We would like to share our personal stories on why we have chosen to do this work. Please check our Linkedin profiles for our professional background.
Born into a family of activist women, my mother and my older sisters helped shape my experiences and beliefs about powerful women. From my mother fighting to allow girls to wear pants to school, to my sister being part of the first class of females to break the gender barrier at Union College, to my working on public interest projects which found me packing my bags and moving to California on my own at 20. I am reminded that my voice was shaped from a legacy of strong female role models. Together as women, we have a collective voice that is different than our male counterparts. It is our leadership that will shape and change the world as we know it, for the better.
Decades have passed, and I have been working with corporations both internally and externally in the field of Organization Development, Transformational Change and Leadership development and Coaching. Companies like Clorox, HP, Cisco, BAE, Nestle; the truth is, it is hard to build a career and balance life and a family. It seems that taking care of one means sacrificing the other.
Born in the capital of Burgundy France, I was 11 when I started dreaming about far off lands, and planning my escape. I was 16 when I first left for an internship in London, 17 for Canada and 22 when I started my MBA in New York City.
For the next decade, I chose a career with Corporate America which allowed me to follow my dreams. I lived in eight different countries, managed cross cultural teams and worked with people from 52 different nationalities. I learned that there are multiple ways to work, live, love, believe, respect, give, share and enjoy. I came to understand that the way I was brought up was not the only way. I learned there was so much more I had to learn.
In many ways I am still on my international journey. I was fortunate enough to meet my husband who shares my passion for adventure, and we now have three children who are citizens of the world!
However starting a family changed things in a drastic way for me.
As an only child of teenage parents, I was primarily raised by my paternal Polish grandparents on a farm in the Midwest. Since they were raised during the Great Depression, what I learned from them was determination, perseverance, self-reliance, and an appreciation for the simple things in life and our natural resources. I started driving a tractor at the age of 10, and I wouldn’t change where or how I grew up, but I had always “wanted more out of life.” Like Audrey, I began dreaming of far off lands and made it a goal to make that dream a reality.
By the time I graduated from the University of Michigan, I owned my first house, had over four years of work experience with two Fortune 500 companies and was well positioned to leave Michigan and choose my work and living destination. I chose Portland, Oregon as my destination. I left Michigan by car on Thursday night and began my new job on Monday. I bought my second house shortly after. Was I becoming too responsible at such an early age?…