I was incredibly honored to be selected as one of the New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year for the Class of 2015, and I was in very good company. Others chosen for this honor included doctors, attorneys, business leaders, and philanthropists, as well as the Woman of the Year, Clem Goldberger, Senior Specialist for Development, Communications, and External Affairs for the National World War II Museum. Her acceptance speech at the November 12th luncheon was deeply moving and her list of accomplishments seemed unending.
The luncheon was a celebration of the wonderful diversity of successful women working and volunteering in Greater New Orleans. As each honoree was named, their stories seemed to grow increasingly impressive. At one point, I told Darrin (Rent-A-Nerd’s founder and CEO, as well as my husband), that I didn’t think I belonged there, though he assured me that I in fact did.
I was humbled when my name was called and the screen showed pictures of me–one from high school and the one taken for inclusion in the special CityBusiness Women of the Year insert. As I made my way to the stage to accept the award, the presenter described some of my professional and civic accomplishments and then concluded with the statement that I personify resilience. Resilience. I take that as the highest of compliments.
After a car accident in 1995 left me with permanent medical problems, I went on to attend law school at night while working full-time during the day, and enjoyed a ten year career as a toxic tort and products liability litigator. It was only when my health rapidly declined that I was forced to give up that career. Home-bound for medical reasons, I had to get creative as I sought an income, initially providing some business consulting services and then writing and editing, which I did on a full-time basis for several years. It was during that time that I also developed social media, blogging, SEO, and website dashboard skills, which I gladly put to use when I joined my husband’s firm in October of 2013. I’ve enjoyed working for Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. these past two years and look forward to many more to come!
CityBusiness provided all attendees with a copy of the special Women of the Year insert, which will be included in an upcoming issue of the business journal. Each of the fifty honorees was profiled for the story and here is the write-up about me.