N America News May 2017

28 NORTH AMERICA NEWS / MAY 2017 , I believe the biggest lesson is trust. I am a very trusting person and always try and see the positive in every situation and the good in everyone. Unfortunately, in this world, not everyone shares this same trait. Early in our business endeavour I took on a client that did not pay me for six months. We were forced to cease working for them and tried to seek restitution. We had to chalk this up as a loss and a valuable lesson learned. I would suggest to everyone to do your homework on clients, ensure they have a good track record and never ever let a bill go past 60 days. Are there any specific contributions that you have made in your field that contribute to your success? i.e., inventions/ patents, books authored or co-authored, etc.? I have been featured in a few books for entrepreneurs’ offering advice and tips on starting your own business. I have also been profiled in several magazines about women in power; giving women some background on obstacles I’ve encountered growing strength along the way. I am also a member of several groups in my industry where I speak on webinars and such about industry topics and trends and I also host our own webinars and podcasts and blogs speaking of the same. We have also won several industry awards acknowledging our contributions. Are you involved in any organizations/societies or local community events that support your industry? If so what are they and what is your role? I am a Member of NIRI – National Investor Relations Institute as well as PRSA - Public Relations Society of America. What do you do in your free time? For 15 years, I was a licensed skydiving instructor on weekends. I had over 3k skydives, trained many people of all ages and skydiving was a great stress relief and relaxed me. Ironically in September 2015 I was struck in the head in a free fall accident and had a near fatal skydiving accident. After a month in the hospital with no memory of this and a broken back, neck and throat, I eventually healed and began to reflect on my life. With me having no memory of what happened, it was quite difficult to erase 15 years of my life by “doing something else” on weekends. It is amazing how things happen in life. This past summer I became a first-time grandmother and now spend my weekends visiting and playing with my granddaughter and striving even harder to show my kids that hard work can pay off and being an example for them so that they in turn can set an example for their children. What would you like readers to know about you and why? I guess I would like people to know that I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth and everything did not come easy to me. My mom raised myself and my two sisters on her own. I have been working since I was 13 years old. I have never ever been on unemployment or not had a job since the very first day I started working. I have always worked and worked very hard to get where I am today. I’ve experienced many ups and downs where some would have given up. I put myself through college while working full-time and raising my kids. I want people to know that when life seems hard or not the way you had envisioned it, do something about it. Life is what you make it. What kind of legacy would you like to leave the world? I would love for young aspiring women to know that they can be anything in the world that they choose to. I faced many obstacles in my life, from being a single mom of two children by age 22, to juggling work, raising my 2 kids on my own, and putting myself through college at the same time. Every time I encountered a situation, someone would pop up and tell me I couldn’t do it or that my life would never be anything special. People actually made me feel like they felt sorry for me by saying things like, “wow – you had such a bright future ahead of you…..until now.” That used to make me furious. I never saw my circumstances as something to feel sorry for. I saw them as chances to prove everyone wrong and be the best I could be – not only for myself, but for my children as well. I have no regrets in my life and wouldn’t change a thing.

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