Chuck Dammit – so much more than a pet

    May 23, 2022 The phone call came unexpectedly late last week, triggering far more memories and tears than I expected – for he is a dog, after all. We know our pets won’t live forever. And yet, there’s nothing that can prepare us for the news that the snuggles and the furballs will…

Read More

REALTORS® Stepping Forward and Living the “Better” Choice

It was dark and rainy and Saturday morning to boot. My husband, the CEO of Minnesota REALTORS®, had signed us up to participate in the REALTORS® Relief Run, held in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS annual meeting. Just a day earlier I would have tried to talk Chris out of attending, leveraging his…

Read More

Autism, Mothers and the Great Gift of Planning

Child with special needs holds paper heart

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 13, 2018.   One in 42. That was the prevalence of autism in 8-year-old Minnesotans in 2014, the CDC recently reported, compared to one in 59 nationally.   So for an awful lot of moms, “our day” triggers a constellation of emotions: sadness,…

Read More

Coach Pam Borton Perfects the Pivot

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 25, 2018. Pam Borton put everything she had into the University of Minnesota women’s basketball program for a dozen years. She worked holidays and weekends, guided immature teenage girls into confident women and collegiate competitors. With both wins and losses, she took flak…

Read More

Your Personal Readiness Plan™ – A Winning Strategy for the Game of Life

  A version of this piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Feb. 4, 2018 Winners engage in strategic planning. They gather the players and identify the big goals. Where do you want to be in 10 years? What steps will you take to get there? What resources will you put towards…

Read More

Toys for Joy: Community, Gifts and Smiles

  This story appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on December 16, 2017 When Christmas arrives shortly more than a thousand families will experience unexpected joy in Anoka County, Minnesota, thanks to a large contingent of community partners. From fundraising to fulfillment, volunteers are contributing time and money to bring a smile to children’s…

Read More

Be the Match: A Young Man’s Life-Saving Gift

Be The Match

What would you do to save a stranger’s life? This is Mike Rice’s story. It appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. It began with a cheek swab. It morphed into a life-saving stem-cell transplant for a stranger and an unexpected bond between two families. At the age of 28 Mike Rice felt a calling…

Read More

Dick Long’s Life and Legacy

Dick Long

Though Dick Long left us seven years ago he left a notable legacy. On this Throwback Thursday I’m sharing a piece I wrote a month after his death. December 27, 2010 It seems that Dick Long never forgot what it felt like to be hungry or to wonder whether he’d have a bed to sleep…

Read More

Jack Brewer: Resilient, Resolute Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

10/15/17 I’ve had my fair of challenges in life. But I’ve never experienced racism or hatred because of my skin color. To better understand the long-standing racial divide in our country I reached out to Jack Brewer, a man who is known for his candor and convictions. This story appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer…

Read More