Monday, March 28, 2011
While the term "360 degree" view is compelling perhaps, when speaking of Customer Relationship Management or working relationships (watch your back, comes to mind here), I find a "looking at life through a mail slot" approach to be effective.
For those of you that rarely use the steel receptacles that are available at every street corner for "snail mail" (pre-dates email inbox), let me briefly describe them (see graphic above).
The epitome of "ugly", they are nonetheless very efficient. There are only two ways to gain access - a swinging door in front in which mail can be placed, and a larger one in back that is locked and can only be accessed by an authorized representative.
Image for a moment that you are inside this box. The only view you would have to the outside world would be when someone pulled down the lid in front, or back. In the case of the former, your vision is limited to what is ahead of you. No rear-view or side-view mirrors on these babies!
Which is precisely my point. Sometimes we spend to much time "looking around us", practicing "referential thinking" when we really can't do anything about the past, and the real-time pace at which we live is often overwhelming. Further, we open up our lives via relationships and pastimes like Social Media, over schedule ourselves and our kids, and increase our vulnerability.
Sometimes we just need to sit in our "mailbox" and think. Open the slot and look ahead to the future. Limit access by only allowing a few ways to "get to you". And Listen. Listen to your Inner Voice, and to your children. It is here you will find authenticity.
Most of all, trust your intuition, your unique perspective and vision. You'll find it inside the Steel Mailbox.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
As many of you know, The Wealthy Women's Resource Guide supports victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence through organizations like Jane Doe No More, Inc.
One of the facts that is seldom publicized is the number of rapes that occur against women who serve in our Armed Forces. Recent surveys have indicated this to be upwards of 1/3.
The truth speaks for itself. Here is a link to one woman's story:
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In 2008, she took the first of several courageous steps and left behind a successful career at CNN, where she headed up their Japanese Business Unit, to form NewsCertified, an online service free to independent or newsroom-based journalists, featuring an array of certified interview-ready sources in more than 1,000 specialty areas.
Today, her hard work and dedication has borne fruit, and is helping other women find work in a new environment where traditional news organizations have closed bureaus around the world.
In a recent interview in Displaced Journalists, an online community for journalists in transition, Kathryn told Founder Susan Older "As a journalist, I would receive hundreds of solicitations a day from organizations highlighting story ideas and experts that I would promptly delete,” says McManus. “Then when I needed someone, I would scramble, trying to find ‘interview-ready’ experts (not generalists) who could comment. The solution seemed so easy: a database of certified ‘interview-ready’ experts that the media can draw from when the need arises.”
This is truly a win-win for all. The courage to make it happen and the work to keep it on an upward path is yet another one of the many women-led business success stories that visionaries like Kathryn are writing every day.
The Wealthy Women's Resource Guide is proud to be a Sponsoring Organization to their Influencing The Headlines community.
Please show your support by attending one of their events taking place in major cities across the US. The next one is April 8 in Chicago entitled "Empowering Women in Media".
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Hearing about all the festivities surrounding the recent SXSW Event in Austin made me a bit homesick. While all the focus seems to be on the Capitol City's lightning rod as a High-Tech startup breeding ground, I have seen some remarkable talent emerge in Fashion.
One Austin native, Tom Ford, recently re-launched his line of flattering designs for women after abandoning the gender in 2004. Fast Company named him one of their 100 Most Creative People in 2010 and his spring collection 2011 shows he is back with a bang.
Sadly, another one of my favorite Austin designers, Susan Dell wife of Billionaire Michael Dell, shut down her Phi luxury collection last year. I remember when Susan opened her first store in the tony Tarrytown area of Austin in 2003. 85 Broads member Lauren Santo Domingo whose new venture Moda Operandi we featured here last week, was also a big fan of Susan's work as I recall. I hope we see more of her in the future.
Monday, March 21, 2011
One thing I recall from the Meteorology course I took in college is that the forces that drive our weather patterns are constantly looking for ways to reach "Equilibrium".
Weatherbug.com describes this as "A condition in which all acting influences are canceled by others, resulting in a stable, balanced, or unchanging system."
Coincidentally, the term "equinox" means "equal light" referring to the fact that today there should be as much daylight as nighttime.
Wouldn't it be great if we could strike a similar balance in our own lives? Between work and life, plenty and poverty, happy and sad?
More importantly, can we have a "gender Equinox" where for at least one day out of every year we learn to respect the equality of the Sexes and the contribution both have made toward the betterment of society, our economy, and our children?
If any of you agree, I say we declare the Vernal Equinox "Global Gender Equality Day" and start a movement to get the UN or similar organization to pass a Resolution to this effect.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
For those of you who follow this blog and live in the NY area, may I recommend spending next Sunday afternoon at the historic Round Hill Community Church in Backcountry Greenwich. There you will find a wonderful musical event taking place in a most idyllic setting. The theme of the concert is the "War of The Romantics" and features well-known musicians performing works by Brahms, Wagner, & Poulenc
My Dear Friend, Hadi Hajjar and his wife, Mirella, are hosting a reception following the concert featuring a feast of Lebanese Hors d'Ouevres and Pastries, many of their own creation.
Here is a bit about the program from their website:
"Greek Soprano, Eleni Calenos, will appear at the Round Hill Community Church performing the soaring solos in Poulenc’s Gloria as part of the program, War of the Romantics, on Sunday, March 27 at 4 p.m. Of her 2008 debut as Cio-Cio-San in Madame Butterfly, the Houston press said, “The phenomenon was the Cio-Cio-San of soprano Eleni Calenos, whose nuanced characterization was a true wonder to hear. She sailed thru her dramatic arias as if buoyed by the stirring music.”
War of the Romantics refers to the contentious aesthetic battles between the supporters of the conservative Brahms, the radical Wagner and the French composer Francis Poulenc, who eschewed German romanticism in any form.
The program also includes Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll which was written as a Christmas gift for his wife Cosima, and will be performed in the original instrumentation. After intermission, the chorus will sing Brahms’ Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes (New Love Songs), and dramatic soprano Jenna Hintz, will perform Dich Teure Halle from Tannhäuser. The chorus will end the concert with the rousing Entrance of the Guests. Instrumentalists are from New York ensembles such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Dorian Wind Quintet and Antares. The choir and orchestra are under the direction of Christopher Kabala.
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased at the door. For more information, call 203-869-1091."
Thursday, March 17, 2011
What you may not know is that there is strong evidence to suggest he voiced strong opposition to Female Slavery, a widespread practice among the Druids in Ireland during the the 5th Century A.D.
Adamnan of Iona, a student of St. Patrick's tells a story of how his teacher once encountered a Druid and demanded that he release a woman in his captivity. According to legend, ""an angel sent from heaven, striking him severely, has broken in pieces the glass cup which he held in his hand, and from which he was in the act of drinking, and he himself is left half dead. Then he consented to free the Irish girl, and Columba cured him of the wound."
Please enjoy the day we have set aside to honor this important figure in our history. And may the luck of the Irish follow you forever!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
What a great time to be a female in the Fashion industry. Through my association with the 85 Broads Network, I have met many very talented and savvy businesswomen who work in the fashion world for top designers, or who have recently set up their own ventures after working in other areas.
Our own Evie, who is a Spokesmodel for WWRG and an 85 Broads member, is actively involved in several projects including the Fashion for Development initiative she is now rolling out via South South News. We featured her shows in a recent Lifestyle Lifters post.
We have also featured a venture curated by Shauna Mei called Aha!Life. For those of you looking for something unique to give to someone or yourself, I recommend you visit their website and sign up. Many of their offerings are created by women or benefit women in disadvantaged countries.
Another recent addition to the firmament of fashion by an 85 Broads member (or members in this case!) is Moda Operandi. Here, Ashlaug Magnusdottir and Lauren Santo Domingo have created a "first-in-category, members-only online store that lets customers browse and pre-order designer collections immediately following their runway presentation. Launched during New York Fashion Week, M'O was created to allow its members to "shop the runway" from the privacy of their own homes.
Moda Operandi provides direct access to complete runway collections from the finest designer brands, including Nina Ricci, Giambattista Valli, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Alexander Wang, and Proenza Schouler, as well as jewelry, shoes, handbags, and accessories. Membership perks include recommendations from top stylists, personal shopping assistants, and tools to review looks from every angle."
So many great Women now hold C-level positions at fashion industry Icons like Burberry and Gilt Groupe, to name but a few. If you have a "passion for fashion", please consider joining a network like 85 Broads where you will find plenty of support and mentorship. This is the vision that Janet Hanson set forth when she co-founded the organization in 1997 which has grown to a membership of over 25,000 women and a few enlightened men (me included!)
Monday, March 14, 2011
There are no words to describe the loss of life and property, now estimated to be upwards of 10,000 souls and $35 Billion in initial assessments. Having lived in Japan as a youth I can tell you that minor earthquakes were a common occurrence. At first, it is a bit unsettling, but as time goes on, it becomes just another part of life that is beyond our control. No one among the Japanese people that I observed gave it a second thought.
Perhaps it is because they live by the attitude of "Shigate ga nai" or "that which cannot be helped".
In a 2007 National History Day award winning paper titled "The Triumph and Tragedies of Japanese Women in America" , young Japanese-American writer, Taylor Sakamoto provides insight into the evolution of the Japanese women's movement and how ancient customs made life difficult for females in their culture even here in America where their U.S counterparts, while not yet at parity with men, had more opportunity and better chances for success. Ironically, her Maternal Great-Grandmother, Kazue Aoki, emigrated to the US in 1912 as a "picture bride" from the island of Honshu where the recent earthquake and tsunami was most devastating.
Let us show support for the Japanese women in our network as they struggle to deal with the after effects of this terrible tragedy, especially those who have lost Children and loved ones. There is no greater pain that the death of a child or the anguish of not knowing the whereabouts or condition of those that are missing.
The strength of women in times of struggle and challenge are legendary. Please give generously to one of the myriad of relief efforts now underway. But most importantly remember to cherish each day as if it is your last, and live by the attitude of "Shigate ga nai".
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Mary Fetchet's 24 year old son Brad, was killed in the attack on number two World Trade Center that day. Over the past decade Mary, a trained Social Worker, has worked tirelessly and courageously to help victim's families and others affected by the tragedy through the Voices of September 11th Foundation she co-founded in October of 2001. In 2003, they received 501 (c)3 status and continue to expand their outreach.
Here is some of her bio from the Voices website:
"Ms. Fetchet has achieved significant local and national praise for her advocacy work. A strong advocate for raising national and local preparedness, Ms. Fetchet campaigned for the creation of the independent 9/11 Commission and continues to promote the implementation of the Commission's recommendations for government reforms. She has testified before the 9/11 Commission, and before the United States Senate and House of Representatives on five occasions. She has made countless appearances on national television programs, and frequently contributes to print and radio news media.
Ms. Fetchet has served on a number of advisory boards and organizations including: The Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission, the National Homeland Defense Foundation, the National Traumatic Stress Network, the Coalition of 9/11 Families, the Family Advisory Committee of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), Columbia’s WTC Evacuation Study as well as the Homeland Security Advisory Council's Homeland Security Alert System Task Force.
Ms. Fetchet's work has brought her substantial recognition that includes being a recipient of the National Justice Award in 2003 and being presented with the 'Connecticut Hero' award by Senator Joseph Lieberman in September 2004. She was also named an ABC News Person of the Year in December 2004. Other honors include a 2005 Red Cross Award, a 2005 Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellowship, a 2006 "Connecticut's Most Uncommon Women" award. Ms. Fetchet was also featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Making a Difference and Hometown Heroes and DIRECTTV Hometown Heroes Production.
A graduate of Columbia University with an M.S. degree, Ms. Fetchet worked as a clinical social worker at Bridges, an outpatient mental health clinic in Milford, CT. She lives in New Canaan with her husband Frank, and has two surviving sons, Chris, age 22, and Wes, age 29".
Mary and her staff are busily preparing for some of the numerous events surrounding the tenth anniversary. Please visit the Voices website for more information on how to get involved or make a donation toward the effort.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Her name is Kathy McShane and we featured her in a Wednesday's Women of Courage post last year. This Wednesday, March 10, at 9:30am at Waveny House in New Canaan, CT, the American Association of University Women will host Kathy where she will discuss women entrepreneurs and how their growing ranks will change our economy and help lead us out of the financial crisis that continues to put women, their children, and generations to come, at risk.
This blog has been a strong advocate for Women's Empowerment and Women Entrepreneurship. In a blog last year we highlighted the events surrounding the Women's Forum in Deauville, France which has become the "Davos for Women". We have featured pioneering women entrepreneurs such as Shauna Mei, founder of AHA!Life and women, like Kathy McShane, and VC Cindy Padnos of Illuminate Ventures that target women-led ventures, and help them realize their dreams.
Please continue to support the efforts of Women Entrepreneurs and seek them out when next you are looking for goods or services. Your local chapter of 85 broads or Ladies Who Launch are a good starting point.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Judging by the map of visitor's locations on the sidebar to the right side of this page - practically everywhere!
As I indicated in my post last November, we are moving swiftly toward our goal to become the leading resource for Women of Wealth and Influence by bringing you on-demand, real-time content on Social Media Technologies that are now the most rapidly growing base of users - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN.
Since our relaunch in January 2011, our own Face and Voice of WWRG - Evie - has been around the world of fashion, both literally and virtually.
We are excited that her "Fashion for Development" project in conjunction with South South News, is now in full swing and receiving rave reviews. South South News is a leading digital media platform for the countries of the South that is facilitating, connecting, and publishing news on various efforts in sustainable economic and social development to audiences and multiple constituencies not only in the South but also around the world.
In a series of interviews conducted during NY Fashion Week last month, Evie highlighted the new collections of some of the world's most famous and socially involved designers including IvanaHelsinki (Paola Suhonen), Norma Kamali, and Zang Toi.
In these interviews, you will hear IvanaHelsinki speak about her support of UNICEF Dolls, Norma Kamali talk about how she helped girls in an Orphanage in India by using their embroidery in her clothing line, and Zang Toi's thoughts on how fashion can help women in developing countries - his support of battered women in Madagascar via his charity work there is just one example.
Here are the interviews courtesy of South South News:
Please follow Evie and I on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EvieofWWRG and http://twitter.com/JBHIVof WWRG respectively.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Today, March 2, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Winston S. Churchill, IV, Grandson of Sir Winston Spencer-Churchill one of the great leaders of our time, following a long and valiant battle with Prostate Cancer.
He will always be in our thoughts and prayers, as will his faithful and courageous widow, Luce, who never left his side during Chemo treatments that left him weak and unable to maintain the energetic lifestyle to which he was so accustomed.
Of his wife’s devotion he said, "We had a friend over from Palm Beach who said that I have a team of highly qualified, devoted, round-the-clock nurses. They are all called Luce.” Never more true was the saying “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.”
Throughout his life, young Winston, IV (shown above with Sir Winston and father Randolph) strove to preserve and emulate the leadership style of his famous Grandfather.
In his Obituary published March 3, 2010 in the British Newspaper, The Telegraph it was noted that “Churchill was frequently at the bedside during his grandfather’s final coma; his elder son Randolph was born two days before the great man died. At the funeral he and his father walked beside the gun carriage, and afterward Lady Churchill came to stay. He kept the flame alive as a trustee of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, an honorary fellow of Churchill and an honorary LLD of Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, where Sir Winston’s “Iron Curtain” speech was delivered (March 5, 1946).”
Perhaps his greatest legacy is his work on a book of famous speeches by Sir Winston entitled “Never Give In: The Best of Winston Churchill's Speeches”, Hyperion, 2003.
The book, unfortunately, doesn’t include Churchill’s secret speech to the House of Commons, given April 23, 1943, in which he cataloged his country’s dire military situation and expressed faith in the United States. But the stirring testimonies during the dark days of the war and even after his political defeat show such grace and eloquence: “Never flinch, never weary, never despair,” he declared.
I wonder what he’d make of the current whining by the so-called leaders of modern times. Perhaps a copy of Winston, IV’s book should be required reading for every Member of the US Congress. If you believe this to be true, consider purchasing a copy and dispatch to your elected official.
I can think of no greater way to honor the life of Winston, IV.