As a featured speaker for the Chicago cohort of GSVLab's "ReBoot Career Accelerator for Women," I shared my own personal story of rebooting. I focused on how there were distinct chapters in my self-discovery process of what was the best fit of work for my personal mission in life.

I was also a panelist with Elene Cafasso (Executive Coach), Lindsay Bray Landsberg (Executive Recruiter), Professor William J. White (Northwestern University and Kellogg Graduate School of Management), moderated by ReBoot Co-Founder Patty White, to talk about how women who have been paid out of formal work for an extended time period can successfully re-enter and how to maximize their successful reboot. We discussed strategies for the "resume gap," returnships, how to discuss why you were at home, and how to position yourself well to get back into work you find meaningful and fulfilling while being paid. I am grateful to Kristi Nuelle and Elke Teichmann for supporting me to be on this panel and for managing the Chicago Cohort of ReBoot. I also took the course and found it to be helpful, high impact and the only program of its kind.


In this topic geared not only for C-Suite women, but all professional women and women wanting to return to work, Melanie and I discuss how to make yourself indispensable at work; how to approach talking about money, teaming, and promotion; how to be relevant; and how entrepreneurs can create an effective online presence.



make it better media's "re:work 2015"

On October 14th, 2015, I was honored to be a feature speaker at Make It Better Media's "Re:Work 2015" event at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Lindsay Bray Landsberg and I co-presented on "Effective Job Interviews" and geared our remarks to encourage mid-life women who were returning to formal paid work after an absence; wanting to change jobs or careers.

As Lindsay, my co-presenter, is an Executive Search Principal with Boyden Global and I am a career and leadership coach to executive and entrepreneurial women, we had an excellent vantage point from which to advocate how women approach the job interview. 

The central points I shared are:

  • You have to believe that you will perform well in the job to convince someone else to hire you
  • You need to do your homework long before you set foot in the interview
  • To crystallize your vision and your work, try the exercise of capturing what experiences put you into flow AND what experiences drain you
  • You don't want a job. You want the RIGHT job for YOU!
  • To communicate your value proposition, i.e. how you deliver a benefit from your work, you want to focus on how your work (your "A") to your ideal target customer (your "B") delivers a valuable benefit (your "C")
  • Men approach a new job asking how the company will set them up for success. Women approach a new job thinking they have to have mastered the skills before
photo credit: Adrienne Gallagher

photo credit: Adrienne Gallagher


My TEDx talk, entitled "Getting Unstuck in Work & in Life"," was given at "TEDx Winnetka Women" on May 28, 2015 at the Winnetka Community House for TEDx Women Global Series on the broad theme of "Momentum."

In this talk, I begin by asserting and then asking: 

"We will all get stuck at some point in our lives. How will we respond when it happens to us?"

The talk is built to share a powerful strategy for getting unstuck in life. 

I walk audiences through my "5 Step Model to Get Unstuck at Work " and my "3 Capabilities Required to Become a Resilient Leader" to stay unstuck. I close on my personal story of becoming unstuck and my Idea Worth Sharing. 

This talk is ideal for audiences that are targeting some aspect of reinvention in their lives OR just want to be living more fully in accordance with their values and their purpose.

I'd love to hear your feedback. Thank you!

Watch the talk here.

Dialogue map courtesy of Ramu Iyer

Dialogue map courtesy of Ramu Iyer


We lost a dear friend and inspirational role model to cancer in 2014, Kitty Powell.

Kitty Powell and Mark Swinth's family (Emily, Kira, Milo, Tucker)

Kitty Powell and Mark Swinth's family (Emily, Kira, Milo, Tucker)

When she was first in remission, she asked me:

If you found out that you had little time left, would you be living exactly as you are now OR would you want to make some pretty big changes?

When Kitty answered it for herself, she said that she was 100 percent living her dream life and she would not change a single thing! It was so powerful and so inspirational and that is who Kitty was and how Kitty lived.

I now try to ask myself that same question, Kitty's Question, every day.


In addition to her beloved husband Mark Swinth, Kitty leaves behind four young children. A fund to support their education has been created. Deposits can be made in person at any Wells Fargo branch to the Katherine L. Powell Children's Educational Fund account. To make the deposit, you may need to start by asking them to reference Mark Swinth of Portland, Oregon and go from there to make the deposit into the children's educational fund account.

pictured (from left to right): Betsy Munnell, Katy Hansell, & Rosemary Mahoney-Browning

pictured (from left to right): Betsy Munnell, Katy Hansell, & Rosemary Mahoney-Browning

"She sails" at dana hall school: "be bold, dream big, sail far."

As a speaker and panelist at the Dana Hall School "She Sails 2015" Alumni Weekend Event (April 25, 2015), I joined Betsy Munnell and Rosemary Mahoney-Browning to speak about how to use your professional network to help you re-enter the job market OR to advance into a different profession / job or more responsibilities. Our talk was entitled: "Branch Out, Move Up, Link In." 

My focus was on how to position yourself as a brand. The benefit of positioning yourself as a brand is that you create a mental shortcut for potential employers or your existing boss and organization about what is the value you deliver through your work (i.e. "your value proposition"). When you are clear on what you are brilliant at and how it benefits the organization, then you create a better alignment between the types of firms and positions you want to attract and the work you want to be doing. It shortens your search time and gets you into work that is a better fit for you. 

I go through numerous examples of famous and everyday people and how they branded themselves to leverage into their strongest professional identity. 

Check out the event page here.

Check out my speaker's bio here.

photo credit: David Bender Photography

photo credit: David Bender Photography

deborah siegel presents: "girl meets voice Midwinter slam!"

I am grateful to have been invited to be part of a celebration of "women with mojo, mission, and message at Deborah Siegel Presents: "Girl Meets Voice MidWinter Slam!" on February 21, 2015. For this event, I created a one woman play called "The Unfamiliar Voice" which deals with the interior dialogue we can often have between our Inner Critic Voice and our Empowered Voice. This talk centers on how we can sometimes hold ourselves back by resisting self-acceptance in areas like body image and being authentic and open. I have been lucky to be able to work with Deborah Siegel as a client for her writing and presentation skills coaching and have learned so much from her and enjoyed every minute of it too! (Visit Deborah's website here).

"the secret to getting unstuck," featured on "born through fire" with kaly mckenna

In this iTunes podcast episode #8 (released on December 14, 2014), I am interviewed by Kaly McKenna and I reveal what I believe the secret to getting unstuck is. The episode is aimed at helping to empower women to break through inertia and move ahead by energizing them to take small baby steps forward every day. I offer some simple techniques anyone can use to help them hold their vision for what they want to create in their life in the face of any self-doubt or anxiety that may crop up. I suggest the importance of creating a support structure around you to nurture your aspirations so that others can reflect back to you the importance of what you are building if you start to lose faith. 

reciprocity at work: applying adam grant's "give and take"

Building on the ground-breaking work done by Wharton professor Adam Grant, PhD, in his book Give and TakeI lead groups through a facilitated workshop to see how their natural reciprocity style of interacting at work (and in life) impacts their results. We look at case studies and have an audience real-time interaction to model how shifting to a giving reciprocity style in the long-term is the best advancement, and most rewarding, strategy for work. On November 20, 2014, I took the members of CRAVE Chicago through this workshop to help them identify their dominant style of reciprocity at work and in life.

Read Adam's bio here.

Check out his book here.

Check out CRAVE Chicago here.

photo credit: Rachelle Anne Photography

photo credit: Rachelle Anne Photography

"how to manage difficult conversations"

For the Exclusive Professional Women's Networking Group (EPWNG) on October 20, 2014, I spoke on "How To Manage Difficult Conversations" for this group of professional women. Using the framework from the Harvard Negotiation Project developed in their book Difficult Conversations, I distill the key aspects of their technique and apply it to common workplace situations where the stakes are high and the potential for conflict is real. I share tips and techniques, including the "Third Story" technique, to move from a he said/she said conflictual frame to a win/win, seeking compromise frame.

Check out the EPWNG here.

Check out "Difficult Conversations" here.