A chance to get to know this CEO and conflict expert a little better.
1.How did you choose your career path?
I became a lawyer to give people power through knowledge. I’d seen my family suffer from a lack of information and wanted to help others.
2.Why did you become an Ombuds?
Like most Ombudsmen, I discovered the work after becoming a mediator/arbitrator and conflict management consultant.My corporate client was merging with another large institution and worried about having culture issues. They asked me to join them as a Corporate Ombudsman to provide a safe place for employees to voice concerns and get resources during the merger.
3. Who inspired you to become an Ombuds?
I don’t think anyone inspired me to become an Ombuds, but once I took on the role, I had the good fortune to be mentored by Mary Rowe, who is a nationally recognized expert on the profession.
Through her example, I learned how to apply the core principles- neutrality, independence, confidentiality, and self-determination- to real-life situations. Her quarterly Ombuds gatherings provided so many opportunities to experience the work and approaches of other Ombuds.
4.Who first noticed your spark?
The first person who recognized my intelligence and talent was my English professor in college. She helped me to see myself in a new light that enabled me to seek out more challenges and greater opportunities. She also taught me that it’s okay to show your personality. She was a Miss Piggy fan!
5.How did you know you’d be good as an Ombuds?
My decade of training and experience ensured that I’d be successful as an Ombuds. However, the first time I recognized that my organization saw me as a vital resource was when a senior executive man cried in my office. It was an honor to know that he felt safe being very vulnerable with me.
6.How do you define success?
As a lawyer, success is defined by whether you win or lose. I had to adjust my thinking when I became an Ombuds. There was no winning, per see.
Now, I consider an interaction a success if the person I am working with learns something about themselves and new skills to navigate their work environment.
Personally, when I am surrounded by the things and people I love and achieving what I want, I feel successful. Leontyne Price said it best,
“The ultimate of being successful is the luxury of giving yourself the time to do what you want to do”Leontyne Price, American Opera Icon
7.Are you an extrovert or introvert?
I am a conditional extrovert. I love meeting new people and speaking to groups and I need quiet and peace to reset.
8.What’s your favorite holiday?
My favorite holidays are Halloween (creativity & candy) and New Years because who doesn’t love a fresh start!
9.What’s something most people don’t know about you?
What most people don’t know about me is that I’m biracial and Jewish. I like to joke that I’m the poster child for diversity.
10.City living or small town?
I like living in a big city but in a neighborhood that has a small-town feel to it. I just moved cross country from Oakland to Queens, NY
11.Do you like to travel?
I love to travel. I grew up with modest means so we never traveled. Reading Travel & Leisure magazine and seeing all those marvelous places inspired me when law school got rough.
I gifted myself with a 6-week tour of Europe when I graduated that was amazing. While visiting Nice I was offered a job as a lawyer but my fiance at the time, also a lawyer, wanted to practice in the states.
I passed my love of travel to my kids, who are great travelers that travel to place I never visited in Europe, South Afric and Iceland.\
12.What’s your favorite hobby?
I love to cook! I’ve been known to read cookbooks in bed. I find very complex recipes relaxing. I once cooked the Dickens Christmas dinner and Beef Wellington.
13.Big picture or details?
I’m a big picture person who likes to create systems, although I have no problem getting granular. My other career path was anthropology because I’m fascinated by how groups work. Being an Ombuds gives me the best of both worlds.
14.What is your favorite practice area?
During law school, one professor recognized that I had a gift for probate law. I like the challenge of drafting something that meets the wishes but is flexible enough to adjust to future circumstances. However, I really love being an ADR expert the best.
15.Who is the most important woman to you?
The most important woman to me is my daughter. It’s been an honor to watch her grow and blossom into an incredible leader and businesswoman.
16.What is your goal for the future?
Which one? I have many goals, including becoming a real estate developer.
Right now, I’m focused on addressing toxic law firm workplaces. Law firm owners are passionate about creating excellent client experiences, however, you can’t do that without first creating a superior employee experience for your team.
I developed the RENEW Ombuds program to address the challenges of maintaining your team and high productivity during COVID. I also have another Ombuds service in the design phase for next year.
If you’d like to learn more about RENEW, book a chat