Last month, the Business Journal of Milwaukee honored me as one of 28 "Women of Influence".
I was listed in the "Inspiration" category and ever since I got the notice that I had won, I thought about being inspirational. What exactly does that mean?
My father was inspirational. He retired 4 times from 4 careers, then at 70 years old, went back to college and got his Master's degree. Then he went back to work at UW-Platteville as a counselor for undergrads. Over the years, his careers often put him in positions where he was finding jobs for other people. When I was on the street as a reporter, I would often meet people who told me that he had gotten them their job, or made sure they got into college and that he had changed their life.
Now THAT'S inspirational!
Maybe my working at the same television station for 30 years and staying in Milwaukee... not leaving for another market, is inspirational. Maybe retiring early and jumping into a new profession is inspirational. Maybe pulling myself up when that new opportunity did not work out and finding my way back to my first love, television... is inspirational. Maybe raising two sons while working full-time and caring for my father who finally lost his struggle with dementia, is inspirational.
But, lots of people (mostly women, admit it!) have similar challenges and just keep-on, keeping-on.
I think the inspirational part is, that so much of what I have done and am still doing, is in public. Right out there for anyone with a television set or laptop, can see. Viewers still say 'hi' in the grocery store and tell me that they miss me on the news. I tell them to watch Milwaukee Public Television on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm because I am still on the tube on "Black Nouveau" (shameless self- promotion, here). The stories that we are doing are the ones that commercial TV doesn't pay attention to... or we offer a deeper look into the current issues in Milwaukee.
So, we try to be inspirational on the show... and I try to be inspirational to my sons... and maybe all that has made me "Influential". One thing is for sure, I will keep learning new things and trying new career paths. After all, I still have years to go to beat my father's record!