Advancing Women’s Leadership

2006 ICAN/Union Pacific LEAD Event featuring Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

After a successful career in marketing and public relations, I became the fourth leader of the Institute for Career Advancement (ICAN) in Omaha, an organization founded to advance the careers of women and people of color. During my tenure, astronaut Mae Jemison, activist Gloria Steinem and journalist Lisa Ling were just a few of the notable women we featured at the organization’s annual women’s leadership conference. While I was serving at ICAN, we hosted a joint event with Union Pacific’s LEAD network featuring Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I also identified the need for and led the creation of ICAN’S Defining Leadership programs, single gender programs for women and men for mid-level managers.

Looking back at my ICAN tenure, I’m pleased with the wise women and men we brought to expand the heads and hearts of current and future leaders.  We didn’t mess around.  Meg Wheatley, one of the American Society of Training & Development’s Living Legends, presented twice.  Futurist Jennifer James spoke to our Break-Through Thinking Series audience shortly after she had addressed some of the world’s wealthiest at a European conference.  The Center for Strategic and International Studies shared the Seven Revolutions leaders in government, business and society needed to understand in order to begin to think, plan and act for a better future. Gail Evans, an early CNN exec and author of She Wins, You Wins spoke at our annual leadership conference on the fundamental principle of women advancing women. Carol Frohlinger, one of the authors of Her Place at the Table:  A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success spoke to ICAN participants just days after sharing the stage with Hillary Clinton.

After moving to the Pacific Northwest, I worked with The Berkana Institute to host Women’s Leadership Revivals in New York City and St. Louis, Missouri featuring Meg Wheatley and author and voice teacher Barbara McAfee.  At Catherine Place in Tacoma, I led the creation of the successful We-Can and Si, Se Puede Women’s Circles, a leadership development program for immigrant, refugee and low-income women which was featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

I have served as a consultant to women leaders in the U.S. and India.  Currently, I’m writing a book on the 10 1/2 months I spent in India learning with grassroots leaders, many of whom are women. As a volunteer, I have significantly increased awareness and inspired support and funding for Maher in India, an organization led by Founder & Director Sr. Lucy Kurien and Maher Board Trust Chair Hirabegum Mulla.   

Riding for Fun, Friendship & Community

A long-time bicycle enthusiast, I organized the first team of women riders from Catherine Place in Tacoma to take part in Cycle the Wave in Bellevue, WA in 2013. I started road cycling at age 59 1/2 and am currently creating Riding Together – Omaha, Council Bluffs and Bellevue – to bring women of all ages and income levels together to encourage ridership and to advocate for bike safety.  A yoga student since 2000, I completed Yoga Teacher Training in 2018.  When I’m not cycling in Omaha or Colorado, I can be found cross-country skiing in Colorado, spending time with our two grown daughters or playing joyfully with granddaughter Speedy.