avoid problems by following proper protocols and filing the right documents. A lawyer who specializes in your case can help you avoid costly mistakes. Be sure to feel comfortable sharing all of the details relevant to your concern. Challenging evidence against you or calling witnesses and other experts is best left to a professional. Consider the knowledge, integrity, experience and, yes even, the fees. Gain an understanding of how you can help or hinder your objective. Let’s tip our hats to the following remarkable women!


you want them too. True relationships evolve as a result of your hard work and ability to exceed expectations. Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful firm? KLG: Transparency: We respect that the legal consumer is savvy. We live in an age of ready accessibility, where volumes of information are just a click away. The days of attorney’s block billing with cryptic descriptions of the work performed are long gone, and rightfully so. We strive to be adept enough to accurately project what a client’s needs demand. In many cases, we are able to gauge with a good deal of accuracy what the client can expect from a time and cost basis. Being able to clearly communicate that from the beginning and give the client options on how they want to proceed gives a measure of control to the client. We have many areas where we can offer a flat fee from the outset, so the expectations are clear. We work to communicate timelines and an overview of the work that will be performed and strive to keep the lines of communication open from inception to the close of a client matter.

Kendrick Law Group

KLG is Devoted To The Clients They Are Privileged To Represent, As They Strive To Affect The Best Possible Outcome For Each & Every One.

Q: When did you know you wanted to open a law firm? KLG: Founding partner Jessica Kendrick received her undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, to expand her professional career and broaden her opportunities to make an impact in her community. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree with honors from Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in 2013. Jess made the ambitious decision to open Kendrick Law Group after just a few years removed from law school. Although risky, she knew that hard work, determination, a passion for helping others, and surrounding herself with like-minded individuals would translate into success. Today Kendrick is joined by a well-matched team of attorneys who are the core of the enterprise. Each has deep knowledge of select and complementary areas of law. Clients often hire the firm to handle one issue, then return as unrelated needs arise. Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law your firm specializes in?

KLG: The Kendrick Law Group offers expertise in various areas of law, including business law, estate planning, family law, guardianship, probate, and real estate law. Partners Kendrick and Geltz launched, stand-alone title and settlement companies Champion Title & Closing and Park Title, as extensions of the real estate law practice to provide seamless title and closing services for commercial and residential real estate transactions. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney? KLG: Relationships are everything. Without developing a relationship, everything is one off. For a client or colleague to come back (or refer again) you have to cultivate a relationship they want to invest in. From the beginning we have understood that law firms are in the business of relationship. It is truly the nature of the legal relationship – when you act for client, you are literally standing in their shoes and acting on their behalf. You have to have a personal connection to earn the trust of clients and truly represent them effectively. With that said, it does take work to grow relationships – they do not happen just because

Q: What sets your firm apart from others? KLG: The concierge service model. This is a key driver in our culture for all of our clients. It’s an approach that allows us to form a relationship beyond the typical one-off business or transactional legal arrangement. We strive to truly know our clients and often ultimately form bonds that transcend the initial engagement. We become true advisors and hopefully an integral part of their “team”

ever. “Supporting those around us, and identifying charities in need of help, allows us to engage more fully with the community we live and work in.”  To this end, aside from financial and time commitments to worthy causes, KLG founded its own charitable foundation.  The Hope for More Foundation provides a platform for them to directly influence and raise awareness and funding for important but oftentimes overlooked or marginalized local causes in need of significant help. Q: What’s one valuable aspect of your firm that you can share with our audience? KLG: Giving back to the community is just as important as meeting your clients’ expectations. We believe wholeheartedly in giving back to the central Florida community and being a positive influence and force for those in need. Supporting the greater Orlando community is the cornerstone of the firm’s philosophy. The Kendrick Law Group’s lawyers support local charitable efforts, whether via the firm’s own Hope for More Foundation, or serving on boards, donating to initiatives, or offering hands-on services. The partners are encouraged to support causes they feel strongly connected to and where they can facilitate local impact. www.kendricklawgroup.com | 407-641-5847

Q: How are you embracing today’s technology driven world? KLG: As attorneys we need to adapt to the changing landscape. Information is everywhere and available 24/7. Clients are not willing to wait weeks for an appointment and may look elsewhere or avail themselves of any number of information channels that may or may not be beneficial. To meet the demand, we created the Kendrick Fast Access tool. The goal of our fast access tool is to streamline the process and allow access to a licensed attorney consultation, often the same day. Prospective clients can get a better idea of what to expect and have the peace of mind of knowing that they are connecting with a licensed attorney that is assessing their specific situation. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? KLG: Just as the Kendrick Law Group balances practice areas, client composition, and in-house and outside expertise, it also focuses on work-life balance. All of the partners have families and make time with their spouses and children a priority while encouraging staff members to do the same. Family is at the heart of the firm, and it can be seen in their family friendly office and flexibility in hours and modes of access. When founded, the KLG mission statement included “serving our community” and they hold true to that ethos now more than

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you want them too. True relationships evolve as a result of your hard work and ability to exceed expectations. Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful firm? KLG: Transparency: We respect that the legal consumer is savvy. We live in an age of ready accessibility, where volumes of information are just a click away. The days of attorney’s block billing with cryptic descriptions of the work performed are long gone, and rightfully so. We strive to be adept enough to accurately project what a client’s needs demand. In many cases, we are able to gauge with a good deal of accuracy what the client can expect from a time and cost basis. Being able to clearly communicate that from the beginning and give the client options on how they want to proceed gives a measure of control to the client. We have many areas where we can offer a flat fee from the outset, so the expectations are clear. We work to communicate timelines and an overview of the work that will be performed and strive to keep the lines of communication open from inception to the close of a client matter.

Kendrick Law Group

KLG is Devoted To The Clients They Are Privileged To Represent, As They Strive To Affect The Best Possible Outcome For Each & Every One.

Q: When did you know you wanted to open a law firm? KLG: Founding partner Jessica Kendrick received her undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, to expand her professional career and broaden her opportunities to make an impact in her community. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree with honors from Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in 2013. Jess made the ambitious decision to open Kendrick Law Group after just a few years removed from law school. Although risky, she knew that hard work, determination, a passion for helping others, and surrounding herself with like-minded individuals would translate into success. Today Kendrick is joined by a well-matched team of attorneys who are the core of the enterprise. Each has deep knowledge of select and complementary areas of law. Clients often hire the firm to handle one issue, then return as unrelated needs arise. Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law your firm specializes in?

KLG: The Kendrick Law Group offers expertise in various areas of law, including business law, estate planning, family law, guardianship, probate, and real estate law. Partners Kendrick and Geltz launched, stand-alone title and settlement companies Champion Title & Closing and Park Title, as extensions of the real estate law practice to provide seamless title and closing services for commercial and residential real estate transactions. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney? KLG: Relationships are everything. Without developing a relationship, everything is one off. For a client or colleague to come back (or refer again) you have to cultivate a relationship they want to invest in. From the beginning we have understood that law firms are in the business of relationship. It is truly the nature of the legal relationship – when you act for client, you are literally standing in their shoes and acting on their behalf. You have to have a personal connection to earn the trust of clients and truly represent them effectively. With that said, it does take work to grow relationships – they do not happen just because

Q: What sets your firm apart from others? KLG: The concierge service model. This is a key driver in our culture for all of our clients. It’s an approach that allows us to form a relationship beyond the typical one-off business or transactional legal arrangement. We strive to truly know our clients and often ultimately form bonds that transcend the initial engagement. We become true advisors and hopefully an integral part of their “team”

ever. “Supporting those around us, and identifying charities in need of help, allows us to engage more fully with the community we live and work in.”  To this end, aside from financial and time commitments to worthy causes, KLG founded its own charitable foundation.  The Hope for More Foundation provides a platform for them to directly influence and raise awareness and funding for important but oftentimes overlooked or marginalized local causes in need of significant help. Q: What’s one valuable aspect of your firm that you can share with our audience? KLG: Giving back to the community is just as important as meeting your clients’ expectations. We believe wholeheartedly in giving back to the central Florida community and being a positive influence and force for those in need. Supporting the greater Orlando community is the cornerstone of the firm’s philosophy. The Kendrick Law Group’s lawyers support local charitable efforts, whether via the firm’s own Hope for More Foundation, or serving on boards, donating to initiatives, or offering hands-on services. The partners are encouraged to support causes they feel strongly connected to and where they can facilitate local impact. www.kendricklawgroup.com | 407-641-5847

Q: How are you embracing today’s technology driven world? KLG: As attorneys we need to adapt to the changing landscape. Information is everywhere and available 24/7. Clients are not willing to wait weeks for an appointment and may look elsewhere or avail themselves of any number of information channels that may or may not be beneficial. To meet the demand, we created the Kendrick Fast Access tool. The goal of our fast access tool is to streamline the process and allow access to a licensed attorney consultation, often the same day. Prospective clients can get a better idea of what to expect and have the peace of mind of knowing that they are connecting with a licensed attorney that is assessing their specific situation. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? KLG: Just as the Kendrick Law Group balances practice areas, client composition, and in-house and outside expertise, it also focuses on work-life balance. All of the partners have families and make time with their spouses and children a priority while encouraging staff members to do the same. Family is at the heart of the firm, and it can be seen in their family friendly office and flexibility in hours and modes of access. When founded, the KLG mission statement included “serving our community” and they hold true to that ethos now more than

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Meet Orlando Attorney, Gail Seeram Her Practice is Limited To Immigration Law With a Concentration on Cases Involving Family-Based Immigration, Citizenship Deportation, Defense & Waivers/Appeals. Mrs. Gail Seeram is a past-president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Central Florida Chapter. Currently, she is the former Chair for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Liaison Committee and worked with ICE supervisors and directors on policies and issues that affect immigrants and their attorneys in the Central Florida. She is the former liaison for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Orlando Field Office. These are elected positions where she was chosen by her peers to serve and represent the best interest of local immigration attorney and their clients. In addition, Mrs. Seeram chairs the Caribbean American Advisory Committee of the Orange County Sheriff Office and has organized over a dozen community forums to educate citizens on their rights.  She is the former chair of the Orange County Children and Family Services Board, assisting in issues that affect foster and delinquent minors.  Also, she continues to partner with organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and local business chambers to speak on immigration issues that impact the community.  Lastly, she is the founder and executive director of the GAIL Foundation (www.GailFoundation.org) that helps children in need by building playground equipment for orphanages in third world countries. Upon her graduation from law school, Mrs. Seeram was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in May 1999 and the New York State Bar in June 2000. In August 1999, she worked as a Senior Attorney with PricewaterhouseCoopers located in New York, New York.  In 2003, Mrs. Seeram decided to focus on establishing her own law firm. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, USA, the Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram, P.C. strives to provide effective, efficient, and quality immigration legal services to all clients. Q: Can you share with our audience the type of pro-bono work you do? Sponsored Content

GS: Our pro-bono work is focused on battered immigrant women who qualify to self-petition for legal status in the U.S. based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney? GS: There will be days when you cannot see the finish line but close your eyes and dig deep for inspiration and work towards that goal of becoming a lawyer. Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful career? GS: Place yourself in the shoe of EVERY client in order to understand their emotions and goals. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? GS: Our office took a pro-bono case of two minor girls who lost their mom to cancer, and they did not know their immigration status. We got them their green cards and they came to the office and insisted on recording a video to say, “thank you.” Q: Which woman inspires you and why? GS: Michelle Obama Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? GS: Women are commonly called by their first name and are judged by their appearance whereas their male counterparts do not face these two challenges. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? GS: Every day presents a new challenge so be flexible in scheduling and creative in problem solving. www.myorlandoimmigrationlawyer.com (407) 292-7730


Meet Orlando Attorney, Gail Seeram Her Practice is Limited To Immigration Law With a Concentration on Cases Involving Family-Based Immigration, Citizenship Deportation, Defense & Waivers/Appeals. Mrs. Gail Seeram is a past-president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Central Florida Chapter. Currently, she is the former Chair for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Liaison Committee and worked with ICE supervisors and directors on policies and issues that affect immigrants and their attorneys in the Central Florida. She is the former liaison for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Orlando Field Office. These are elected positions where she was chosen by her peers to serve and represent the best interest of local immigration attorney and their clients. In addition, Mrs. Seeram chairs the Caribbean American Advisory Committee of the Orange County Sheriff Office and has organized over a dozen community forums to educate citizens on their rights.  She is the former chair of the Orange County Children and Family Services Board, assisting in issues that affect foster and delinquent minors.  Also, she continues to partner with organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and local business chambers to speak on immigration issues that impact the community.  Lastly, she is the founder and executive director of the GAIL Foundation (www.GailFoundation.org) that helps children in need by building playground equipment for orphanages in third world countries. Upon her graduation from law school, Mrs. Seeram was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in May 1999 and the New York State Bar in June 2000. In August 1999, she worked as a Senior Attorney with PricewaterhouseCoopers located in New York, New York.  In 2003, Mrs. Seeram decided to focus on establishing her own law firm. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, USA, the Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram, P.C. strives to provide effective, efficient, and quality immigration legal services to all clients. Q: Can you share with our audience the type of pro-bono work you do? Sponsored Content

GS: Our pro-bono work is focused on battered immigrant women who qualify to self-petition for legal status in the U.S. based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney? GS: There will be days when you cannot see the finish line but close your eyes and dig deep for inspiration and work towards that goal of becoming a lawyer. Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful career? GS: Place yourself in the shoe of EVERY client in order to understand their emotions and goals. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? GS: Our office took a pro-bono case of two minor girls who lost their mom to cancer, and they did not know their immigration status. We got them their green cards and they came to the office and insisted on recording a video to say, “thank you.” Q: Which woman inspires you and why? GS: Michelle Obama Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? GS: Women are commonly called by their first name and are judged by their appearance whereas their male counterparts do not face these two challenges. Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance? GS: Every day presents a new challenge so be flexible in scheduling and creative in problem solving. www.myorlandoimmigrationlawyer.com (407) 292-7730


Equal Pay for Women in Sports

A

s the United States women’s national soccer team was making its dominating run to the 2019 Women’s World Cup title, more and more coverage was focusing on the team’s push for equal pay relative to the men’s national team. This was coupled with chants of “Equal Pay!” at its post-championship celebration in New York.

However, one important aspect of this issue is oftentimes overlooked. What causes these athletes to not receive equal pay in the first place? Although reports later surfaced that the team may already be paid roughly equal to the men’s side, they don’t address the core issue with this squad and with other women’s teams. How are these athletes and the events that they participate in being marketed? Although most would expect the percentage of the marketing pie going to women’s athletes and sports to be low, many are shocked that it’s as low as it is: 0.4%. The common argument for those criticizing this argument for equal pay for female athletes is that they don’t garner the ticket sales and

other sources of income that male players do. However, if 99.6% of the marketing budget is being focused on the men, how will prospective fans be able to learn the storylines and other aspects of the female athletes that will cause them to regularly attend matches? It should be noted that pay gaps don’t exist in all sports, but there are significant ones in team sports. The extreme ends of the spectrum tend to the equally paid tennis players and the vastly unequally paid basketball players. Fortunately, progress is being made. For example, in 2017, Norway announced that it would pay its male and female national soccer players equally. However, the amounts of money that these sets of players earn for their club teams


Equal Pay for Women in Sports

A

s the United States women’s national soccer team was making its dominating run to the 2019 Women’s World Cup title, more and more coverage was focusing on the team’s push for equal pay relative to the men’s national team. This was coupled with chants of “Equal Pay!” at its post-championship celebration in New York.

However, one important aspect of this issue is oftentimes overlooked. What causes these athletes to not receive equal pay in the first place? Although reports later surfaced that the team may already be paid roughly equal to the men’s side, they don’t address the core issue with this squad and with other women’s teams. How are these athletes and the events that they participate in being marketed? Although most would expect the percentage of the marketing pie going to women’s athletes and sports to be low, many are shocked that it’s as low as it is: 0.4%. The common argument for those criticizing this argument for equal pay for female athletes is that they don’t garner the ticket sales and

other sources of income that male players do. However, if 99.6% of the marketing budget is being focused on the men, how will prospective fans be able to learn the storylines and other aspects of the female athletes that will cause them to regularly attend matches? It should be noted that pay gaps don’t exist in all sports, but there are significant ones in team sports. The extreme ends of the spectrum tend to the equally paid tennis players and the vastly unequally paid basketball players. Fortunately, progress is being made. For example, in 2017, Norway announced that it would pay its male and female national soccer players equally. However, the amounts of money that these sets of players earn for their club teams


Marina Gavric

Marina Gavric Health & Fitness Training www.marinagavric.com

Commit to Balance, to Your Fitness Success and to Yourself S

taying committed to an exercise and health plan is not always the simplest task. Breaking bad habits is never easy. “I have tried and tried!” … Yes, I know, I hear this, everyone’s story, all the time! Regardless of what age you may be or at what point you are in your life, men and women, boys and girls … a corporate executive, a student, an employee, a stay-at-home parent … we’re all busy all the time. Please recognize that health & wellness, as well as fitness & nutrition, are interrelated. It’s all a good thing and it’s a choice we make in our busy lives. Once you have resolved a priority to yourself of “health & fitness” in your life … make “finding balance” a key component. You can stay genuinely dedicated, enjoying your commitment, while not falling victim to excuses. What a positive difference in our lives and how we feel (the energy alone, perhaps meaning better sleep) we all seem to know it would make. It’s a matter of doing. For example, Jane is a busy executive and, although Jane is a fictitious character, she represents a good number of men and women. She is up at 5am, by 5:15am has her coffee in hand and for the next hour, before she rounds up the kids for school, she reviews her yesterday and prepares for today. In no time, she then packs up her home team, briefcase in hand and is out the door. Finally, she’s at the office and sits with another cup of coffee, with breakfast in hand … whatever pastries there may be. The sodas come later. Day in and day out, Jane reflects on making life changes to improve her well-being and feel good about herself, inside and out. Yet, day after

day, Jane’s willpower gives in and she seems to repeat the same old routine, a cycle, she wishes she could break. When? She feels too busy. She feels not up to it”. She believes there is no other way. She speaks for many, many people. No matter the phase of the health cycle one is in, we all struggle with this … to get in that workout in or say no to an extra helping of our favorite foods. The first step is to find your balance … and to commit to change. It starts with that commitment … even if one step at a time to begin with and to win. Regularly reflect on all your priorities … then decide on the commitments you can realistically make and stick with them. Whether this week it’s a 30 minutes for 3 days-a-week commitment or next week a 40 minutes 6 days-a-week commitment. A key is to write your commitments down. As you would keep your word to your boss or loved ones, keep your word to yourself. Stay Hydrated, Stay Focused, Stay Fit


Ourgoali st oi ns pi r e,empower& s uppor twomeni nci t i est hr oughoutt heU. S.


PB: Practicing law was not always my career goal. I’ve always enjoyed being a student. When I finished my B.A., I began my studies at Police College. After graduation, I enrolled in graduate school and attended classes at night and on my days off. After completing my master’s degree, I enrolled in law school. That was a bit more challenging to manage because I was enrolled in law school full-time (they didn’t allow part-time studies), and I was working full-time as an undercover police officer. I couldn’t tell my professors or classmates what I did for a living, which made conversations interesting, especially in my criminal law classes. I married my undercover partner in what we jokingly call our government prearranged marriage. Fortunately, I graduated from law school just as we were starting a family. Being an undercover police officer is not a very mom-friendly job, and my law degree allowed me to leave policing and begin a career as a prosecutor.   Q: Tell us about the responsibilities you had as a Federal Prosecuting Attorney.

Pamela Barnum

A Trust Strategist, Body Language Expert, Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecuting Attorney

Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you?   PB: After high school, I attended university to study politics and economics. I wanted to have a degree completed before entering law enforcement. My grandmother and mother did not have the opportunity to attend college or university. They were adamant that I go and at least get a bachelor’s degree before becoming a police officer. I was the first person in my family to attend university.   Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? PB: I had several part-time jobs and full-time summer jobs while I was a student. Everything from being an operator for the phone company to working at a bookstore and a beer store. However, my first “real” job was as a uniform police officer. I know from experience that policing is one of the most challenging and underappreciated jobs there is. But it is also the most rewarding. One moment you may be in a life-threatening situation, and the next, you’re responding to a call about a minor event. In policing, you learn a lot about people, and

at the same time, you learn a lot about yourself. Specifically, that you can accomplish more than you ever thought you could because you have to. You’re the police. You can’t wait for someone to come and save you – that’s why you’re there.   Q: Can you share with our audience about the opportunity you had to become an undercover police officer? PB: I started my policing career as a uniform patrol officer. I worked with a great platoon and had the opportunity to respond to everything from murder to traffic stops and everything in-between. But I was always drawn to criminal investigations, especially narcotics work. After completing three years in uniform, I was transferred to the drug enforcement section, where I worked as an undercover officer. Working as an undercover police officer is not for everyone. You’re required to work odd hours and live away from home for months at a time, which is probably one of the reasons why I was one of two women in a unit of eighty-nine officers.  Q: While working full-time undercover, you also completed law school … was this always your career goal?

PB: I primarily prosecuted drug offenses like trafficking and importing. It was an exciting career, and I enjoyed the new challenges that came with it. My experience as an undercover police officer gave me a perspective that most attorneys do not have.    Q: You’re writing a book and are doing a lot of speaking engagements … what else do you have on the horizon? PB: I am currently writing a book about the negotiation and communication techniques I learned and developed over a twenty-year career in the criminal justice system. Pre-COVID-19, I traveled throughout North America, delivering keynotes on negotiating, communicating, and building trust through intentional communication and body language. Now, I am delivering virtual keynotes and workshops. Although I miss the live interaction of in-person events, I can manage more events now that I don’t have to leave my home studio.    Q: What’s your advice for women in male-dominated fields? PB: Care more about being respected than being liked. Being heard and seen in male-dominated professions is more effective when you communicate confidence and empathy with what you say and with your body language.   Q: What do you like doing in your spare time? PB: I love spending time with my husband Kevin and our son Kaleb. We enjoy hiking and skiing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains where we live. I also enjoy reading mystery novels and anything by Malcolm Gladwell. 


PB: Practicing law was not always my career goal. I’ve always enjoyed being a student. When I finished my B.A., I began my studies at Police College. After graduation, I enrolled in graduate school and attended classes at night and on my days off. After completing my master’s degree, I enrolled in law school. That was a bit more challenging to manage because I was enrolled in law school full-time (they didn’t allow part-time studies), and I was working full-time as an undercover police officer. I couldn’t tell my professors or classmates what I did for a living, which made conversations interesting, especially in my criminal law classes. I married my undercover partner in what we jokingly call our government prearranged marriage. Fortunately, I graduated from law school just as we were starting a family. Being an undercover police officer is not a very mom-friendly job, and my law degree allowed me to leave policing and begin a career as a prosecutor.   Q: Tell us about the responsibilities you had as a Federal Prosecuting Attorney.

Pamela Barnum

A Trust Strategist, Body Language Expert, Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecuting Attorney

Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you?   PB: After high school, I attended university to study politics and economics. I wanted to have a degree completed before entering law enforcement. My grandmother and mother did not have the opportunity to attend college or university. They were adamant that I go and at least get a bachelor’s degree before becoming a police officer. I was the first person in my family to attend university.   Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? PB: I had several part-time jobs and full-time summer jobs while I was a student. Everything from being an operator for the phone company to working at a bookstore and a beer store. However, my first “real” job was as a uniform police officer. I know from experience that policing is one of the most challenging and underappreciated jobs there is. But it is also the most rewarding. One moment you may be in a life-threatening situation, and the next, you’re responding to a call about a minor event. In policing, you learn a lot about people, and

at the same time, you learn a lot about yourself. Specifically, that you can accomplish more than you ever thought you could because you have to. You’re the police. You can’t wait for someone to come and save you – that’s why you’re there.   Q: Can you share with our audience about the opportunity you had to become an undercover police officer? PB: I started my policing career as a uniform patrol officer. I worked with a great platoon and had the opportunity to respond to everything from murder to traffic stops and everything in-between. But I was always drawn to criminal investigations, especially narcotics work. After completing three years in uniform, I was transferred to the drug enforcement section, where I worked as an undercover officer. Working as an undercover police officer is not for everyone. You’re required to work odd hours and live away from home for months at a time, which is probably one of the reasons why I was one of two women in a unit of eighty-nine officers.  Q: While working full-time undercover, you also completed law school … was this always your career goal?

PB: I primarily prosecuted drug offenses like trafficking and importing. It was an exciting career, and I enjoyed the new challenges that came with it. My experience as an undercover police officer gave me a perspective that most attorneys do not have.    Q: You’re writing a book and are doing a lot of speaking engagements … what else do you have on the horizon? PB: I am currently writing a book about the negotiation and communication techniques I learned and developed over a twenty-year career in the criminal justice system. Pre-COVID-19, I traveled throughout North America, delivering keynotes on negotiating, communicating, and building trust through intentional communication and body language. Now, I am delivering virtual keynotes and workshops. Although I miss the live interaction of in-person events, I can manage more events now that I don’t have to leave my home studio.    Q: What’s your advice for women in male-dominated fields? PB: Care more about being respected than being liked. Being heard and seen in male-dominated professions is more effective when you communicate confidence and empathy with what you say and with your body language.   Q: What do you like doing in your spare time? PB: I love spending time with my husband Kevin and our son Kaleb. We enjoy hiking and skiing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains where we live. I also enjoy reading mystery novels and anything by Malcolm Gladwell. 


Q: Flying a plane, walking a tightrope – when do you first remember challenging yourself to do things the typical person never attempts? JC: I don’t see myself as someone who does things because other people don’t do it. My mom overcame extreme poverty to graduate from college, immigrate to the United States, she traveled the country as a nurse and she never sat still for very long. In my mind, my drive to try new things and go on adventures comes more from her spirit. Q: How often have you encountered naysayers in your abilities to accomplish your goals and what has been your response? JC: Every day. While it’s not always blatant, it’s obvious in how people react to me. It challenges me to try to prove them wrong. It fuels me. You only need to look as far as some of the comments on my YouTube videos to see the pushback people give for me flying or being a black belt. Q: Describe how you encourage your audience to find their motivation to achieve their goals? JC: I find that most people are well motivated, but they allow excuses, over-complication, and habits to get in the way. Normally, motivation isn’t the problem, it’s the perceived limitations that often aren’t as difficult as we make them out to be.

Jessica Cox

The World’s First Licensed Armless Pilot, and First Armless Black-Belt in The American Taekwondo Association Cover photo by Jessica Korff | Feature images Amy Haskell

Jessica is best known for becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history. Her achievement earned her a Guinness World Record medal, invitations from six continents, and featured on TV programs like Ellen, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends, Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN, CBS Evening News, and the BBC. Described as a speaker “no one will ever forget,” she shows audiences around the globe how to inspire enthusiasm and build authentic confidence. With the goal of showing people how to go home from work every day feeling excited for tomorrow, she teaches how to courageously tackle new challenges with creativity and unrelenting drive. Since she was born without arms, she became fascinated by the limitless ways the human body can adjust to a variety of circumstances. As she learned to conquer physical barriers, she developed mental skills that allowed her to go on to achieve the seemingly impossible in her own, unique way.

Q: Have you ever had to modify a goal and how do you address this subject to your audiences? JC: Every goal was modified at one point. As long as you get the job done, it doesn’t matter which way you attack it. In my speeches, I talk about “thinking outside the shoe.” It’s a metaphor for when I learned to first tie my shoelaces. I remember watching my Kindergarten teacher show us how to tie our shoes with her foot inside her shoe and using her hands to tie her laces. Since my feet have become my hands, I couldn’t simultaneously have my foot inside the shoe and tie the laces. I could have given up, but who said your foot has to be inside the shoe when you tie them? I eventually figured out how to tie my shoelaces with my toes and then slip my foot inside the shoe. The goal shifted from tying my foot inside the shoe to simply tie the laces loose enough for me to later slip my foot in. Q: One aspect of your motivational speaking addresses diversity, can you tell us more about that? JC: Diversity has become a regular part of social justice conversations and those conversations have become more common, which is great. The problem is that while we talk about race, gender, or orientation, disability is often forgot-


Q: Flying a plane, walking a tightrope – when do you first remember challenging yourself to do things the typical person never attempts? JC: I don’t see myself as someone who does things because other people don’t do it. My mom overcame extreme poverty to graduate from college, immigrate to the United States, she traveled the country as a nurse and she never sat still for very long. In my mind, my drive to try new things and go on adventures comes more from her spirit. Q: How often have you encountered naysayers in your abilities to accomplish your goals and what has been your response? JC: Every day. While it’s not always blatant, it’s obvious in how people react to me. It challenges me to try to prove them wrong. It fuels me. You only need to look as far as some of the comments on my YouTube videos to see the pushback people give for me flying or being a black belt. Q: Describe how you encourage your audience to find their motivation to achieve their goals? JC: I find that most people are well motivated, but they allow excuses, over-complication, and habits to get in the way. Normally, motivation isn’t the problem, it’s the perceived limitations that often aren’t as difficult as we make them out to be.

Jessica Cox

The World’s First Licensed Armless Pilot, and First Armless Black-Belt in The American Taekwondo Association Cover photo by Jessica Korff | Feature images Amy Haskell

Jessica is best known for becoming the first armless pilot in aviation history. Her achievement earned her a Guinness World Record medal, invitations from six continents, and featured on TV programs like Ellen, Inside Edition, Fox and Friends, Oprah Winfrey Network, CNN, CBS Evening News, and the BBC. Described as a speaker “no one will ever forget,” she shows audiences around the globe how to inspire enthusiasm and build authentic confidence. With the goal of showing people how to go home from work every day feeling excited for tomorrow, she teaches how to courageously tackle new challenges with creativity and unrelenting drive. Since she was born without arms, she became fascinated by the limitless ways the human body can adjust to a variety of circumstances. As she learned to conquer physical barriers, she developed mental skills that allowed her to go on to achieve the seemingly impossible in her own, unique way.

Q: Have you ever had to modify a goal and how do you address this subject to your audiences? JC: Every goal was modified at one point. As long as you get the job done, it doesn’t matter which way you attack it. In my speeches, I talk about “thinking outside the shoe.” It’s a metaphor for when I learned to first tie my shoelaces. I remember watching my Kindergarten teacher show us how to tie our shoes with her foot inside her shoe and using her hands to tie her laces. Since my feet have become my hands, I couldn’t simultaneously have my foot inside the shoe and tie the laces. I could have given up, but who said your foot has to be inside the shoe when you tie them? I eventually figured out how to tie my shoelaces with my toes and then slip my foot inside the shoe. The goal shifted from tying my foot inside the shoe to simply tie the laces loose enough for me to later slip my foot in. Q: One aspect of your motivational speaking addresses diversity, can you tell us more about that? JC: Diversity has become a regular part of social justice conversations and those conversations have become more common, which is great. The problem is that while we talk about race, gender, or orientation, disability is often forgot-


ten or diminished in the conversation. I often remind people that the disability community is the only minority that you could join, not everyone is born into it like me. We also make up 25% of the US population and more than 1 billion people globally will experience a disability in their lifetime. That is a lot of people that need to be in more conversations. Q: The obvious question, have you and your team done anything unique to adapt to the COVID videoconference environment? JC: Everything has switched to Zoom and other platforms, so I did too. I think I had a head start because I was already recording video content. We upgraded some equipment and our bandwidth to make sure my clients received the best possible stream. Not traveling meant that I had a little more time on my hands - or feet - so I’ve been expanding my coaching services. I’ve worked with amputees in the past to be a mentor for them but now I’ve opened up my one-onone time to the general public. Q: You write an occasional blog, including one on inspirational porn, probably not a subject that a lot of people have studied. What would you like to say about it and how has it evolved? JC: I’m more than happy to inspire someone because I fly an airplane, earned a black belt, surf, scuba dive, and slack-

line. Inspiration porn is when someone’s inspired because I can function as a human being. I once had a woman in the checkout line at the grocery store say, “It’s inspiring to see you, people, out and about.” People shouldn’t be inspired because someone with a disability eats food and needs to buy toilet paper. I think it comes from an assumption that people with disabilities are inherently unable to do regular things or the person without a disability assumes they couldn’t cope with the disability they see. In reality, the disability community is the only minority you can join and represents about twenty percent of the global population. Inspiration porn only exists because we as a society haven’t a normalized disability. Q: Do you ever give in to asking someone to do something that’s somewhat difficult for you – difficult, but something that you’re capable of doing? How does that feel? JC: Yes, I do. For example, with my husband, but I think it further perpetuates laziness and is a disservice to me because then my ability to do something can be impacted. I’ve been asking my husband to reach for things that were at the edge of my flexibility. Unfortunately, as a result, I’m not stretching my limits and therefore my flexibility has lessened. Q: You’re a Third Degree Blackbelt – without it would you ever feel physically vulnerable?

JC: It’s sometimes hard for even me to believe but I’m a fourth-degree black belt. I started training when I was 10 because I had some anger issues as a kid and sometimes kicked my siblings or my bedroom door. Channeling that energy certainly helped. I think without a black belt I would feel vulnerable because people would see my armlessness as a vulnerability. Despite being a black belt, though, I naturally maintain a higher awareness of my surroundings and try not to present myself as an easy target. Q: Of your many avocations, which are your most enjoyable and which are you most proud of, and why? JC: My most enjoyable activity is cycling because it’s a sport where I can just relax and enjoy the breeze on my face. I usually find myself always moving so it’s an activity that matches my personality, I think. I’m most proud of learning to fly. It not only challenged me physically but also emotionally. It represented one of my greatest fears and I had to overcome that to fly solo. I’ve been a certified pilot for 12 years now and no one can say I didn’t earn it, and no one can take that achievement away from me. Q: Aside from martial arts, is there a particular activity that you and your husband enjoy most together?

JC: We both love to travel and unique experiences. I’ve visited 26 countries so far and he’s been with me for most of them. We’ve had ginseng chicken in Korea, flown in small planes all over Alaska, had fish and chips outside the Tower of London, been invited by princes, had breakfast with a baboon in Kenya, and even fed hyenas in Ethiopia. Q: In the trailer for your documentary, Right Foot, you mention that you wouldn’t have chosen to have arms because of the many people you’ve met and whose lives you’ve touched. If you had been born with arms, how do you feel that your life would have been different?  Do you think you would have been equally motivated and had the same interests? JC: Nick Spark deserves the credit for the documentary. It was his vision; I was just the one in front of the camera. I think there would have been some things that would have stayed the same, like the sense of adventure in me. But whether I would be equally motivated is something I question. Those naysayers fueled a certain level of motivation. My mom was the youngest of thirteen kids in an impoverished family in the Philippines. She beat the odds and immigrated to the United States as a nurse. Even after her cancer diagnosis, it was hard to slow her down. I’d like to think I got a lot of my drive from her.

www.jessicacox.com


ten or diminished in the conversation. I often remind people that the disability community is the only minority that you could join, not everyone is born into it like me. We also make up 25% of the US population and more than 1 billion people globally will experience a disability in their lifetime. That is a lot of people that need to be in more conversations. Q: The obvious question, have you and your team done anything unique to adapt to the COVID videoconference environment? JC: Everything has switched to Zoom and other platforms, so I did too. I think I had a head start because I was already recording video content. We upgraded some equipment and our bandwidth to make sure my clients received the best possible stream. Not traveling meant that I had a little more time on my hands - or feet - so I’ve been expanding my coaching services. I’ve worked with amputees in the past to be a mentor for them but now I’ve opened up my one-onone time to the general public. Q: You write an occasional blog, including one on inspirational porn, probably not a subject that a lot of people have studied. What would you like to say about it and how has it evolved? JC: I’m more than happy to inspire someone because I fly an airplane, earned a black belt, surf, scuba dive, and slack-

line. Inspiration porn is when someone’s inspired because I can function as a human being. I once had a woman in the checkout line at the grocery store say, “It’s inspiring to see you, people, out and about.” People shouldn’t be inspired because someone with a disability eats food and needs to buy toilet paper. I think it comes from an assumption that people with disabilities are inherently unable to do regular things or the person without a disability assumes they couldn’t cope with the disability they see. In reality, the disability community is the only minority you can join and represents about twenty percent of the global population. Inspiration porn only exists because we as a society haven’t a normalized disability. Q: Do you ever give in to asking someone to do something that’s somewhat difficult for you – difficult, but something that you’re capable of doing? How does that feel? JC: Yes, I do. For example, with my husband, but I think it further perpetuates laziness and is a disservice to me because then my ability to do something can be impacted. I’ve been asking my husband to reach for things that were at the edge of my flexibility. Unfortunately, as a result, I’m not stretching my limits and therefore my flexibility has lessened. Q: You’re a Third Degree Blackbelt – without it would you ever feel physically vulnerable?

JC: It’s sometimes hard for even me to believe but I’m a fourth-degree black belt. I started training when I was 10 because I had some anger issues as a kid and sometimes kicked my siblings or my bedroom door. Channeling that energy certainly helped. I think without a black belt I would feel vulnerable because people would see my armlessness as a vulnerability. Despite being a black belt, though, I naturally maintain a higher awareness of my surroundings and try not to present myself as an easy target. Q: Of your many avocations, which are your most enjoyable and which are you most proud of, and why? JC: My most enjoyable activity is cycling because it’s a sport where I can just relax and enjoy the breeze on my face. I usually find myself always moving so it’s an activity that matches my personality, I think. I’m most proud of learning to fly. It not only challenged me physically but also emotionally. It represented one of my greatest fears and I had to overcome that to fly solo. I’ve been a certified pilot for 12 years now and no one can say I didn’t earn it, and no one can take that achievement away from me. Q: Aside from martial arts, is there a particular activity that you and your husband enjoy most together?

JC: We both love to travel and unique experiences. I’ve visited 26 countries so far and he’s been with me for most of them. We’ve had ginseng chicken in Korea, flown in small planes all over Alaska, had fish and chips outside the Tower of London, been invited by princes, had breakfast with a baboon in Kenya, and even fed hyenas in Ethiopia. Q: In the trailer for your documentary, Right Foot, you mention that you wouldn’t have chosen to have arms because of the many people you’ve met and whose lives you’ve touched. If you had been born with arms, how do you feel that your life would have been different?  Do you think you would have been equally motivated and had the same interests? JC: Nick Spark deserves the credit for the documentary. It was his vision; I was just the one in front of the camera. I think there would have been some things that would have stayed the same, like the sense of adventure in me. But whether I would be equally motivated is something I question. Those naysayers fueled a certain level of motivation. My mom was the youngest of thirteen kids in an impoverished family in the Philippines. She beat the odds and immigrated to the United States as a nurse. Even after her cancer diagnosis, it was hard to slow her down. I’d like to think I got a lot of my drive from her.

www.jessicacox.com


What Does it Mean to be a Successful Woman in Business?

T

he U.S. Census Bureau in its Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs notes that women owned 20 percent of all employer firms in 2016. The number of women who are starting their own companies in the U.S. continues to grow. These women find that entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to use their talents, expand their influence and increase their wealth. Although starting and maintaining a successful business is not always smooth sailing, women often find the endeavor not only suits their personalities, but also their personal goals.

Creating an Enterprise That Reflects Your Own Values

you get to determine your own level of financial success. Your ability to earn is only limited by your own efforts to maxStarting a business is often an uphill imize profits. This requires doing a sigclimb that many people never even attempt. The corporate world offers many nificant amount of research and understanding important features of your area perks and financial benefits, but you of the economy. In addition, successful must always bow to the “vision” of the corporation. For some women, this effort woman entrepreneurs know that you can can be too limiting. They may be able to never rest on past laurels. They always see other aspects of the market that need keep an eye out for new opportunities to addressing, and the chance to tackle the expand their markets, increase their customer base and refine their operations. task in your own way offers personal gratification at the highest level.

The Freedom to Manage Your Own Finances Having your own business also means

Becoming an Expert in Time Management

Women have a natural aptitude for multi-tasking, and this quality can be of

significant benefit when they are running a business. Women prioritize activities to schedule work efficiently and keep the most important aspects at the forefront of their actions. Managing a workforce well is a critical part of success in business, and women often have the “people skills” needed to maintain high efficiency and productivity.

Dealing with Harassment & Discrimination

comfortable situations. In addition, you may still feel acquiring loans, getting important contracts and maintaining your competitive edge still requires you to work harder in order to be judged as equal to a male-owned company. However, as you develop a record and reputation for success, this need to “dance backwards and in high heels” tends to diminish.

Being a woman in business offers a chance to forge your own path in your own way. Unfortunately, the downside for women continues to be frequent incidents of sexual Although the obstacles can be daunting and harassment and discrimination that may oc- often reflect institutional prejudices, being a cur at both personal and institutional levels. woman also offers a variety of natural adLearning ways to skillfully deflect unwanted vantages that can help you excel in business. attention can help you manage these un-


What Does it Mean to be a Successful Woman in Business?

T

he U.S. Census Bureau in its Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs notes that women owned 20 percent of all employer firms in 2016. The number of women who are starting their own companies in the U.S. continues to grow. These women find that entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to use their talents, expand their influence and increase their wealth. Although starting and maintaining a successful business is not always smooth sailing, women often find the endeavor not only suits their personalities, but also their personal goals.

Creating an Enterprise That Reflects Your Own Values

you get to determine your own level of financial success. Your ability to earn is only limited by your own efforts to maxStarting a business is often an uphill imize profits. This requires doing a sigclimb that many people never even attempt. The corporate world offers many nificant amount of research and understanding important features of your area perks and financial benefits, but you of the economy. In addition, successful must always bow to the “vision” of the corporation. For some women, this effort woman entrepreneurs know that you can can be too limiting. They may be able to never rest on past laurels. They always see other aspects of the market that need keep an eye out for new opportunities to addressing, and the chance to tackle the expand their markets, increase their customer base and refine their operations. task in your own way offers personal gratification at the highest level.

The Freedom to Manage Your Own Finances Having your own business also means

Becoming an Expert in Time Management

Women have a natural aptitude for multi-tasking, and this quality can be of

significant benefit when they are running a business. Women prioritize activities to schedule work efficiently and keep the most important aspects at the forefront of their actions. Managing a workforce well is a critical part of success in business, and women often have the “people skills” needed to maintain high efficiency and productivity.

Dealing with Harassment & Discrimination

comfortable situations. In addition, you may still feel acquiring loans, getting important contracts and maintaining your competitive edge still requires you to work harder in order to be judged as equal to a male-owned company. However, as you develop a record and reputation for success, this need to “dance backwards and in high heels” tends to diminish.

Being a woman in business offers a chance to forge your own path in your own way. Unfortunately, the downside for women continues to be frequent incidents of sexual Although the obstacles can be daunting and harassment and discrimination that may oc- often reflect institutional prejudices, being a cur at both personal and institutional levels. woman also offers a variety of natural adLearning ways to skillfully deflect unwanted vantages that can help you excel in business. attention can help you manage these un-


Annika and players at the gala dinner to kick off the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex hosted at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Having Been Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as One of the Greatest Winners in LPGA History, Our Exclusive Interview with Golf Legend, Annika Sorenstam Annika is often regarded as the greatest female golfer of all-time.  During her 15-year, Hall-of-Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed and covered.  

when she became the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA TOUR event at the 2003 Colonial Invitational. Annika stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, which include the ANNIKA Collection of high-end women’s golf apparel and ANNIKA Course Design. In 2007, she created the ANNIKA Foundation, which provides golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.

She amassed over 90 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA and 10 Major Championships.  Annika holds a record number of Rolex Player of the Year awards (eight) and Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average in a season (six). As the only female to break 60 in an official event, she has been nicknamed “Ms. 59.”  Perhaps most notably, Annika received worldwide media attention The Foundation annually conducts six major tourna-

ments in the United States, Sweden (2), China, Argentina and New Zealand for aspiring junior girls along with the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 top Division I schools. It has annually enjoyed the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception. With the support of Stifel and the Haskins Commission, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel in 2014, which is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. Her global success in golf and knowledge of business has enabled her to become the first and only female golfer to create a successful brand of businesses, as featured in Duane Knapp’s book BrandStrategy, Inc. Annika’s brand has also been featured in Brandweek, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, SportsBusiness Journal, Success Magazine, USA Today, and Wine Spectator to name a few non-golf publications. Annika still tops the LPGA’s All Time Money List despite not competing since the 2008 season. She represented Europe as a player in eight Solheim Cups, as a vice-captain three times and captained the European team in 2017. Annika has received many accolades throughout her life. She was the recipient of the Patty Berg Award in 2003 for her contributions to women’s

golf. She was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year from 2003-2005, and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year in 1995, 1997 and from 2000-2005. In 2008, Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second Ambassador of the United States Golf Association. She and Jack Nicklaus were named Global Ambassadors by the International Golf Federation to help with golf ’s successful bid for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games. Annika won the USGA’s prestigious Bob Jones Award in 2011, which is presented annually to someone with distinct character on and off the course. In 2013, she was named the First Lady of Golf by the PGA of America. The following year the LPGA, in partnership with Rolex, created the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. It recognizes the player who, during a current LPGA season, has the most outstanding record in all five major championships.  In 2015, Annika was named the top female athlete of all-time in her home country of Sweden. In 2016 Annika received the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award from the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit advisory council, with the support of the PGA of America and the LPGA. In 2016 Annika received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the business of golf at the HSBC Golf Business Summit. She is also the


Annika and players at the gala dinner to kick off the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex hosted at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Having Been Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as One of the Greatest Winners in LPGA History, Our Exclusive Interview with Golf Legend, Annika Sorenstam Annika is often regarded as the greatest female golfer of all-time.  During her 15-year, Hall-of-Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards, and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed and covered.  

when she became the first woman in 58 years to play in a PGA TOUR event at the 2003 Colonial Invitational. Annika stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, which include the ANNIKA Collection of high-end women’s golf apparel and ANNIKA Course Design. In 2007, she created the ANNIKA Foundation, which provides golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.

She amassed over 90 worldwide victories, including 72 on the LPGA and 10 Major Championships.  Annika holds a record number of Rolex Player of the Year awards (eight) and Vare Trophies for the lowest scoring average in a season (six). As the only female to break 60 in an official event, she has been nicknamed “Ms. 59.”  Perhaps most notably, Annika received worldwide media attention The Foundation annually conducts six major tourna-

ments in the United States, Sweden (2), China, Argentina and New Zealand for aspiring junior girls along with the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 top Division I schools. It has annually enjoyed the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception. With the support of Stifel and the Haskins Commission, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award presented by Stifel in 2014, which is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. Her global success in golf and knowledge of business has enabled her to become the first and only female golfer to create a successful brand of businesses, as featured in Duane Knapp’s book BrandStrategy, Inc. Annika’s brand has also been featured in Brandweek, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine, SportsBusiness Journal, Success Magazine, USA Today, and Wine Spectator to name a few non-golf publications. Annika still tops the LPGA’s All Time Money List despite not competing since the 2008 season. She represented Europe as a player in eight Solheim Cups, as a vice-captain three times and captained the European team in 2017. Annika has received many accolades throughout her life. She was the recipient of the Patty Berg Award in 2003 for her contributions to women’s

golf. She was the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year from 2003-2005, and the Golf Writers Association of America Female Athlete of the Year in 1995, 1997 and from 2000-2005. In 2008, Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second Ambassador of the United States Golf Association. She and Jack Nicklaus were named Global Ambassadors by the International Golf Federation to help with golf ’s successful bid for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games. Annika won the USGA’s prestigious Bob Jones Award in 2011, which is presented annually to someone with distinct character on and off the course. In 2013, she was named the First Lady of Golf by the PGA of America. The following year the LPGA, in partnership with Rolex, created the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. It recognizes the player who, during a current LPGA season, has the most outstanding record in all five major championships.  In 2015, Annika was named the top female athlete of all-time in her home country of Sweden. In 2016 Annika received the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award from the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit advisory council, with the support of the PGA of America and the LPGA. In 2016 Annika received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the business of golf at the HSBC Golf Business Summit. She is also the


Annika and her family having fun at a photo shoot.

first female golfer and only the third female in sport to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Annika is a very popular motivational speaker and many corporate executives, CEOs and meeting planners utilize her talents to entertain important clients, reward top performing employees, and build camaraderie amongst their teams. Annika is a driven, leader with a vast network of contacts throughout the world of business, sports, and entertainment. In addition to expanding her brand and growing the game, Annika and her husband, Mike McGee, have two children, Ava (9/1/09) and Will (3/21/11). Annika represents world-class companies like 3M, AHEAD, Callaway, Cutter & Buck, Cabot Saint Lucia, Golfing World, Lexus, Mastercard and Rolex. Her Twitter handle is @ Annika59 and Instagram handle is @annikas59. For more information: www.annikafoundation.org. Q: You started playing Golf at a young age, what

inspired you to pursue it professionally? AS: As a kid, I loved all sports. I played soccer, badminton, did downhill skiing and my first love was tennis. I didn’t start playing golf until the age of 12 and was introduced to it because my parents played a lot. My sister, Charlotta and I would ride my parents’ pull carts like a horse and get ice cream at the turn. I didn’t take it seriously until the age of 16. That’s when I focused on golf, rather than tennis. Fellow Swede, Liselotte Neumann won the US Women’s Open in 1988 and that really inspired me. If she could do it from our small country, why couldn’t I? I continued to work hard and went to the University of Arizona on a golf scholarship and after two years there I decided it was time to turn professional and give it a shot. Q: For those in our audience not familiar with the Annika Foundation, tell us what kind of opportunities it provides for young women. AS: We started the ANNIKA Foundation in 2007 to

provide golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. It has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children. Some initiatives are SPARK, the Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.    The Foundation annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls. They are the award-winning AJGA tournament, the ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills, the first all-girls junior tournament in China; the ANNIKA Invitational in Europe; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden. In partnership with The R&A, the Women’s Amateur Latin America, and the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia at the famed Royal Wellington Golf Club in Wellington, New Zealand.   With the support of  Stifel, the Haskins Commission and Golfweek, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award Presented By Stifel in 2014. It is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. In concert with the award, the Foundation launched the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented By 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 of the top Division I schools. This tournament takes place at Royal Golf Club and has had the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception.  Q: Have any of your alumnae gone on to pursue a professional career in Golf ? AS: Each year we have over 600 girls from over 50 different countries compete in our global events. We have had over 60 of our alumnae play on the LPGA Tour, and over 150 on the Symetra Tour. Q: You’ve accomplished so much as a Professional Golfer, Businesswoman, and mentor to many young women. Has it been a smooth road? AS: I think the lessons I have learned from golf certainly

apply to life. It teaches you integrity, how to overcome adversity, how to make goals and accomplish them. There are a lot of correlations. Each day brings you new challenges. Some days you get good breaks and some days bad ones. I stepped away in 2008, which in hindsight was a difficult time to start businesses. There have been ups and downs and we have learned a lot. I enjoy working with my husband, Mike on all of our businesses. We have a great team around us, and we have narrowed our focus to the foundation, the ANNIKA Collection of clothing with Cutter & Buck, and golf course design. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? AS: My dad taught me when I was a young girl that there are no shortcuts to success. It was raining and I didn’t feel like practicing, so I called my Dad to pick me up. As we drove out of the course, we passed the driving range, and there were still kids hitting balls in the rain. My dad turned to me and said that to me. I will never forget that, and it still drives me to this day. Q: Can you tell us one of your most memorable moments in your career? AS: I have been fortunate to have a lot of very memorable events of which I’m proud. I would say shooting a 59 in 2001, playing against the men on the PGA TOUR in 2003 at Colonial, and being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? AS: I would tell young ladies in the workforce to find their passion. Life is too short to do something you don’t love. Work hard and put in the time. Again, there are no shortcuts to success. Surround yourselves with good people and network as much as possible. Q: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? AS: I am a normal Mom and wife. I love to hang with our family and kids. I cook probably six nights a week and love it. I enjoy housework and chores and am constantly busy.


Annika and her family having fun at a photo shoot.

first female golfer and only the third female in sport to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Annika is a very popular motivational speaker and many corporate executives, CEOs and meeting planners utilize her talents to entertain important clients, reward top performing employees, and build camaraderie amongst their teams. Annika is a driven, leader with a vast network of contacts throughout the world of business, sports, and entertainment. In addition to expanding her brand and growing the game, Annika and her husband, Mike McGee, have two children, Ava (9/1/09) and Will (3/21/11). Annika represents world-class companies like 3M, AHEAD, Callaway, Cutter & Buck, Cabot Saint Lucia, Golfing World, Lexus, Mastercard and Rolex. Her Twitter handle is @ Annika59 and Instagram handle is @annikas59. For more information: www.annikafoundation.org. Q: You started playing Golf at a young age, what

inspired you to pursue it professionally? AS: As a kid, I loved all sports. I played soccer, badminton, did downhill skiing and my first love was tennis. I didn’t start playing golf until the age of 12 and was introduced to it because my parents played a lot. My sister, Charlotta and I would ride my parents’ pull carts like a horse and get ice cream at the turn. I didn’t take it seriously until the age of 16. That’s when I focused on golf, rather than tennis. Fellow Swede, Liselotte Neumann won the US Women’s Open in 1988 and that really inspired me. If she could do it from our small country, why couldn’t I? I continued to work hard and went to the University of Arizona on a golf scholarship and after two years there I decided it was time to turn professional and give it a shot. Q: For those in our audience not familiar with the Annika Foundation, tell us what kind of opportunities it provides for young women. AS: We started the ANNIKA Foundation in 2007 to

provide golf opportunities at the junior, collegiate and professional levels while teaching young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. It has partnered with key organizations to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children. Some initiatives are SPARK, the Florida Hospital for Children in support of its Healthy 100 Kids initiative and The First Tee in development of the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children.    The Foundation annually conducts six major golf events for aspiring junior girls. They are the award-winning AJGA tournament, the ANNIKA Invitational presented by Rolex at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills, the first all-girls junior tournament in China; the ANNIKA Invitational in Europe; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden. In partnership with The R&A, the Women’s Amateur Latin America, and the ANNIKA Invitational Australasia at the famed Royal Wellington Golf Club in Wellington, New Zealand.   With the support of  Stifel, the Haskins Commission and Golfweek, the Foundation created the ANNIKA Award Presented By Stifel in 2014. It is given annually to the best collegiate female golfer. In concert with the award, the Foundation launched the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented By 3M, a college tournament featuring 12 of the top Division I schools. This tournament takes place at Royal Golf Club and has had the strongest field in all of college golf since its inception.  Q: Have any of your alumnae gone on to pursue a professional career in Golf ? AS: Each year we have over 600 girls from over 50 different countries compete in our global events. We have had over 60 of our alumnae play on the LPGA Tour, and over 150 on the Symetra Tour. Q: You’ve accomplished so much as a Professional Golfer, Businesswoman, and mentor to many young women. Has it been a smooth road? AS: I think the lessons I have learned from golf certainly

apply to life. It teaches you integrity, how to overcome adversity, how to make goals and accomplish them. There are a lot of correlations. Each day brings you new challenges. Some days you get good breaks and some days bad ones. I stepped away in 2008, which in hindsight was a difficult time to start businesses. There have been ups and downs and we have learned a lot. I enjoy working with my husband, Mike on all of our businesses. We have a great team around us, and we have narrowed our focus to the foundation, the ANNIKA Collection of clothing with Cutter & Buck, and golf course design. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? AS: My dad taught me when I was a young girl that there are no shortcuts to success. It was raining and I didn’t feel like practicing, so I called my Dad to pick me up. As we drove out of the course, we passed the driving range, and there were still kids hitting balls in the rain. My dad turned to me and said that to me. I will never forget that, and it still drives me to this day. Q: Can you tell us one of your most memorable moments in your career? AS: I have been fortunate to have a lot of very memorable events of which I’m proud. I would say shooting a 59 in 2001, playing against the men on the PGA TOUR in 2003 at Colonial, and being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? AS: I would tell young ladies in the workforce to find their passion. Life is too short to do something you don’t love. Work hard and put in the time. Again, there are no shortcuts to success. Surround yourselves with good people and network as much as possible. Q: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? AS: I am a normal Mom and wife. I love to hang with our family and kids. I cook probably six nights a week and love it. I enjoy housework and chores and am constantly busy.


Laura Meyer is the owner of Jazzercise Mills 50 and Mills 50 Yoga. She graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After 17 years in that field, she changed career gears to her true passion - the health and wellness of women. She is a certified fitness professional and has been teaching Jazzericse, personal training and yoga, to women, both in group and private settings in downtown Orlando, Winter Park and College Park, for over 13 years. After losing over 50 pounds in her 20’s with exercise and sustainable healthy eating, she knew she wanted other women to feel empowered in the same way. Now with two adult daughters of her own, her goal is to inspire women as they live their busy lives, making sure they find time for themselves. She believes Jazzercise is the perfect formula for women - cardio plus strength in an hour - and is passionate about every woman finding that one hour of “ME time”. Jazzercise is for EVERYONE as each class is taught with modification options, no mirrors, and no judgement. It is no accident that Jazzercise just celebrated their 50-year anniversary. Quite simply, it is an addicting, uplifting and inspiring community - and it works.

www.jazzercise.com | 407-227-3266 | JazzerciseOrlando@gmail.com


Laura Meyer is the owner of Jazzercise Mills 50 and Mills 50 Yoga. She graduated from the University of Florida with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After 17 years in that field, she changed career gears to her true passion - the health and wellness of women. She is a certified fitness professional and has been teaching Jazzericse, personal training and yoga, to women, both in group and private settings in downtown Orlando, Winter Park and College Park, for over 13 years. After losing over 50 pounds in her 20’s with exercise and sustainable healthy eating, she knew she wanted other women to feel empowered in the same way. Now with two adult daughters of her own, her goal is to inspire women as they live their busy lives, making sure they find time for themselves. She believes Jazzercise is the perfect formula for women - cardio plus strength in an hour - and is passionate about every woman finding that one hour of “ME time”. Jazzercise is for EVERYONE as each class is taught with modification options, no mirrors, and no judgement. It is no accident that Jazzercise just celebrated their 50-year anniversary. Quite simply, it is an addicting, uplifting and inspiring community - and it works.

www.jazzercise.com | 407-227-3266 | JazzerciseOrlando@gmail.com


She’s an Advocate for Public Education & Focuses on Hardworking Florida Families! A Conversation with Florida House of Representative

itics, business, academics, agriculture, entertainment, or sports – the more women we see in positions of power the fewer double standards there will be, and equal expectations will be set for all. Q: If you had the power, what one government policy would you reverse? AE: I would roll back the many politically motivated preemptions that have hurt local governments from solving some of our state’s most complex problems. The state of Florida has preempted local government control on key issues like wages, workers’ rights, plastic regulation, gun safety, and telecommunication technologies. I would also stop the raiding of Florida’s Affordable Housing Trust Funds.

Anna V. Eskamani

Q: Why should women business owners support you? AE: All small businesses should support us – we are working hard to create an economic playing field that doesn’t pick winners and losers, one where small businesses can compete and thrive just like larger companies. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? AE: I graduated from Orange County Public Schools K-12, and really was not sure where life would take me. I came from a working-class background and my parents were immigrants from Iran. In 2004 my Mom passed away after a long fight with cancer – I was one of her main caregivers, and knew I wanted to honor her life through the act of empowering others and one way to do that would be through academics. So, I had no idea what career path to pursue but I knew education would be essential to my community impact. In fact, the first time I collected petitions was when I was ten years old, and it was with the goal of keeping my best friend at the time from being moved to a different lunch period.

Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? AE: I actually thought I was going to be an engineer! My Dad is an engineer and that was really inspirational to me. Q: If there’s one wish you could be granted to change the way Congress works ... what would that be? AE: My biggest desire for all levels of government is for political systems to be more accessible to everyday people. The more engagement we have from the public, the better government there will be. Q: While there is no clear consensus, about four in ten people say that women who run for office are held to higher standards than men and need to do more to prove themselves. What needs to happen to change this? AE: We need to elect more women into public office and support women as leaders in all sectors of our economy too. Whether it’s pol-

While in high school I also became involved in theatre as a techie, inspiring me to be a passionate advocate for arts and culture today. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? Anna V. Eskamani walks in Orlando’s 2019 Come Out With Pride event

Anna kicks off a canvass with her volunteers

AE: My first ever paid job was a summer gig at Ross Dress for Less. I was 18 years old. My Mom worked in retail for most of her life – minimum wage jobs are not easy, and it inspired me to fight for people like my Mom every single day. When I graduated from UCF with my two undergraduate degrees, I began working at my local Planned Parenthood affiliate, rising after six years to become their Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications. Planned Parenthood prepared me for hostile political environments where I learned critical management skills and had the honor to work alongside patients and providers. Q: Can you share with our audience what your platform is and what you hope to accomplish as an elected official? AE: Our platform is intersectional, values-driven, and focuses on hardworking Florida families. We emphasize the importance of protecting public education; enhancing environmental protection and moving towards renewable energy; ensuring access to health care for all; supporting small businesses; increasing access to affordable housing; passing gun safety legislation; fully funding public safety along with criminal justice reform; and fighting for equality for all. Our full platform is titled Anna’s Opportu-


She’s an Advocate for Public Education & Focuses on Hardworking Florida Families! A Conversation with Florida House of Representative

itics, business, academics, agriculture, entertainment, or sports – the more women we see in positions of power the fewer double standards there will be, and equal expectations will be set for all. Q: If you had the power, what one government policy would you reverse? AE: I would roll back the many politically motivated preemptions that have hurt local governments from solving some of our state’s most complex problems. The state of Florida has preempted local government control on key issues like wages, workers’ rights, plastic regulation, gun safety, and telecommunication technologies. I would also stop the raiding of Florida’s Affordable Housing Trust Funds.

Anna V. Eskamani

Q: Why should women business owners support you? AE: All small businesses should support us – we are working hard to create an economic playing field that doesn’t pick winners and losers, one where small businesses can compete and thrive just like larger companies. Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? AE: I graduated from Orange County Public Schools K-12, and really was not sure where life would take me. I came from a working-class background and my parents were immigrants from Iran. In 2004 my Mom passed away after a long fight with cancer – I was one of her main caregivers, and knew I wanted to honor her life through the act of empowering others and one way to do that would be through academics. So, I had no idea what career path to pursue but I knew education would be essential to my community impact. In fact, the first time I collected petitions was when I was ten years old, and it was with the goal of keeping my best friend at the time from being moved to a different lunch period.

Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? AE: I actually thought I was going to be an engineer! My Dad is an engineer and that was really inspirational to me. Q: If there’s one wish you could be granted to change the way Congress works ... what would that be? AE: My biggest desire for all levels of government is for political systems to be more accessible to everyday people. The more engagement we have from the public, the better government there will be. Q: While there is no clear consensus, about four in ten people say that women who run for office are held to higher standards than men and need to do more to prove themselves. What needs to happen to change this? AE: We need to elect more women into public office and support women as leaders in all sectors of our economy too. Whether it’s pol-

While in high school I also became involved in theatre as a techie, inspiring me to be a passionate advocate for arts and culture today. Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? Anna V. Eskamani walks in Orlando’s 2019 Come Out With Pride event

Anna kicks off a canvass with her volunteers

AE: My first ever paid job was a summer gig at Ross Dress for Less. I was 18 years old. My Mom worked in retail for most of her life – minimum wage jobs are not easy, and it inspired me to fight for people like my Mom every single day. When I graduated from UCF with my two undergraduate degrees, I began working at my local Planned Parenthood affiliate, rising after six years to become their Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications. Planned Parenthood prepared me for hostile political environments where I learned critical management skills and had the honor to work alongside patients and providers. Q: Can you share with our audience what your platform is and what you hope to accomplish as an elected official? AE: Our platform is intersectional, values-driven, and focuses on hardworking Florida families. We emphasize the importance of protecting public education; enhancing environmental protection and moving towards renewable energy; ensuring access to health care for all; supporting small businesses; increasing access to affordable housing; passing gun safety legislation; fully funding public safety along with criminal justice reform; and fighting for equality for all. Our full platform is titled Anna’s Opportu-


AE: Once we reach 50% representation, but even then we will need to ensure a diversity among women based on cultural identities, faith backgrounds, and class. We are making huge strides, but change does not happen overnight. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? AE: The fear of losing. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? AE: Ask for guidance but always trust your gut. Also, it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable, but don’t be shy to hold people accountable too. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? AE: My twin sister Ida V. Eskamani. We are cut from the same cloth and she keeps me both centered and focused. Anna V. Eskamani celebrates her historic victory in House District 47

nity Agenda and we have a business-focused agenda called 47 Means Business, both of which are on our website. Q: Why do you think women remain underrepresented in business and politics? AE: There are several systematic barriers that have kept women out of politics and out of decision-making roles within all sectors including but not limited to business, academics, medicine, and sports. In regard to politics, barriers include stereotypes that women face while running for office and serving, the lack of financial support for working women – which means their efficacy to even consider running for office is limited – and the expense of running for office. Many women are caregivers to seniors and children, and the idea of running for office can seem out of reach. The historic lack of representation of women (and especially women of color and/or LGBTQ folks) has also resulted in women not envisioning a political future for themselves. In 2018 that changed forever, and more glass ceilings are being shattered.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue a career in politics? AE: Follow your passion, identify your mentors, pursue volunteer opportunities, center your work around directly impacted people, and always give without expectation. We need to go beyond transactional politics and towards transformational politics, where lives are positively impacted because it’s the right thing to do – not because we get something out of it. Q: What is one skill you believe that women should have to facilitate a successful career in politics? AE: Hard skills would include writing, communication, some statistical knowledge, and a love for understanding issues. Soft skills would include a strong ability to listen and the ability to empathize with others. If I had to choose one skill it would be communication.

Anna V. Eskaman speaks at a rally for peace and no war with Iran

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? AE: Stereotypes persist. When I first walked into the Florida House many colleagues – on both sides of the aisle – had already labeled me as a certain way, and it took time to define myself and break the stereotypes that folks had attached to me. In general, all women face deep economic barriers and healthcare disparities. We are underpaid compared to male colleagues, do not have access to reasonable maternal leave policies, and in some cases no access to earned sick time. We face larger rates of sexual harassment and violence; we are discriminated against – sometimes facing termination from work or eviction from apartments because of it. Our work as caregivers is unpaid though the economic and emotional toll is huge. Our access to healthcare is determined by income, meaning that not every women and girl in states like Florida has access to primary care and/or specialist care.

Q: When will women in politics become the norm? Anna V. Eskamani celebrates her historic victory with supporters in House District 47


AE: Once we reach 50% representation, but even then we will need to ensure a diversity among women based on cultural identities, faith backgrounds, and class. We are making huge strides, but change does not happen overnight. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? AE: The fear of losing. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? AE: Ask for guidance but always trust your gut. Also, it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable, but don’t be shy to hold people accountable too. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? AE: My twin sister Ida V. Eskamani. We are cut from the same cloth and she keeps me both centered and focused. Anna V. Eskamani celebrates her historic victory in House District 47

nity Agenda and we have a business-focused agenda called 47 Means Business, both of which are on our website. Q: Why do you think women remain underrepresented in business and politics? AE: There are several systematic barriers that have kept women out of politics and out of decision-making roles within all sectors including but not limited to business, academics, medicine, and sports. In regard to politics, barriers include stereotypes that women face while running for office and serving, the lack of financial support for working women – which means their efficacy to even consider running for office is limited – and the expense of running for office. Many women are caregivers to seniors and children, and the idea of running for office can seem out of reach. The historic lack of representation of women (and especially women of color and/or LGBTQ folks) has also resulted in women not envisioning a political future for themselves. In 2018 that changed forever, and more glass ceilings are being shattered.

Q: What advice do you have for young women who want to pursue a career in politics? AE: Follow your passion, identify your mentors, pursue volunteer opportunities, center your work around directly impacted people, and always give without expectation. We need to go beyond transactional politics and towards transformational politics, where lives are positively impacted because it’s the right thing to do – not because we get something out of it. Q: What is one skill you believe that women should have to facilitate a successful career in politics? AE: Hard skills would include writing, communication, some statistical knowledge, and a love for understanding issues. Soft skills would include a strong ability to listen and the ability to empathize with others. If I had to choose one skill it would be communication.

Anna V. Eskaman speaks at a rally for peace and no war with Iran

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? AE: Stereotypes persist. When I first walked into the Florida House many colleagues – on both sides of the aisle – had already labeled me as a certain way, and it took time to define myself and break the stereotypes that folks had attached to me. In general, all women face deep economic barriers and healthcare disparities. We are underpaid compared to male colleagues, do not have access to reasonable maternal leave policies, and in some cases no access to earned sick time. We face larger rates of sexual harassment and violence; we are discriminated against – sometimes facing termination from work or eviction from apartments because of it. Our work as caregivers is unpaid though the economic and emotional toll is huge. Our access to healthcare is determined by income, meaning that not every women and girl in states like Florida has access to primary care and/or specialist care.

Q: When will women in politics become the norm? Anna V. Eskamani celebrates her historic victory with supporters in House District 47


Emmy Award Winning Journalist & Best Selling Author, Leeza Gibbons, Shares Her Insights on Today’s Challenges For Caregivers & Maintaining a Positive Outlook. Photography by Caroline Greyshock & Jeff Annenberg

Q: It’s safe to say that you’re best known for your TV work on Entertainment Tonight, Leeza, and 2015’s Celebrity Apprentice. What thoughts come to mind about that body of work? LG: I’m a lucky girl. I have had a career that has been challenging, fulfilling, and fun! I studied broadcast journalism and have been on a path of wherever the stories took me ever since.  After reporting in TV and radio news, I became an entertainment correspondent and anchor before the advent of social media, which allowed celebrities to break their own story.  Until then, it was pretty much right what they used to say about ET, that we provided an “all-access pass” to all things Hollywood.   One of my early professional dreams was to have some of Dick Clark’s abilities to host virtually anything and make audiences feel welcome. I was blessed to have met Dick, worked with him, and become his friend. Now, when I host something like The Rose Parade, I often keep his mentoring in mind.  Even though I have a Ph.D. in drama avoidance, I loved being on Celebrity Apprentice!  Competing on the show allowed me to use my business skills to win the grand prize and invest it in opening Leeza’s Care Connection in my South Carolina hometown.  It was a dream come true to offer our free services for family caregivers in Columbia, where I grew up. 

Q: Tell us how your education contributed to your success and how that path is the same or different for new journalists? LG: I was trained as a broadcast journalist. Barbara Walters was one of my big inspirations.  When I began reporting at ET, I was accustomed to a reporting style that was objective; providing only a conduit through which the stories made their way to readers, listeners, and viewers. When I was hosting and producing a single topic talk show, The LEEZA show, the format required that I editorialize and offer an opinion and lead with it too often, it was liberating and allowed for the kind of passionate energy that I admired about Barbara Walters. Many storytellers take a variety of paths to get to where they want to go.  I believe how you do one thing is how you do all things, so if excellence is your goal, buoyed by curiosity, then you’ll get there.     Q: Did PBS’s My Generation, which addressed a more mature audience, represent a shift for you; if so, why? LG: It was a deliberate choice to address topics that were relevant to an audience that found itself at a turning point ...an audience like me. Boomers are reinventing and eager to explore all kinds of transformations. We believe that who you were yesterday is not who you have to be tomorrow, so we’re looking for the inspiration to recreate ourselves.


Emmy Award Winning Journalist & Best Selling Author, Leeza Gibbons, Shares Her Insights on Today’s Challenges For Caregivers & Maintaining a Positive Outlook. Photography by Caroline Greyshock & Jeff Annenberg

Q: It’s safe to say that you’re best known for your TV work on Entertainment Tonight, Leeza, and 2015’s Celebrity Apprentice. What thoughts come to mind about that body of work? LG: I’m a lucky girl. I have had a career that has been challenging, fulfilling, and fun! I studied broadcast journalism and have been on a path of wherever the stories took me ever since.  After reporting in TV and radio news, I became an entertainment correspondent and anchor before the advent of social media, which allowed celebrities to break their own story.  Until then, it was pretty much right what they used to say about ET, that we provided an “all-access pass” to all things Hollywood.   One of my early professional dreams was to have some of Dick Clark’s abilities to host virtually anything and make audiences feel welcome. I was blessed to have met Dick, worked with him, and become his friend. Now, when I host something like The Rose Parade, I often keep his mentoring in mind.  Even though I have a Ph.D. in drama avoidance, I loved being on Celebrity Apprentice!  Competing on the show allowed me to use my business skills to win the grand prize and invest it in opening Leeza’s Care Connection in my South Carolina hometown.  It was a dream come true to offer our free services for family caregivers in Columbia, where I grew up. 

Q: Tell us how your education contributed to your success and how that path is the same or different for new journalists? LG: I was trained as a broadcast journalist. Barbara Walters was one of my big inspirations.  When I began reporting at ET, I was accustomed to a reporting style that was objective; providing only a conduit through which the stories made their way to readers, listeners, and viewers. When I was hosting and producing a single topic talk show, The LEEZA show, the format required that I editorialize and offer an opinion and lead with it too often, it was liberating and allowed for the kind of passionate energy that I admired about Barbara Walters. Many storytellers take a variety of paths to get to where they want to go.  I believe how you do one thing is how you do all things, so if excellence is your goal, buoyed by curiosity, then you’ll get there.     Q: Did PBS’s My Generation, which addressed a more mature audience, represent a shift for you; if so, why? LG: It was a deliberate choice to address topics that were relevant to an audience that found itself at a turning point ...an audience like me. Boomers are reinventing and eager to explore all kinds of transformations. We believe that who you were yesterday is not who you have to be tomorrow, so we’re looking for the inspiration to recreate ourselves.


Leeza with her Dad looking at one of his poetry books. “Pops has written thousands of poems, so I began putting them together in books. We’re up to Volume 8, but he’s only 92, so he’s got a lot more writing to do!”

“My Generation” delivered the stories of celebrities and others who had accepted the challenge to re-boot and re-create their lives and re-write their narratives. Q What do you see that is different from interviewing styles from the period you were on the air to today? LG: Today, things are much more transparent than when I first began Viewers’ insatiable appetites to “get inside” and “lift the veil” led to more raw reporting and a genuinely authentic exchange preference.

terviewers to uncover more than “just the facts” and interview subjects to drop any facade and get real. Today, the best way to do that is to bypass a reporter and go straight to fans through social media.

From skilful politicians to creative celebrities of all kinds, intimate relationships are built on social platforms, but interviews with reputable outlets or with interviewers who have perceived gravitas can often maintain, boost, or augment them. Look at Donald Trump Twitter was more important to his victory than his political advisors and mainstream media exposure. However, There is still brokering for interviews and nego- events like the interviews with Lester Holt and tiating for access. Still, the expectation is for in- George Stepanopolis can still do damage.

“Breathe, Believe, Receive” is our mantra at Leeza’s Care Connection. This is a group of caregivers making that philosophy come to life at our Providence St Joseph Medical Center location in Burbank.

Q: You have published books about having a positive attitude and self-care, particularly for caregivers; would you remind our readers what those books are about and what they represent to you? LG: On our journeys through life, I often need to remember that our strength comes from being vulnerable. Our power comes from how we are connected. My books honour those connections; whether it’s a daughter caring for a sick parent, or a divorced woman who needs a Take 2, we can all find our strength by giving ourselves permission to change and grow.

LG: A couple of years ago, I wrote a book called FIERCE OPTIMISM and nowhere is that more relevant than when applied to our community at Leeza’s Care Connection. We help families cope with Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses by offering tips, resources, and coping strategies. We are a community of those who understand the journey, and we’re dedicated to making sure that no one walks alone. Caregivers have to be fierce, optimistic, and radically resilient to move forward. This past year, we all learned how to pivot and redirect, but caregivers are used to those things. They have to be.

Q: Tell us about Leeza’s Care Connection.

My mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, the


Leeza with her Dad looking at one of his poetry books. “Pops has written thousands of poems, so I began putting them together in books. We’re up to Volume 8, but he’s only 92, so he’s got a lot more writing to do!”

“My Generation” delivered the stories of celebrities and others who had accepted the challenge to re-boot and re-create their lives and re-write their narratives. Q What do you see that is different from interviewing styles from the period you were on the air to today? LG: Today, things are much more transparent than when I first began Viewers’ insatiable appetites to “get inside” and “lift the veil” led to more raw reporting and a genuinely authentic exchange preference.

terviewers to uncover more than “just the facts” and interview subjects to drop any facade and get real. Today, the best way to do that is to bypass a reporter and go straight to fans through social media.

From skilful politicians to creative celebrities of all kinds, intimate relationships are built on social platforms, but interviews with reputable outlets or with interviewers who have perceived gravitas can often maintain, boost, or augment them. Look at Donald Trump Twitter was more important to his victory than his political advisors and mainstream media exposure. However, There is still brokering for interviews and nego- events like the interviews with Lester Holt and tiating for access. Still, the expectation is for in- George Stepanopolis can still do damage.

“Breathe, Believe, Receive” is our mantra at Leeza’s Care Connection. This is a group of caregivers making that philosophy come to life at our Providence St Joseph Medical Center location in Burbank.

Q: You have published books about having a positive attitude and self-care, particularly for caregivers; would you remind our readers what those books are about and what they represent to you? LG: On our journeys through life, I often need to remember that our strength comes from being vulnerable. Our power comes from how we are connected. My books honour those connections; whether it’s a daughter caring for a sick parent, or a divorced woman who needs a Take 2, we can all find our strength by giving ourselves permission to change and grow.

LG: A couple of years ago, I wrote a book called FIERCE OPTIMISM and nowhere is that more relevant than when applied to our community at Leeza’s Care Connection. We help families cope with Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses by offering tips, resources, and coping strategies. We are a community of those who understand the journey, and we’re dedicated to making sure that no one walks alone. Caregivers have to be fierce, optimistic, and radically resilient to move forward. This past year, we all learned how to pivot and redirect, but caregivers are used to those things. They have to be.

Q: Tell us about Leeza’s Care Connection.

My mother died of Alzheimer’s disease, the


same as her mom, my dear Granny. Our family struggled with the same emotions as every other; we were stressed and depressed, isolated, and sad. When you become a caregiver, you take on an enormous assault on your emotions and your immune system. You often unravel and deplete spiritually, physically, and financially. When that started happening to our family, I created what we wish we had, and that became Leeza’s Care Connection. I promised my mother I would tell the story of our struggle, and I would use it to help others. It is the most rewarding work I have ever done, and I feel blessed to be able to do it. Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you?  LG: Both!  I think it’s true that we often write what we need to learn. Valuing self-care and finding empowerment is a lifelong pursuit.  When I write about the power of kindness or the benefits of optimism I am fortifying my commitment to those values.  I have kept journals, on and off, since the ‘70s! At the tune, I was travelling quite a lot for Entertainment Tonight and interviewing the biggest names in the business. I was also young in my career, and I took notes from others about how to find balance and grace to go along with my ambition. I have discovered that writing helps us find answers (and better questions) to guide our actions. It shows us patterns and ways that we sabotage or subvert. I recently facilitated a Leeza’s Care Connection virtual course on journaling for caregivers. It was an exercise of self-awareness, self-care and gratitude for our

Proudly holding an Emmy for Best Host for the PBS show, My Generation .

gifts and our burdens. Our everyday experience provided the solace of a support group and the benefits of clarity and stress management that come from writing. Q: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? LG: I was competing in an essay contest in high school. We were given a speech topic and an hour to prepare before delivering our speech in front of judges and attendees.  The topic was “What’s Right About America”. I believe I won the competition because of my ability to appreciate and express language, which made my oration memorable.  At that time, I also had

“Memories Matter. When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease sharing those memories in scrapbooks can be very soul-satisfying”

quite a thick southern accent which was either ated that concept was evil and cruel! If we seek a distraction or an endearment! the ever-elusive middle of the see-saw, we will be bitter and disappointed. Instead of balancQ: What is your favorite childhood book? ing time, I think of investing time. As with any LG: I loved The Secret Garden - it was magical business venture, I look for dividends. For exand sad and uplifting all at once. Shel Silver- ample, if you’re a working woman (there’s a stein’s “The Giving Tree” was a favorite too, redundancy for you!), you may not always feel but it’s The Velveteen Rabbit that resonates that you have the ideal balance. Still, you’re deeply still because of its message about what providing for your family, setting an example of the value of work, and growing into the next real love is. phase of life when you may feel you have more Q: You’ve maintained a hectic, career, autonomy. You’re investing in your future, and can you share with our audience how those dividends will come due. you manage your work-life balance? LG: I gave up trying to balance! Whoever cre-


same as her mom, my dear Granny. Our family struggled with the same emotions as every other; we were stressed and depressed, isolated, and sad. When you become a caregiver, you take on an enormous assault on your emotions and your immune system. You often unravel and deplete spiritually, physically, and financially. When that started happening to our family, I created what we wish we had, and that became Leeza’s Care Connection. I promised my mother I would tell the story of our struggle, and I would use it to help others. It is the most rewarding work I have ever done, and I feel blessed to be able to do it. Q: Does writing energize or exhaust you?  LG: Both!  I think it’s true that we often write what we need to learn. Valuing self-care and finding empowerment is a lifelong pursuit.  When I write about the power of kindness or the benefits of optimism I am fortifying my commitment to those values.  I have kept journals, on and off, since the ‘70s! At the tune, I was travelling quite a lot for Entertainment Tonight and interviewing the biggest names in the business. I was also young in my career, and I took notes from others about how to find balance and grace to go along with my ambition. I have discovered that writing helps us find answers (and better questions) to guide our actions. It shows us patterns and ways that we sabotage or subvert. I recently facilitated a Leeza’s Care Connection virtual course on journaling for caregivers. It was an exercise of self-awareness, self-care and gratitude for our

Proudly holding an Emmy for Best Host for the PBS show, My Generation .

gifts and our burdens. Our everyday experience provided the solace of a support group and the benefits of clarity and stress management that come from writing. Q: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? LG: I was competing in an essay contest in high school. We were given a speech topic and an hour to prepare before delivering our speech in front of judges and attendees.  The topic was “What’s Right About America”. I believe I won the competition because of my ability to appreciate and express language, which made my oration memorable.  At that time, I also had

“Memories Matter. When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease sharing those memories in scrapbooks can be very soul-satisfying”

quite a thick southern accent which was either ated that concept was evil and cruel! If we seek a distraction or an endearment! the ever-elusive middle of the see-saw, we will be bitter and disappointed. Instead of balancQ: What is your favorite childhood book? ing time, I think of investing time. As with any LG: I loved The Secret Garden - it was magical business venture, I look for dividends. For exand sad and uplifting all at once. Shel Silver- ample, if you’re a working woman (there’s a stein’s “The Giving Tree” was a favorite too, redundancy for you!), you may not always feel but it’s The Velveteen Rabbit that resonates that you have the ideal balance. Still, you’re deeply still because of its message about what providing for your family, setting an example of the value of work, and growing into the next real love is. phase of life when you may feel you have more Q: You’ve maintained a hectic, career, autonomy. You’re investing in your future, and can you share with our audience how those dividends will come due. you manage your work-life balance? LG: I gave up trying to balance! Whoever cre-


Female Ground Breakers in Professional Sports

Michele Roberts: National Basketball Association

Michele Roberts was ranked Numero Uno by a panel of sports insiders for the top spot on a list of “The 25 Most Powerful Women in Sports,” and for good reason. As the current executive director of the NBA Players Association, Roberts represents the interests of over 300 of the best basketball players in the world. Michele is the first woman to ever hold the position and is first woman to head a major professional sports union in the United States. A graduate of UC Berkeley Law and former trial attorney, Roberts success is an inspiration to women everywhere.

Sarah Thomas: National Football League

NFL Down Judge Sarah Thomas has made making history a habit. In 2007 she was the first ever female official to work in a major college football game. Since then Sara was the first ever female official to work a college football bowl game, the first ever full-time female official to work in the National Football League and in January of 2019 Sarah became the first ever female official to participate in an NFL playoff game. Aside from making football history, Sarah lettered five times playing high-school softball and received a basketball scholarship to the University of Mobile where she was an academic all-American.

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird: Women’s National Basketball Association/Team USA

Legends in the making and double trouble for opposing teams, point guards Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm account for a combined eight Olympic and seven FIBA World Cup gold medals and will again team up for the 2020 Olympics. Taurasi was the first WNBA player to score 8,000 points and is the league’s all-time leader in field goals. One of the highest paid female athletes in the world, at 38 years old Sue Bird is still a backcourt phenom with ball-handling skills that rival those of any basketball player, male or female, at any level. Unless one of them breaks a leg, the 2020 gold medal should be a lock for Team USA.

Alex Morgan: Women’s Professional Soccer

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Very few players can start out at the top and stay there, but Alex Morgan has made it look easy. Soccer fans will never forget Alex Morgan’s game-winning shot in overtime that beat Canada and sent the USA Women to the gold medal match vs Japan in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Since her juggernaut debut, Alex has played professionally at home and abroad, including a stint with the French Olympique Lyonnais, where she helped the team win a French Cup and UEFA title. Most recently, in July of 2019, Morgan once again help the U.S. team win the FIFA Women’s World Cup and was awarded the Silver Boot.

Serena Williams: Professional Tennis

Ranked as Number One in the world eight different times, Serena Williams has won more combined Grand Slam tennis titles then any active player, with 39 major victories. Serena is the most recent female player to hold all four of the singles Grand Slam titles at once, is only the third player in professional tennis history to do it more than once and is also the most recent player to win a championship on hard court, grass and clay in one year. With over $28 million in earnings in 2016 and again in 2017, Williams was the only woman to make Forbes’ list of the 100 highest paid athletes. At 37 years old in 2019, Williams is ranked 8th in the world and will arguably go down in history as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.


Female Ground Breakers in Professional Sports

Michele Roberts: National Basketball Association

Michele Roberts was ranked Numero Uno by a panel of sports insiders for the top spot on a list of “The 25 Most Powerful Women in Sports,” and for good reason. As the current executive director of the NBA Players Association, Roberts represents the interests of over 300 of the best basketball players in the world. Michele is the first woman to ever hold the position and is first woman to head a major professional sports union in the United States. A graduate of UC Berkeley Law and former trial attorney, Roberts success is an inspiration to women everywhere.

Sarah Thomas: National Football League

NFL Down Judge Sarah Thomas has made making history a habit. In 2007 she was the first ever female official to work in a major college football game. Since then Sara was the first ever female official to work a college football bowl game, the first ever full-time female official to work in the National Football League and in January of 2019 Sarah became the first ever female official to participate in an NFL playoff game. Aside from making football history, Sarah lettered five times playing high-school softball and received a basketball scholarship to the University of Mobile where she was an academic all-American.

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird: Women’s National Basketball Association/Team USA

Legends in the making and double trouble for opposing teams, point guards Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm account for a combined eight Olympic and seven FIBA World Cup gold medals and will again team up for the 2020 Olympics. Taurasi was the first WNBA player to score 8,000 points and is the league’s all-time leader in field goals. One of the highest paid female athletes in the world, at 38 years old Sue Bird is still a backcourt phenom with ball-handling skills that rival those of any basketball player, male or female, at any level. Unless one of them breaks a leg, the 2020 gold medal should be a lock for Team USA.

Alex Morgan: Women’s Professional Soccer

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Very few players can start out at the top and stay there, but Alex Morgan has made it look easy. Soccer fans will never forget Alex Morgan’s game-winning shot in overtime that beat Canada and sent the USA Women to the gold medal match vs Japan in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Since her juggernaut debut, Alex has played professionally at home and abroad, including a stint with the French Olympique Lyonnais, where she helped the team win a French Cup and UEFA title. Most recently, in July of 2019, Morgan once again help the U.S. team win the FIFA Women’s World Cup and was awarded the Silver Boot.

Serena Williams: Professional Tennis

Ranked as Number One in the world eight different times, Serena Williams has won more combined Grand Slam tennis titles then any active player, with 39 major victories. Serena is the most recent female player to hold all four of the singles Grand Slam titles at once, is only the third player in professional tennis history to do it more than once and is also the most recent player to win a championship on hard court, grass and clay in one year. With over $28 million in earnings in 2016 and again in 2017, Williams was the only woman to make Forbes’ list of the 100 highest paid athletes. At 37 years old in 2019, Williams is ranked 8th in the world and will arguably go down in history as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.


Ursula Evans Leading Women in the Adventure of Self-Discovery! Author & Certified Life Coach for Women Around The World “Life isn’t about wait ing for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” Q: What made you want to write a book about self-love/care? UE: I had first-hand experience of being a doormat woman, a woman with no identity and a woman who didn’t fully love herself. Through my own personal growth, my spiritual foundation and using coaching techniques I knew I wanted to help other women who had similar debilitating issues overcome these challenges just as I had done. I want to see women free from limiting beliefs, debilitating thought patterns, self-sabotage and so much more! I wanted women to know that there is a way to combat low emotional-health and self-love is a practice which will allow women to implement each and every day. In Chapter 9 of Heart Work I share that “…real self-love/care has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot to do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long term wellness.” Q: How did your career impact the writing of your book? UE: As an Emotional Health Coach, I have an understanding what my tribe wants and needs and this is incredibly important. Most of my clients are on the go,

Ursula at a Networking Event- Panelist Speaker speaking about Heart Work Emotional Health and Self Love so they want to read content that gets straight to the point, solves real-world problems, and helps them learn new things quickly. In writing Heart Work, knowing this I keep my topics focused, and formatted my book to appeal to my target audience. As an Emotional Health Coach, I listen to my client’s aches/pain points and I wanted to use my book to address women at large who may suffer from some of the same challenges such as setting boundaries, learning more about self-validation, and learning or renewing their own self- love journey. Q: How would you describe the Heart Work process? UE: The Heart Work process begins with cleansing, discovering areas in your life that may be hindering you from loving yourself fully or simply identifying areas for growth and improvement. Time spent in the cleansing phase may bring up old wounds but this is a great phase to deal with these challenges head-on. The next phase is appreciating, where you will deal specifically with self-care, making you a priority and loving yourself from the inside out. It is necessary to appreciate yourself, reading these appreciating chapters will give the reader resources and tools to use to continue this practice long after reading Heart Work. Finally, by the end of the Heart Work process you will deal with surefire ways for you to continue your self-love journey and continuing growing even after reading Heart Work. Once, you complete the growing chapters you are armed with an arsenal of ways to keep growing and evolving. Q: Why would you say emotional health is important? UE: Emotional health is important because it is essential to living a full, and balanced life. If you do not attend to your

emotional needs, your quality of life suffers, your relationships suffer, your work suffers and your physical health also suffers. It is important to give credence to your emotional health just as you would your physical health. Emotional health is about your approach to life, and your ability to live a life of wellness. Building your emotional strength doesn’t mean that life will be easy, or perfect, or that you won’t have negative thoughts. Instead, it means being able to navigate life’s ups, and downs with confidence, and resilience, and bouncing back when things don’t go to plan. Being able to manage your emotions, thoughts, and feelings empowers you to make better decisions, and approach life with optimism. The journey to building your emotional health is one of personal growth. Q: How do you maintain your self-care/love routine and what tips do you have for others? UE: I add me to my calendar… and it’s a non-negotiable appointment with myself. One that I never cancel or “re-schedule”. It’s important to me to check in with myself and carve out space to do the things I love. The truth is if we don’t make time for self-care/love, we probably won’t find the time for it. Make self-care a non-reschedulable appointment with yourself. Schedule it in your calendar and set reminders if you need to. For example, block off 30 minutes in the morning to do yoga and 30 minutes at night to read. Tell your family or roommates what times you will be unavailable. Make it as official as possible. It can even be something as simple as planning ahead and


Ursula Evans Leading Women in the Adventure of Self-Discovery! Author & Certified Life Coach for Women Around The World “Life isn’t about wait ing for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain” Q: What made you want to write a book about self-love/care? UE: I had first-hand experience of being a doormat woman, a woman with no identity and a woman who didn’t fully love herself. Through my own personal growth, my spiritual foundation and using coaching techniques I knew I wanted to help other women who had similar debilitating issues overcome these challenges just as I had done. I want to see women free from limiting beliefs, debilitating thought patterns, self-sabotage and so much more! I wanted women to know that there is a way to combat low emotional-health and self-love is a practice which will allow women to implement each and every day. In Chapter 9 of Heart Work I share that “…real self-love/care has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot to do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long term wellness.” Q: How did your career impact the writing of your book? UE: As an Emotional Health Coach, I have an understanding what my tribe wants and needs and this is incredibly important. Most of my clients are on the go,

Ursula at a Networking Event- Panelist Speaker speaking about Heart Work Emotional Health and Self Love so they want to read content that gets straight to the point, solves real-world problems, and helps them learn new things quickly. In writing Heart Work, knowing this I keep my topics focused, and formatted my book to appeal to my target audience. As an Emotional Health Coach, I listen to my client’s aches/pain points and I wanted to use my book to address women at large who may suffer from some of the same challenges such as setting boundaries, learning more about self-validation, and learning or renewing their own self- love journey. Q: How would you describe the Heart Work process? UE: The Heart Work process begins with cleansing, discovering areas in your life that may be hindering you from loving yourself fully or simply identifying areas for growth and improvement. Time spent in the cleansing phase may bring up old wounds but this is a great phase to deal with these challenges head-on. The next phase is appreciating, where you will deal specifically with self-care, making you a priority and loving yourself from the inside out. It is necessary to appreciate yourself, reading these appreciating chapters will give the reader resources and tools to use to continue this practice long after reading Heart Work. Finally, by the end of the Heart Work process you will deal with surefire ways for you to continue your self-love journey and continuing growing even after reading Heart Work. Once, you complete the growing chapters you are armed with an arsenal of ways to keep growing and evolving. Q: Why would you say emotional health is important? UE: Emotional health is important because it is essential to living a full, and balanced life. If you do not attend to your

emotional needs, your quality of life suffers, your relationships suffer, your work suffers and your physical health also suffers. It is important to give credence to your emotional health just as you would your physical health. Emotional health is about your approach to life, and your ability to live a life of wellness. Building your emotional strength doesn’t mean that life will be easy, or perfect, or that you won’t have negative thoughts. Instead, it means being able to navigate life’s ups, and downs with confidence, and resilience, and bouncing back when things don’t go to plan. Being able to manage your emotions, thoughts, and feelings empowers you to make better decisions, and approach life with optimism. The journey to building your emotional health is one of personal growth. Q: How do you maintain your self-care/love routine and what tips do you have for others? UE: I add me to my calendar… and it’s a non-negotiable appointment with myself. One that I never cancel or “re-schedule”. It’s important to me to check in with myself and carve out space to do the things I love. The truth is if we don’t make time for self-care/love, we probably won’t find the time for it. Make self-care a non-reschedulable appointment with yourself. Schedule it in your calendar and set reminders if you need to. For example, block off 30 minutes in the morning to do yoga and 30 minutes at night to read. Tell your family or roommates what times you will be unavailable. Make it as official as possible. It can even be something as simple as planning ahead and


laying your clothes, bag, and lunch out the night before to alleviate some stress in the morning. When you plan ahead and schedule self-care/love in, it becomes easier to fit it in your days. In Chapter 9, Love on You, I encourage others to say No to the people and things that get in the way of self-care and start saying YES to yourself! Q: What’s next after Heart Work? UE: I most certainly have more than one book in me; so there will be more books of inspiration and empowerment in the future. My next immediate project is a community book project. There are many women who have dreams of becoming an Author and I want help bring their dream to reality through my anthology book project. This project will be announced August 2020 and our Signature Coaching Program will be announced in September 2020 Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? UE: I got my first job when I was 15 years old working as a Cashier at Hardees. Working at Hardees shaped me because I learned invaluable principles about leadership, collaboration, and service. I worked for a great boss who believed in mentoring and pouring into his employees. These values have stuck with me and I’m happy to say I learned these ideologies early in life. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? UE: The greatest fear I had to overcome was putting myself out there. My Heart Work success and growing from the inside out required me to be vulnerable, transparent and open with my tribe. Overcoming my fear of worrying what others thought of me, my platform, or what I had to say allowed me to share my heart with women who I wanted to see be set free and liberated; walking in freedom on their emotional health and self-love journey. Q: How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? UE: Chapter 8 in Heart Work talks about Boundaries. I say, “There are times when you may have to push your limits and take on a lot for a period of time, but make sure you check in with yourself. Are you feeling run down? Do you need a break? Did you mismanage your time and overcommit when you should actually be refueling yourself? Always evaluate where you are. Give an honest gauge of your output.” Personally, Boundaries are my best friend. Boundarieees help me keep things easy + light. I do not over commit or over extend myself. I leave work when I say I’m going to leave. I exercise when I’m supposed to, and I tell friends and family No! With a smile of course. I respect my time and activities. It’s important to maintain these balances for the positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being.   Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? UE: Focus on developing and using your strengths. Finding out what you enjoy doing and what you’re truly good at as well

as how to develop those areas is an important lesson I learned in my career. While it may take time, determining where you excel can be one of the most rewarding gifts of having a job and something you can’t learn outside the workforce. Find what you enjoy doing the most and work to develop your strength in that area. Keep in mind that no one is an overnight expert and that you’ll have to work hard to get to where you want to be. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? UE: One of my most memorable moments in my career is a client success story. I was coaching a woman who had been suffering with self-identity and emotional health challenges. It was so rewarding and memorable to see the great strides and work she put in to make positive changes in her life. Her determination met with coaching support and accountability, she was able to see the root of her self-identity challenges and from that point on it was moving to watch her grow in areas where she was once challenged. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? UE: I’m inspired by Marshawn Evans- Daniels. She is a reinvention strategist and life coach mentoring women all over the world to live a BOLD life. She left a high powered law firm and turned her passion for people into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. I absolutely admire her and her mission. She’s proven it can be done. She is my light. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? UE: I hear the same thing over and over from my busy professional clients. These women are all busy with career, parenthood, marriage, and some caregivers. The resounding challenge women face is carving out time for self-care/self-love and feeling guilty when they do commit to self-care/self-love. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? UE: At companies where women are underrepresented, it might seem tempting to fall into the trap of competing with other women. But that misses the point. One easy way to support other women is through a mentorship relationship. A good mentor can provide career advice, counsel during stressful times, and unwavering support. And you don’t have to be a member of the C-suite to provide guidance to another female employee, either. Women should seek out mentors who are only one step ahead in their career — their advice can be invaluable since they made it to the next step in the management hierarchy fairly recently. My best advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace is to seek out mentors with varied experience to get varied perspectives on your career. Always Stand in your Truth. What I have learned, in my humble years as a woman, is that being a strong woman means being unapologetically, fiercely and wholeheartedly YOU no matter what. Q: What self-care tips do you recommend during stressful times?

Ursula with a Group Of Women Sharing their Final Self Love Vision Board UE: When you’re stressed, self-care is often the first thing to go. Fortunately, there are several pathways to self-care, and none of them need to be difficult or take a lot of planning. I recommend starting with the following: Address unmet needs. When you can’t meet a certain need it can be exceptionally frustrating. Silently acknowledge that you’d like to satisfy this need in the future. Addressing your needs — even when they can’t be met — is a significant form of emotional self-care that can help hold you over until the storm passes. Check in with yourself. Self-care is all about listening. My biggest tip, is to sit still and pay attention. Literally, just sit for five minutes — somewhere quiet and cozy – and do a quick check-in physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, asking what do I notice?’ What do I need?’ in each area. Ask for help. When your plate is too full, remind yourself to reach out. Precisely, ask: “Can someone else do this?” Q: When people book a coaching session with you, what can they expect? What is the recommended number of sessions to see results? UE: Coaching with me is honest and loving. The battery of questions asked WILL challenge you and equip you for success. Coaching is a powerful conversation and support system that empowers you to experience your potential more quickly, easily and joyfully. It provides accountability, a sounding

board, and a way to overcome fears or challenges. Coaching is an ongoing tool that empowers you to move from where you are now to where you want to be. Coaching focuses on where you are presently and where you are headed, with a goal of helping you gain clarity, eliminate obstacles to your success, and accelerate the pace of growth.  Coaching with me is forward focused. I recommend a minimum of three months for clients to establish a coaching relationship and begin to see significant results. Q: What would you tell younger you (10 years ago? 5 years ago? Last year?) UE: Ten Years Ago: Accept yourself as God made you. I spent too many years fighting this battle and it took a long time to surrender, and by that time it carried extremely painful ramifications. How I wish I could tell the young me that it is okay to be true to yourself. Because God does not make mistakes. Five Years Ago: I would advise my younger self to just say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes your way. No responsibility is beneath you. These are all stops on the path to your career, and don’t be that person that just waits for their turn to talk. Listen, care and then react. Last Year: Bless others. Be a positive influence in any way you can. Even simple little supportive acts can make others — and you — much happier.


laying your clothes, bag, and lunch out the night before to alleviate some stress in the morning. When you plan ahead and schedule self-care/love in, it becomes easier to fit it in your days. In Chapter 9, Love on You, I encourage others to say No to the people and things that get in the way of self-care and start saying YES to yourself! Q: What’s next after Heart Work? UE: I most certainly have more than one book in me; so there will be more books of inspiration and empowerment in the future. My next immediate project is a community book project. There are many women who have dreams of becoming an Author and I want help bring their dream to reality through my anthology book project. This project will be announced August 2020 and our Signature Coaching Program will be announced in September 2020 Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? UE: I got my first job when I was 15 years old working as a Cashier at Hardees. Working at Hardees shaped me because I learned invaluable principles about leadership, collaboration, and service. I worked for a great boss who believed in mentoring and pouring into his employees. These values have stuck with me and I’m happy to say I learned these ideologies early in life. Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? UE: The greatest fear I had to overcome was putting myself out there. My Heart Work success and growing from the inside out required me to be vulnerable, transparent and open with my tribe. Overcoming my fear of worrying what others thought of me, my platform, or what I had to say allowed me to share my heart with women who I wanted to see be set free and liberated; walking in freedom on their emotional health and self-love journey. Q: How do you maintain a healthy work life balance? UE: Chapter 8 in Heart Work talks about Boundaries. I say, “There are times when you may have to push your limits and take on a lot for a period of time, but make sure you check in with yourself. Are you feeling run down? Do you need a break? Did you mismanage your time and overcommit when you should actually be refueling yourself? Always evaluate where you are. Give an honest gauge of your output.” Personally, Boundaries are my best friend. Boundarieees help me keep things easy + light. I do not over commit or over extend myself. I leave work when I say I’m going to leave. I exercise when I’m supposed to, and I tell friends and family No! With a smile of course. I respect my time and activities. It’s important to maintain these balances for the positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being.   Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? UE: Focus on developing and using your strengths. Finding out what you enjoy doing and what you’re truly good at as well

as how to develop those areas is an important lesson I learned in my career. While it may take time, determining where you excel can be one of the most rewarding gifts of having a job and something you can’t learn outside the workforce. Find what you enjoy doing the most and work to develop your strength in that area. Keep in mind that no one is an overnight expert and that you’ll have to work hard to get to where you want to be. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments in your career? UE: One of my most memorable moments in my career is a client success story. I was coaching a woman who had been suffering with self-identity and emotional health challenges. It was so rewarding and memorable to see the great strides and work she put in to make positive changes in her life. Her determination met with coaching support and accountability, she was able to see the root of her self-identity challenges and from that point on it was moving to watch her grow in areas where she was once challenged. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? UE: I’m inspired by Marshawn Evans- Daniels. She is a reinvention strategist and life coach mentoring women all over the world to live a BOLD life. She left a high powered law firm and turned her passion for people into a multimillion-dollar enterprise. I absolutely admire her and her mission. She’s proven it can be done. She is my light. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? UE: I hear the same thing over and over from my busy professional clients. These women are all busy with career, parenthood, marriage, and some caregivers. The resounding challenge women face is carving out time for self-care/self-love and feeling guilty when they do commit to self-care/self-love. Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? UE: At companies where women are underrepresented, it might seem tempting to fall into the trap of competing with other women. But that misses the point. One easy way to support other women is through a mentorship relationship. A good mentor can provide career advice, counsel during stressful times, and unwavering support. And you don’t have to be a member of the C-suite to provide guidance to another female employee, either. Women should seek out mentors who are only one step ahead in their career — their advice can be invaluable since they made it to the next step in the management hierarchy fairly recently. My best advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace is to seek out mentors with varied experience to get varied perspectives on your career. Always Stand in your Truth. What I have learned, in my humble years as a woman, is that being a strong woman means being unapologetically, fiercely and wholeheartedly YOU no matter what. Q: What self-care tips do you recommend during stressful times?

Ursula with a Group Of Women Sharing their Final Self Love Vision Board UE: When you’re stressed, self-care is often the first thing to go. Fortunately, there are several pathways to self-care, and none of them need to be difficult or take a lot of planning. I recommend starting with the following: Address unmet needs. When you can’t meet a certain need it can be exceptionally frustrating. Silently acknowledge that you’d like to satisfy this need in the future. Addressing your needs — even when they can’t be met — is a significant form of emotional self-care that can help hold you over until the storm passes. Check in with yourself. Self-care is all about listening. My biggest tip, is to sit still and pay attention. Literally, just sit for five minutes — somewhere quiet and cozy – and do a quick check-in physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, asking what do I notice?’ What do I need?’ in each area. Ask for help. When your plate is too full, remind yourself to reach out. Precisely, ask: “Can someone else do this?” Q: When people book a coaching session with you, what can they expect? What is the recommended number of sessions to see results? UE: Coaching with me is honest and loving. The battery of questions asked WILL challenge you and equip you for success. Coaching is a powerful conversation and support system that empowers you to experience your potential more quickly, easily and joyfully. It provides accountability, a sounding

board, and a way to overcome fears or challenges. Coaching is an ongoing tool that empowers you to move from where you are now to where you want to be. Coaching focuses on where you are presently and where you are headed, with a goal of helping you gain clarity, eliminate obstacles to your success, and accelerate the pace of growth.  Coaching with me is forward focused. I recommend a minimum of three months for clients to establish a coaching relationship and begin to see significant results. Q: What would you tell younger you (10 years ago? 5 years ago? Last year?) UE: Ten Years Ago: Accept yourself as God made you. I spent too many years fighting this battle and it took a long time to surrender, and by that time it carried extremely painful ramifications. How I wish I could tell the young me that it is okay to be true to yourself. Because God does not make mistakes. Five Years Ago: I would advise my younger self to just say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes your way. No responsibility is beneath you. These are all stops on the path to your career, and don’t be that person that just waits for their turn to talk. Listen, care and then react. Last Year: Bless others. Be a positive influence in any way you can. Even simple little supportive acts can make others — and you — much happier.


has done extensive research on monetary and fiscal policy from the time of the Great Depression to the present day. In 2008, she joined the Obama Administration as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Professor Romer currently teaches at the University of California Berkeley Department of Economics. Thea Lee was the first woman ever to be named as the President of the Economic Policy Institute. She began her career working as a trade economist at the Institute during the 1990s and later worked with the most prominent labor organization in the country, the AFL-CIO. She earned an appointment to the Congressional United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission in December 2019. The commission was established in 2000 to oversee the details of the trade war. As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, a non-profit organization, she assisted with finalizing the details of the Green New Deal, proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Women & the World Economy

Trade is one of the significant factors that stabilize the world economy. However, some countries have been economically excluded from advances in technology, the creation of jobs, and expanding supply chains across borders. Natural disasters, climate change, and geopolitical tension among nations is a risk to emerging countries. Despite the setbacks and turmoil in many regions, there is some good news for the worldwide economy. Women around the globe are engaged in economic activity, which could increase the GDP to $28 trillion as soon as 2025. Here are some of the prominent women who affect the world economy.

Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician who began serving as the President of the European Central Bank in November 2019. She previously held the positions of Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Industry, Minister of Commerce, and Minister of Agriculture and Fishing. Lagarde was the first woman to be named the Finance Minister of a GB economy. As a prominent labor and anti-trust lawyer, she was the first woman to be appointed Chair of Baker & McKenzie, a leading international law firm. In 2019, Lagarde was named by Forbes as the Second Most Powerful Woman in the World. Christina Romer is the former vice-president of the American Economic Association; She earned her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked as an assistant professor at Princeton before accepting a position as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Romer

Dr. Stefania Paredes Fuentes is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. Dr. Fuentes is a noted lecturer who coordinated Economic modules at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She is involved with research in Macroeconomics and Development Economics, Institutional Economics, and Economics and Economic History of Latin America. In January 2020, Dr. Fuentes is organizing the first workshop of its kind on Economics for Women Students at the University. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez majored in economics and international relations at Boston University and graduated cum laude in 2011. Her platform includes free trade school and public college, a federal jobs guarantee, Medicare for all, and abolishing the ICE agency. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts co-sponsored the Green New Deal legislation which addresses the issue of economic inequality among different countries and groups of people, and the long-term effects of global warming.


has done extensive research on monetary and fiscal policy from the time of the Great Depression to the present day. In 2008, she joined the Obama Administration as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. Professor Romer currently teaches at the University of California Berkeley Department of Economics. Thea Lee was the first woman ever to be named as the President of the Economic Policy Institute. She began her career working as a trade economist at the Institute during the 1990s and later worked with the most prominent labor organization in the country, the AFL-CIO. She earned an appointment to the Congressional United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission in December 2019. The commission was established in 2000 to oversee the details of the trade war. As a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, a non-profit organization, she assisted with finalizing the details of the Green New Deal, proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Women & the World Economy

Trade is one of the significant factors that stabilize the world economy. However, some countries have been economically excluded from advances in technology, the creation of jobs, and expanding supply chains across borders. Natural disasters, climate change, and geopolitical tension among nations is a risk to emerging countries. Despite the setbacks and turmoil in many regions, there is some good news for the worldwide economy. Women around the globe are engaged in economic activity, which could increase the GDP to $28 trillion as soon as 2025. Here are some of the prominent women who affect the world economy.

Christine Lagarde is a French lawyer and politician who began serving as the President of the European Central Bank in November 2019. She previously held the positions of Minister of the Economy, Finance, and Industry, Minister of Commerce, and Minister of Agriculture and Fishing. Lagarde was the first woman to be named the Finance Minister of a GB economy. As a prominent labor and anti-trust lawyer, she was the first woman to be appointed Chair of Baker & McKenzie, a leading international law firm. In 2019, Lagarde was named by Forbes as the Second Most Powerful Woman in the World. Christina Romer is the former vice-president of the American Economic Association; She earned her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked as an assistant professor at Princeton before accepting a position as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Romer

Dr. Stefania Paredes Fuentes is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick. Dr. Fuentes is a noted lecturer who coordinated Economic modules at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She is involved with research in Macroeconomics and Development Economics, Institutional Economics, and Economics and Economic History of Latin America. In January 2020, Dr. Fuentes is organizing the first workshop of its kind on Economics for Women Students at the University. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez majored in economics and international relations at Boston University and graduated cum laude in 2011. Her platform includes free trade school and public college, a federal jobs guarantee, Medicare for all, and abolishing the ICE agency. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts co-sponsored the Green New Deal legislation which addresses the issue of economic inequality among different countries and groups of people, and the long-term effects of global warming.


Meet Denise Bevers

Our mission is to bring our pets the same kinds of innovative, safe, and effective medicines that our human family members enjoy

Co-Founder & COO of KindredBio Q: Why/how did you get into the animal health industry? DB: For over 20 years I worked in the human drug development and medical communications industries, managing dozens of products and development programs from Phase I though Phase IV. While I enjoyed what I was doing, I wanted to do something that also paired with my love for animals and degree in zoology. I was fortunate to be able to leverage my years of experience in drug development and investor relations to co-found KindredBio, a company dedicated to developing cutting-edge therapeutics for cats, dogs, and horses. As the parent of frogs, hermit crabs, mice, rats, bunnies, hamsters, and a dog as a child (not all at the same time), my mother is not surprised by my success or that of KindredBio! Q: Who has been a career inspiration to you? DB: I met my co-founder and KindredBio CEO, Dr. Richard Chin, when we worked together at Elan Pharmaceuticals. Right away, I felt connected to him and his business philosophies. As a Harvard-trained physician and former Rhodes Scholar, with a track record of almost a dozen drug approvals, I knew I could learn from him and that my clinical operations expertise and management skills would benefit him as well. When we left Elan, we kept in touch and I always knew we would work together again. Then, in 2012, we began to talk about how we could pair our decades of experience and love of animals to start a veterinary biopharmaceutical company. That’s when we started KindredBio and never looked back. I feel very fortunate to be in partnership with Richard because our diverse skill set and management styles that really complement one another. Q: People think of pets as part of their family, how does that fit in with what you do? DB: Our fury companions have truly become members of the family proven by Americans spending $700 million each year on Valentine’s Day gifts for our beloved pets. The evolution of the pet as a family member has been relatively short. In my lifetime, I have seen dogs move from the yard, to the dog house, to a sequestered room behind a gate, and now, 40% of pets sleep in bed with their pet parents! In 2016, pet owners in the U.S. spent over $66 billion on their pets, and increase of over 10% from the year before. There is a critical need, and

willingness to pay, for innovative medicines for our pets. We found that there are few companies dedicated to developing such therapies for companion animals, with a market in dire need, which is why we founded KindredBio. Q: What’s KindredBio’s mission? DB: Our mission is to bring our pets the same kinds of innovative, safe, and effective medicines that our human family members enjoy. Our core strategy is to leverage the billions of dollars that have been invested in human drug development by modifying, improving, and repurposing pre-existing drugs and pursuing biological targets that have already proven to be safe and effective in humans. We have developed a team of veterinarians, scientists, and operational experts who love animals and want to develop therapeutics that have been appropriately studied and, eventually, approved by FDA for use in pets. The passion that we have for pet wellness is infectious throughout the organization. Q: Why did you decide to headquarter the company in Silicon Valley? DB: We love the energy that comes with working in an innovative hub of technology like Silicon Valley. The bay area is an epicenter of biotechnology and Richard, who spent years as the head of Clinical Research for biotherapeutics at Genentech, has recruited a world-class team of scientists and protein engineers to develop our cutting-edge biologics for cats, dogs, and horses. Because of the talent in the area, we have put together an incredible team that is innovating in lockstep with human breakthroughs, such as those in immunotherapy. Importantly, the energy of the valley, along with the great weather and access to outdoor pursuits, is what allows us to attract top talent to our organization. Q: What were some of the challenges you faced as a woman raising money on Wall Street? DB: I grew up in biotech and pharma in California, and was fortunate that I did not feel limited by a glass ceiling in my career trajectory. It was quite apparent to me as we began our testing-the-waters meetings and eventual IPO roadshow that there were many fewer female decision-makers on Wall Street. There were entire days on the roadshow when I would not see a single woman at the table. I have always felt that, regardless of gender, it is critical to know your business and industry better than any-

one else in the room. Because we had a very strong business plan that I knew inside-and-out, I did not feel a need to alter my pitch because of my gender. The fact that my passion for animals and KindredBio shines through my pitch, perhaps more because of my delivery as a woman, is only an asset. I am happy to say that, in the nearly four years as a publicly-held company, I do meet more and more female investors at the table who are decision-makers.

and competitors to the product and the customer. Do your homework. Combine your passion and knowledge with drive and persistence, and you are well on your way.

SVL: Tell me about the drugs you have in development and how they help animals? DB: We are currently anticipating FDA approval and launch of Zimeta™ (dipyrone injection), a novel, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for the control of fever in horses, and Mirataz™ (mirtazapine 2% topical ointment) for the management of weight loss in cats. It says so much about our team that we have two drugs under review by FDA in less than 5 years of founding the company. In addition to those products, we have approximately 20 products in development for a variety of diseases for cats, dogs, and horses. In the future, we will be helping animals with autoimmune diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders, to name a few.

SVL: What is the best advice you’ve ever received? DB: While my Mom didn’t verbalize advice as much as she led by example, she taught me to follow my passion, regardless of where society pushed me (or even where she thought I should be heading). She raised two girls as a single parent and worked two jobs at once, as a special education teacher and a waitress. She also got her Master’s degree before I graduated high school and found time to attend the Academy of Dramatic Arts to fulfill her creative needs. As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, she was a phenomenal role model, who taught me that a woman could be anything she set out to be. She supported my every whim as a child, as long as it was something I was passionate about. I saw the way she loved teaching and nurturing children with learning challenges, and the fulfillment she received in return, which showed me how to have a

SVL: What is your advice for companies who are fundraising for their businesses? DB: Tout your brain and your heart. Telling your story and conveying your vision is a huge part of connecting with a potential investor. Your heart will show how much you believe in what you are doing. Investors will see that. It’s equally important to show your knowledge of what you are selling. Investors want to see that you know what you are talking about – from the industry

rewarding career, driven by passion. SVL: What hobbies or interests do you enjoy when you aren’t working? DB: My husband, Lon, and I enjoy traveling, music, and theater in our spare time. We have had the opportunity to support theatrical productions on and off Broadway. In additional to adventure travel, we find the dozens of concerts we attend each year to be a great way to be in the moment and relax. We have recently become horse enthusiasts and owners of a grand prix show jumper, Wasco, as well as parent to a border collie, Betty, and two cats, Gladys and Glover.


Meet Denise Bevers

Our mission is to bring our pets the same kinds of innovative, safe, and effective medicines that our human family members enjoy

Co-Founder & COO of KindredBio SVL: Why/how did you get into the animal health industry? DB: For over 20 years I worked in the human drug development and medical communications industries, managing dozens of products and development programs from Phase I though Phase IV. While I enjoyed what I was doing, I wanted to do something that also paired with my love for animals and degree in zoology. I was fortunate to be able to leverage my years of experience in drug development and investor relations to co-found KindredBio, a company dedicated to developing cutting-edge therapeutics for cats, dogs, and horses. As the parent of frogs, hermit crabs, mice, rats, bunnies, hamsters, and a dog as a child (not all at the same time), my mother is not surprised by my success or that of KindredBio! SVL: Who has been a career inspiration to you? DB: I met my co-founder and KindredBio CEO, Dr. Richard Chin, when we worked together at Elan Pharmaceuticals. Right away, I felt connected to him and his business philosophies. As a Harvard-trained physician and former Rhodes Scholar, with a track record of almost a dozen drug approvals, I knew I could learn from him and that my clinical operations expertise and management skills would benefit him as well. When we left Elan, we kept in touch and I always knew we would work together again. Then, in 2012, we began to talk about how we could pair our decades of experience and love of animals to start a veterinary biopharmaceutical company. That’s when we started KindredBio and never looked back. I feel very fortunate to be in partnership with Richard because our diverse skill set and management styles that really complement one another. SVL: People think of pets as part of their family, how does that fit in with what you do? DB: Our fury companions have truly become members of the family proven by Americans spending $700 million each year on Valentine’s Day gifts for our beloved pets. The evolution of the pet as a family member has been relatively short. In my lifetime, I have seen dogs move from the yard, to the dog house, to a sequestered room behind a gate, and now, 40% of pets sleep in bed with their pet parents! In 2016, pet owners in the U.S. spent over $66 billion on their pets, and increase of over 10% from the year before. There is a critical need, and

willingness to pay, for innovative medicines for our pets. We found that there are few companies dedicated to developing such therapies for companion animals, with a market in dire need, which is why we founded KindredBio. SVL: What’s KindredBio’s mission? DB: Our mission is to bring our pets the same kinds of innovative, safe, and effective medicines that our human family members enjoy. Our core strategy is to leverage the billions of dollars that have been invested in human drug development by modifying, improving, and repurposing pre-existing drugs and pursuing biological targets that have already proven to be safe and effective in humans. We have developed a team of veterinarians, scientists, and operational experts who love animals and want to develop therapeutics that have been appropriately studied and, eventually, approved by FDA for use in pets. The passion that we have for pet wellness is infectious throughout the organization. SVL: Why did you decide to headquarter the company in Silicon Valley? DB: We love the energy that comes with working in an innovative hub of technology like Silicon Valley. The bay area is an epicenter of biotechnology and Richard, who spent years as the head of Clinical Research for biotherapeutics at Genentech, has recruited a world-class team of scientists and protein engineers to develop our cutting-edge biologics for cats, dogs, and horses. Because of the talent in the area, we have put together an incredible team that is innovating in lockstep with human breakthroughs, such as those in immunotherapy. Importantly, the energy of the valley, along with the great weather and access to outdoor pursuits, is what allows us to attract top talent to our organization. SVL: What were some of the challenges you faced as a woman raising money on Wall Street? DB: I grew up in biotech and pharma in California, and was fortunate that I did not feel limited by a glass ceiling in my career trajectory. It was quite apparent to me as we began our testing-the-waters meetings and eventual IPO roadshow that there were many fewer female decision-makers on Wall Street. There were entire days on the roadshow when I would not see a single woman at the table. I have always felt that, regardless of gender, it is critical to know your business and industry better than any-

one else in the room. Because we had a very strong business plan that I knew inside-and-out, I did not feel a need to alter my pitch because of my gender. The fact that my passion for animals and KindredBio shines through my pitch, perhaps more because of my delivery as a woman, is only an asset. I am happy to say that, in the nearly four years as a publicly-held company, I do meet more and more female investors at the table who are decision-makers.

and competitors to the product and the customer. Do your homework. Combine your passion and knowledge with drive and persistence, and you are well on your way.

Q: Tell me about the drugs you have in development and how they help animals? DB: We are currently anticipating FDA approval and launch of Zimeta™ (dipyrone injection), a novel, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for the control of fever in horses, and Mirataz™ (mirtazapine 2% topical ointment) for the management of weight loss in cats. It says so much about our team that we have two drugs under review by FDA in less than 5 years of founding the company. In addition to those products, we have approximately 20 products in development for a variety of diseases for cats, dogs, and horses. In the future, we will be helping animals with autoimmune diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders, to name a few.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received? DB: While my Mom didn’t verbalize advice as much as she led by example, she taught me to follow my passion, regardless of where society pushed me (or even where she thought I should be heading). She raised two girls as a single parent and worked two jobs at once, as a special education teacher and a waitress. She also got her Master’s degree before I graduated high school and found time to attend the Academy of Dramatic Arts to fulfill her creative needs. As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, she was a phenomenal role model, who taught me that a woman could be anything she set out to be. She supported my every whim as a child, as long as it was something I was passionate about. I saw the way she loved teaching and nurturing children with learning challenges, and the fulfillment she received in return, which showed me how to have a

Q: What is your advice for companies who are fundraising for their businesses? DB: Tout your brain and your heart. Telling your story and conveying your vision is a huge part of connecting with a potential investor. Your heart will show how much you believe in what you are doing. Investors will see that. It’s equally important to show your knowledge of what you are selling. Investors want to see that you know what you are talking about – from the industry

rewarding career, driven by passion. Q: What hobbies or interests do you enjoy when you aren’t working? DB: My husband, Lon, and I enjoy traveling, music, and theater in our spare time. We have had the opportunity to support theatrical productions on and off Broadway. In additional to adventure travel, we find the dozens of concerts we attend each year to be a great way to be in the moment and relax. We have recently become horse enthusiasts and owners of a grand prix show jumper, Wasco, as well as parent to a border collie, Betty, and two cats, Gladys and Glover.


They often say that the future is female, and they’re not wrong at all. Women are beginning to truly take the world by storm. They’re covering many different sectors, too. Women are starting to become bigger forces in everything from athletics to business. If you look around, you’ll probably notice that there are more small businesses owned by women than ever before. Things are changing in rapid and meaningful ways all over the United States and globe. It doesn’t look like things are going back ever again, either.

Small Businesses and

Female Owners

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Women of past decades and centuries were often kept down by societal standards. They in many cases felt as though they had no option but to lead certain types of lives. It wasn’t uncommon for women to believe that they had no option but to remain at home. The situation is totally different now, however, and without a doubt for the better. Women are rapidly discovering that they have more options than ever. It doesn’t matter if a woman wants to pursue a life as a small business owner. It doesn’t matter if she wants to go after a rewarding career as a staff member for a massive corporation, either. Women are gaining major traction in all sorts of career divisions. They’re setting fantastic examples for young girls that are part of newer generations, too.


They often say that the future is female, and they’re not wrong at all. Women are beginning to truly take the world by storm. They’re covering many different sectors, too. Women are starting to become bigger forces in everything from athletics to business. If you look around, you’ll probably notice that there are more small businesses owned by women than ever before. Things are changing in rapid and meaningful ways all over the United States and globe. It doesn’t look like things are going back ever again, either.

Small Businesses and

Female Owners

Women in sports have come a long way since the inception of Title IX in 1965. In an industry that had for so long been dominated by men, women have assumed their rightful place as being able to hold their own both on the field and in the front office, even obliterating the glass ceiling in some instances. Here are just a few cases in point:

Women of past decades and centuries were often kept down by societal standards. They in many cases felt as though they had no option but to lead certain types of lives. It wasn’t uncommon for women to believe that they had no option but to remain at home. The situation is totally different now, however, and without a doubt for the better. Women are rapidly discovering that they have more options than ever. It doesn’t matter if a woman wants to pursue a life as a small business owner. It doesn’t matter if she wants to go after a rewarding career as a staff member for a massive corporation, either. Women are gaining major traction in all sorts of career divisions. They’re setting fantastic examples for young girls that are part of newer generations, too.


longer taking others telling them that they cannot accomplish certain objectives. Women are not sitting back and settling for things. They’re standing up for themselves. They’re speaking up about the things on the planet that make them feel the most passionate. It’s happening in women across many different walks of life. It’s happening in women of many different age categorizations as well.

Women and Small Businesses of All Kinds Little girls are growing up with so many positive female role models around them. It isn’t hard to come across female small business owners in this day and age. If you visit a bakery or general dining establishment in your community, there’s a strong chance that it’s owned and operated by a hard-working woman. Women are quickly learning about all of the ins and outs that are associated with keeping businesses running smoothly. They’re figuring out the fundamentals of getting their hands-on business loans of all kinds. They’re figuring out the logistics that are part of recruiting staff members. They’re figuring out how to train their team mem-

bers. These things are only the beginning. There are many women nowadays who have bosses and who appreciate their careers. There are also many women who are having serious epiphanies. They’re realizing that they can opt to be their own bosses if they wish. They’re realizing that there are choices that go beyond being part of a company’s staff. They can make pertinent choices that relate to staffing. They can make meaningful choices that relate to getting their hands-on supplies and tools. What makes things so different for women who are keen on the concept of entrepreneurship as of late? Women are no

Women are becoming more supportive of their fellow female entrepreneurs, too. It’s not atypical to see women giving their full support to other businesses that are owned and managed by female aficionados. Sisterhood is more than alive in the United States. It’s more than alive all around the planet, too. Young girls in elementary schools are learning that sisterhood is a wonderful thing. They’re starting to make it a huge priority in their existences. Women have a lot of potential. The future may revolve around women and all their possibilities. They’re making enormous waves in all sorts of fields and industries. They’re thriving in science. They’re thriving in politics. They’re thriving in many sectors that go beyond those as well. It’s going to be fascinating to see where women will go next. Small businesses that are run by women are going to become even more ubiquitous.


longer taking others telling them that they cannot accomplish certain objectives. Women are not sitting back and settling for things. They’re standing up for themselves. They’re speaking up about the things on the planet that make them feel the most passionate. It’s happening in women across many different walks of life. It’s happening in women of many different age categorizations as well.

Women and Small Businesses of All Kinds Little girls are growing up with so many positive female role models around them. It isn’t hard to come across female small business owners in this day and age. If you visit a bakery or general dining establishment in your community, there’s a strong chance that it’s owned and operated by a hard-working woman. Women are quickly learning about all of the ins and outs that are associated with keeping businesses running smoothly. They’re figuring out the fundamentals of getting their hands-on business loans of all kinds. They’re figuring out the logistics that are part of recruiting staff members. They’re figuring out how to train their team mem-

bers. These things are only the beginning. There are many women nowadays who have bosses and who appreciate their careers. There are also many women who are having serious epiphanies. They’re realizing that they can opt to be their own bosses if they wish. They’re realizing that there are choices that go beyond being part of a company’s staff. They can make pertinent choices that relate to staffing. They can make meaningful choices that relate to getting their hands-on supplies and tools. What makes things so different for women who are keen on the concept of entrepreneurship as of late? Women are no

Women are becoming more supportive of their fellow female entrepreneurs, too. It’s not atypical to see women giving their full support to other businesses that are owned and managed by female aficionados. Sisterhood is more than alive in the United States. It’s more than alive all around the planet, too. Young girls in elementary schools are learning that sisterhood is a wonderful thing. They’re starting to make it a huge priority in their existences. Women have a lot of potential. The future may revolve around women and all their possibilities. They’re making enormous waves in all sorts of fields and industries. They’re thriving in science. They’re thriving in politics. They’re thriving in many sectors that go beyond those as well. It’s going to be fascinating to see where women will go next. Small businesses that are run by women are going to become even more ubiquitous.


Progress & Experience with A Passion for Education A Leader with Dedication & Loyalty Meet Orange County Public Schools Superintendent,

Dr. Barbara Jenkins

“Our partnership with Khan Academy was groundbreaking in opening access to preparation for the SAT in order to increase college opportunities for students”

Dr. Barbara Jenkins has been dedicated to serving the needs of students for 30 years. She was named superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in 2012. Under Dr. Jenkins’ leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The prize earned half-a-million dollars for student scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The district also received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and 2015 and the Sustained Excellence Award in 2017 for its exemplary performance using research-based best practices in its business. In 2016, OCPS received District Accreditation from AdvancED for its best practices in the education field. OCPS has repeatedly been recognized by the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the number of students earning exam scores for college credit. Dr. Jenkins is a recognized education leader. In January 2017, she received a presidential appointment as a director of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of the Great City Schools, Chiefs for Change, The Wall Street Journal CEO Council and the Florida Council of 100. She is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. In 2017, she was named the Florida Superintendent of the Year and one of four finalists for the national title. The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents named her Hispanic-Serving School District Superintendent of the Year and the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education named her CTE Superintendent of the Year. Recognized for her commitment and influence, both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named her as one of the 10 most powerful people in Central Florida on multiple occasions; Orlando Magazine ranked her number one in Education among its 2018 “50 Most Powerful.” The Orlando Business Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. In 2014, she was named the Visionary Award recipient by the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council and the Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council. Deeply engaged in the community, Dr. Jenkins serves on the boards of United Arts of Central Florida, Orlando Economic Partnership, Florida Hospital, Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness and the Orange County Youth Mental Health Commission.

Q: When your career in Education started, did you have any idea, you would be where you are today? Dr. Jenkins: No, I really loved teaching but was drawn into leadership roles over the course of my career. Q: Tell us how you transitioned from teaching in the classroom to an administrative role? Dr. Jenkins: My principal, Jim Kaiser saw potential in me and motivated me to take on greater responsibilities. He said things like “Don’t you want to make good things happen for more children beyond your classroom?” He moved me to team leader for my grade level and encouraged me to pursue a graduate degree to become a principal so I could influence an entire school. I completed graduate school and moved from resource teacher to school

principal and then central office roles. Each transition included an expanded capability of positively impacting the lives of students. Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that teachers face today? Dr. Jenkins: Teachers have many challenges, including the lack of funding and respect for public education at a national and state level. Secondly, they have to deal with the growing needs of our families and community. OCPS serves 212,000 students, including those from very affluent families and 9,000 who come from a family that is homeless. Teachers must differentiate their support and instruction in the classroom to provide equity for every student. They must tend to many needs beyond the curriculum and be mindful not to miss the giftedness of a student who also happens to be homeless. Thirdly, teachers are


Progress & Experience with A Passion for Education A Leader with Dedication & Loyalty Meet Orange County Public Schools Superintendent,

Dr. Barbara Jenkins

“Our partnership with Khan Academy was groundbreaking in opening access to preparation for the SAT in order to increase college opportunities for students”

Dr. Barbara Jenkins has been dedicated to serving the needs of students for 30 years. She was named superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in 2012. Under Dr. Jenkins’ leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The prize earned half-a-million dollars for student scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The district also received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and 2015 and the Sustained Excellence Award in 2017 for its exemplary performance using research-based best practices in its business. In 2016, OCPS received District Accreditation from AdvancED for its best practices in the education field. OCPS has repeatedly been recognized by the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the number of students earning exam scores for college credit. Dr. Jenkins is a recognized education leader. In January 2017, she received a presidential appointment as a director of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of the Great City Schools, Chiefs for Change, The Wall Street Journal CEO Council and the Florida Council of 100. She is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. In 2017, she was named the Florida Superintendent of the Year and one of four finalists for the national title. The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents named her Hispanic-Serving School District Superintendent of the Year and the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education named her CTE Superintendent of the Year. Recognized for her commitment and influence, both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named her as one of the 10 most powerful people in Central Florida on multiple occasions; Orlando Magazine ranked her number one in Education among its 2018 “50 Most Powerful.” The Orlando Business Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. In 2014, she was named the Visionary Award recipient by the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council and the Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council. Deeply engaged in the community, Dr. Jenkins serves on the boards of United Arts of Central Florida, Orlando Economic Partnership, Florida Hospital, Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness and the Orange County Youth Mental Health Commission.

Q: When your career in Education started, did you have any idea, you would be where you are today? Dr. Jenkins: No, I really loved teaching but was drawn into leadership roles over the course of my career. Q: Tell us how you transitioned from teaching in the classroom to an administrative role? Dr. Jenkins: My principal, Jim Kaiser saw potential in me and motivated me to take on greater responsibilities. He said things like “Don’t you want to make good things happen for more children beyond your classroom?” He moved me to team leader for my grade level and encouraged me to pursue a graduate degree to become a principal so I could influence an entire school. I completed graduate school and moved from resource teacher to school

principal and then central office roles. Each transition included an expanded capability of positively impacting the lives of students. Q: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that teachers face today? Dr. Jenkins: Teachers have many challenges, including the lack of funding and respect for public education at a national and state level. Secondly, they have to deal with the growing needs of our families and community. OCPS serves 212,000 students, including those from very affluent families and 9,000 who come from a family that is homeless. Teachers must differentiate their support and instruction in the classroom to provide equity for every student. They must tend to many needs beyond the curriculum and be mindful not to miss the giftedness of a student who also happens to be homeless. Thirdly, teachers are


Dr. Jenkins: I believe women will continue to deal with gender equity issues in the work setting. Pay equity comparisons are disheartening and will take major efforts to solve. In education, the greatest challenges will revolve around mitigating issues in society that greatly impact children, including poverty, mental health and discrimination. Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? Dr. Jenkins: Teamwork is critical to success, so surround yourself with great talent and learn to delegate, monitor and develop your bench.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins speaks to reporters from the White House joined by 12 other leaders in their fields to be appointed to key Administration posts, by and with advice and consent of the Senate. Dr. Jenkins was tapped to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.

challenged to provide for the mental health and well-being of our students. Gun violence and safety threats are very real in public schools today so teachers must accommodate active shooter drills and the emotional toll on our children. Lastly, teachers face the challenge of high stakes accountability systems that place pressure on students to perform and connect that performance to their individual pay. Q: Can you share with our audience, some of the educational opportunities you have championed as Superintendent? Dr. Jenkins: I have been a proponent of providing access and encouragement for larger and more diverse numbers of students to participate in more rigorous course offerings. Taking Advanced Placement courses in high school shouldn’t be tied to socio-economic status or to a child having an advocate. Research clearly points to the use of data to purposely schedule students in those classes and support their success. At the primary grades, we instituted universal screening for gifted status in order to identify more underrepresented students lack-

ing an advocate to request testing. Q: In your role as Superintendent, what steps can you implement to see that every child gets the opportunity to succeed and be prepared for college, career and life? Dr. Jenkins: Our partnership with Khan Academy was groundbreaking in opening access to preparation for the SAT in order to increase college opportunities for students. We have also exponentially increased offerings and the number of students graduating with industry certifications through our Career and Technical Education programs at Orange Technical College. Q: What’s the toughest part of your job? Dr. Jenkins: Without question, the toughest part of the job is dealing with student discipline issues that require total removal from school. When young people make critical mistakes, they must accept the consequences, but it is often heartbreaking to witness. Q: What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Q: Can you offer some advice for young women that may want to pursue a career as an educator? Dr. Jenkins: Find your passion, something you love doing so much that it doesn’t seem like work. Study your trade so that you are always knowledgeable about the latest research or trending data. When opportunity knocks, open the door…wide! Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? Dr. Jenkins: Dealing with criticism when trying to focus on what is best for children and the organization. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? Dr. Jenkins: Winning the Broad Prize in 2014, which recognized our work to improve student achievement and resulted in $500,000 is student scholarships. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? Dr. Jenkins: Pray earnestly for divine direction, and when in doubt, always side with what you believe is best for children or those who are powerless. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? Dr. Jenkins: My mother inspires me because she went from being a housewife to a sin-

Caption goes here

Superintendent Jenkins addresses a large crowd during an annual State of the Schools event.

gle mom and entrepreneur who successfully raised 5 children with the support of her parents. She inspired and directed each of us to become successful adults. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? Dr. Jenkins: Women are obviously faced with gender equity and the glass ceiling. But women also suffer from the lack of mentors and allies to help them navigate the promotion ladder. Women in leadership must commit to assisting and coaching both female and male subordinates. Q: Tell us how you manage your work life balance. Dr. Jenkins: I have a wonderful husband (Harold) who has always supported me. He helps me commit to taking time away from the job, exercising and eating right. My adult children (Hillary and Harrison) also kept me grounded when they were younger and continue to do so daily.


Dr. Jenkins: I believe women will continue to deal with gender equity issues in the work setting. Pay equity comparisons are disheartening and will take major efforts to solve. In education, the greatest challenges will revolve around mitigating issues in society that greatly impact children, including poverty, mental health and discrimination. Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? Dr. Jenkins: Teamwork is critical to success, so surround yourself with great talent and learn to delegate, monitor and develop your bench.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins speaks to reporters from the White House joined by 12 other leaders in their fields to be appointed to key Administration posts, by and with advice and consent of the Senate. Dr. Jenkins was tapped to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.

challenged to provide for the mental health and well-being of our students. Gun violence and safety threats are very real in public schools today so teachers must accommodate active shooter drills and the emotional toll on our children. Lastly, teachers face the challenge of high stakes accountability systems that place pressure on students to perform and connect that performance to their individual pay. Q: Can you share with our audience, some of the educational opportunities you have championed as Superintendent? Dr. Jenkins: I have been a proponent of providing access and encouragement for larger and more diverse numbers of students to participate in more rigorous course offerings. Taking Advanced Placement courses in high school shouldn’t be tied to socio-economic status or to a child having an advocate. Research clearly points to the use of data to purposely schedule students in those classes and support their success. At the primary grades, we instituted universal screening for gifted status in order to identify more underrepresented students lack-

ing an advocate to request testing. Q: In your role as Superintendent, what steps can you implement to see that every child gets the opportunity to succeed and be prepared for college, career and life? Dr. Jenkins: Our partnership with Khan Academy was groundbreaking in opening access to preparation for the SAT in order to increase college opportunities for students. We have also exponentially increased offerings and the number of students graduating with industry certifications through our Career and Technical Education programs at Orange Technical College. Q: What’s the toughest part of your job? Dr. Jenkins: Without question, the toughest part of the job is dealing with student discipline issues that require total removal from school. When young people make critical mistakes, they must accept the consequences, but it is often heartbreaking to witness. Q: What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Q: Can you offer some advice for young women that may want to pursue a career as an educator? Dr. Jenkins: Find your passion, something you love doing so much that it doesn’t seem like work. Study your trade so that you are always knowledgeable about the latest research or trending data. When opportunity knocks, open the door…wide! Q: What’s the greatest fear you’ve had to overcome to get where you are today? Dr. Jenkins: Dealing with criticism when trying to focus on what is best for children and the organization. Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career? Dr. Jenkins: Winning the Broad Prize in 2014, which recognized our work to improve student achievement and resulted in $500,000 is student scholarships. Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience? Dr. Jenkins: Pray earnestly for divine direction, and when in doubt, always side with what you believe is best for children or those who are powerless. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? Dr. Jenkins: My mother inspires me because she went from being a housewife to a sin-

Caption goes here

Superintendent Jenkins addresses a large crowd during an annual State of the Schools event.

gle mom and entrepreneur who successfully raised 5 children with the support of her parents. She inspired and directed each of us to become successful adults. Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? Dr. Jenkins: Women are obviously faced with gender equity and the glass ceiling. But women also suffer from the lack of mentors and allies to help them navigate the promotion ladder. Women in leadership must commit to assisting and coaching both female and male subordinates. Q: Tell us how you manage your work life balance. Dr. Jenkins: I have a wonderful husband (Harold) who has always supported me. He helps me commit to taking time away from the job, exercising and eating right. My adult children (Hillary and Harrison) also kept me grounded when they were younger and continue to do so daily.


Want to Advance your Career?

Find a Mentor! By Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Lux was a top performer. In the 20 years before I met her she was always considered a high potential employee. In her two decades in the IT department of a large financial institution she progressed slowly but steadily through the ranks. If there were a complex problem to resolve –Lux would get it done. And then she got stuck. She couldn’t understand why she was overlooked time and again to achieve a top position. The reason was simple – she never asked. Sometime being good at what you do can be what prevents you from getting ahead. Why would anyone advance Lux further when she was doing such an excellent job just where she was? And for her part, she never let anyone know that she had her eye on a very senior position. The game changer for her was the suggestion to find a Mentor. She chose the CFO of the organization who was both flattered and interested in being her guide. Within a very short time, after expressing her interest in moving up the ladder, and following her mentor’s suggested roadmap to success, she achieved her objective of being a senior V.P. And now it’s your turn. A Mentor is a wise and trusted counselor and guide. In “traditional” corporations an executive or senior person is assigned a “high potential” to assist in his or her development. A Mentor has a body of knowledge that a Mentee would like to learn. For example, in an accounting firm, information regarding technical matters and professional development are often transferred from Mentor to Mentee. There are many reasons why having a Mentor can acceler-

ate your career. Here are three for you to consider: • Guidance regarding how to navigate corporate politics. For women, it sometimes helps to have a Mentor who is also female. Your role as a Mentee is to be open to the feedback, suggestions, and critiques that are offered to you. This will maximize the effect of the support you receive. • Assistance finding connections, the “whos” who can help you get where you’d like to be more quickly. The question to ask is “who do you know who….” • And thirdly, guidance in how to improve your skills. Within the context of a mentoring relationship the Mentor assists an individual fill a particular knowledge gap by learning how to do things more effectively. In your search for a Mentor, it’s a good idea to choose someone working in the same functional area as you are, as well as someone who shares your values. Professional organizations in your field, whether they offer formal mentoring programs or not, can be excellent sources of Mentors. Test the waters by asking for advice first. Be open to sharing your concerns and fears. Mentors are most likely to invest themselves in those in whom they see a little of themselves. Don’t think that you, as a Mentee, get all the benefits from the relationship. In my experience mentoring is a rich and rewarding experience and I’ve learned more about technologies from my Mentees than I would ever have learned on my own! Having a well chosen Mentor to guide you can be a game changer in accelerating your career. Do it now! DrFrumi@Scaling4growth.com www.Scaling4Growth.com


Meet

Keynote speakers Randi Zuckerberg and NASA’s Dr. Natalia Batalha, Event Chair Jenny Dearborn, playwright Lauren Gunderson, and speaker Ann Bowers at TheatreWorks’ Leading Ladies, held in 2014, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Jenny

Dearborn,

Senior Vice Present, Chief Learning Officer, SAP

Speaking on The Art of Learning, Developing & Inspiring Leadership When you talk about Leadership, Management, Human Relations, Sales, and Excellence and someone who is one of the most inspiring, leading positive role models in Silicon Valley - Jenny Dearborn’s name will come up. 

J

at Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle), Suc-

peers are awesome and my manager is visionary and just

cessFactors and SAP. I’ve been a Chief Learning Officer at four

an all-around great guy. I love the type of work that I do,

different companies.

it’s challenging and rewarding. I love the variety in the work I do – leading the function at my company, helping

SVL: Who and what inspired you along your path to be where you

customers solve complex business challenges, writing arti-

are?

cles and speaking at conferences on topics that are import-

JD: I am severely Dyslexic, have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hy-

ant to me like data analytics, business strategy, the future

peractivity Disorder) and mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Dis-

of workplace and diversity & inclusion.

order) and was undiagnosed until age 18. The most formative part of my early life was

enny is Senior Vice President and Chief Learning Officer

and a Teaching Credential in 1993, and San Jose State University

growing up knowing that I was very smart

of SAP, the world’s largest business-to-business software

with a MBA in Organizational Development in 2003.

and capable, but placed in the lower tracked and Special Education classes at school. I felt

company, and is accountable for the learning and devel-

I love the type of work that I do, it’s challenging and rewarding. I love the variety in the work I do

SVL: You have learned so much about the special dynamics of Leadership … First, what is your definition of Leadership? JD: Great leaders inspire a common purpose, collaboratively create a shared vision and

opment of the 75,000 SAP employees worldwide. She has won

Q: Where do you work? What do you do? What has been your

that my early education years were wasted.

many top industry awards, including recognition as one of the 50

path leading you to today?

I felt great resentment towards the teach-

Most Powerful Women in Technology by the National Diversity

JD: I work at SAP, the world’s largest business software company.

ers and school system and vowed to make

Council in 2014 and 2015.

As the Chief Learning Officer, I’m accountable for the training, ed-

a difference in the education system so no

Her invaluable experience...plus interviews with more than 100

ucation, development and readiness of SAP’s 75,000 employees

student would ever experience the frustra-

global leaders,...has led to her best seller: Data Driven - How Per-

world-wide. I am in Human Resources and report to the Chief Hu-

tion and humiliation that I went through in

formance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results.

man Resources Officer who reports to the CEO. I started as a high

my K-12 years. I felt great passion to drive

In the high tech universe, Jenny serves as a highly regarded advo-

school English, Public Speaking and Drama teacher at Woodside

change in our education system. This fire

cate and inspiration for many. Please enjoy this delightful conver-

High School. After two years I transitioned to corporate education

got me started in education, then after 2 years as a high school

their greatest potential. “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to

sation with Jenny Dearborn...

as an instructor at Hewlett-Packard teaching the personal devel-

teacher I transitioned to the corporate education world for the

high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher stan-

opment, management and leadership courses. I worked my way

opportunity to apply exciting and growing new learning tech-

dard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

Q: Where were you born and raised? Where did you go to

up through all the various roles in corporate learning and educa-

nology to impact learners on a mass scale.

—Peter Drucker

school and what did you study?

tion including carrying a quota in Sales selling learning services

JD: I was born in Marin, California and raised K-12 in Davis, Califor-

to external corporate customers and partners. I’ve worked at a

SVL: What do you like most about what you do?

ple, they instinctively redirect all credit to the team when praise

nia. I graduated from Davis High School in 1987, American River

small learning technology start-up that went public (Docent, now

JD: There are so many things I like, that I can’t say what I

comes and absorb all blame when criticism comes. They are slow

College with an AA in Social Science in 1989, UC Berkeley with a

Sum Total Systems), and had a succession of executive roles with

like the most. I love my team, they are hands down the

to punish and swift to reward. Leadership is about the courage to

BA in English in 1991, Stanford University with a MA in Education

increasing responsibility in Human Resources, Sales & Services

best professionals I’ve ever worked with in my career. My

stand alone and the integrity of intent. “Leadership and learning

translate that vision into reality. Leadership is about action and driving results for the greatest good, great leaders see solutions where others only see challenges and obstacles. Great leaders know that people want to “make a dent in the universe” as Steve Jobs famously said, and make the world a better place. This comes through empowering others to achieve

Great leaders have the humility to be a servant leader to their peo-


Meet

Keynote speakers Randi Zuckerberg and NASA’s Dr. Natalia Batalha, Event Chair Jenny Dearborn, playwright Lauren Gunderson, and speaker Ann Bowers at TheatreWorks’ Leading Ladies, held in 2014, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Jenny

Dearborn,

Senior Vice Present, Chief Learning Officer, SAP

Speaking on The Art of Learning, Developing & Inspiring Leadership When you talk about Leadership, Management, Human Relations, Sales, and Excellence and someone who is one of the most inspiring, leading positive role models in Silicon Valley - Jenny Dearborn’s name will come up. 

J

at Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle), Suc-

peers are awesome and my manager is visionary and just

cessFactors and SAP. I’ve been a Chief Learning Officer at four

an all-around great guy. I love the type of work that I do,

different companies.

it’s challenging and rewarding. I love the variety in the work I do – leading the function at my company, helping

Q: Who and what inspired you along your path to be where you

customers solve complex business challenges, writing arti-

are?

cles and speaking at conferences on topics that are import-

JD: I am severely Dyslexic, have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hy-

ant to me like data analytics, business strategy, the future

peractivity Disorder) and mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Dis-

of workplace and diversity & inclusion.

order) and was undiagnosed until age 18. The most formative part of my early life was

enny is Senior Vice President and Chief Learning Officer

and a Teaching Credential in 1993, and San Jose State University

growing up knowing that I was very smart

of SAP, the world’s largest business-to-business software

with a MBA in Organizational Development in 2003.

and capable, but placed in the lower tracked and Special Education classes at school. I felt

company, and is accountable for the learning and devel-

I love the type of work that I do, it’s challenging and rewarding. I love the variety in the work I do

Q: You have learned so much about the special dynamics of Leadership … First, what is your definition of Leadership? JD: Great leaders inspire a common purpose, collaboratively create a shared vision and translate that vision into reality. Leadership is

opment of the 75,000 SAP employees worldwide. She has won

SVL: Where do you work? What do you do? What has been your

that my early education years were wasted.

many top industry awards, including recognition as one of the 50

path leading you to today?

I felt great resentment towards the teach-

Most Powerful Women in Technology by the National Diversity

JD: I work at SAP, the world’s largest business software company.

ers and school system and vowed to make

Council in 2014 and 2015.

As the Chief Learning Officer, I’m accountable for the training, ed-

a difference in the education system so no

Her invaluable experience...plus interviews with more than 100

ucation, development and readiness of SAP’s 75,000 employees

student would ever experience the frustra-

global leaders,...has led to her best seller: Data Driven - How Per-

world-wide. I am in Human Resources and report to the Chief Hu-

tion and humiliation that I went through in

formance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results.

man Resources Officer who reports to the CEO. I started as a high

my K-12 years. I felt great passion to drive

In the high tech universe, Jenny serves as a highly regarded advo-

school English, Public Speaking and Drama teacher at Woodside

change in our education system. This fire

cate and inspiration for many. Please enjoy this delightful conver-

High School. After two years I transitioned to corporate education

got me started in education, then after 2 years as a high school

their greatest potential. “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to

sation with Jenny Dearborn...

as an instructor at Hewlett-Packard teaching the personal devel-

teacher I transitioned to the corporate education world for the

high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher stan-

opment, management and leadership courses. I worked my way

opportunity to apply exciting and growing new learning tech-

dard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

SVL: Where were you born and raised? Where did you go to

up through all the various roles in corporate learning and educa-

nology to impact learners on a mass scale.

—Peter Drucker

school and what did you study?

tion including carrying a quota in Sales selling learning services

JD: I was born in Marin, California and raised K-12 in Davis, Califor-

to external corporate customers and partners. I’ve worked at a

Q: What do you like most about what you do?

ple, they instinctively redirect all credit to the team when praise

nia. I graduated from Davis High School in 1987, American River

small learning technology start-up that went public (Docent, now

JD: There are so many things I like, that I can’t say what I

comes and absorb all blame when criticism comes. They are slow

College with an AA in Social Science in 1989, UC Berkeley with a

Sum Total Systems), and had a succession of executive roles with

like the most. I love my team, they are hands down the

to punish and swift to reward. Leadership is about the courage to

BA in English in 1991, Stanford University with a MA in Education

increasing responsibility in Human Resources, Sales & Services

best professionals I’ve ever worked with in my career. My

stand alone and the integrity of intent. “Leadership and learning

about action and driving results for the greatest good, great leaders see solutions where others only see challenges and obstacles. Great leaders know that people want to “make a dent in the universe” as Steve Jobs famously said, and make the world a better place. This comes through empowering others to achieve

Great leaders have the humility to be a servant leader to their peo-


are indispensable to each other.” —John F. Kennedy Q: What is the best course of action for management when it comes to Leadership? What is the best course of action for the employee when it comes to Leadership? JD: I believe in leadership at every level, leadership is about person power not position power. Everyone, regardless if they are people managers or individual contributors, can and should be a leader.

Hone your management skills – When managing your work and family, you’re managing a complex organization. Do activities as a family, to maximize efficiency.

Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography

Q: How do you see the workplace evolving and improving?

Keynote speakers Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo, New York Times best-selling author Lalita Tademy, Event Chair Jenny Dearborn, and Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Margaret Nagle at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s Leading Ladies event celebrating passion in arts and innovation, held in 2015, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography TheatreWorks Artistic Director Robert Kelley, Event Chair Jenny Dearborn, and TheatreWorks Managing Director Phil Santora at TheatreWorks’ Leading Ladies, held in 2014, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography

JD: The overarching theme for the workplace of the future is transparency.

the help you need.

business trip to align with a school break or just pull them from school

• Transparency in how we work: Your mobile device will become your office.

• Let it go – Your house does not have to be spotless. When you have a full

for a week here or there. John (or a grandparent or nanny) and the kids

• Transparency in where we work: We’ll work from everywhere - Workers will be

work and family life, the children have to learn to be independent. With

visit the local sites while I’m at the office working. We’ve done work/

spread across many time zones and countries in numerous satellite offices for

clear and consistent communication, every child can do their own laun-

family trips to: Mexico, Germany, China, Dubai, Singapore, Japan, Pan-

worker interaction, but not necessarily as daily destinations. Always-on video will

dry, clean their own rooms, clean the kitchen and bathrooms, make their

ama, Canada, England, France, Amsterdam, Australia, Belgium, Italy,

facilitate collaboration with colleagues in other locations.

own breakfast and lunch. Learning to be responsible and capable early on

to name a few….

• Transparency of our competence and value: Everyone will have a rating score,

is good for everyone.

I throw myself fully into what my children love as a way to spend time

based on his/her reputation capital, which is the sum total of your personal brand,

• Focus and prioritize – Do the high value work that only you can do and

together doing what interests them. Currently my 12 year old is ab-

the quality of your results, your expertise, depth and breadth of experience and

outsource the rest. You can outsource the laundry but your child only

solutely obsessed with Giants baseball, so he and I watch the games

social networks. The new workplace will be a results only work environment.

wants you there to see her win an award at school. Knowing how to fo-

together. It’s our special thing to do.

• Transparency in who we work for: Every manager will also have a rating score

cus on your highest priorities makes a big career and a big family possible.

I love to be creative. I write and publish articles in business magazines

based on similar criteria plus people management and functional leadership.

SVL: What do you see are some of the major issues facing us in today’s

and my first book Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers

Employees will be hired into a company and then choose which manager they

work environment?

Extraordinary Sales Results was published in March 2015 – it debuted

want to work for based on the rating score of that manager.

JD: The globalization of work and changing demographics of the

at #1 in the new business releases on Amazon. I like to paint large

• Transparency of skill gaps: Big data, predictive analytics and artificial intelli-

workforce; multiple generations in the workplace

scale acrylic on canvas pictures, primarily pop art versions of comic

gence are enabling a workplace of the future that magnifies the global talent

• Contingent labor force

book superheroes.

shortage and makes more sparse highly skilled workers. Thus making lifelong

• Big data and analytics

learning a business requirement.

• Adaptation of mobile and social networks

SVL: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books? Different topics? Are there books you like to rec-

Q: What do you recommend as tips and strategies for work-life balance?

SVL: If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see for

ommend?

JD: Well, I don’t think there is such a thing as work-life balance, but work-life inte-

progress in the workplace?

JD: I try to read what my kids are reading for pleasure or in school to

gration is very do-able. I was recently quoted in the Fortune Magazine article on

JD: I’d like to see a true meritocracy in the workplace. A workplace

make our dinner table conversation richer with the themes they are

this topic - Women with big jobs and big families: Balancing really isn’t that hard.

where people are paid equally for equal work regardless of their gen-

exploring and how to connect with broader issues in the world. So

Here are the tips and strategies mentioned in that article and others that I use.

der or race, and the diversity in the workplace at all levels of an organi-

if it’s a popular young adult series, I’ve probably read it. I go through

• Hone your management skills – When managing your work and family, you’re

zation mirroring the diversity in the population at large.

phases with the books I read. Right now I’m doing a research project on the knowledge and skills first time managers need and I’m reading

managing a complex organization. Do activities as a family, to maximize efficiency. I use a shared on-line calendar and each kid is color coded, they all have an

SVL: Who are some of the people who inspire you most and why?

stacks and stacks of books and white papers on the topic. For fun I

iPhone and can see where they need to be at any given time.

JD: My children and husband. I follow the research of a few social

listen to audio books and love Doris Kearns Goodwin who is such a

• Prioritize self care – Put your own oxygen mask on first. Managing your life takes

scientists, like Amy Cuddy of Harvard and Kelly McGonigal of Stanford,

great story teller.

energy, so never skimp on sleep, nutrition or exercise.

I find their work fascinating. SVL: What are some of your favorite movies, music, theater?

• Build your support team at work – Invest in the development of your staff to be accountable and independent. Seek sponsors and allies that understand and

SVL: You have many interests … please share with us what some of

JD: For movies – I love all horror / thriller / suspense films. I wrote my se-

support you.

these are?

nior thesis at UC Berkeley on the evolving role of women in horror films

• Build your support team at home – Enlist a village to help you and don’t be afraid

JD: I love to travel, I’m always up for going to a country that I’ve nev-

from Nosferatu in 1922 to Silence of the Lambs in 1991. The central idea

to ask for support (it’s a sign of strength not weakness). Live near family if possible.

er been to before. I’ve just passed 60 countries. I’m very fortunate

is that the female character in horror films is the manifestation of how

Invest in things that make your life easier. Not at the same time, but in the last 20

professionally to have worked for companies with operations around

our culture views women in society and as societies views of feminism

years I have employed all of the following: a part-time nanny, a full-time live-in au

the globe and have the opportunity to travel extensively for work. I

evolve, so does the female protagonist.

pair, home cook, meal delivery service, housekeeper, and a personal accountant.

also love to share with my family the cultures of the world and I’ve

For music – I love classic rap, hip hop and alternative punk from the 80s.

Depending on what the big challenge is at a given phase in life, reach out to get

brought them along on many of my business trips. I typically plan a

For theatre – I love any production that my kids are in.


are indispensable to each other.” —John F. Kennedy SVL: What is the best course of action for management when it comes to Leadership? What is the best course of action for the employee when it comes to Leadership? JD: I believe in leadership at every level, leadership is about person power not position power. Everyone, regardless if they are people managers or individual contributors, can and should be a leader.

Hone your management skills – When managing your work and family, you’re managing a complex organization. Do activities as a family, to maximize efficiency.

Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography

SVL: How do you see the workplace evolving and improving?

Keynote speakers Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo, New York Times best-selling author Lalita Tademy, Event Chair Jenny Dearborn, and Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Margaret Nagle at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s Leading Ladies event celebrating passion in arts and innovation, held in 2015, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography TheatreWorks Artistic Director Robert Kelley, Event Chair Jenny Dearborn, and TheatreWorks Managing Director Phil Santora at TheatreWorks’ Leading Ladies, held in 2014, at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Drew Altizer Photography

JD: The overarching theme for the workplace of the future is transparency.

the help you need.

business trip to align with a school break or just pull them from school

• Transparency in how we work: Your mobile device will become your office.

• Let it go – Your house does not have to be spotless. When you have a

for a week here or there. John (or a grandparent or nanny) and the kids

• Transparency in where we work: We’ll work from everywhere - Workers will be

full work and family life, the children have to learn to be independent.

visit the local sites while I’m at the office working. We’ve done work/

spread across many time zones and countries in numerous satellite offices for

With clear and consistent communication, every child can do their own

family trips to: Mexico, Germany, China, Dubai, Singapore, Japan, Pan-

worker interaction, but not necessarily as daily destinations. Always-on video will

laun-dry, clean their own rooms, clean the kitchen and bathrooms, make

ama, Canada, England, France, Amsterdam, Australia, Belgium, Italy,

facilitate collaboration with colleagues in other locations.

their own breakfast and lunch. Learning to be responsible and capable

to name a few….

• Transparency of our competence and value: Everyone will have a rating score,

early on is good for everyone.

I throw myself fully into what my children love as a way to spend time

based on his/her reputation capital, which is the sum total of your personal brand,

• Focus and prioritize – Do the high value work that only you can do and

together doing what interests them. Currently my 12 year old is ab-

the quality of your results, your expertise, depth and breadth of experience and

outsource the rest. You can outsource the laundry but your child only

solutely obsessed with Giants baseball, so he and I watch the games

social networks. The new workplace will be a results only work environment.

wants you there to see her win an award at school. Knowing how to fo-

together. It’s our special thing to do.

• Transparency in who we work for: Every manager will also have a rating score

cus on your highest priorities makes a big career and a big family possible.

I love to be creative. I write and publish articles in business magazines

based on similar criteria plus people management and functional leadership.

Q: What do you see are some of the major issues facing us in today’s

and my first book Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers

Employees will be hired into a company and then choose which manager they

work environment?

Extraordinary Sales Results was published in March 2015 – it debuted

want to work for based on the rating score of that manager.

JD: The globalization of work and changing demographics of the

at #1 in the new business releases on Amazon. I like to paint large

• Transparency of skill gaps: Big data, predictive analytics and artificial intelli-

workforce; multiple generations in the workplace

scale acrylic on canvas pictures, primarily pop art versions of comic

gence are enabling a workplace of the future that magnifies the global talent

• Contingent labor force

book superheroes.

shortage and makes more sparse highly skilled workers. Thus making lifelong

• Big data and analytics

learning a business requirement.

• Adaptation of mobile and social networks

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books? Different topics? Are there books you like to rec-

SVL: What do you recommend as tips and strategies for work-life balance?

Q: If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see for

ommend?

JD: Well, I don’t think there is such a thing as work-life balance, but work-life inte-

progress in the workplace?

JD: I try to read what my kids are reading for pleasure or in school to

gration is very do-able. I was recently quoted in the Fortune Magazine article on

JD: I’d like to see a true meritocracy in the workplace. A workplace

make our dinner table conversation richer with the themes they are

this topic - Women with big jobs and big families: Balancing really isn’t that hard.

where people are paid equally for equal work regardless of their gen-

exploring and how to connect with broader issues in the world. So

Here are the tips and strategies mentioned in that article and others that I use.

der or race, and the diversity in the workplace at all levels of an organi-

if it’s a popular young adult series, I’ve probably read it. I go through

• Hone your management skills – When managing your work and family, you’re

zation mirroring the diversity in the population at large.

phases with the books I read. Right now I’m doing a research project on the knowledge and skills first time managers need and I’m reading

managing a complex organization. Do activities as a family, to maximize efficiency. I use a shared on-line calendar and each kid is color coded, they all have an

Q: Who are some of the people who inspire you most and why?

stacks and stacks of books and white papers on the topic. For fun I

iPhone and can see where they need to be at any given time.

JD: My children and husband. I follow the research of a few

listen to audio books and love Doris Kearns Goodwin who is such a

• Prioritize self care – Put your own oxygen mask on first. Managing your life takes

social scientists, like Amy Cuddy of Harvard and Kelly McGonigal of

great story teller.

energy, so never skimp on sleep, nutrition or exercise.

Stanford, I find their work fascinating. Q: What are some of your favorite movies, music, theater?

• Build your support team at work – Invest in the development of your staff to be accountable and independent. Seek sponsors and allies that understand and

Q: You have many interests … please share with us what some of

JD: For movies – I love all horror / thriller / suspense films. I wrote my se-

support you.

these are?

nior thesis at UC Berkeley on the evolving role of women in horror films

• Build your support team at home – Enlist a village to help you and don’t be afraid

JD: I love to travel, I’m always up for going to a country that I’ve nev-

from Nosferatu in 1922 to Silence of the Lambs in 1991. The central idea

to ask for support (it’s a sign of strength not weakness). Live near family if possible.

er been to before. I’ve just passed 60 countries. I’m very fortunate

is that the female character in horror films is the manifestation of how

Invest in things that make your life easier. Not at the same time, but in the last 20

professionally to have worked for companies with operations around

our culture views women in society and as societies views of feminism

years I have employed all of the following: a part-time nanny, a full-time live-in au

the globe and have the opportunity to travel extensively for work. I

evolve, so does the female protagonist.

pair, home cook, meal delivery service, housekeeper, and a personal accountant.

also love to share with my family the cultures of the world and I’ve

For music – I love classic rap, hip hop and alternative punk from the 80s.

Depending on what the big challenge is at a given phase in life, reach out to get

brought them along on many of my business trips. I typically plan a

For theatre – I love any production that my kids are in.


FERTILITY PRESERVATION 5 Things You Should Know By Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh

Your fertility isn’t skin deep. It’s as simple as that. Just because you look like you’re 28 when you’re 42, doesn’t mean your ovaries are the same. Unlike men who don’t run out of sperm, it is totally normal and expected for every woman to run out of eggs by a certain age. The average age of menopause is 51 and it’s very difficult to get pregnant during the 10 years leading up to that age. Some of us are born with more eggs or run out at a slower rate but at the end of the day most women are not fertile in their 40’s. It’s unfair for women to be made to feel like there’s something wrong with them when they’re told they’re not fertile at the age of 40. Not many women are fertile in their 40’s. Empower yourself with knowledge about your fertility so you can learn more about your options. Running out of eggs doesn’t mean you also run out of options. Women in their 40’s often turn to more creative ways to grow their family: donor eggs, donor embryos and adoption just to name a few. I find that most of my patients who see me over the age of 40 say they wish they had frozen their eggs when they could have. Women today sadly learn that they’re running out of eggs at the same time that they decide to start a family. Egg freezing technology has changed dramatically over the past 5 years or so. Women don’t have to say that they wish they froze their eggs 10 years ago…..a time when egg freezing success rates weren’t as good as they are today. The time is now to ask your doctor whether egg freezing is for you. Here’s what you should know: 1. There are tests you can do to find

Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh Photos by Jennifer Crandall

out more about your fertility. Your doctor can order an Anti Mullerian Hormone level (AMH) as a guide regarding how much battery you have in your biological clock. Cycle day 3 FSH and estradiol levels and an antral follicle count (ultrasound looking at your ovaries often done by a reproductive endocrinologist) can also be used clinically as a guide. 2. If your Mom or other female family members had fertility issues related to conditions like endometriosis or early menopause, you should strongly consider preserving your fertility and seeing a doctor


to talk more about your options. 3. There are some medical conditions that require drug treatments that can be what we call “gonadotoxic” ie result in damage to eggs or sperm. Patients who are diagnosed with conditions like Lupus, blood disorders, and cancer are often put on chemotherapeutic Dr. Eyvazzadeh has been hosting “Egg Freezing Parties” designed to raise awareness of fertility issues since 2014. drugs. Freezing eggs/sperm Harvard Medical School, she completed a can give these patients a chance for pregnancy in the future fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at University of Michigan. She after their treatment is over if they run out also completed a Masters in Public Health in of eggs earlier because of the treatments. Health Management and Policy at University 4. Freezing eggs for future use is best in of Michigan. She has a private practice in younger women because our eggs have a the SF Bay Area. higher chance of being viable the younger Each day she hears story after story we are. If you’re considering freezing your from women struggling to conceive. In her eggs in your late 30’s, you could still have a attempt to alleviate some of this heartbreak, good chance for pregnancy. Speaking with she has gone on a mission of “fertility a fertility specialist would be helpful before awareness”. Her hope is to empower you decide to freeze your eggs. women at an early age, making them more 5. Egg freezing involves a surgical aware of their own personal fertility levels procedure. Women have to take selfadministered shots in the skin of their lower and allowing them to be better educated about their options. Never again does she abdomen for about 10 days prior to the egg want to hear “If I had known 10 years ago extraction procedure. To hear more about the process of IVF or that my egg reserves were running low, I would have done things differently”. egg freezing, please read Dr. Aimee’s next In 2014, she launched her message with article. “Egg Freezing Parties”. These hosted parties Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh is a native of offer women a chance to learn more about the Bay Area. She is a graduate of UCLA egg freezing and ask their questions in a School of Medicine. After completing her comfortable, safe environment with likeresidency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at minded women. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and


A Conversations with

Katie Jacobs Stanton,

CMO of Color & Former Vice President of Global Media at Twitter Q: Can you share with us your experience working at the White House and State Department?

nities. I’m thrilled that the Gates Foundation has committed $170 million towards improving economic

KJS: Working in the Obama Administration was the honor of a lifetime. At the White House, I served

leverage for women worldwide. According to Melinda Gates, “when money flows into the hands of

as the Director of Citizen Participation, trying to make it easier for citizens to engage with the govern-

women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.”

ment using digital platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. At the State Department, I worked in the Office of Innovation, helping the government use 21st century tools to address 21st century challenges. For example, we organized Town Halls for the President in China where participants could Tweet and text questions (even when these tools were blocked in China).

Q: What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations? KJS: 1. Build your own personal Board of Directors. Cultivate relationships with people you admire, seek

Q: Of the 8 countries you’ve lived in, which was your favorite and why?

out their advice and collaborate with them on projects you’re passionate about. For example, I’m a

KJS: I’ve greatly appreciated all the countries I’ve been fortunate to spend time in, but

founding partner of #Angels, which I started with five of my friends from Twitter. We share access to

I’ve always felt a strong personal connection with France. I like the way Thomas Jeffer-

deals, networks and opportunities. I also lean on entrepreneurs and execs including Tina Sharkey, Dan

son put it; “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty and the point of life.”

Rosensweig, Dick Costolo and Elad Gil for career and industry advice.

Q: What was your experience like working as Vice President of Global Media at Twitter? KJS: Twitter was one of the highlights of my career. When I joined, we didn’t have any employees, offices, revenues or partnerships outside of the U.S. My role was to help build our teams globally and then lead the Media team which was responsible for partnerships across government, news, sports, music, and TV. We brought the best content from each of our markets to the platform and tried to help build the most vibrant and safest digital town square. I worked with exceptional people at Twitter and I’m proud of how much we were able to achieve. Q: You were an Angel Investor for Color Genomics … what made you decide to step in as Chief Marketing Officer? KJS: There are 4 core values that help me decide on new roles:

2. Pay it forward - help women at all levels. I’m pretty sure I’m going to work for the women on my team at Color one day and am really excited about that! 3. Make sure women’s voices are heard and presences are felt. Work to ensure that they’re seated at the table and included in the conversation. 4. Have conviction in your beliefs and share them. Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas forward. 5. Be passionate about what you’re doing. Life is short. 6. Choose wisely. Look for a manager and team that help you be your best self. 7. Don’t worry about the job title - do your best work and the title and prominence will follow. Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career? KJS: My media team at Twitter had a great motto: Dream big, do big, act big. Follow these principles as a leader and you can’t go wrong.

1. Are the people smart and ethical? 2. Is this a product I would use?

Q: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

3. Is this an opportunity I would be proud of?

KJS: There is still plenty of gender bias in our society and structural barriers that make it difficult for

4. Can I make an impact?

women to rise to the top: lack of access to paid leave, affordable childcare, and equal pay. We’re making progress, but not fast enough. We need to keep pushing and make it easier for women to stay in

Color checked all of these boxes. Othman Laraki, our CEO and co-founder, is one of the smartest and most ethical people I’ve ever known. Cancer has hit my family, as it has so many others, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join a movement to help beat cancer and other hereditary conditions. Q: Can you share with us some of the advancements and discoveries Color Genomics has made? KJS: When you buy a car, a home or a phone, you get an owner’s manual. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with our bodies! Color is making it easier to unlock the DNA inside of us to make it easier to stay healthy. Specifically, Color has made access to medically actionable genetic testing easier and more affordable. We’re empowering people to learn their risk of hereditary conditions and use that early knowledge to take control of their healthcare and develop personalized plans to prevent illness or detect it early.

the workplace, advance quickly, and get paid fairly. Q: Can you offer advice to parents with daughters graduating from high school? KJS: Not yet! My older daughter graduates this year. Please send me advice on Twitter: @katies! Q: Tell us about your hobbies outside of work? KJS: I love Zumba with Ula Ghosheh. She’s the best instructor. I’m the worst in the class. Q: Is there an interesting fact that most people wouldn’t know about you? KJS: I wanted to be a pilot and was briefly in Air Force ROTC in college. Maybe one day I’ll finish getting my pilot’s license!

Q: What would you like to see Color Genomics accomplish in the next 5 years?

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?

KJS: I would love to look back in 2023 to see that Color helped eliminate all hereditary conditions,

KJS: There’s no such thing as a balance - it’s more of a mashup. I try to prioritize the most important

including breast and ovarian cancers, caused by genetic mutations.

things and be present wherever I am.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KJS: My daughters, Ellie and Kiki. They’re passionate, fearless, strong, curious, and funny. Most importantly, they are focused on making a positive difference in the world! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KJS: One of the biggest challenges for women is economic power. It’s also one of our biggest opportu-

Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? KJS: I can Tweet reasonably well. :) Q: What do you enjoy most about living in the Bay Area? KJS: The Bay Area is a magical place filled with smart, optimistic people who want to make the world a better place and have the skillset to have massive positive impact at scale.


A Conversations with

Katie Jacobs Stanton,

CMO of Color & Former Vice President of Global Media at Twitter Q: Can you share with us your experience working at the White House and State Department?

nities. I’m thrilled that the Gates Foundation has committed $170 million towards improving economic

KJS: Working in the Obama Administration was the honor of a lifetime. At the White House, I served

leverage for women worldwide. According to Melinda Gates “when money flows into the hands of

as the Director of Citizen Participation, trying to make it easier for citizens to engage with the govern-

women who have the authority to use it, everything changes.”

ment using digital platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. At the State Department, I worked in the Office of Innovation, helping the government use 21st century tools to address 21st century challenges. For example, we organized Town Halls for the President in China where participants could Tweet and text questions (even when these tools were blocked in China).

Q: What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations? KJS: 1. Build your own personal Board of Directors. Cultivate relationships with people you admire, seek

Q: Of the 8 countries you’ve lived in, which was your favorite and why?

out their advice and collaborate with them on projects you’re passionate about. For example, I’m a

KJS: I’ve greatly appreciated all the countries I’ve been fortunate to spend time in, but

founding partner of #Angels, which I started with 5 of my friends from Twitter. We share access to

I’ve always felt a strong personal connection with France. I like the way Thomas Jeffer-

deals, networks and opportunities. I also lean on entrepreneurs and execs including Tina Sharkey, Dan

son put it; “a walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty and the point of life.”

Rosensweig, Dick Costolo and Elad Gil for career and industry advice.

Q: What was your experience like working as Vice President of Global Media at Twitter? KJS: Twitter was one of the highlights of my career. When I joined, we didn’t have any employees, offices, revenues or partnerships outside of the U.S. My role was to help build our teams globally and then lead the Media team which was responsible for partnerships across government, news, sports, music, and TV. We brought the best content from each of our markets to the platform and tried to help build the most vibrant and safest digital town square. I worked with exceptional people at Twitter and I’m proud of how much we were able to achieve. Q: You were an Angel Investor for Color Genomics … what made you decide to step in as Chief Marketing Officer? KJS: There are 4 core values that help me decide on new roles:

3. Pay it forward - help women at all levels. I’m pretty sure I’m going to work for the women on my team at Color one day and am really excited about that! 4. Make sure women’s voices are heard and presences are felt. Work to ensure that they’re seated at the table and included in the conversation. 5. Have conviction in your beliefs and share them. Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas forward. 6. Be passionate about what you’re doing. Life is short. 7. Choose wisely. Look for a manager and team that help you be your best self. 8. Don’t worry about the job title - do your best work and the title and prominence will follow. Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career? KJS: My media team at Twitter had a great motto: Dream big, do big, act big. Follow these principles as a leader and you can’t go wrong.

1. Are the people smart and ethical? 2. Is this a product I would use?

Q: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

3. Is this an opportunity I would be proud of?

KJS: There is still plenty of gender bias in our society and structural barriers that make it difficult for

4. Can I make an impact?

women to rise to the top: lack of access to paid leave, affordable childcare, and equal pay. We’re making progress, but not fast enough. We need to keep pushing and make it easier for women to stay in

Color checked all of these boxes. Othman Laraki, our CEO and co-founder, is one of the smartest and most ethical people I’ve ever known. Cancer has hit my family, as it has so many others, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join a movement to help beat cancer and other hereditary conditions. Q: Can you share with us some of the advancements and discoveries Color Genomics has made? KJS: When you buy a car, a home or a phone, you get an owner’s manual. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with our bodies! Color is making it easier to unlock the DNA inside of us to make it easier to stay healthy. Specifically, Color has made access to medically actionable genetic testing easier and more affordable. We’re empowering people to learn their risk of hereditary conditions and use that early knowledge to take control of their healthcare and develop personalized plans to prevent illness or detect it early.

the workplace, advance quickly, and get paid fairly. Q: Can you offer advice to parents with daughters graduating from high school? KJS: Not yet! My older daughter graduates this year. Please send me advice on Twitter: @katies! Q: Tell us about your hobbies outside of work? KJS: I love Zumba with Ula Ghosheh. She’s the best instructor. I’m the worst in the class. Q: Is there an interesting fact that most people wouldn’t know about you? KJS: I wanted to be a pilot and was briefly in Air Force ROTC in college. Maybe one day I’ll finish getting my pilot’s license!

Q: What would you like to see Color Genomics accomplish in the next 5 years?

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?

KJS: I would love to look back in 2023 to see that Color helped eliminate all hereditary conditions,

KJS: There’s no such thing as a balance - it’s more of a mashup. I try to prioritize the most important

including breast and ovarian cancers, caused by genetic mutations.

things and be present wherever I am.

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? KJS: My daughters, Ellie and Kiki. They’re passionate, fearless, strong, curious, and funny. Most importantly, they are focused on making a positive difference in the world! Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? KJS: One of the biggest challenges for women is economic power. It’s also one of our biggest opportu-

Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? KJS: I can Tweet reasonably well. :) Q: What do you enjoy most about living in the Bay Area? KJS: The Bay Area is a magical place filled with smart, optimistic people who want to make the world a better place and have the skillset to have massive positive impact at scale.


Leadership, Activism & Community Service She Models the Way for What Makes a Lawyer a Great Leader

Meet LaShawnda K. Jackson,

First Black President of the Orange County Bar Association

LaShawnda was a recipient of the OCBA’s 2014 Lawrence G. Mathews, Jr. Young Lawyer Professionalism Award (pictured with the Honorable Faye L. Allen and Rafael E. Martinez, Esq)

Q: Why did you decide to attend law school? LJ: While attending Astronaut High School in Titusville, my American Government teacher, Sherry Johnson, told me to join her mock trial competition team because I had a big mouth and I liked to argue. I had no clue what mock trial was or what it would entail, but Mrs. Johnson was quite right, and I so much liked competition. So, I said yes. I only knew of one lawyer who was the father of a classmate, and I had never been inside a courtroom. However, I saw it as a challenge and a way to utilize my skills. After many after-school and weekend practices, we started competing throughout Brevard County, and of course, we were winning. Judge Moxley called me “Bullets” during one of the competitions and said I should go to law school because I fired out cross-examination questions so well. I decided that day that I was going to go to law school, and I was not going to let anything stand in my way. Mrs. Johnson and others helped me in exploring the idea of going to law school. The more I learned about the law, especially how I could gain a specialty in trying to help others solve their legal problems, the more I knew it was the right path for me.

Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? LJ: I got my first job through a government youth summer program. I was placed in the Titusville City Hall, working in the water department through the program. It was mostly clerical work, but I enjoyed the people I worked with and the job’s service aspect. The job allowed me to build my skills, broaden my network and start building my resume. Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law you specialize in? LJ: I primarily practice in the area of civil litigation, usually where someone is suing another person, business, or organization for money damages. The lawsuit could involve a slip and fall, an automobile accident, or an injury from a product. Most of my work usually involves defending the person, business or organization that has been sued. I also represent public entities such as housing authorities and various governmental agencies and municipalities with civil rights claims and public records laws. I grew up in public housing, so to now represent those who provide public housing to low income people is such a great and unique experience.

OCBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Picnic


Leadership, Activism & Community Service She Models the Way for What Makes a Lawyer a Great Leader

Meet LaShawnda K. Jackson,

First Black President of the Orange County Bar Association

LaShawnda was a recipient of the OCBA’s 2014 Lawrence G. Mathews, Jr. Young Lawyer Professionalism Award (pictured with the Honorable Faye L. Allen and Rafael E. Martinez, Esq)

Q: Why did you decide to attend law school? LJ: While attending Astronaut High School in Titusville, my American Government teacher, Sherry Johnson, told me to join her mock trial competition team because I had a big mouth and I liked to argue. I had no clue what mock trial was or what it would entail, but Mrs. Johnson was quite right, and I so much liked competition. So, I said yes. I only knew of one lawyer who was the father of a classmate, and I had never been inside a courtroom. However, I saw it as a challenge and a way to utilize my skills. After many after-school and weekend practices, we started competing throughout Brevard County, and of course, we were winning. Judge Moxley called me “Bullets” during one of the competitions and said I should go to law school because I fired out cross-examination questions so well. I decided that day that I was going to go to law school, and I was not going to let anything stand in my way. Mrs. Johnson and others helped me in exploring the idea of going to law school. The more I learned about the law, especially how I could gain a specialty in trying to help others solve their legal problems, the more I knew it was the right path for me.

Q: What was your first job? And how did it shape or impact you? LJ: I got my first job through a government youth summer program. I was placed in the Titusville City Hall, working in the water department through the program. It was mostly clerical work, but I enjoyed the people I worked with and the job’s service aspect. The job allowed me to build my skills, broaden my network and start building my resume. Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law you specialize in? LJ: I primarily practice in the area of civil litigation, usually where someone is suing another person, business, or organization for money damages. The lawsuit could involve a slip and fall, an automobile accident, or an injury from a product. Most of my work usually involves defending the person, business or organization that has been sued. I also represent public entities such as housing authorities and various governmental agencies and municipalities with civil rights claims and public records laws. I grew up in public housing, so to now represent those who provide public housing to low income people is such a great and unique experience.

OCBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Picnic


will do something, make sure you do it. If you cannot do it, be honest about it. You’ll surely succeed when you have that reputation.

LaShawnda’s induction as president of the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar Association at the Legacy Gala in June 2018

Q: What aspect of being a lawyer interest you the most? LJ: Mrs. Johnson was right. I actually like to argue. I always derive the greatest joy from getting up in front of a judge or jury to defend my client’s position, trying to persuade them to side with me. Another part of being a lawyer that interests me is the fact that the practice of law is very interesting. Every day and every case is different. Even after 18 years of practice, I still find myself learning something new every day. Q: Can you share with our audience your thoughts when you knew you were to be the first Black President of the Orange County Bar Association? LJ: I knew I had not become the President of the Orange County Bar Association because I was Black, but here I was, the first Black President. While I understood the historical significance, I certainly did not think my presidency would receive so much attention. But it came when there is an ongoing and much-needed dia-

logue about race relations in our country. Some question why it took so long (the year 2020) for the Orange County Bar Association to have its first Black President. Others also question why it is such a big deal to emphasize the fact that I am the first Black President. It was a big deal for me and others who look like me, as well as those who believe in diversity and inclusion. I always believe that everything is happening for a reason, and I was meant to be in this position at this time. More important to me than being the first Black president, is making sure I am not the last. Therefore, my mission is to ensure that others have the same opportunity and equal access to the Orange County Bar Association that I had. Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women entering the work force who want to reach your level of success? LJ: Your reputation is everything! You gain your reputation by being courageous, confident, and most importantly, being yourself. If you say you

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your entire career that you can share with our audience? LJ: One lesson I’ve learned in my career is that your reputation is everything. I remember my first hearing as a young lawyer where the judge knew everyone in the room by name except me. That day, I vowed that LaShawnda Jackson would soon be known to every single judge in Orange County. I joined various organizations, attended meetings and other events, and worked on various committees alongside judges and other lawyers. I was well prepared for every hearing and spoke confidently. Soon, every judge in Orange AND Osceola County knew who I was and knew of my work ethic. A few years later, I attended a hearing where an attorney made false claims against me and my firm. The judge stopped him and said, “I know Ms. Jackson and I know her firm. They don’t do that.” It was probably one of the proudest moments of my career. It wasn’t my legal skills that helped me that day, my reputation did. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? LJ: Oprah Winfrey. With the exception of her bank account, I can relate to Oprah on so many levels. She was born into poverty, but she did not let that limit her dreams or who she would become. She did not allow her past or circumstances to limit what she could accomplish. She even launched her media career by winning an oratorical competition that helped pay for her communications college degree. I think it is so awesome that Oprah went from a little girl who often interviewed her dolls to a household name. She did all this in a predominantly male field and where there were few, if any, Black role models for her. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards, owns her own production company and network, and gives back to less fortunate people. She definitely inspires me.

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? LJ: Although I am not a mother, I think that is one of the biggest challenges women face. They often put their careers on hold to give birth and/ or stay home to look after their young children. This usually affects their career progress negatively, as they were out of work while their male counterparts continue to work even after their own young children’s birth. This issue was recently highlighted in Women’s Tennis. Serena Williams was ranked number 1 in the world before she left on maternity leave. Despite having over 20 grand slam titles, she was unranked in her first major tournament after returning. There was no system in place to factor her maternity leave into the rankings. While the tennis world was fortunate that Serena’s dilemma sparked a “Special Ranking Rule,” most women are not so fortunate to have a rule in place that considers their absence from work due to pregnancy or even staying home to take care of their loved ones. Q: What would be the title of your autobiography? LJ: “LaShawnda: Enough Said.” “LaShawnda” in the title signifies my hard work to develop a reputation where I don’t need a last name for people to know who I am or for what I stand. “Enough said” is two-fold. First, it signifies my philosophy that you don’t have to speak out or up on every issue. No one wants to hear from the person who always has something to say on every topic. Therefore, I am not usually that person. I deliberately pick my battles, and when I do speak, people often listen. I say just enough to make my voice heard, and I think that is a powerful message. Second, I am bold, courageous, and true to myself. I often tell people, or they soon come to realize that I am who I am. I have been shaped by my past, my experiences, and my drive. I am simply Lashawnda. There is simply no more to be said.


will do something, make sure you do it. If you cannot do it, be honest about it. You’ll surely succeed when you have that reputation.

LaShawnda’s induction as president of the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar Association at the Legacy Gala in June 2018

Q: What aspect of being a lawyer interest you the most? LJ: Mrs. Johnson was right. I actually like to argue. I always derive the greatest joy from getting up in front of a judge or jury to defend my client’s position, trying to persuade them to side with me. Another part of being a lawyer that interests me is the fact that the practice of law is very interesting. Every day and every case is different. Even after 18 years of practice, I still find myself learning something new every day. Q: Can you share with our audience your thoughts when you knew you were to be the first Black President of the Orange County Bar Association? LJ: I knew I had not become the President of the Orange County Bar Association because I was Black, but here I was, the first Black President. While I understood the historical significance, I certainly did not think my presidency would receive so much attention. But it came when there is an ongoing and much-needed dia-

logue about race relations in our country. Some question why it took so long (the year 2020) for the Orange County Bar Association to have its first Black President. Others also question why it is such a big deal to emphasize the fact that I am the first Black President. It was a big deal for me and others who look like me, as well as those who believe in diversity and inclusion. I always believe that everything is happening for a reason, and I was meant to be in this position at this time. More important to me than being the first Black president, is making sure I am not the last. Therefore, my mission is to ensure that others have the same opportunity and equal access to the Orange County Bar Association that I had. Q: What is one word of advice you can offer to young women entering the work force who want to reach your level of success? LJ: Your reputation is everything! You gain your reputation by being courageous, confident, and most importantly, being yourself. If you say you

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your entire career that you can share with our audience? LJ: One lesson I’ve learned in my career is that your reputation is everything. I remember my first hearing as a young lawyer where the judge knew everyone in the room by name except me. That day, I vowed that LaShawnda Jackson would soon be known to every single judge in Orange County. I joined various organizations, attended meetings and other events, and worked on various committees alongside judges and other lawyers. I was well prepared for every hearing and spoke confidently. Soon, every judge in Orange AND Osceola County knew who I was and knew of my work ethic. A few years later, I attended a hearing where an attorney made false claims against me and my firm. The judge stopped him and said, “I know Ms. Jackson and I know her firm. They don’t do that.” It was probably one of the proudest moments of my career. It wasn’t my legal skills that helped me that day, my reputation did. Q: Which woman inspires you and why? LJ: Oprah Winfrey. With the exception of her bank account, I can relate to Oprah on so many levels. She was born into poverty, but she did not let that limit her dreams or who she would become. She did not allow her past or circumstances to limit what she could accomplish. She even launched her media career by winning an oratorical competition that helped pay for her communications college degree. I think it is so awesome that Oprah went from a little girl who often interviewed her dolls to a household name. She did all this in a predominantly male field and where there were few, if any, Black role models for her. Today, she is the recipient of numerous awards, owns her own production company and network, and gives back to less fortunate people. She definitely inspires me.

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today? LJ: Although I am not a mother, I think that is one of the biggest challenges women face. They often put their careers on hold to give birth and/ or stay home to look after their young children. This usually affects their career progress negatively, as they were out of work while their male counterparts continue to work even after their own young children’s birth. This issue was recently highlighted in Women’s Tennis. Serena Williams was ranked number 1 in the world before she left on maternity leave. Despite having over 20 grand slam titles, she was unranked in her first major tournament after returning. There was no system in place to factor her maternity leave into the rankings. While the tennis world was fortunate that Serena’s dilemma sparked a “Special Ranking Rule,” most women are not so fortunate to have a rule in place that considers their absence from work due to pregnancy or even staying home to take care of their loved ones. Q: What would be the title of your autobiography? LJ: “LaShawnda: Enough Said.” “LaShawnda” in the title signifies my hard work to develop a reputation where I don’t need a last name for people to know who I am or for what I stand. “Enough said” is two-fold. First, it signifies my philosophy that you don’t have to speak out or up on every issue. No one wants to hear from the person who always has something to say on every topic. Therefore, I am not usually that person. I deliberately pick my battles, and when I do speak, people often listen. I say just enough to make my voice heard, and I think that is a powerful message. Second, I am bold, courageous, and true to myself. I often tell people, or they soon come to realize that I am who I am. I have been shaped by my past, my experiences, and my drive. I am simply Lashawnda. There is simply no more to be said.


GRATITUDE:

A POWERFUL ANTIDOTE TO ENTITLEMENT By Carole Pertofsky, M.Ed. Director, Wellness and Health Promotion Services at Stanford University I was meeting up with friends in the latest hot restaurant in Palo Alto. As I walked towards my group, a very cool looking guy wearing a classy expensive black T-shirt leaned back in his chair and almost crashed into me as I squeezed between tables. He glared at me. And there, nestled just below his sculpted pecks, was the message, in bold Elephant Font: “You don’t get my respect. You have to earn it.” There may be many interpretations. What might you think? Would you be attracted to his swagger? Turned off by the implied entitlement? Be curious about how this attitude plays out in his life? Wonder how this message impacts those around him? I don’t know what goes through this guy’s mind when he awakens at 3 in the morning. But I know too many people of all ages who brand themselves with some display of entitlement, even arrogance. The attitude is fueled by media that offers top billing to those who display their entitlement and arrogance as strengths of character, even virtues. What is the impact on you, me, our kids looking for successful role models?

The truth is that on the surface, these people appear to be dominant, accomplished, on top of things. But trust me, it’s an illusion. Because deep down, they often experience isolation, emptiness and frustration. “Superiority” masks vulnerability. Recent studies indicate that this loss of empathy and connection to self and others is a growing concern among all ages. Is there a way out of this trend towards displaying arrogance or entitlement as valor? Consider the power of gratitude as an antidote to this deep well of discontent. Gratitude isn’t just a soft filmy blur of appreciation. It takes gumption and courage to live with gratitude in a culture that rewards snarky digs and hostile irony. It takes grit to choose to live with thankfulness for what we have, rather than focusing on endless lists of what is missing. Gratefulness is a gold standard of deep happiness, positive emotion and good health. Dr. Robert Emmons, UC Davis, leading researcher and author of “Thanks”, reminds us, “Gratitude can be as easy as a beautiful sunset, an exquisite bite of chocolate, a child, or the brilliance of autumn leaves. No matter what shape

or form gratitude takes, it fills us with a warmth and a reminder that life is good; this moment is special. Gratitude provides lessons to make us stronger. It is more than appreciation- it is a gift.” Research suggests why the experience of gratitude is transformative and offers tremendous health benefits. Thankfulness awakens our brain’s pleasure centers, and our bodies produce bio-chemicals that activate a strong and powerful sense of our potential, well-being and connection. Our bodies respond with vitality and a stronger immune system. We may be inspired to serve others, to contribute to the greater good. Power up your gratitude muscle with a few simple actions. Do these with your family. Do these with your friends. Do them alone. Mix it up. If you practice just three times a week, you’ll begin noticing a stronger sense of ease, fun, and lightness. Best of all, these practices will spark new connections among your friends and family in fun heart-warming ways. - Gratitext: Everyone takes out their cell phone or notepad. Each person imagines a particular person to whom you are grateful, maybe someone who helped you get where you are today. Send them a “gratitext” or a note, expressing your thoughts and feelings of gratitude to them for adding some benefit- or sparkle- to your life. Notice the good feelings that arise when you send this note- and how you feel when they respond. - Reach Out: Notice the many people who earn minimum wage performing a service that adds value to your day. Reach out, and thank them. Experience the gentle exchange of appreciation. - 3 Good Things:. Begin a “gratitude” journal and several times a week, write down 3 good things that happened. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly grateful, no problem. Just take a deep breath, and give thanks for the simple things. Hot and cold running water. A daily meal. The people who contribute to your comfort, whether or not you personally know them. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to entitlement, indifference, the “blahs”, and discontentment. - -

- Just Like Me. Find a good place to “people watch”. Relax and just be aware of others, take a deep breath and bring to mind the following thought: “Just like me this person has faced struggles, suffering and disappointments, and just like me, this person wants to be content and happy.” Observe what gets stirred up in you or how this guided attention changes your emotional state. Do you feel more empathy or perhaps appreciation for our shared humanity? Share your experience with each other. - Soak in this awesome 5 minute video with your family and friends: Just watch and notice your thoughts and feelings. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk - Gratitude. Simple. Powerful. Transformative. It is an act of courage to express your thankfulness. Do stuff that opens your heart. Tell your friends and family how they contribute to your life. When you savor and appreciate the goodness in your life, the little things and the million dollar moments, no one will ever need to earn your respect. Gratitude itself is an act of deepest respect, freely given, for life itself.


GRATITUDE:

A POWERFUL ANTIDOTE TO ENTITLEMENT By Carole Pertofsky, M.Ed. Director, Wellness and Health Promotion Services at Stanford University I was meeting up with friends in the latest hot restaurant in Palo Alto. As I walked towards my group, a very cool looking guy wearing a classy expensive black T-shirt leaned back in his chair and almost crashed into me as I squeezed between tables. He glared at me. And there, nestled just below his sculpted pecks, was the message, in bold Elephant Font: “You don’t get my respect. You have to earn it.” There may be many interpretations. What might you think? Would you be attracted to his swagger? Turned off by the implied entitlement? Be curious about how this attitude plays out in his life? Wonder how this message impacts those around him? I don’t know what goes through this guy’s mind when he awakens at 3 in the morning. But I know too many people of all ages who brand themselves with some display of entitlement, even arrogance. The attitude is fueled by media that offers top billing to those who display their entitlement and arrogance as strengths of character, even virtues. What is the impact on you, me, our kids looking for successful role models?

The truth is that on the surface, these people appear to be dominant, accomplished, on top of things. But trust me, it’s an illusion. Because deep down, they often experience isolation, emptiness and frustration. “Superiority” masks vulnerability. Recent studies indicate that this loss of empathy and connection to self and others is a growing concern among all ages. Is there a way out of this trend towards displaying arrogance or entitlement as valor? Consider the power of gratitude as an antidote to this deep well of discontent. Gratitude isn’t just a soft filmy blur of appreciation. It takes gumption and courage to live with gratitude in a culture that rewards snarky digs and hostile irony. It takes grit to choose to live with thankfulness for what we have, rather than focusing on endless lists of what is missing. Gratefulness is a gold standard of deep happiness, positive emotion and good health. Dr. Robert Emmons, UC Davis, leading researcher and author of “Thanks”, reminds us, “Gratitude can be as easy as a beautiful sunset, an exquisite bite of chocolate, a child, or the brilliance of autumn leaves. No matter what shape

or form gratitude takes, it fills us with a warmth and a reminder that life is good; this moment is special. Gratitude provides lessons to make us stronger. It is more than appreciation- it is a gift.” Research suggests why the experience of gratitude is transformative and offers tremendous health benefits. Thankfulness awakens our brain’s pleasure centers, and our bodies produce bio-chemicals that activate a strong and powerful sense of our potential, well-being and connection. Our bodies respond with vitality and a stronger immune system. We may be inspired to serve others, to contribute to the greater good. Power up your gratitude muscle with a few simple actions. Do these with your family. Do these with your friends. Do them alone. Mix it up. If you practice just three times a week, you’ll begin noticing a stronger sense of ease, fun, and lightness. Best of all, these practices will spark new connections among your friends and family in fun heart-warming ways. - Gratitext: Everyone takes out their cell phone or notepad. Each person imagines a particular person to whom you are grateful, maybe someone who helped you get where you are today. Send them a “gratitext” or a note, expressing your thoughts and feelings of gratitude to them for adding some benefit- or sparkle- to your life. Notice the good feelings that arise when you send this note- and how you feel when they respond. - Reach Out: Notice the many people who earn minimum wage performing a service that adds value to your day. Reach out, and thank them. Experience the gentle exchange of appreciation. - 3 Good Things:. Begin a “gratitude” journal and several times a week, write down 3 good things that happened. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly grateful, no problem. Just take a deep breath, and give thanks for the simple things. Hot and cold running water. A daily meal. The people who contribute to your comfort, whether or not you personally know them. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to entitlement, indifference, the “blahs”, and discontentment. - -

- Just Like Me. Find a good place to “people watch”. Relax and just be aware of others, take a deep breath and bring to mind the following thought: “Just like me this person has faced struggles, suffering and disappointments, and just like me, this person wants to be content and happy.” Observe what gets stirred up in you or how this guided attention changes your emotional state. Do you feel more empathy or perhaps appreciation for our shared humanity? Share your experience with each other. - Soak in this awesome 5 minute video with your family and friends: Just watch and notice your thoughts and feelings. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj2ofrX7jAk - Gratitude. Simple. Powerful. Transformative. It is an act of courage to express your thankfulness. Do stuff that opens your heart. Tell your friends and family how they contribute to your life. When you savor and appreciate the goodness in your life, the little things and the million dollar moments, no one will ever need to earn your respect. Gratitude itself is an act of deepest respect, freely given, for life itself.


The founder of this movement is Tarana Burke, who started spreading awareness in the early 2000s. According to Burke, the phrase has a deeper meaning. First, it is a bold statement by the victim of sexual harassment. He or she is not ashamed of what has happened. That’s why they dare to speak out. Second, it acts as a solidarity mechanism for all victims of sexual harassment. They are united and will support each other through tough times.

How the Me Too Movement is Helping Women?

This is Why the Me Too Movement is So Important The best way to find a solution to a social problem is to create awareness. Social media has helped in spreading the message across. An example of a life-changing movement created on social media is the ‘Me Too’ campaign. What is the Me Too Movement? It is a platform that encourages victims of sexual harassment to share their experiences with the rest of the world. The phrase gained popularity in 2017 after Alyssa Milano encouraged people to share their stories about sexual harassment and discrimination on Twitter using the words ‘Me Too’. However, Alyssa borrowed these words from some else.

The attitudes of people towards women are changing. Thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement, women are more respected. If a guy or another woman inappropriately talks to you, you have every right to speak up or report that person to the authorities or superiors. It is not normal for a person to talk about your body just because you are a woman. It has created a forum where women share experiences and empathize with one another. This support system has allowed most women to regain their confidence and self-esteem. As a result, there are more empowered women in society. Women feel like they belong thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. They no longer feel isolated and alone because of their negative experiences. These women know that they are not alone,

and they can get justice for negative treatment. Women can hold perpetrators responsible for inappropriate behavior. They can say what they have experienced, and people won’t judge them. Everyone has a right to be heard. Women feel safer in the workplace. The office is notorious for inappropriate behavior. Since the majority of workers in an organization are mostly men, women are afraid of pointing out inappropriate behavior. The good news is that things are changing. Organizations are taking sexual harassment cases more seriously. They are changing the way workers conduct themselves to protect women from inappropriate behavior. Women have the support of their families and friends thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. Since women are speaking out and making their family members aware of how they feel about certain situations, there is a sense of unity. For example, parents are feeling more responsible for their daughters. The ‘Me Too” movement has helped modern society progress as far as values are concerned. There is nothing too embarrassing not to talk about. As long as it affects you, it can affect the other person. Speaking out prevents the vice from spreading. It’s time to make our voices heard!


The founder of this movement is Tarana Burke, who started spreading awareness in the early 2000s. According to Burke, the phrase has a deeper meaning. First, it is a bold statement by the victim of sexual harassment. He or she is not ashamed of what has happened. That’s why they dare to speak out. Second, it acts as a solidarity mechanism for all victims of sexual harassment. They are united and will support each other through tough times.

How the Me Too Movement is Helping Women?

This is Why the Me Too Movement is So Important The best way to find a solution to a social problem is to create awareness. Social media has helped in spreading the message across. An example of a life-changing movement created on social media is the ‘Me Too’ campaign. What is the Me Too Movement? It is a platform that encourages victims of sexual harassment to share their experiences with the rest of the world. The phrase gained popularity in 2017 after Alyssa Milano encouraged people to share their stories about sexual harassment and discrimination on Twitter using the words ‘Me Too’. However, Alyssa borrowed these words from some else.

The attitudes of people towards women are changing. Thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement, women are more respected. If a guy or another woman inappropriately talks to you, you have every right to speak up or report that person to the authorities or superiors. It is not normal for a person to talk about your body just because you are a woman. It has created a forum where women share experiences and empathize with one another. This support system has allowed most women to regain their confidence and self-esteem. As a result, there are more empowered women in society. Women feel like they belong thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. They no longer feel isolated and alone because of their negative experiences. These women know that they are not alone,

and they can get justice for negative treatment. Women can hold perpetrators responsible for inappropriate behavior. They can say what they have experienced, and people won’t judge them. Everyone has a right to be heard. Women feel safer in the workplace. The office is notorious for inappropriate behavior. Since the majority of workers in an organization are mostly men, women are afraid of pointing out inappropriate behavior. The good news is that things are changing. Organizations are taking sexual harassment cases more seriously. They are changing the way workers conduct themselves to protect women from inappropriate behavior. Women have the support of their families and friends thanks to the ‘Me Too’ movement. Since women are speaking out and making their family members aware of how they feel about certain situations, there is a sense of unity. For example, parents are feeling more responsible for their daughters. The ‘Me Too” movement has helped modern society progress as far as values are concerned. There is nothing too embarrassing not to talk about. As long as it affects you, it can affect the other person. Speaking out prevents the vice from spreading. It’s time to make our voices heard!


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Profile for Rich Borell

Orlando Women Magazine - Mercedes Ramirez Johnson  

Orlando Women Magazine - Mercedes Ramirez Johnson  

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