Where’s Gloria? Philly Tech Week 2016!

I’m getting a lot of “let’s meet up during Philly Tech Week” requests so I am taking a tip from my good friend Tracey Welson-Rossman and writing a post with where I plan on being during #PTW16.  Hint – here’s where you will find Tracey during #PTW16.

Every year it gets harder to choose between all of the amazing events happening during Philly Tech Week, but here is where you will find me from April 28th to May 7th.  I hope to see you at one or more of these events or grabbing a quick bite in between some of them.

Thursday April 28th, I am kicking off #PTW16 with Through a Prism: Why Diversity Matters in Design and Tech 

Friday April 29th will find me at Techniculture in the morning and the Philly Tech Week Kick-off Festival in the evening.  I’m sending sacrifices to the weather gods for no rain for the gang at Technical.ly.

Saturday, April 30th I was hoping to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Tech Tour, but it is sold out. *Insert sad face & lesson learned to sign up early here*  So it looks like it will be my day to rest up before the craziness of the upcoming week.

Sunday, May 1st – Happy May Day! This day will be dedicated to family and getting ahead on work.

Monday, May 2nd brings an abbreviated version of  Let’s Talk About Tech with my good friends at Slice Communications  and then off to How Can Philly be the Capital of Gender Equality in Tech.

Tuesday, May 3rd is a full day starting off with Data Management for Non-Profits: Turning Information into Shareable Knowledge.  I’m be a little late but the next stop will be Technical.ly’s Media Conference.  I’m hoping I can make a quick stop at the Lesbians Who Tech Do Philly Tech Week Happy Hour before I head to the Rad Awards.  (Yikes! Did I leave any time in that schedule to eat?)

Wednesday, May 4th – does anyone have a cloning machine I can borrow? If not, then it means I will be attending a few different events but probably not for the full time – The Future of Technology in Business, The Philly Startup Leaders Entrepreneur Expo and the 2nd Annual Women in Tech Soiree.

Thursday, May 5th is another need a cloning machine evening that will start with the merriment at the #PTW16 Cinco de Mayo Block Party.  Then it is off to figure out how to be at From Philly to DC: Building Powerful Inclusive Tech Communities, FailFest, and an invitation-only networking event all at the same time. Most likely it will be a little while at each.

Friday, May 6th, after a week of insight and education, I’m looking forward to relaxing with some fun and friends at the PTW Signature Event.

Saturday, May 7th, #PTW16 wraps up with Techies Who Brunch (if room opens up on the waitlist) and The Hacktory’s Robot Universe Showdown.

There are also some TechGirlz  and TechShopz in a Box events happening during the week so be sure to check them out for your middle school age girls! (Hint – YOU can run your own TechShopz in a Box)

Saturday May 30th – Intro to Video Production  and MATLAB Motion Tracking

Saturday May 7th – Intro to Linux

It is going to be an AMAZING week!!  What are you going to?

Looking forward to seeing everyone. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Social Happy Hour with Jeff Gibbard

I was honored to be the first guest on Jeff Gibbard and True Voice Media‘s newest web series – The Social Happy Hour.

An hour on Periscope of Jeff having cocktails and talking social media with some really smart, funny, insightful people. Join them live on Periscope or catch up later at http://thesocialhappyhour.com/ 

If you had to evacuate right now, what would you take?

The recent severe weather here in Texas, Oklahoma and the rest of the midwest has resulted in so many people taking trips to emergency evacuation shelters, interior, windowless rooms of their homes or, in truly tragic cases, a ride down the rapids of a rain swollen river.  I was blessed to only have to spend one night hunkered down in the pantry while the tornado sirens went off and a tornado touched down about 15 miles away. There are so many others who have not been so lucky. Having grown up a military brat and a Girl Scout raised by an Eagle Scout father and a mother who grew up in Oklahoma’s tornado alley, the idea of being prepared for an emergency is just ingrained in me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know where the flashlights, candles and matches and all the other necessary emergency gear was located, what to do and where to go. Our multiple moves have meant I have lived in areas prone to, and I have experienced, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, blizzards, nor’easters, droughts and more. Pick a type of extreme weather, I’ve probably been through it.

Recent conversations with friends, family and online acquaintances made me realize how few people really know what to do in an emergency and how many more are not prepared if they had to immediately evacuate. There are lots of great resources of what to do in an emergency – Please go read them!

For now, let’s just talk about what you need to know if you have to immediately evacuate your home, work or wherever you might be at that moment.  Disclaimer – I am not an expert on this subject.  Just someone who has lived through a lot of these types of things, with a few suggestions.  This is also not an all inclusive list.  Please check with your local government and/or disaster relief agency to find out what other resources are available. This is also really important to think about if you travel a lot. You never know when you are going to be stuck somewhere besides home or work and severe weather strikes.

Do you know how to receive local severe weather emergency and/or evacuation notices?

Every municipality is different. Don’t assume because something was available or normal where you lived before (even if it was as little as a few miles away!) that it is the same where you live or are traveling now.  Some areas have sirens, some don’t. Many rely on Emergency Broadcast System notices on radio or TV – but seriously how many of us actually watch local network TV or listen to the radio any more? My recommendation if you have a smartphone is to download a weather emergency alert app. It will scare the beejeezus out of you every time it goes off but at least you will be aware of what is going on and whether you need to take precautions.

Do you know where to evacuate to or where the best place to take shelter is?

Find out! Again, every area is different and it varies depending on the type of weather. Your state or local governments will this information available or they can point you to the correct government agency that can give you the information. You can also check with the Red Cross or FEMA.

Do your kids know what to do in an emergency?

If your kids are old enough to be away from you – at grandma’s or a friend’s or school or on a playdate – they are old enough to be taught basic emergency preparedness. Make sure they know what to do, where to go and how to contact you. Do not assume that the adult they are with will know what to do. Make sure they know what to do.  Don’t count on cell phones working or that you will have power to keep them charged. How many of you or your children have phone numbers or addresses memorized? I know I don’t, but I need to. Or I at least need to have them written down and with me. Do your kids even know your first and last name or are you just Mom and Dad? If they don’t know your name and address, it will take much longer for them to be reunited with you if you get separated. Have an emergency plan in place that your kids can implement anywhere, make sure your kids know the information they need and have an agreed upon meeting place, even if it is for after the emergency has passed.

You have 2 minutes or less to leave – what do you take with you?

While it is nice to think that we would all instinctively grab the really important stuff and the really sentimental stuff, have you thought about what that stuff is and where it is? Our lives are so cluttered, do we really know what we need and where it is. Could you, in less than 2 minutes, put your hands on and pack (not in order of importance)

  • Important paperwork – birth certificates, passports, drivers’ licenses, marriage license, your health, car and homeowners insurance information, a list of important numbers and contact information, account numbers for all of your various accounts – banks, utilities, anything you need an account number for and a list of all your login information and passwords for online accounts
  • Currency – cash, credit cards, debit cards, bank account numbers
  • Devices and chargers – laptops, ipads, phones and chargers (for everyone in your family)
  • Pets – leashes, medical and shot records and small supply of food and crates too, if you can carry them
  • Medications / medical devices / medical instructions – for everyone in your family, including your pets, as well as, spare prescriptions
  • Vision or hearing aids – glasses, contacts and solution, hearing aids, etc…
  • A change of clothes – for everyone in your family
  • Things little kids may need to be comforted – a blanket, stuffed animal, etc…
  • Baby items – diapers, wipes, blankets, bottles, etc…
  • Keys – house, cars, storage units, parents house, etc…

If you are not at home when the evacuation order is issued, does someone else in your family know how and where to collect and pack these things?  Everyone who lives in your house should know what to pack and where these things are.

Test yourself.

Time yourself collecting all of these things and getting out the door.  Can you do it? Can you do it if you have to carry it and can not take your car – think boat or air rescue from a flood for example?  If not, you need to put a system in place and start storing things where you could.

I posed the question to my Twitter and Facebook networks about what they would grab if they had to evacuate in an emergency.  All of the answers included one or more of the things on this list, as well as some fun sentimental items.

So what would be on your list?


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Books Can Change Your Life

I  am a voracious reader. Yes, I said voracious.  I have an unquenchable appetite for the written word and am usually reading 3 – 5 books at a time.  Some of them are business related, some insightful, some great literature and some of them are just good thought-wandering pulp fiction.  I wish I could describe how I choose a book – what it is about the title, the cover, the story – that draws me to them, but it is just a feeling, just an unspoken pull that says “you need to open these pages and see what they have to share with you…”

Books have always been a constant friend and the ultimate escape.  The ones that took me from boardroom lessons to foreign shores and everywhere in between.  Books are a part of what made me who I am. Lessons learned and stories absorbed from their pages helped mold not only my personality but my curiosity about the world.   Then there are the books that change your life…

There have been a lot of books that had a profound effect on me, many of them, but there have been three, and one very new addition, that struck such a cord in me that they changed the course of my life.

IMG_2072The Bible — I don’t care what religion you are, or are not, everyone should read the Bible cover to cover at least once.   Not only is the basis of one of the largest religions in the world, but it is full of lilting prose, majestic stories, unforgettable characters and ethical lessons of how to treat your fellow man that should be learned by everyone.  Whether you choose to accept it as the Word of God or not, you will not have a true understanding of the world without reading it at least once.  I would say this also goes for the rest of holy books of the world’s major religions.  I have the Torah and the Koran and the words of Buddha scheduled as part of my “required” reading for this year.

Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead  – A very dear friend gave me this book 9 years ago and it literally changed the course of my life.  The words in this book sung to the entrepreneurial spirit in me and prompted me to take the leap from 25+ year, very stable, very successful career to radicalcareeringworking for myself. The simple to follow insights led me to questions about what I really wanted from the activities that were going to fund my life.  It was the both the scariest and best move I ever made.  It would not have happened had I not read this book.

 

 

amazing thingsAmazing Things Will Happen by C.C. Chapman –  We all have moments when we are unsure, when we are scared, when we are convinced that nothing is going to work out.  I was at that point when C.C. published this book.  I will be honest and admit that I originally ordered the book and planned to read it because I respect and admire C.C. and consider him a friend.  Then I opened the book and began to read… All of a sudden all of the uncertainty that had been swirling in my  head and heart began to settle.  C.C.’s words reminded me that what I was feeling was natural and that if I just took the time to look at them and then work through it, that amazing things would happen.  Not only was it an inspirational book, it was actionable.  It gave me step by step what I need to figure out how to keep amazing things happening my life and to quiet the voices that tell me that they can’t happen.

All three of these books are well-worn. I am on my 5th new Bible.  I have actually gone through 2 copies of Amazing Things Will Happen and am on my 6th copy of Radical Careering.  I wore out the previous copies.  I have given these books as gifts more times then I can count.

A new book has recently been added to this list – Seth Godin’s  What To Do When Its Your Turn. godinbook
The visual style of the book is stunning and the words profound.  Reading it I realized how often I still “wait” to take my turn.  How often I still wait for permission.  No more!  Another twist in the path of life, but one that heads to a better destination.

 

 

This is by far, not an exhaustive list of the books that have had an impact on me.  It is a list of the ones that have had a more then profound impact on the direction of my life.

So what are YOUR life changing books?

My 3 Words – 2015 edition

I stopped making resolutions when I turned 40. All I was doing was setting myself up for failure.  I stopped having carved in concrete goals within a year or two of that.  Because every time I did my life became the epitome of the old saying “want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans”.  Instead, I tried to find something that would give me direction and put structure around my goals for the year without making me carve them in stone and set myself up for disappointment.  Something that would allow me to lay a path that was flexible enough to allow for inevitable change, but clear enough to keep me on the right trail.

Then my wonderful Twitterverse of friends exposed me to the annual My Three Words and I had my blueprint.

My words for 2014  – tolerance, listening and reading/writing – ending up being somewhat prophetic for what the year was going to bring.  2014 required a lot of tolerance, a lot of listening and consisted of a lot of reading, but not as much writing as I would have liked.

Following in the tradition I started in 2013, I let my three words come to me as I envisioned what I wanted from 2015.  They couldn’t be just any three words though.  They had to be words that embodied an overall attitude for 2015 and words that implied or would move me to action.

So here are My Three Words for 2015 –

Words – This is essentially a evolution of Reading/Writing from 2014. I want to absorb and share more words.  I want to read more.   I want to read many different things.  I want to re-read some of the classics and my old favorites.  I want to read the Bible cover to cover again and really absorb it this time.  I want to write more. I want to finally take all the things that are in my head whether it is inspiration, musings, marketing and social media opinions or fictional stories and share them with the world.  Lastly, I want to do more public speaking.  Having spent a year away from it, I realize how much I really love speaking, training and educating.  I have made a commitment to myself to do more of it this year.

 

Service – I learned this year the difference between saying you want to be of service to others and actually, actively, selflessly being of service to others.  I have always tried to be of service to others, but this past year put me squarely into it.  I realized that making the time and effort and going after opportunities to be of service is different than doing it when it comes your way.  I want to do more of the first and will still accept opportunities that come the second way.

Another lesson that I have committed myself to this year is learning to let others be of service to me.  I have always been the one that took care of everything and everyone, fixed everything, did it myself because it was easier/quicker than counting on someone else to do it.  This year that changes. I will allow others to be of service to me.  I will not rob them of the opportunity to give of themselves.  I know how satisfying it feels to do so.  It is time I let go and give others the space to feel the same way.  I will not stop being a caretaker.  It is who I am.  I will start allowing others to also take care of me.  This one will not be easy, but it is necessary.

 

Routine – This is one of those concepts that I know what it means to me but it may be a bit hard to describe to someone else.  The last few years have been a unpredictable mish-mosh of being in a routine and not being in one depending on the needs of others – friends, clients, loved ones, volunteer commitments, etc…  This last year has held a completely different kind of routine interrupted by frequent detours.  In 2015, I want to start figuring out the routine that suits me best.  Having a routine of working, speaking, reading, writing, exercising, cooking, sitting still…whatever it is, I want to figure out the rhythm of MY life and then add in all of these other things to it.  I have always worked best and been happiest with a little structure in my life.  For me, routine is not about only being structured.  This year it is going to be about having the time, energy and focus to accomplish the things I set out to do and that still allow me to roll with spontaneity, joy, excitement and a need for stillness.


What are your words for 2015?  How can I help you with achieving them? 

 

It’s All About the…Attitude

It’s All About the… Attitude  – Come on, you have to admit that you now have a rather catchy tune floating around in your head.  Just go with it as you read on…

Anyone who follows me on social media has at least a small idea of how much my 2014 sucked.  It started out with a bad case of the flu and pneumonia and went downhill from there.   A relationship ended, my stepmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I had to change my “start a new life in Texas” plans to help care for her and my father, my dog died…and that was just January.

The rest of the year proceeded with the illnesses and deaths of a dear high school friend and my cousin and the rapidly declining health of my stepmother, until she too passed away in December.   I spent my year, not pursuing my career or personal dreams and goals, but being where I was needed and daily taking on dealing with illness, sadness, stress and grief and caring for the ones I love.

Yeah, 2014 sucked

Yet it didn’t…

In some ways, 2014 may have been exactly the year I needed…

We all have lessons in life that we say we need to or have learned…this year, I can honestly say I actually learned some of them.   My 2014 was spent exactly where I was supposed to be.  God (or insert deity you believe in here) put me exactly where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there. Where I was not only needed, but where I needed to be to learn some hard lessons and settle in to a new attitude and, hopefully, an even better version of myself.   It would be easy to wallow in the misery that 2014 brought and make a lot of excuses and rail against the unfairness of it all and get stuck in the negativity.   But, as we all know… It’s All About the Attitude…

That relationship that ended? I not only dodged a bullet that would have made the rest of my life hard and tumultuous, but having the strength to walk away from it left the perfect clearing in my heart and a clarity in my head to be open to something new and wonderful and perfect for me.

The career plans that were put on hold?  They left me with time to really discover what I love doing and what I want my work going forward to look like.  More on that soon, but just to give you a sneak peek, my consulting focus is going to be changing.  You will see a lot about that coming out soon, so stay tuned and be ready to book me to work with you or speak at your event!

The people I lost this year – Lovell, Celeste and Anita.  While the grief will stay with me, probably forever, the courage, grace and love they showed through their illnesses and their deaths was a huge beacon of what real strength, faith and living, and dying, on your own terms should mean to us all.   I will ever be grateful for having them in my life and for the lessons they taught me both in life and in dying.  The greatest way I can honor them is to live life as fully, as gracefully, with faith and as much on my own terms as possible.

Another unexpected lesson I learned in this year is we rarely really take the time to discover what we can live without.   Prior to this past year, I had a life that was constantly moving – work, volunteering, events, networking, friends, socializing, the general bustle of a full urban life… my life was in an almost 24/7 state of movement and forward progress.  It was wonderful! I loved it and I would not change a moment of it.  I thought it was all necessary for me to really feel like I was living a full life.

Then 2014 started and things in my life ground to screeching halt.  My time and energy were now needed for things that involved a lot of sitting and not actively doing.  I was forced to learn the hardest lesson for me – Patience.  I was forced into learning the value of just sitting still.   I had always done that, but it was in a few hour or at most a few day stretches.  This was days, weeks and months of just doing the day to day things that maintain life and a lot of sitting and waiting.  Never something I had done well or liked very much.   I discovered that, while I really enjoy the hustle and bustle of what my life was, I can live without it.

I also learned the lesson of what material possessions really mean.  I have lived the last year in the small guest bedroom of my father’s home with the only basic necessities of my possessions and almost all the rest of my worldly goods in a storage unit.  I also took on very little work this year and had virtually no income to speak of.  I learned that I really don’t need the stuff that I have surrounded myself with over the years.  Is it nice to have? Yes, it is and I miss some of it.  If I had to start life over with nothing more than what is in this tiny bedroom, I could easily do it.  That storage unit will soon be getting another thorough cleaning out and be pared down again to the things that I most need and that mean the most.

As 2015 starts, my vision of the next chapter of my life is a much better balance of time, effort, energy and things and a LOT of love.

 

Again, it all comes back to the attitude.   We can either choose to be beaten down by what crosses our path or we can choose to embrace it, good or bad, learn from it, live through it and continue on.   I can never say I was “forced” into the changes that 2014 brought.  I could have continued on with the plan that had brought me to Texas.  It was my choice to stay here in this small town, put my life on hold and care for the people who mean so much to me.  And it was the best choice I have made in a very, very long time.

 

So what does 2015 hold for me?  I don’t really know yet.  There is a lot of things that I still need to help with settling here before I can make final decisions about what is next.  I do know that 2015 holds a lot of promise.  I know that I am going into it with a different attitude then I have had in any of my prior 49 years.  I know that it will hold work that I love and am intrigued and challenged by, including more training and speaking opportunities – they are high on the list of things I enjoy most and want to do more of.  It will hold more time, effort and energy spent on the people that I love and less of those things spent on the people who are toxic and draining. It will hold time to just be and enjoy life whatever it holds.

Most of all, 2015 will be the year of Attitude…

I want America back!

 

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Reading my social media feeds today, it feels like we have forgotten how to agree to disagree and still respect each other and the other party’s right to their opinion.   I am seriously disgusted by the amount of vitriolic name-calling that I am seeing on all my social media feeds today.

I respect your right to have different political / religious / whatever beliefs then mine.  However, I will not tolerate, and what will quickly get you unfriended, is obnoxious name-calling and berating of anyone, politician or not, that you do not agree with.  Whether you like and agree with a politician or not, they got elected, by a majority, and if you believe in our country and our political system, that affords them some respect, no matter how minor an amount.  I do not necessarily like how many of yesterday’s elections turned out, but they were fair, honest elections in the democratic tradition of this great country.  I have to respect that.  The people who got out the most vote, whether I agree with them our not, have the right to have elected representatives who represent what they want and believe in.

It is as if people on both sides of the aisle have forgotten why we have two sides to the aisle.   If we all agreed on everything, it would not be a democracy.  There would not be a need for one.  Our country and our political system require the checks and balances inherent in a multi-party system.   The reality of that multi-party system is that some elections are going to result in people being elected who don’t represent our own individual views or beliefs.  That is the way it works.   If you don’t like who got elected, then you get off your ass and go to work getting someone elected next time who does represent your beliefs.  You don’t resort to schoolyard bullying and name-calling.

We have drifted so far away from being a nation of tolerance and working together that it is scary.   The divisions that have arisen are tearing our nation apart.  When the reaction to not getting something that you want is to start throwing accusations and calling names instead of working together to create a better world for everyone, then we have gone down a spiral that could spell the end of our country.  It is not who is in office that will ruin our country.  It is our own individual inability to be tolerant, informed, patriotic and compassionate adults who respect our country, our elected officials, our military and each other that will harken the end.

Our country was at its greatest when we still remembered that we were AMERICANS first, not Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, Libertarians,  or whatever…    When we remembered that whether we voted for guy/gal in power or not, it was our patriotic duty to support our country, not continually tear it down by demeaning and debasing those in power.  We respected them and, if we didn’t agree, we worked to get someone elected who we did agree with.

I want that America back! I want back the America that understood we did not all have to believe the same thing, it was actually better when we didn’t, but that we all had to agree to disagree and respect each other.