I grew up in North Carolina in a family of love, support and music. From an early age, my parents taught me to follow my dreams.
My parents were musicians and made sure that music was a central part of my 3 sister’s and my life. Our family band performed at weddings, anniversary parties and clubs. We entertained our audiences with jazz standards from the Great American Songbook, 50’s, 60’s, and Top 40 music. My sister, Vaughan and I would sit on the porch with our acoustic guitars writing songs about love and changing the world.
Having a musical family has a deep impact on your heart. It helped me to dream big, have faith in something greater than myself, and experience the deep bonds of family.
I spent my teenage years playing sports. That is where my love of teamwork and the belief that “anything is possible” was born. In college, I was Captain of the volleyball and basketball teams. I was inducted into the Greensboro College Sports Hall of Fame in 1996; and, my basketball jersey was retired. When I stand really tall, my height is measured at 5’3,” so I think the awards were won by heart and spunk.
After college, I went to graduate school where I became an Assistant Division I Collegiate Volleyball Coach. It was exciting to spend each day inspiring young adults to reach higher, work harder, and become more than they thought was possible.
After graduate school, I was appointed Director of Campus Recreation. I had dozens of college students working for me, and developed and delivered student leadership programs and motivational talks on leadership and teamwork. Each day was fresh and new. I was using my gifts and living on purpose.
In my late 20’s, I was given the opportunity to become a University Fund Raiser and Executive Producer of television documentary projects about the environment that our University Chancellor narrated. This was a big change, but it was worth every moment.
Working with business professionals, I learned two important lessons: people think logically, but they act emotionally. In order to raise the needed funds and achieve project goals, I had to appeal to their intellect, yet connect with their heart.
As fate would have it, I was delivering a keynote for the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), and was “signed” by a national speaking agency (CAMPUSPEAK) in the early 2000’s. They booked me to speak to students all over the country on diversity, leadership and wellness. It was a blast!
My university career was a natural segue into my professional work as an executive coach, workshop facilitator and motivational speaker. I’ve now coached executives and business leaders in the areas like: strategic visioning, leadership development, building engaged and happy workplaces, the power of belief and intention, mind/body/spirit wellness, and living an amazing life. I’ve developed and delivered workshops, retreats, national and regional conferences and conventions, and given keynotes to a wide array of audiences around the United States.
My love of music has always been woven throughout the fabric of my life. In addition to still performing with my family’s band (Penn Family Music,) I have had the privilege of co-creating 3 CD’s of original music with Nancy Pitkin, who is amazing singer-songwriter. Our songs, which have uplifting and positive lyrics are a blend of pop, country and Americana.
I also sing jazz with my family’s band and a local Big Band. I am humbled and honored to work with so many amazing musicians dedicated to their craft. (Please see my Music Page)
I have been on personal development and spiritual quest for 30 years, studying positive psychology, spirituality and human potential. I have learned that you can achieve extraordinary success AND happiness. When you follow your bliss, you activate your potential. Gratitude is the game-changer, because what you focus on expands. We are surrounded by infinite, creative possibilities, but we have to shift our consciousness to see them.
My life as an athlete, coach, executive coach, and spiritual seeker has taught me that we must care for our mind, bodies and spirits. Healthy eating, exercise, meditation, prayer and visioning are part of my daily regimen.
I believe in listening to and trusting my intuition. I love what I do, and am grateful for the work that allows me to use my gifts, follow my dreams and make the world a better place. It is an honor to inspire people to do the same.