Although I was born and raised in the south and you could call me a “southern belle,” I certainly don’t fit that mold.
I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m sure glad I did. It was a safe (and somewhat sheltered) upbringing that included lots of love, support, encouragement. Every child should be so blessed. I did the usual things most fortunate kids do: go to school, hang with friends, play sports (tennis, volleyball, ice-skating, water-skiing).
When joking around, I usually say “I can leave Memphis for five years and come back and people are still finishing the same darn story.” But in all seriousness, there’s something very comforting in knowing that home doesn’t change much. The beauty of all the old Oak Trees, the welcoming friends of well over 40 years, and my family who loves me even when they probably shouldn’t…that’s why I love Memphis.
I’m truly grateful for my childhood. I was carefree and loving it, and would love to experience that mindframe again!
My first stop out of town entailed following in my sister’s footsteps by attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas. I tried my best to fit in (even pledged to become a Pi Beta Phi “angel”), but the school, in all honesty, was a bit too snobby and over-the-top for me. So, I took a leap of faith and headed west to attend the University of Denver, sight unseen, my sophomore year. It was truly a life-altering move. And most certainly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
It was especially nice to establish my own, independent identity. And in Colorado, to boot!
I met many new friends in my new Alpha Gamma Delta sorority (and as a little sister of Kappa Sigma), became an avid skiier, and got a Rocky Mountain high with each and every breathtaking glance.
But I especially enjoyed the learning environment at DU. My professors taught and thought outside the box, and I liked that. They challenged me to see a bigger world than the one I’d come from, and that was definitely a good thing.
I graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications; my minor was in Speech Communications.
After college, I got my first taste of resort-town living, working several side jobs in Aspen until landing a full-time position as Marketing Manager at The Snowmass Club Resort and Spa. Although it was an 8 to 5-er, I still snuck in a few runs over lunch in the winter or swam laps outside in the summer. It really was the best job ever. Those two years were fun times, to say the least.
I think it’s tough to top the 80’s in Aspen…you just can’t beat it!
But heeding the call of corporate America vs. listening to my gut, I hesitantly departed Aspen to get what some might call a “real job” in Chicago.
After a three-year stint in Chi-town as the National Marketing Manager for Spring Air Mattress Company, I returned to my hometown of Memphis and became a founding partner in Thomas Hammond Advertising, a full service creative agency.
In 1994, I traded in my business partnership for a partnership of marriage which also came with a much “cooler” life in Minnesota. During this time in the Midwest, I continued to dabble in creativity while selling printing for Sexton Printing in the Twin Cities, and being a wife.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on who you ask, the marriage didn’t last, but I survived. After my amicable divorce in 2001, I attended NYU’s School of Continuuing and Professional Studies to get out of town for a while and recreate myself anew.
I immersed myself in art, jazz and city life.
After this satisfying, introspective and life-altering experience, I changed course a bit where my career was concerned, choosing to focus on finance and technology instead of art and jazz and city life (although I’m sure that would have been more fun). This decision led to my position as Account Executive at CBS MarketWatch back in Minneapolis, calling on asset management firms across the US and in Canada.
Several mergers and acquisitions later, I returned to NYC as Director of Media Sales for Dow Jones where I was responsible for licensing website content and technology to top US media companies. This position was most definitely the highlight of my Dow Jones tenure. I had passion for the job.
Heeding the call of the Rocky Mountains though, I was able to return to Aspen in a work-from-home situation. My love for the mountains, which never disappeared, was back in full swing, while my love for the job dwindled.
And that crossroads led to where I am today: the proud owner of Sharing Profiles, LLC, writing a blog and feeling passion in my work again.