Mom of 3 active boys: James (12), Charlie (9) and George (7) and 2 boy dogs Buster and Bingo (there is also a husband, Jeffrey Ross :)
Executive Coach & Founder, INTENTION Personal Development Group
CPCC (Certified Professional Co-Active Coach) and PCC (Professional Certified Coach)
Tell us a little bit about your career journey, and why you made a big change a few years ago:
I basically grew up in Human Resources, and for almost 15 years was actually working in our own backyard at Mastercard here in Purchase. I had a very successful career in many ways, and was an SVP with a bright future. But I guess that depends on how you define success. With 3 young boys, and tons of fertility treatments behind me, did I want the road ahead to be primarily work? There was a small voice inside of me that was not going away (believe me, I tried not to listen). That voice told me that I was dragging my life behind me, and that I wanted my work to fit into my life, and not the other way around. Realizing this was a very long journey. Life is a juggle, and you have to constantly audit where you are in relation to where you want to be, and honor the messiness of that. Thanks to all of the generous Moms out there who helped picked me up when I cried every first day school for years as I headed off to work, every time I missed something, every time I was late. (I’m still late, but owning, it, not really crying about that one :) Finally, I left Mastercard which besides having kids was truly the bravest and hardest thing I have ever done…that was the big beautiful mother of messes, which is usually where the magic happens – waaaay outside of your comfort zone.
Why did you become a coach?
Coaching was the part of my job that I always loved. Being in connection with people and helping them to become more of who they are, and maybe remove some layers of what stands in there way, is me totally living my purpose. I decided when I left that I wanted to be more intentional about my life, do heart-centered work every single day, and have more balance and joy. That’s a combo I love to work with – be, do, have. If you start with who you want to be, instead of what you want to do or have, things change much more quickly. I’m definitely hitting 2 out of 3, and still working at it :)
What do you do as a coach?
I help people up their leadership game, mostly shifting their focus from what they are doing to how they are thinking and how they are doing it, which influences everything; your inner game is fundamental to your outer game. Coaching conversations create a very magical, non-judgmental space which encourages openness, creativity, and is the optimal environment for what they call neuroplasticity. Yes, we can actually rewire our brains to be positive, purposeful, creative and compassionate which leads to lots of other good things in our life and our work.
You wrote a book! What was the inspiration behind it?
I was truly inspired by my son James who attempted to do something very challenging, and through no fault of his own, was unable to meet his goal. He was so disappointed, and with the help of an insightful allegory I use in my coaching (known as the Taoist Farmer story – Google it!) he quickly internalized that it is up to us to decide whether something is good or bad. He accepted that what he had first seen as failure, was, in fact, an opportunity. His resiliency was astounding and inspiring, and I was immediately committed to show him that we can turn anything into a gift.
My mission for the book is to remind kids that they have the power to respond to life’s challenges with a positive mindset. Positivity is hard work and activates an entirely different part of our brain…it’s a choice, it takes practice and there’s a beautiful science behind it. Positive thinking allows us to be more creative, increases our performance, creates mental and physical wellness and enhances relationships. It’s something kids can choose to own – it’s a powerful tool. Given the uncertainty in our world today, Welcome to Planet Positive offers a way of thinking and being that will help children remain resilient and empowered from the inside-out, and does so with a little levity and fun…it’s a good reminder to parents and caregivers, too!
What advice would you have for other people who want to be first-time authors?
I wrote this book totally from the heart – because I did it on behalf of my son James. It’s funny, I usually tell people that when they do something in service of someone or something bigger or outside of themselves, they move from fear to fierce action. That is totally what happened to me. I was determined to show my son that he could literally do anything he believed in. In retrospect, I realize that I never once asked myself the questions that usually stop us: “Can I do this?” “How do I do this?” “Will I fail?” ...I just kept going. I never saw one roadblock, only the end. Now if I could just apply that to everything else in my life!
Where can learn more about you, and buy your book?
You can also buy my book at Arcade Books in Rye or on Amazon Welcome to Planet Positive on Amazon
How can we help you spread the word about your book?
The book can be a great gift, it can also be used in schools to start a positive and thoughtful conversation, especially in grades 1 to 3. If you can think of a school or event where Welcome to Planet Positive could be featured, please reach out to me. Also, if you buy it on Amazon, it would be so appreciated if you left a review or a star rating – it only takes 2 minutes and it’s so helpful in keeping the book alive…as you know, it takes a village! 😊