Storytelling is the common thread in every phase of my career.
I led Canada’s number one magazine for women during the most ambitious rebranding in its history, when my team attracted a new generation of readers to “my mother’s magazine.” On my watch, Chatelaine won international honors for excellence. But my greatest reward was the trust of all the readers who shared their lives with me and followed my own life as chronicled in my popular Editor’s column.
Writer who gets people talking
As a journalist for top magazines, I captured the attention of diverse and demanding audiences from stressed-out parents to executives grappling with the cost of workers’ compensation. Stories of mine have inspired readers to start businesses, leave abusive spouses and seek treatment for depression. I’ve been starting conversations since my teens, when I wrote a widely anthologized short story about bullying. It still brings me fan mail today.
I stepped down from the helm of Chatelaine to write the memoir my readers had been asking for—My Mother’s Daughter, which Alice Munro has called “wonderfully honest and enthralling.”
Mental health advocate
I never guessed that depression could be a leadership opportunity, but it has been just that for me. As Editor of Chatelaine, I wrote a column on my decades-long struggle with depression. Letters poured in from grateful readers, and I’ve been speaking out ever since at podiums across the country. My story is proof that mental illness need not bar anyone from success.
I’ve learned to be grateful for crazy-making moments—they’re the source of unforgettable stories. At the podium and on the page, I share reality-tested wisdom found in glitches that unravel my plans, blunders of mine that make me cringe and people whose number one talent is getting on my nerves.
What I know about stories is just too powerful for me to keep it to myself. That’s why teaching storytelling is one of my passions. A well told story connects the teller to the essence of a life or a brand, reinforcing commitment and confidence. It’s an honor to spark the process.
And on the personal side…
I’m an active volunteer for the International Women’s Forum. My long marriage (more than 40 years) has given me a son, two grandsons and some really funny stories.
5 surprising things about me
I spent a summer washing test tubes for Nobel laureate James D. Watson of Double Helix fame.
I couldn’t learn Mandarin, but do know the two most important words for all foreign visitors to the Great Wall of China.
I’m an art lover and keen road tripper who once toured 49 art museums in five weeks.
I met my husband in a campus production of The Seagull. My first line: “I am in mourning for my life.”
I have a passion for interesting hats.