Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
After a four-decade career in real estate development and finance, I am finally using my experiences as a woman in a male-dominated industry to help other women. I am currently pursuing my doctorate in Organizational Leadership (while continuing to run my professional services business) and researching the experience and well-being of working mothers. My goal is to use this research to identify ways to support working women - and specifically working mothers - as they navigate their career mazes and build exceptional lives for themselves and their families.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I'm new to Ellevate and look forward to connecting with other women and learning how my research can help them further their career and personal aspirations.
How would you define your professional mission?
At this point in my career, my professional service goals are to provide excellent, authentic and thoughtful counsel to my clients and to better understand the needs of working women.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Dedication, attention to details (all of them), and candor.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
Leading a team of 12 (all male) engineers and oil field professionals through a brownfield remediation and development of over 300 lots for single family homes while maintaining ongoing oil production from multiple wells in both unitized and deep-well operations.
What are some career challenges on your radar?
Transitioning from real estate development and finance consulting to an encore career serving working women - and in particular, working mothers - in their quest for rewarding lives and improved well-being.
What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?
What - Managing a 10+ billion portfolio of real estate under development for a public pension fund during the Great Recession. Why - If they were honest, no one really knew what they were doing and what the outcome would be during this time. I approached my assignment with candor and honesty. The most important thing, in my opinion, was to respect the men and women (over 160 in all) who were the "boots on the ground" in these projects and give them the support they needed to achieve small wins every day. I focused on taking small steps, each day, toward the identified goal.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
Far too much to mention. Here is a recent interview that details where I've been and what I'm focused on now.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Being able to deliver my work product with integrity and grace.
Who are your role models?
My grandmother who was a model of patience and grace. My father who was a model of authenticity and unconditional love.
What is your morning ritual?
I get up before the sun, make coffee and watch the sun rise with my coffee in hand from my deck. I spend those moments appreciating the promise of a new day and being grateful for all that I am blessed with.
What is your favorite social media site? Why?
I'm not much into social media. I follow my kids (now adults with businesses of their own) on Instagram, and that's about it.
What would you say your personal superpower is?
Optimism. I strive to see the best in people, expect everyone is doing their best, and believe everyone has the capacity to overcome.
What does success look like to you?
Going to sleep at night knowing I have done my best with the tools and energy I had available. Waking up in the morning knowing I will continue to do my best and make the most of whatever situation I am faced with.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
I don't believe in the concept of balance. I do believe in the concept of choice. When you make the choices that are right for you, everything will eventually work out.
What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?
As with any industry, learn all you can from those who have come before you. And be true to yourself and what you know to be right.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Just do it (and long before Nike adopted this saying). Just do the work, do what you know to be right, give it your best, and be honest about your failings.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Trust yourself. You know what is best for you and your family. Take time for yourself, be kind to yourself, and ask for what you need.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
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