Events of the last two years have given me the opportunity to start over and re-build. At 45 years of age I have a blank canvas to paint. It is exciting at times, but also a bit scary.

Looking back, with introspection, I have been extremely fortunate. Throughout my life I have had loved ones and mentors that recognized my strengths and allowed me the latitude to develop those talents-creating the person that I am today.

Until now, I never really thought about the depth of their input into my life. But each one invested their time and knowledge, some relinquished control to allow me to develop, and all were there to make sure that I picked myself up and learned from my mistakes.

Realizing that I have…

An overwhelming need to be valued and challenged. And even appreciated. I do not need to be stroked, or repeatedly told that I am needed-or doing a good job-but I have a need to know that I am trusted and entrusted.

Biggest Investors

One of my mentors has partnered with me in two separate ventures in the last five years. He is a highly respected businessman and philanthropist. Taking time to listen to my ideas and to invest time and finances toward them, elevated my confidence to new levels.

Hartley’s and the entire McLeod family opened so many doors for me, and held them open until I was courageous enough to walk through them. They pushed me to do more, want more and be more.

Tony Ficaro, owner of Splendid Fare, is another mentor that I value highly. For the last 5 years I have worked with him and for him for many events. His tutelage and introductions have enhanced who I am. Tony is an incredible man who freely shares his thoughts, his support, and his vast knowledge.

Bruce Hamilton, my husband, has taught me more than he will ever know. Without having to tell him, he understands my need to be valued, at work and at home. He is my biggest supporter, I need to learn to be more like him.

A conversation that we had today sparked this entire article of thankfulness. He knows me well, better than I know myself at times, and realizes that I need to find a way to be needed and valued, professionally. Bruce has always been there for me, doing more, working harder, creating his own “honey-do” list…so that I have time to be who I want to be.


This article is all about thanks. I have been extremely blessed. I will never forget those who helped me become who I am, and I will be forever grateful. Without the mentors in my life I am not sure that I would have developed my strengths and become the person that I am, the person that I am proud to be.

I am happiest when I feel that I am being utilized, when I am valued for my hard work, talents and experience.

At 45, I have a blank canvas, I am just not sure how to paint it…