About Me

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a Superhero. There weren’t many women in that role to emulate in those days. Wonder Woman, of course, and Sheena, who was “Queen of the Jungle” in a very bad movie. (But I loved that she was telepathic with animals and ran around the jungle with a spear!) I found my adventure in reading – especially science fiction. How I loved traveling through time, flying to distant worlds, meeting real aliens and fighting mean space pirates. There were still very few women in heroic roles in my books, and that didn’t seem right to me. Why couldn’t girls do all those things? The only answer to my question always seemed to be that that was the way it was. I wasn’t satisfied. Deep down I knew it didn’t have to be that way. (My inner wild woman was rearing her head!)

I wanted to be an astronaut, a baseball player, a race car driver, and a jet pilot – none of which girls could aspire to at that time. I was active in Girl Scouts where I learned how to be a leader and interact in the community. It was in Girl Scouts where I finally saw the incredible possibilities for girls; where I wasn’t told I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. To the contrary, I was encouraged to be anything I wanted to be (even a little wild).

After receiving a degree in Russian Studies, I joined the U.S. Department of State. I had a terrific career. I traveled the world, managed nationwide and worldwide programs, was the first woman to hold a number of mid to high level jobs, received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, and lived and worked in Central America. I still fought the good fight for women (though I had to make my inner wild woman conform a bit) and pushed against the artificial barriers put up by a mostly male dominated bureaucracy. And I also met incredible women — some of whom became my mentors. They taught me to reach out and take the hand of another woman who might need a little help along the way. Pay it forward, as one of them told me.

Throughout my life, there has been nothing that clears my mind, body and spirit like physical activity. Just being outside brings me both peace and excitement. I have played field hockey, basketball, softball, tennis, and racquetball; was a runner until my knees stopped cooperating; practiced yoga and martial arts. I have a master certification in scuba diving and a brown belt in Judo (though I no longer practice). Now I do an intense boot camp program several days a week, and on off days I walk (those knees again!) or ride my bike. For one of those “decade” birthdays, I learned to ride a motorcycle fulfilling a lifelong wish, and shortly after, became a nationally certified motorcycle instructor. That gave me the opportunity to mentor other women motorcyclists and aspiring instructors. It also gave me the opportunity for a year to teach Marines to ride. Wild women can do anything!

In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer – surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and five years of drugs followed. Wearing a wig when I lost my hair wasn’t for me, so I wore a Harley-Davidson bandana around my shiny, bald head. The first time I met the then-new Secretary of State Colin Powell, I was in a suit, heels and a Harley bandana! (There’s that wild woman again.) Cancer brought me my greatest life challenge, but it also taught me to be a survivor.

My Superheroes now are real women (though secretly I still want to be a Jedi!). I love to sparkle and shine – bright colors, sequins and sparkly jewelry are my signature. But my real passion is a fierce desire to help other women discover their inner wild woman and join me on our journey 2 life.