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Forever Grateful – The 2017 Boston Marathon Changed Me Forever

April 16, 2021

Boston Marathon, Wednesday Wisdom and Inspiration for female runners and women entrepreneurs

“The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race,” is a quote once seen on a marathon supporter sign on the side of a road. I remember reading this quote and wondering who I would be once I crossed the historic Boston Marathon line on Boylston Street. What would change, what moments would influence me for the rest of my life, what moments along the 26.2 miles would stay in my soul forever? I have the answers and I really want to share them with you today as another Boston Marathon weekend approaches.

The journey of a marathon starts long before the starting gun goes off jumpstarting your heart and legs for this tremendous adventure. The journey starts when you ask yourself, “Can I complete a marathon? Do I want to complete a marathon? What the heck does it take to finish a marathon?” Having always been inspired by women the motivation to run a marathon came in November 2015 sitting around a table of 13 international and American women in the brownstone rental Kathrine Switzer had arranged for the very first team meeting. I would have never known that one simple candle lit dinner with wine and homemade food would spark something I never knew existed within me.

As each woman introduced herself explaining why they were there, why they ran, and what they do, I was amazed to discover I was only 2 of 13 women who had never run a marathon; but I was a 15 year 2 mile a day runner which seemed to impress my new friends. Mary T., who sat across from me, just back from running a marathon in Antarctica and Inga, sitting to my right, was from Iceland who runs her country hills near fjords with a gun in case a bear crosses her path. She turned to me and said, “You should run in Iceland with me!” I’m not sure what my facial expression was but I sure as heck knew what my internal answer was….bears really?”

Then came time to listen to the inspirational words of Kathrine Switzer, the hostess who brought us together within her dream to create and what it would mean for women globally if we could get involved and believe in her concept helping to launch it in our own cities and countries. It is hard to say “no” to Kathrine because she is the most wonderful, warm, amazing woman I have ever met. She is electric and gracious all rolled into one.

After bonding with these 13 women I left New York City changed, wishing I could stay with my new international friends forever and wanting to help Kathrine anyway I could. I knew I had to help women know more about KV Switzer what she had done in 1967 and what she planned to do so I arrived back to Syracuse ready to stay involved and we did when I landed her a speaking gig at my alma mater SUNY Oswego and she repaid the favor speaking at a Women TIES event in April 2016.

In the late summer of 2016, I received an unexpected email asking for women to apply to run in the Boston Marathon with Kathrine on the 50th anniversary of her gender barrier breaking moment in history. My hands shook as I contemplated the decision and then I said, “No way could I run a marathon” and closed the email. Next thing I knew my NYC 261Fearless roommate from Louisiana (the other non-marathoner) posted a YouTube video saying in her southern drawl, “I’m doing this,” and next thing I knew I opened the invitation, filled out the application and sent it in! I knew I had to train, raise $7,261 dollars and then run it – which was going to be harder I wondered?

9 months later, on April 17, 2017, as I walked excitedly towards the start line in the Hopkinton, Massachusetts where our Boston Marathon start was to begin, Dawn, my NYC roommate was at my side, fatefully put there again, to start this once in a life time experience. As we walked up behind Kathrine with 110 other excited women (and a few men), we looked at each other grabbed hands and said a prayer that we would each finish. Boom the gun went off and we ran our separate ways.

You see as much as you think you will run alongside someone to experience the Boston Marathon together, you can’t. As distinctively as our own personalities, we uniquely have to travel the 26.2 hilly miles from Hopkinton through Wellesley past Boston College and onto Boylston Street by ourselves with our own mantras, pace, spirit and depth of commitment. You can’t live someone else’s moment; you must live your own.

I felt great looking ahead at the colored hats and shirts of thousands of runners. The energy of the crowd sweeps you up for the first 7 miles as you run downhill and uphill with tons of people cheering you on. Then you start feeling the tightness in your legs, the slowing down of your pace and the reality you have 19 more miles to go. I was not discouraged on how I was feeling because I had trained for this thanks to my coach Reem Jishi, and knew it would take every ounce of tenacity to pull through.

I started thinking of the 110 people who donated to my charity raising $8,000 and I knew there was nothing that was going to stop me from finishing that race even if I had to walk and run to get there. The generosity of my donors fueled me in the doubtful moments. As I approached the beginning of HeartBreak Hill near my beloved Boston College, a blind woman and her coach ran by me on the left and a man with blade feet came up on me to the right, and my spirit raged as I witnessed these two individuals.

Heartbreak Hill is a long hill but it was “Heartful Hill” for me because my oldest son Thomas had gone to Boston College for four years and when I drove into visit him that was the last hill until his dorm. I loved that hill! BC Students were cheered me on as I yelled, “I love Boston College!” I stopped to have a 14 year old girl fix my iPod music and she said, “I love your bracelet which said ‘She believed she could, and so she did,’ a gift from my friend Susan Bertrand of Maureen’s Hope Foundation. I took it off and gave it to her as a thank you. She hugged me. I was energized once again.

Just as I came down the hill on “The Haunted Mile,” a flat part of the race in Newton, my husband and son hugged me and off I went until a mile later when Jill Bates, a Women TIES member from Rochester and her sister-in-law, an Ironwoman who I had donated to for her Hawaiian race, hugged me and gave me one last push to finish my last 3 miles. You see you receive if you give. Off I went, knowing the end was near.

Down the hill and the big left turn on Boylston Street, the crowd noise was louder than a Boston Red Sox victory over the Yankees. I couldn’t believe how loud that crowd was and how many people stayed to cheer us on. The elite athletes had finished hours before. Kathrine Switzer had finished an hour before at the age of 70 finalizing her big dream. You wouldn’t know you were a charity runner when you heard that crowd. I heard someone say, ‘Tracy….I turned around to see my roommate Dawn from Louisiana call my name. We had miraculously caught up to each other at the .2 mile of the 26.2 mile race. Was it fate? I say it was our prayers that we crossed the finish line.

At the end of the race I was a different person, a changed person. I realized that during the race I tried to give back to the crowd as much as they gave to me. I stopped took photos, danced for them, acknowledged them, shook their hands, gave hugs to people who held up “Do You Need A Hug” sign, slapped as many little girls hands as I could to make them happy, and slowed down to bask in the true “LOVE OF BOSTON.”

In the end, I realized how much people really care about others. The world news does not speak about this world that appears on the everyday streets that make up America – or Boston – or other great USA cities. People do believe in each other. We want to love others. We show our love the best we can. We are there in service and support from the smallest of us to the oldest.

I am changed forever by the love every single person in the Women TIES community, my family and my new Boston family showed me. I don’t know what to do with all this love but I sure do plan on giving away as much as I can to repay every person who believed in me. Come to a Women TIES event and I’ll give you a hug to share it.

Although the bracelet is on the wrist of a 14 year old girl, I remember what it said, “She believed and so she did!” What I know for sure is if I can run the Boston Marathon, then any woman I know including my favorite women entrepreneurs, can do anything they believe they can!

Wednesday Wisdom: The Value of Supporting Non-For-Profit Organizations

April 14, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration and Business Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, and Small Businesses

A new square black and pink sign sat in a traditional spot on a familiar piece of grass at the entrance to a popular park catching my eye since it’s been a year of nonexistent signage due to our community situation. An uptick in safe, social interaction appears to be bringing back beloved fundraising walks and runs for needy non-profits drained of revenue during the shut-down. On any other given year, an abundance of signs lined the park promoting weekend races for every non-profit you could imagine. In the quiet of the pandemic, I noticed them missing.

Although the fundraising signs disappeared, the non-profit organizations’ missions, services, and people they serve didn’t disappear and either did tenacious runners, walkers and bikers. Each chugging along best they could waiting for a new “spring” to return to familiar financial and racing worlds. As our globe focused on the ever-essential health care workers attending to the sickest humans, the rest of the non-profit associations had to survive, just like women business owners, with limited resources and funding.

The colorful sign reminded me that soon the park would be full of branded organization t-shirts, balloons, sponsorship signs, music, laughter and supporters raising money for good causes that help thousands of local community members. The sign also reminded me of the non-profit organizations I supported during the pandemic, especially the ones associated with Women TIES or having a direct link to me personally like the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. I continued to give knowing these organizations purposes were essential.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to motivate you to look at your budget again and earmark some funds for the non-profit agencies nearest and dearest to your heart or company. View their websites to see if they have planned activities for the year. If they do, sign up or consider a sponsorship. Reach out to your favorite ones and see if there are non-financial ways to support them if your budget doesn’t allow a monetary contribution.

Let’s not forget these essential “businesses” just like we didn’t forget the health care workers this past year who worked so hard to help those who need special services. Every agency needs and deserves moral and funding backing. 

Wednesday Wisdom: Follow the Bear

April 7, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Hump Day, Business Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners

Our world is slowly starting to expand again. It’s been a year of contraction, restriction, and self-preservation. We have been no different than a bear who hibernates through a long, isolating winter who eventually move forward slowly preparing for spring with abundant food and life again.

As we all begin to slowly re-enter our business world, going from restrictive ideas to expansive ones, I invite you to go beyond what you were used to before April 2020 into a larger, more connected world, where new opportunities exist and are ripe for the picking. At first it will be moving out of your home office or darkened office space, once full of staff and activity, at a comfortable pace, and back into your community re-engaging with other corporate owners and friends.

Beyond this first movement forward keeping going further into a regional or state-wide business mindset where travel on the wide, open roads, will feel free and unrestricted opening up business opportunities again. Then take the step beyond and broaden your national and international horizons – opening up wider than you ever have before. If the pandemic taught us anything it’s that we are in the same situation with global women entrepreneurs. Oceans apart doesn’t matter with an airborne virus

What wild dreams have you had about making new friends across the blue ocean? Have you even thought about how grander your life might be with an Italian friend, English vendor, or Australian mentor? Thinking that big, might not be something you are comfortable with, but I can tell you with certainty it can be accomplished and add unlimited value to your life and business.

This Wednesday Wisdom is to specifically invite you to join me and my English friend Dr. Juliet McGrattan on April 21st at noon to embark on a new journey of meeting and benefiting from female entrepreneurial connections across “the pond.”I want you to see and understand how easy it is to connect with women five hours away in another country where the similarities are striking and their wisdom and accents are worth hearing.

Starting this April, after the long winter of Covid, think like a bear. Come out of your cave, embrace the new light, and forge new vistas beyond your own four walls. Open back up to all the possibilities before you especially the brand, new expansive ones with limitless horizons. I hope to spend April 21st with you opening that door. 

Tuesday Thoughts: Miracles in Entrepreneurial Life

April 6, 2021

Inspiration and Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners and Small Businesses

Five years ago I drove on a winding road through the beautiful lush green Adirondack tree lined roads. As I entered the quaint village of Lake Placid, Mirror Lake greeting me at its entrance. I had arrived just in time to catch the water sparkle before nightfall. The soft sounds of lapping water lulled me after the four hour drive; but the energy of being in a town of Olympic pride ignited me.

I was in Lake Placid to deliver a keynote speech entitled “The 5 M&M’s of Leadership Success” to a New York State Association of Tax Receivers to motivate them. I didn’t want to admit I had barely passed tax accounting in college so I concentrated instead on sharing the “sweet morsels” of leadership success which included one strategy titled “Embracing Your Personal Mission Statement and Miracle Moments.”

Obviously the city of Lake Placid can be a deep reservoir of inspiration if you imagine how many Olympians must have had personal mission statements in order to win medals there. Lake Placid was home to the 1932 Olympics and the 1980 Olympics. It is impossible to be in that historic town and not be inspired by the “Miracle on Ice” which occurred on February 22, 1980 when the USA defeated the Soviet Union. I wondered if each hockey player had a personal goal of making the Olympics and what that Miracle Moment did for those players that changed the course of their life.

As I encouraged attendees to think back to one or more “miracle moments” that inspired them to become leaders. I pose the same question to you today “Was there a moment of injustice, inequality, inspiration or a situation that actually was your own miracle moment?” We might not think about this question often but if we do and write down our moment and it can be inspiration on days when other people doubt or disagree with us, and we wonder why we do what we do every day to change the world with our business or life.

Today I encourage you to think about your own miracle moments which made you who you are as a woman entrepreneur, community leader or business professional. Take time on this beautiful spring day to think back on moments that shaped you. After you remember your moments craft a short personal mission statement that reflects the lessons from those moments and keep it on your desk for the next month to inspire you forward.

We don’t have to be Olympians to recognize the miracle moments in our own lives. When we do remember them it is as if we had a shiny gold Olympic medal hanging around our neck reminding us of the journey we’ve taken and the successes we have accomplished.

Wednesday Wisdom: The Entrepreneurial Race Track

March 31, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Hump Day, Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Female Athletes

It all began at the age of 7 when a younger sister wanted to try go-kart racing and her parents didn’t want her to do it alone. Although the girl eventually lost interest in the sport, her older sister didn’t and embarked on a joyful, solo journey that lasted thirty years in a male-dominated industry. The more uncomfortable the girl became, the faster she went, both around the track and up the racing ladder eventually becoming the first female to win an IndyCar Championship and to win the pole position for the 2013 Daytona 500.

“It was being at the right place, at the right time as well as being extremely passionate and dedicated to the sport,” Danica Patrick explained on a live Zoom webinar on Monday sponsored by Morgan Stanley. The interviewer asked her, “Does winning a race have more to do with the quality of the car or the guts of the driver?” I thought it was an interesting question like comparing what comes first the chicken or the Easter egg? “For me it was about being at the right place at the right time and someone acknowledging my ability to race well and sponsoring a top-rated car for me which was essential to winning,” Danica continued.

Another intriguing question by the expert interviewer struck me. “How were you received being the first female in the ranks when you first started racing and winning?” Danica summed up her wisdom with four answers, “First, everyone has to prove themselves to both themselves and others by achieving success. Second, being a woman definitely took extra effort to be seen and acknowledged.

Third, if a man’s ego got in the way of congratulating me, I just banked my own success in my mind knowing the issue was about them not me. Finally, being a woman brought some advantages and opportunities the men didn’t have. I also learned it is difficult to tone yourself down because others want you to. It takes away ‘you’ and I never let that happen. In the end, never hide what is different about you because it is your advantage.”

Although today’s Wednesday Wisdom might appear to be about race car driving and excelling in sports, it is meant to have you soak in Danica’s career lessons because they should resonate as a woman in business. In fact, Danica is now a successful entrepreneur of two wineries, a podcast, and author so her racing career lessons helped her transition into the next phase. She says, “Joy is in the journey and it took me a long time to realize this and stop my career because the joyful part was over.”

Her final advice, which I loved was, “Buckle up it’s going to be a ride if you want to be an entrepreneur!” Isn’t that what we all hope for – enough excitement, success, and passion to keep us going around the entrepreneurial race track until we are ready to move on to a new ride? 

Wednesday Wisdom: Big vs. Small Differences

March 24, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Business Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs & Female Business Owners

Marion Wright Edelman once said, “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” Although she was talking about her work as an American Civil Rights Attorney, the quote struck me pertinent for this moment in time as the world and especially small businesses reopen after the global pandemic.

Listening to the whispers in my closest family circles, some believe the past year robbed them of crucial time in their lives and careers while others chose to live the best they could not succumbing to fear and anxiety. There hasn’t been a right or wrong way to act in this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic but to ride its wave, survive, learn, listen, and look forward.

As I listened to some of our sister entrepreneurs and members, I found some divergent philosophies about running their companies during a pandemic but for the most part, our female friends survived by making small, daily differences and a few of them made large changes staring apprehension right in the face and saying, “move over.”

I’m proud of the women who took a leap of faith to expand their operations during the pandemic by moving into a larger rental space, applying for PPP loans and cash advances, retaining staff, and finding creative ways to hang on to their enterprises.

I’m equally proud for the females in our group who hung on, reinvented their marketing outreach, learned Zoom, and delivered services to their faithful customers. Sometimes those small differences we don’t count actually reap larger rewards in the long haul.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to help you see that no matter how you professionally handled the year-long pandemic, you did it your way in big ways and small. Read the quote above again and take it to heart. Recount the small differences you took to keep your customers happy, informed, and enlightened. Recall the small, yet poignant thoughts you performed to help your staff and your own financials. Embrace those big leaps of faith too and let them remind you that you are more fearless than you think.

Don’t sweep anything you did this past year, big or small, under the rug until you shine a light on it and relish the fantastic, strong, woman entrepreneur you are. You survived and I promise you that you will continue to make big and small differences in the lives of others.


Wednesday Wisdom: Glam Up Your Marketing

March 17, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Marketing for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Small Businesses

The box sat on my office couch for a couple months, always beckoning me to open it. The package arrived on time just like I hoped but for some reason I let it maintain its pristine appearance until the day came when the contents were finally going to do their job.

This past Sunday in celebration of my mother’s 80th birthday dinner, the box was opened and the contents placed perfectly on my eyelids to enhance my alopecia look for my mom’s special day. It was a gift to her to have her daughter return to normal for a couple hours. Being more of a sporty gal than a glamourous one, the thought of wearing falsies went against my grain. I remember seeing an aunt’s friend wear such long fake eyelashes that they almost touched her forehead. I’ve never wanted to be or look fake so I’ve avoided replacing my eyelashes for three years.

Amazed that eyelashes could affix themselves well to a bald eyelid, I read closer how the black eyeliner was magnetic and so were the eyelashes. They easily attached together and held in place even on a windy winter afternoon. Who ever thought about innovating such a specific product in such a scientific way to assist women who lost their eyelashes to alopecia or cancer? Were they playing with magnets one day and the lightbulb went off? Had they been specifically ‘thinking out of the box’ to create this type of product? It is amazing what our imagination can foster.

At the end of the evening before taking the eyelashes off, I looked one more time in the mirror catching a previous glimpse of my physical self and thanking the inventor of MoxieLash for their brilliance in designing such a product for women like me.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom should inspire you to ask and answer this question, “Does my company provide the type of services and products that make customers grateful for our offerings?” How often have you thought about how helpful your business truly is to the people that utilize what you offer? If you don’t have an idea, consider reaching out to a few clients for testimonials, not only for your curiosity and satisfaction, but for marketing purposes too. If you get their approval to share their comments, it will help drive others to buy from you just like the positive comments did for me when buying eyelashes.

Sometimes in life and business we need to try something new to enhance ourselves and our work by shining a light on the “glamour” our services offer to the marketplace. 

Wednesday Wisdom – We Shall Shine

March 10, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Women, Girls

The room grew dark as the lights dimmed after the dignitary spoke. All eyes readjusted and focused on the light now emanating from the big square screen. Music began playing from a video being shone on the canvas. Bright, bold colors adorned the heads and bodies of women of all ages, cultures and skin tones, some of them playing native instrumental music, smiling – some with teeth and some without – and all with a depth of character of lives well, or not economically, lived well.

“One Woman: A Song for UN Women” played for 4 minutes enlarging my heart vessels as the positive vibes struck my feminine blood flow. I remember being instantly moved sitting, and then swaying, in the ballroom where I was invited to celebrate and speak at the 2012 International Women’s Day in beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York. Unity with other women has come easy for me but in that moment seeing the images of women from all over the world struck a new desire to connect with global women but I had no idea how to do it.

Three years later, not remembering the Saratoga experience, I joined female running icon Kathrine Switzer in a New York City brownstone for a weekend with unfamiliar women from Iceland, Australia, Malaysia, Austria, England, and New Zealand, along with five women from around America to learn about and help launch a new global running organization for women. Was sitting in the Saratoga ballroom, being moved by that song, the reason I agreed to go to New York? Was it serendipity or fate? I’m not sure but what I know for sure is it was one of the most exhilarating opportunities of my lifetime which opened my relationship with international women some who have been amazing supporters of mine even though they are oceans away.

In 2018 without a thought, I flew over to beautiful Devon, England to run with a team of international women in an all-woman’s marathon with team members from Malta, England, and Switzerland. Sitting in the warm, English field after the race was done in a circle of teammates and other international friends from New York City, we toasted to our success with Prosecco reminding me of the song I heard in 2012.

Opening Monday’s Women TIES International Women’s Day Celebration with women from around New York State, I played the same video that moved me nine years ago hoping to move the women at the Zoom event, and perhaps opening a place in their minds and hearts to secure business connections with female entrepreneurs across our world’s vast oceans. To help with this mission, I committed to inviting my international friends to be speakers in upcoming Women TIES programs to have business women contemplate international connections. If not now, when? The coronavirus has proven we are a world-wide community.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to inspire you to think of ways you can connect with international women in your own industries and networks. Do you already have strong female relationships across the oceans? If so, can they turn into networking and economic opportunities? Could you update your business marketing plan to expand globally? What will it look like or take to accomplish?

If you need some inspiration to move forward, click here to listen to the “One Woman” song and remember some of my favorite lyrics, “We are one woman. You sing, and I sing along. We are one woman. Your dreams are mine, and we shall shine. We shall shine. We shall shine, shine, shine.” 

Wednesday Wisdom: The Essence of Pink Purses – An Economic Message

March 3, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Motivation for Women, Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Females

The original meaning of the word “purse” was a small bag for holding money. In Britain, this definition of purse still stands and the term for a larger bag that holds more items is referred to as a handbag. Purses weren’t always convenient fashionable bags worn by women. In fact, the first purses in history were more utilitarian and worn by men. The usage of a purse continued this way for a long time before women started using them.

The US presidential inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 when Eisenhower’s wife Mamie wore a pink dress as her inaugural gown is thought to have been a key turning point to the association of pink as a color associated with girls. Mamie’s strong liking of pink led to the public association with pink being a color that “ladylike women wear.”

Pink has continued as a color associated with girls and women as evident at baby showers, playgrounds, and magazines. Many women have told me they don’t wear pink because it seems ‘too girly or feminine.’ I have boldly embraced wearing pink to represent women. I believe there is a power to pink that gets missed by women today who only envision it for babies and young girls.

One of the things I collect are pink purses – not necessarily to wear when I’m shopping in public – but displayed as statues, ornaments, sentiments, and reminders of my greater purpose on earth – to help women put more money in the purses of other women first and foremost and to help with pay inequality. By highlighting the image of a pink purse, I hope women see the power their buying decisions make for other women today. We have choices every single minute where to spend our precious ‘pink’ money earned leading our companies. Do we stop before we spend contemplating how the power of our buying decisions make a ripple effect in our local and great communities? Or do we spend and hire without understanding we have the power to make a difference in another woman’s life?

On this significant 3rd day of March during Women’s History Month, when Women TIES was created 16 years to the moment you are reading this Wednesday Wisdom editorial, I remain committed to strongly encouraging women to spend their money with other women as often as they can by putting their money in another woman’s hands, bank account, or pink purse. We have a duty during this month, of all months, to do something to make pay inequality less stark by deciding for 31 days to hire another woman, buy a commercial product from a woman entrepreneur instead of a national store, purchase a service provided by a female business owner, and go out of your way to share our message of supporting women financially. Will you do it? Will you join me in this pink pledge? 

I call living this ‘pink purse’ mission my dream and our organization’s purpose. With you help, we can continue to make a difference in 2021 like our foremothers did to make some big and small positive pink impacts in our world. 

Monday Motivation: What’s Your “Herstory” this Women’s History Month?

March 1, 2021

Women’s History Month Inspiration for Women, Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners, Females

The yellow pages of history – which I love referring to as herstory – had a lot to do with landing me exactly where I was supposed to be. I was born in 1964 during the second wave of feminism when women of all ages began to fight to secure a stronger role in America. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 included Title VII that prohibited discrimination in employment on the basis of gender. Members of the National Organization of women strove for equality breaking down social and legal norms. I believe coming to life in 1964 sparked my feminist spirit.

My mother, born to traditional Italian immigrants, broke conformity by fighting for her own individual future by going to college where she worked numerous jobs to pay for school for her future independence. Graduating in 1963 with a four-year college degree gave her choices to begin her career – the first woman in her family to do so. I am positive some of her feminist genes landed in my body being born a year later to her dismay as an interruption in her professional future. I was raised to be a very independent girl.

Feisty at the core from the beginning of life, I’ve never backed away from a chance to lead others – mainly women – as evident by putting together an all-female election slate in 1979 for student government. Although we didn’t win, I continued to lead and push forward female issues in becoming a woman entrepreneur, serving only women business owners the past quarter-century, creating an all women’s sports network, and women’s equality division to my company. Women are first in my life and will be forever.

During Women’s History Month, I encourage you to look at your “herstory” starting with significant events that occurred the year you were born. Examine the women in your life who sparked your interest in pro-female beliefs and attitudes. Dive into your core to find “pink-related issues” that move you today like equal pay, electing female political candidates, protecting women’s reproductive rights, buying from women in business, and filling the stands at women’s sporting events. This is the month to get in touch with your feelings on women’s issues and get more involved in 2021.

Commit to doing something every single day in March 2021 that supports women in your life or community. Don’t be afraid to speak from your heart and soul about female issues that must change in your eyes. We need you to get more involved. Don’t back down – rev up. Women’s past history shows you why. Let’s make a difference in our generation too.

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