Places & Faces
RunYour Own Race
Leeza Gibbons to Serve as Keynote Speaker for Women’s Commission Annual Fall Conference American talk show host and 2015 Celebrity Apprentice winner Leeza Kim Gibbons, also known as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and the host of her own syndicated daytime talk show, Leeza, serves as the keynote speaker for the 2015 Women’s Fall Conference. Gibbons, a native of Hartsville, South Carolina, started her career co-hosting local segments in Beaumont, Texas, and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband Steven Fenton. She has three children, daughter Leksi and sons Troy and Nate. Leeza started the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation after her mother passed away from Alzheimer’s, creating what she and her family wished they had during their caregiving journey. The foundation offers key programs called Leeza’s Place and Leeza’s Care Connection, where family caregivers are offered free services and encouragement to call on their courage and summon their strength for the long journey ahead. Gibbons is an Emmy award winner and bestselling author, having published Take 2, a personal growth guide designed to help people recreate themselves and hit the reset button
on their lives. Gibbons uplifts, empowers and motivates audiences and viewers to get more out of life and business. She shared some of her story in advance of her appearance at the Women’s Conference. What inspired you to take your life’s path? I ended up in a place in my journey where I was faced with that question, “Now what?” as so many people face. In my case—what do we do now that mom has Alzheimer’s disease? This reality became the pivot point that caused me to adjust, adapt and change. I think that is the secret to successful survival; that we all have to become architects of our own life. That was my moment to really own it. You recently appeared on Celebrity Apprentice. What is one of the most important lessons you learned? “Run your own race.’’ I think that’s some of the best advice I ever got from my mother. We live in a culture where we compare ourselves to everything and everyone. And when we do, it really just diminishes our own journey and devalues the uniqueness of our own experience. I was with 18 cast mates that were very unlike me; that was the point, it gave me the chance to really stay in my lane and do what I do and try not to be influenced by the outside pressure, to play another way. It’s a great microcosm for life. There are people trying to sabotage you and people trying to break you down, wanting to trip you up so they can win, and it’s that way in life, but we do have a choice. I hope that my experience there proved that who you are is more than enough, and nice girls can really finish first.
Thrive Magazine for Better Living
What would be your one super power? Forgiveness. It’s an emerging skill. I don’t know that it’s yet developed into a super power, but I think it’s one of the most powerful traits that we can develop within ourselves. Forgiveness for ourselves when we fail, when we trip up, when we fall down, and feel we’ve made a mess of things. Being gentle and forgiving ourselves and forgiveness of others because without that we just grow with toxicity and resentment. So I think that is one of the things that has allowed me to remain optimistic in my life. What would be a good theme song for your life? “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. I used to walk out to it every day when I was doing my talk show. I had requested from the audience warm-up guy that they play that music for me. It’s a positive upbeat song anyway, but I really love the lyrics. It says, “Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.” It’s that reminder that we really can begin again every day we really can hit the reset button whenever we want. Just a reminder that we’re writing our story and every day is a chance to write a chapter that is more powerful and puts in whatever plot twists you want. Do you have any future aspirations for your life and career? My biggest goal really is to keep growing, keep changing, keep softening, and opening up because I think that is where we get our strengths. I’ve learned so much from working with my non-profit (Leeza’s Care Connection) for the last seven years, visiting with families and mostly women who think they are at the lowest
October 2015 Issue of Thrive