Some people find creative solutions for everything. I started Float Your Boat because I couldn’t lift my kayak onto the top of my car by myself and I’m glad I did. With over 400 members who participate in dozens of kayaking adventures, this is the ultimate “turn lemons into lemonade” story.
There is no place like virtual reality. It is like writing fiction and seeing it come to life. The Hidden Retreat and Guppy Sanctuary Guild was a part of an extraordinary anime-focused website called Gaiaonline where at any time, day or night, tens of thousands of teens and young adults are having big time fun playing, adorning their avatars in digital dress and making and selling art. As one of our Guild guests said, it was like being in downtown Tokyo during rush hour. But the Hidden Retreat offered a respite from all that intensity and our tea house, complete with servers in kimono and psychic “tea-leaf readers” provided the peace and tranquility we longed for. Peering into the depths of the pool of the guppy sanctuary revealed strikes of orange, red and yellow—the colorful little fish we rescued from the fish market and brought back to live out their days in peace. Although this was entirely a made up world, creating it and playing there with my friends was a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
Behind every great woman is her Mastermind group! Informally known as “Leap & Then Look,” our group—co-founded along with author Robin Sheer, has only three members, but two major book awards so far… These two extraordinary women have been a witness to and a part of my professional development at every step of the way. There could be no one better friends and allies.
I was one of five founding members of this organization that has been serving Wicker Park since 1973. The Committee is considered one of the largest and most powerful neighborhood organizations in Chicago. It has been one of the reasons that redevelopment of Wicker Park was so successful.
I served on the Board of Directors for this non-profit film production company for about ten years. It was a lesson for me in how difficult it can be to form a productive team when visions are at cross-purposes. I hope that someday the current board will honor the work that we did by putting the resources they collected to good use.