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Message from the executive director

 

One Journey Ends; Another Begins

July 1, 2013

All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves. ~ Anatole France

One Journey Ends; Another Begins

On July 5, 2005 I started an eight year adventure as TTN’s first Executive Director.  Charlotte Frank and Chris Millen inspired me with their vision of a new NOW, supporting women through later-life transitions.  My JPMorgan Chase colleagues chorused “take the job and call me, because I’m going to need this organization!”  I celebrated my 50th birthday a month later at my first Milestone Birthday dinner.  And away we went in a creative, collaborative fervor that hasn’t stopped since then!

I’ve fast-forwarded through those eight years in the past few weeks, going through files and preserving TTN history.  It’s been an emotional period, as I head into my own late-July transition and cross-country road trip.

I feel tremendous pride in what we’ve accomplished together – launching eleven chapters, publishing Smart Women Don’t Retire – They Break Free, speaking authoritatively on our potential in this stage of life, showcasing many of you as role models and building the encore movement.  Everywhere I go, people are impressed by TTN’s success and love the idea of a community of women supporting each other.

I’ve experienced the power of combining talented people and a great idea because TTN practices what we preach.  We engage you – the most educated, experienced, talented generation of women the world has ever known – in defining what you want and making it happen.  Our board, chapter leadership, staff and many volunteers are the renewable energy source that fuels TTN’s success.

I’m inspired to keep building the encore movement so everyone can fulfill her potential throughout life.  I’m a (very secular) missionary for the encore/positive aging concept and will always be on the lookout for converts.

And most of all, I’m grateful to TTN and all of you for the privilege of being Executive Director during such a formative period.  It’s been a life-changing experience with many benefits:
  • Exercise – being Executive Director of a small nonprofit offers on-the-job workouts – carrying heavy bags and walking long distances, plus running my first (and only) half-marathon with a TTN team.
  • Learning – from our remarkable speakers (Jane Bryant Quinn, Gail Sheehy, Dr. Ruth to name just a few) and on-the-job training on technology, finance and communications.
  • Celebrating – milestone birthdays, friendships and successes
  • Community – working in the midst of women who are all about supporting each other, and being a catalyst to bring  your ideas to life
  • Aging….positively! with the help of TTN friends including Suzanne Braun Levine, Marc Freedman, Gail Sheehy, Jeri Sedlar, Abbie Trafford and Dr. Eileen Hoffman.
  • Building the encore movement with other pioneers from Coming of Age, Encore.org, Life Planning Network and so many other organizations.
  • Telling the world about TTN and our members in USA Today, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Santa Fe New Mexican and almost a dozen books.
  • Changing members’ lives – if I had $10 for everyone who thrilled me by saying “TTN changed my life,” I could buy that Winnebago for our trip.
For anyone wondering what’s next for TTN, I can assure you that we’re as strong as we’ve ever been.  The board, chapter leads and staff are moving the organization forward, and we have several excellent ED candidates. As an organization, we’re “embracing change” and our future is bright.

Thank you for your hugs, your cheers, your stories, your donations, your schlepping, your “I would never have thought of that in a million years” ideas, your creativity and your energy.  I’ll always be an active member and proud supporter of our vibrant organization.

Sincerely,


Betsy