“I love my jobs – my day job, the work I do in election administration, my consulting projects. All share common characteristics – demanding, complicated and the kind of stuff that doesn’t really interest most people. Financial services have been and are in a state of constant change. This has meant that what I do today for my clients is entirely different than what I did when I started my career almost 20 years ago. There are very few women or men who have persevered. I have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I am able to help people. Instead of retirement, I look forward to helping clients for many years to come. My new consulting projects have grown out of my hobbies. Work these days seems more like fun!
Elections are a mess! To me being elected as a Denver Election Commissioner was a serious responsibility. I became a Certified Elections Registration Administrator – twice. I have traveled to Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro and Moldova to monitor elections. I was in Kazakhstan for two months in 2005, before Borat. I hope to go to Iraq and Afghanistan eventually.
Do you have a favorite childhood story? What is it? Even at 2 1/2, my playmate, Debbie, and I could think of things that constantly amazed our parents. We wanted to play the drums! A neighbor found us crossing the nearby railroad tracks in Memphis, TN. "Going to get ice cream!" We had walked almost a mile from our homes. To this day, I will travel any distance to get ice cream.
Tell me a little about your career. I have worked since I was l4. I watched for shop lifting at the Honeybee Boutique in Clayton (St. Louis), MO. My first real job was offered when I volunteered to work for then candidate Jimmy Carter in his campaign for Governor of Georgia in l970. I was hired within days as a staff member because I could work a mag card machine for hours, creating his famous "Dear Friend" letters. And, I could sign them all perfectly as well! Rather than continue with the Presidential campaign, I decided to move to San Francisco, the most exotic location I could imagine at that time. Eventually, I established a career in Public Relations that took me to New York, and back to Atlanta, where I worked for the Weather Channel. I relocated to Denver in l985 and was hired by Laura and Peter Barton to work at Tele-Communications, Inc., now known as Liberty Media.
When an old oilman at the Petroleum Club told me, "little lady you'd make a mighty fine stock broker," I was so intrigued I researched all the firms and discovered they all wanted to hire women. There just were not a lot of women applying in l985. Surprisingly, not much has changed. With a partner, I am working on a book tentatively titled, "Hire a Woman to Invest Your Money." Our advice will not be only to hire women. There are too few. We suggest you might improve your service and fees by hiring women who work as independent advisors.
What’s important in your life? That has changed a lot in the past few years. To put it simply, smaller daily pleasures give me joy. Being able to contribute. I derive great satisfaction from doing things that don't interest others. My web site, ElectionNeutralityNow, advocates for election workers to take an oath of neutrality, be sworn in and deputized. Not a big push for this one out there.
What’s in your future? I really need to get out more and dance!
What are your volunteer activities? Denver Police Foundation Board. All my international election monitoring missions are volunteer.
Which social event is your favorite? The Denver Police Officer's Ball, of course! I am on the Board.
Favorite restaurant? Panzano
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? I met lots of them. I worked for Bobby Zarem in New York on a live variety show produced at Rockefeller Center. I also worked for Jimmy Carter when he was Governor of Georgia. Least I forget, Bob Guccione at Penthouse (no I did not pose nude and was not a model). I was at Studio 54 regularly working as a publicist. Perhaps the most interesting celebrity would have been Zarem, who has been profiled many times. He was anti-everything people usually try to do to become famous. He misbehaved all the time - screaming at employees and clients, ignoring people who could have been important to him, walking away while others were mid sentence….
If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Kate Blachette or Nicole Kidman
Do you have any pets? No, but I look forward to having enough time to care for dogs, cats and birds
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? She had style! (I own an Eichler home in Krisana Park)
What word describes you best? Trailblazer
How would you like others to describe you? A breath of fresh air.
What was your first job? School crossing guard (I wasn't paid but I took it seriously and even bleached my belt to be whiter)
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience
What trait do you most deplore in others? Rudeness
What is your greatest indulgence? Anything to do with beauty
What type of clothes do you like? All - vintage, fashionista, Neimans, Target, Goodwill, expensive, or a mini, lingerie or sweats….
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Listen to music.
What’s the last thing you do before bed? Read
Favorite comfort food? Fried chicken and white rice, biscuits, cornbread, gravy….
Tell me something about yourself that people would be surprised to know about you. I can forge Jimmy Carter's signature perfectly. I answered and signed prisoner mail when I worked for him, before the days of automated letters. I took each letter to heart. It turned me into a Republican.
What is the best gift you have ever given? A cigar store Indian - to a boyfriend for Christmas one year.
What is the best gift you’ve received? The first time I ever walked into Tiffany's - an impulse gift from a boyfriend, an Elsa Perreti, gold heart
What or who is the greatest love in your life? I'll never tell. Each was precious. I wouldn't want to make anyone jealous.
What is your current state of mind? Curious
What do you consider your greatest achievement?My first election as Denver Election Commissioner
What is your most treasured possession?Photos of my grandmother & mother around Savannah and Charleston
What is the quality you most like in a man? Confidence - at the top of his game; intelligence; generosity
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Intelligence and humor
Favorite books/writers? Flannery O'Connor (I am a temple of the Holy Ghost!) Florence King (Southern Ladies and Gentleman)
What is the best advice you have ever received? Be yourself (it is a good thing I wasn't Charles Manson!)
Do you have a motto? No
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you? I was on a cruiser caravan crossing the inland waterways from Vero Beach to Sanibel in Florida in the late l970s. I was with my boyfriend on his mother's boat with her friends. Going through a docking procedure - first in line with everyone watching - my bikini top popped off and flew away! Arms akimbo, I was paralyzed until a crew member handed me a towel. It must have been funny, because those old folks loved to remind me in front of new friends where they could maximize my embarrassment.
If you could come back in another lifetime, what/who would you like to be? And why? Aristotle - as the Greeks were establishing democracy in practice, and then, my x+ great-grandfather, Stephen Hopkins, a Mayflower passenger, distinguished as his second trip over - he was in Jamestown. They were both trailblazing democracy
What are your hobbies? Other interests? I really enjoy being a yoga student. I could devote my life to genealogy research. Shopping for thrift store finds entertains me for hours. I love fashion and enjoy surfing the web for the latest thing. Of course, my web sites could absorb all my time and energy.
Who is your mentor? Never had one
What would you most like to be remembered for?Doing things no one else cared about or would bother to do.
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? I go where I want to go and do what I want to do.
What do you like about the town you live in? Denver is a meritocracy. If you do something, we are small enough that it will be noticed. If you want something, you can probably achieve it here.