Much of my career can be described with the words, “first” and “only.” In corporate hallways and boardrooms, I was often the first and the only woman and woman of color.
I was the first female president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, a venerable civil rights organization, where I led one of the most transformational periods of growth in its history. As the communications director for the Governor of Illinois, I was the first woman and African American to serve in that role in the state’s history. I’ve been a C-suite executive at a global aviation company and a candidate for the United States Senate. I’ve held senior level positions at Amtrak and NPR.
I’ve served on the boards of the Business Council for International Understanding, Corporate Council on Africa, Illinois District Export Council, Congressional Black Caucus Policy Institute, Northwestern University, Field Museum, and the Chicago Foundation for Women.
Today, I am the CEO of MyOwnDoctor, a groundbreaking Telehealth company that offers virtual care to the general market and culturally specific care to the Black and LatinX community with its Black Telehealth and LatinX Telehealth platforms.
To help women from all walks of life walk in their brilliance and to empower them to reach their highest ambitions and practice self-care along the way by equipping women with confidence and a game plan through coaching, content and community.
My career has spanned international business, healthcare, civil rights, politics, government, not-for-profit, and the media. But there is one thing that all of those roles had in common. I was constantly learning how to convert the obstacles and challenges that women everywhere face every day into wins for the company—and for my own career success.
For women and women of color, there are roadblocks—big and small—around every corner of our professional lives. Then in 2012, I ran into two personal roadblocks: breast cancer and divorce. At the same time. That led to the most important lesson of my career and to my TEDx Talk, “Grit and Grace.” In that talk, I validate the career trajectories of go-getters like me, but I also preach the need for women to self-advocate and to practice grace and self-compassion. Grit and grace is the only sustainable model for success.
In 2018, I founded Grit and Grace, The Movement, a women’s empowerment organization to help advance the ambition of women through coaching, conferences, community, and content designed to inspire and empower.