Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something because of your gender? That you couldn’t be involved in something because of your physical characteristics? That your career was limited because you decided to have children? Fortunately for me I have been presented with those “opportunities” throughout my life. And what I have discovered about a door shutting, or at times slamming in my face, is the strength you garner to find a new door, a new path, or a new opportunity. Each one of us is faced with challenging situations and it is how we choose to respond to these situations that ultimately steers our direction. If I had my life to do all over again I wouldn’t change a thing. It has been these experiences, whether difficult or easy, fun or heartbreaking, that truly shaped who I have become as an individual, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and executive.

Throughout my professional and personal journey, I have been blessed to have many mentors. Some I have known personally and some I have simply admired for their character and their contributions. I began my career with determination and gratitude, but what I have learned from my mentors has and continues to broaden and refine me! One significant lesson I now embody both personally and professionally is to be a life-long learner. Be curious! Challenge! Ask questions! Stretch yourself in ways you could never imagine! Understand that in every endeavor there is the opportunity to enrich your own life and the lives of others. As you stretch yourself, do what you love…not what someone else wants you to love. I have been fortunate my entire career to truly love what I do. I may not have always had work situations I cared for, or assignments that were my favorite, but overall my experiences have been both challenging and rewarding. If you stay true to yourself and follow your dream through the many twists and turns you encounter, your journey will ultimately be fulfilling.

Finally, by truly living each day as if it were your last, you will have a clear perspective of life through a wide angle lens—allowing you to keep all the various priorities and pressures facing you aligned. This has been my life-long practice for which I am grateful each day!