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Goodbye, 2018! I see you 2019. As this year comes to an end, and I look back on some beautiful and not so great experiences, I can say I have learned and grown so much. I met and worked with some lovely people. I shared some laughs and shed some tears. I removed unhealthy relationships and gained much peace. I made a few new acquaintances and provided some mentoring along the way. Most importantly, I stopped taking the little beautiful things that make up life for granted, like birds on a wire or one stunning red rose among dying vines.
I volunteered as often as I could. It's a part of me (check out my post from 2012 Get Involved Beyond the "Work" and Reap the Rewards.) Moreover, I discovered the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation which allowed me to help some children make their own decisions by merely choosing shoes. I didn't realize being able to pick out a pair of tennis shoes of my liking my entire life was a privilege. Not having to share my shoes or wear my older siblings that are too big or the same pair from the year prior which are now too small because I have grown, was a privilege and that I had taken it for granted my entire life. The children were kind, funny, shy, awkward, loving, smart and grateful. I don't knowwhich of us left was happier. I do know this charity, and the kids changed my life for the better.
I also met a Vegas Mermaid named Caysea who is so believable and engaging in her craft that she had children of all ages believing she is the cousin of Arial from Disney’s "The Little Mermaid." Fun fact, her tail is the same material as Darryl Hannah's in "Splash," made of superfine hand painted latex skin and gills, and it weighs the same as a small child and cost as much as a small car!
I gave of myself (literally) with Habitat for Humanity during the summer and developed heat sickness, but it was worth it. This organization is one I had volunteered in more than a decade ago as the communications chair. At that time I opted to work the private fundraising events, so it was vital for me to get my hands dirty so to speak. Writing my name on an interior wall of the home was super fulfilling. I will always be a part of changing a family's life.
September I had the privilege of hosting now Senator-Elect Jacky Rosen in my home for an exclusive, invite-only Girlfriends Gathering. I would later spend election night with the Democrats as Nevada turned blue and women took the majority in the legislator – a first in US history – alongside the dynamic Lauren Brooks-McClintock.
As the year was winding down, October had me attending the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) which connects industry leaders at the heart of gaming. I was introduced to G2E two years ago by my sister-friend Anika Howard (it was mostly party hopping); however this year she added me to Global Gaming Women (GGW), an organization which supports and develops women professionally and personally in all levels of gaming. I never met a friendlier group of supportive women, and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it. I was smart enough to apply for one of their Educational Track Scholarships and won, allowing me to partake of the weeklong sessions. GGW supports and develops professionally and personally women in all levels of gaming. I never met a friendlier group of supportive women, and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it.
Some invaluable information from Leadership Traits C-Suite Executives:
Sidenote: Anika debuted her new role as Vice President of Brand Marketing and Digital Communications for Foxwoods Resorts Casino at G2E. She is formerly with IGT as head of Product Marketing - Mobile, PlaySpot & North America Sports Betting and iGaming. We had a lot to celebrate this year.
Finally, I ended the year with a career change and have never been happier. Sometimes in life what feels and looks like a step down is actually God and the Universe directing you to your next level. With New Year’s Eve only tomorrow, it is clear to me 2019 is going to be full of new exciting adventures, and I can’t wait!