Sunset and Fireworks Mark Key Milestones

When I got home after receiving my lay-off notice from General Mills, I tossed my severance packet on the couch, joined my husband on the porch with a glass of wine, and started brainstorming names for the business I wanted to start.   After working on the naming challenge for about six weeks, I was telling our friend Doug Benson Continue reading

Passport to Rainbows and Waterfalls

As he eyed three passports and a Minnesota Driver’s License, a Canadian Customs Officer asked me (the driver) why a Brit, an Australian, and two U.S. citizens (from Georgia and Minnesota) were traveling together across the border at Niagara Falls? I replied that we were attending a conference at the University of Buffalo and wanted to visit the falls. He Continue reading

Resting Logs Kept Little Legs Moving

Jay and I paused at the crest of a foothill overlooking Boulder to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west. According to my iPhone Activity App, we had climbed 71 floors. We decided to rest on a fallen log. While we soaked in the vista, Jay recounted a memory about hiking in the woods of Northern Wisconsin with Continue reading

Nevertheless She Persisted in Wellness

Snow covered the grounds of the Cooper Aerobic Center in Dallas, TX, when Georgia Kostas arrived for her interview with Dr. Kenneth Cooper in 1977. Tip-toeing out of the cab in her winter-white suit and pink floral blouse (with a flouncy bow), Georgia’s heart was set on getting this job.  A few years earlier, Georgia had become inspired to work Continue reading

Drowning in Data? Pitch with a Story!

At the close of an intense month of immersion and ideation on a new opportunity, my client was in a rocky place about the next steps in their project. Like most deep dives, the process had surfaced new questions and many possibilities. Valuable marketplace, consumer, competitive, and technical data had been collected and reviewed. The team had generated a plethora Continue reading

Lessons from Croup and Captain Hook

Four-year-old Jackson sounded like a seal barking as he called from his bedroom one wintery Sunday afternoon. I’d put him down for a nap an hour earlier and hoped sleep would curtail his cough. He was frightened and struggling to breathe. A call to our doctor: “hang up and dial 911.” The ambulance arrived in no time, and medics whisked Continue reading

An Exhilarating Career Experience Became a Book

Tech check was done … 15 min countdown ticking. Equipped with a clicker and a wireless mic, Chris Quam stood on the stage of a cavernous ballroom in the Las Vegas Convention Center. His heart sunk with dread that people might not come. Nervous, but not scared, his confidence soared as the audience started to fill the hundreds of seats Continue reading

10-Year Reunion with My Birthday Band

On a steamy day in the summer of 2006, we were boating on Lake Minnetonka with our kids and family friends—Kathy, Dave, and their daughter. Kathy got me musing about plans for my upcoming 50th birthday on October 30. I imagined a Halloween dancing party with live music, but was stuck on where/how to find a band that plays dancing Continue reading

A Guitarist Was Born

On my 40th birthday, I told my husband (Jay), “I’d like to start lifting weights and take guitar lessons.” Surprised to hear those words coming out of my mouth, he asked me why I wanted to become a strong guitar player? I reasoned … if I’d started practicing skills that didn’t come naturally 20 years earlier, perhaps I would have Continue reading