From small town kid to global traveler
As a kid, I thought being president of the United States would be a cool job. Instead, today I am a full-time author and speaker.
After 35+ years in the corporate world, I retired in June 2014 from my role as chief diversity officer of Siemens AG.
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York as the oldest of four children. My father, Larry, is a town justice and was a New York State policeman and my mother, Dee, is an artist and homemaker.
I put myself through college, working full time during my studies at anything and everything—from short order cook to janitor. One of my most hard-earned skills is the ability to run a high-speed floor buffer!
I tackled corporate life with the same gusto. At twenty-one, I applied for my first “real” job as a computer programmer at Philip Morris (now Altria). I worked hard and enjoyed the increasing responsibility that came with each role: programmer, audit manager, vice president of audit, consultant, CFO, CEO and my final corporate role: chief diversity officer. Throughout my career I have worked for such notable companies as Philip Morris, Kraft, Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo) and my last employer, Siemens AG.
My career has taken me around the globe: Australia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and nearly every European country. I have traveled far from my upstate New York origins and have lived abroad for twenty years in London, Paris, Nuremberg and Munich, as well as other cities less well known.
For the last twenty years, I have traveled extensively. Today, my travels take me to locations a lot more familiar to me—Nantucket, New York, Boston, Stuttgart—and I am fondly reminded of my days in India, Brazil and Australia through my social media connections.
I started writing almost accidentally—my first book, “Falling in Love With Work, a Practical Guide to Igniting Your Passion for Your Career,” was the outcome of an email correspondence between myself and a professor at UCLA. Writing is hard work, but to me, it was pure relaxation. It was so different than my day-to-day work and this difference provided a great escape from the pressures of my job. After the first book, I was hooked! My second book, “From Boardroom to Beach Chair,” is still in progress because I was distracted by my first novel, “The World is Decorated with Stars.” My love of writing has transformed into a love of storytelling . . .