I was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to New York City in my early twenties. Never having finished college, I worked as a secretary because that’s all I thought I was qualified to do.
Wall Street in the late 70’s was not a woman friendly environment but I used that to my advantage. At age 28 I walked into my boss's office and asked to work in the firm's trading department. He said yes, but it came with a very big caveat. He said, "make it or be fired". That challenge made me determined to succeed and I did. I was the first Canadian woman to own a seat on The New York Stock Exchange and then went on to manage this leading investment firm's all male trading department.
Then at 48 my life changed drastically. Due to a number of circumstances I decided to leave Wall Street. That transition was a devastating blow to my psyche. I didn’t realize how much of my identity I had attached to my work. Retirement had never been a thought in my mind and I had no idea of how to cope with not having a good reason to get up in the morning.
When I could no longer stand wallowing in self pity, I made the conscious decision to take back my power and my life. Over the next two years, I went on a quest to find the answers that would help me with my relationships, maintaining a healthy body, looking fabulous, starting a new career and filling my spiritual reservoir. That journey, as tough as it was, turned out to be a blessing. It re-ignited my passion and allowed me to get excited about act two of my life.
It wasn't planned - it just happened after I started to read a slew of unflattering articles about women over 40. They were being called “cougars”, and portrayed as predators on the prowl for young men. This negative spin upset me and I wanted to focus on the many virtues of real women not the media's idea of women over 40. So I coined the term Real Cougar as my way of celebrating our age, our accomplishments, our independence, and our passion for life. I make it clear that a Real Cougar refuses to be defined by the age of the man she chooses to be with. Today, three years later I am still doing everything I can to make “cougar” a designer label that women all over the world are proud to wear.
My best selling book Don't Ever Call Me Ma'am! – The Real Cougar Guidebook for Life After 40 is helping me to expand my message. It has important information that every woman needs to read. I have also included inspiring stories from other fabulous females that truly warmed my heart. It let me know we are all together on this journey through time.
My newest initiative is "Shining Service Worldwide™". This is my outreach to support women in the military. Like most worthwhile ventures it wasn't planned. After receiving emails from military women who felt empowered after reading my blog - the path seemed obvious.