Minneapolis/St. Paul CHAPTER Leadership Team
My professional career included teaching preschool, directing a community center, working in public/community relations for a major light rail transit infrastructure project, and a variety of human resource and education roles, the last decade as Director of Education and Organization Development for the Minnesota Supreme Court. I left full time employment a few years ago to transition to part time consulting and serve on a National Board. Some would call this retirement. As a lifelong learner, I resonated with the philosophy in the TTN signature book, ‘Smart Women Don’t Retire, They Break Free” which refers to this event as going from working full time to living full time and continuing a life of engagement and contribution.
I had heard from so many “retirees” that they were ‘doers’ while working but after retirement they were just ‘being’ or that they went from ‘Who’s Who!’ to ‘Who’s she?’ after leaving full-time employment. They wanted to continue contributing and having impact. However, the constellation of people they came into contact with each day no longer knew their rich work and life experiences and talents. As I learned more about TTN, I realized how much the Vision, Mission and Values mirrored many of my own interests and values. TTN provides a community of women who recognize each other’s gifts, talents and strengths through contributions for the common good.
I have been involved in TTN since the first local organizing meetings in late 2013 and became a member of the leadership/steering committee in early 2014, Co-Chair in 2015 and Chair in 2018.
Other things that I love filling my life with now include: taking care of my Grandchildren a day or two each week, volunteering in my Grandson’s preschool class, pilates and fitness classes, outdoor activities,
travel, leading tours at the Ramsey County Courthouse and St. Paul Union Depot, and serving as primary family agent and caregiver for my Mom who lives in a Senior care community. I also contributed for several months to the Super Bowl and the Final Four when hosted locally. I am a member of a TTN Transition Peer Group, and several Special Interest Groups including Finance, Art Appreciation, Book Discussion, Theater, Travel and Urban Hiking.
My name is Cyndy Nelson and I live in New Brighton. I took early retirement following my layoff from Target in July, 2016. As I enter this new phase of my life, I want to look for ways to use my abilities and interests to make a positive impact on others, make new friends, and have new experiences. I learned about TTN and joined in 2016. As I have participated in the Money SIG, the book discussion group, and numerous events, I have discovered that there are many women with similar goals to mine. I have joined the TTN Steering Committee so I can apply the skills I gained during my career as an IT Project Manager to help TTN grow in the Twin Cities. My hobbies are reading, walking, and traveling.
I originally joined TTN off of their website. I was interested in an organization that advocates for women that are 50 forward. What appealed to me was the whole idea of staying relevant in the workplace as we age. I currently work for the Minneapolis VA. In addition, I found that as I have changed jobs and gone through various changes in my life that I am lacking connections. TTN allows me to meet interesting, engaged women from all walks of life and connect with them. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading and antiquing.
I retired three years ago. I worked as a prosecutor for many years and was in the private practice of law for many years before that. I have three adult children and 5, soon to be 6, grandchildren. It's fulfilling to be a parent and a grandparent, but I believe that many people, like me, need something more to be happy.
So, I've been on a quest to reinvent myself. Part of that reinvention has involved down-sizing from a big house to a smaller home, amenable to aging in place. Part of that reinvention has been exploring new areas of learning, like finally learning how to cook properly and creatively, taking up yoga, reading up on history, and learning about economics. Part of it has included the joy of landscaping our new home and seeing a beautiful thing form before my eyes. I look for appealing ways to be involved in my community, where whatever gifts and talents I have are useful to others. Of course, the task of nurturing old friendships and developing new ones is high on my agenda.
Where does TTN fit in? To me, TTN provides a fitting substitute for the workplace. Like the workplace, it provides many opportunities to get to know a group of people over time, as we run into each other repeatedly at TTN-sponsored programs, social events, transition peer groups and affinity groups (TTN calls them Special Interest Groups, or SIGs). TTN in Minnesota is shaping up to be a community, like a workplace, where people, in this case women, commit to being available for the long term to each other to pursue connection, friendship, support and common interests. Sounds perfect to me.