My 2012 Motivator Awards

In my HBS class, we had a semester long project on how to find your leadership goals and mission in life. Sounds really odd. Mission in life?

After some of the readings, I understood that this is a continuous project. Something that continues day in and day out. Although I did not find my mission (other than CCC :)), I did notice that some of the items on the list really did effect me.

The third question was about what and who motivates you. The question read like this:

Now..we can all say easy ones like Michelle Obama, John F. Kennedy, Lincoln, Steve Jobs, etc. but I wanted to take it a step further and look at those around me that I have met, interacted with, etc. Each of these ladies (yes..they are all women) have affected me in some way through their own achievements and stories.

As part of the wind down on 2012, I wanted to share this with you. It’s very candid and I promise these women do not know they are on this list (I hope organically they find this list as it shows my SEO is working :)). I challenge you all to think about who is on your list. These people are people that motivate you to be better for YOURSELF.

Being better for yourself, I’ve learned, makes better for others around you which then make better for themselves. Sounds basic, but it’s also the power of pay it forward.

In conclusion, here are my 2012 motivating women. With all of the changes in 2012 I’ve gone through, these women and their stories and missions

Kelly Finley

When I had credits I needed to accumulate in college and wanted something different to take a friend of mine recommended taking Kelly’s class- Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies. It turned out to be my favorite and most memorable class of my college career. I took as many classes as I could with Kelly and continue to keep in touch on her work through social outlets. Kelly is a motivator. She kicks some serious ass (sorry..that’s what it is!) and empowers. She taught me that I could be anything and do anything I put my mind to.

Janine Davis

I met Janine through Kelly as she was speaking on Women’s issues on a panel. Janine is the founder and Executive Director of Girl Talk Foundation. Janine created an amazing foundation; an outlet for young girls to talk and learn about social issues. I started working with Janine in 2011 and loved every minute. Her energy and dedication to young women is outstanding. She even took the time to meet with me personally about my own goals with her busy schedule. Her character, motivation and sheer kindness are true motivators and motivate me!

My aunt- Ronnie Schmeltzer


It was a trip to Charlotte for a weekend workshop with my aunt that made me realize that the only person that was holding me back was…me! Ronnie is an amazing woman who shows that it’s okay to be…normal because normal is amazing! Ronnie told me four years ago, “You will be what you want to be, I know it.” Ronnie is a writer, blogger, mother, wife, friend, aunt and everything in between! She’s determined to make her goals and help others as well (I’ve become a honorary member of their goal setting meetings :))

My aunt- Mary Jennings

My Aunt Mary is my 2012 Champion, hands down. I haven’t spoken much about it but my aunt was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in 2012. Eight months later she’s getting stronger and healthier and has gotten through 8 treatments of chemotherapy and three surgeries. When I saw her at Thanksgiving (with chemo treatment in hand) she was smiling and so thankful for US! Can you believe it? She wasn’t even thinking about herself. Mary has always been a motivator for me (she even coordinated an SAT program for me at her home every week when I was in high school) but this takes the cake. The strongest woman I know. I am so thankful and grateful for her motivation, she is showing the world that its the fight that counts.

These women are amazing! I am so grateful to know each and everyone of them. And of course…there are your favorites you can add like Lincoln, Steve Jobs, etc. but it is always nice putting a nice touch to it with what motivates YOU.

I recommend everyone go through this exercise. Especially at this time when it is a time of reflection and thanks, it will always be a good exercise!

Who motivates you? Do you have a best of 2012 motivator list?

One thought on “My 2012 Motivator Awards

  1. Wow! I am so honored to be on your list and to be among these other amazing women. You are so special and make me proud so often! I love you and look forward to watching you make ALL your dreams come true. xoxoxo


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