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Message from the executive director


TTN travels: Nurses Ready to Break Free -So. Florida Leaders Ready to Grow -C. Ohio Ready for NBC

April 1, 2013

Thanks to my far-flung relatives, I had two opportunities to combine Transition Network activities and family togetherness in March: representing TTN at the annual American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) conference in Denver and meeting with our Ft. Lauderdale chapter-in-formation’s Steering Committee.  Those events illustrated TTN at our best – striking a spark with individuals thinking about “what’s next” at the AONE conference and inspiring talented women to put their hearts and souls into creating new chapters.

TTN Outreach - Joyce Cashman and Betsy Werley representing TTN at a Nurse Executives conference in Denver
TTN Outreach - Joyce Cashman and Betsy Werley representing TTN at a Nurse Executives conference in DenverAt the Nurse Executive conference, I met dozens of highly credentialed, accomplished women with decades of nursing/management experience (as Chief Nursing Officers, professors, consultants) – whose faces lit up when they saw our book Smart Women Don’t Retire – They Break Free.  They work in high-stress jobs, take care of everyone else and have spent their whole careers in health care, so they were thrilled to learn about TTN’s community of women from diverse professional backgrounds, exploring new options, and building friendships.  One participant said “I get it – it’s like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon!”  We’ve introduced those women to their local TTN chapter and look forward to welcoming them to our spring events.

Many thanks to Boulder members Deborah Simmons and Joyce Cashman, for joining me at the conference.  Deborah is a newcomer to Boulder, very committed to women’s issues and a former coach; Joyce is a longtime Coloradan, a retired Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Colorado Hospital who’s now an executive coach.  Their life experience and their Transition Network experience were great assets in our conversations.

In addition to meeting individual women, we also built our relationship with AONE’s leadership.  We talked to AONE leaders about collaborating locally, offering programs and webinars as a resource to their members and inviting nursing leaders to speak at TTN programs.

Professional organizations with a high percentage of women members are natural partners for TTN.  If you can make an introduction to a professional group that could benefit from TTN’s expertise in transitions, please let me know.

My meeting with the Ft. Lauderdale leadership team was equally inspiring, with a background of palm trees rather than snow-capped mountains.  I’ve worked with co-chairs Nancy Kalikow Maxwell (retired librarian and grantwriting consultant) and Julie McGinty (speech pathologist now working part-time) since early 2012.  Nancy read Smart Women Don’t Retire and called to say “how do we get started?”  Last summer the Ft. Lauderdale team expanded to include Elisa Becher, Sally Creswell, Susan Goldfein, Ronni Laing, Susan Stark and Susan Whiting, a high-energy group including a school administrator, teacher, nurse…and a blogger (Susan Goldfein) whose theme is “1,000 Things I Want To Say Before I Die.”

Over the past year, the South Florida group has classic TTN programs including coping with transition, ethical wills, technology, volunteer opportunities, travel and cultural activities. Ft. Lauderdale has launched a book group and peer group, and connected with the NYC Snowbird group, building cross-chapter ties.  For a list of their 2013 activities, visit their section of the National page.

Our meeting demonstrated the power of TTN’s network – I shared program ideas from other chapters, connected Julie with our Bay Area chapter since she’s spending the summer in San Francisco and invited Susan Goldfein to share her blog on our website. Once again, TTN has attracted a dedicated leadership team, committed to connecting south Florida women and to connecting with members across the country.  They’re an asset to TTN and a warm, welcoming group – please get in touch when you’re headed south!

And I’ll close with a shout-out to the central Ohio team, who had 30 minutes of well-deserved fame on Daytime Columbus, an NBC TV program hosted by Gail Hogan and focusing on the best of Columbus.  Carol Oswald and two other members shared personal stories, transition tips and many reasons to join TTN – we know they’ll get a very positive response.