1.) I was born in Waterbury, Connecticut and lived in Cheshire, Connecticut with my parents and my Dad’s parents until my Dad got his first job in insurance and we relocated to Ohio where I was primarily raised (above, left, in the "glasses" at a family wedding).   

2.) I’m the eldest of four children. I have two sisters and one brother. Let’s just say that my three siblings observed all of the stunts I managed to pull as the oldest, and they were absolutely certain they weren’t going to even think about repeating what I did. Let’s leave it at that. 

3.) One of my very first jobs was working at a breeding farm for race horses. I was on the premises to see the first foal born and the experience was incredible. In fact this colt, when it was a little older, bolted out of the stall when I was with him, and took off into the corral during a torrential downpour, and I spent 2 ½ hours waiting for him out in the corral during the pouring rain to trust me enough to finally get him to come close enough so I could put a halter on him and bring him in.  

4.) My dad worked for Nationwide Insurance as a district sales manager and we were lucky enough that my mom was able to stay home. I am the only one that took after him and went into insurance. I remember him sitting at the kitchen table taking phone calls and vividly remember him saying to one of his clients, “So you’re telling me the tree just jumped out in front of you?” I was sitting on the couch thinking to myself, “What is this person talking about. Trees don’t jump!” While he handled life, auto, etc., I ventured into benefits. Every now and then he’ll say, “You don’t need that insurance,” but make sure you have life insurance and that your wills are up to date.  

5.) I never took driving lessons. My dad taught me how to drive. And in turn, I taught my son how to drive. I had to learn how to do uneven parallel parking on my own, and had the cones set up on the driveway. I would be out there for hours until I had it perfected.  My dad took me to my test to get my license, and he sat with his hands over his eyes because I did the uneven parallel parking portion so fast. I passed the first time, but the celebration quickly faded when I got the index finger pointed at me and was firmly spoken to about drinking and driving and speeding. His words stick with me to this day.    

6.) The summer before my freshman year of high school I spent with my grandma here in Albany, and we had such a wonderful time together. We went to Cape Cod and Vermont and a few other places, and I had no desire to go home. I’ll always remember that summer as my grandma and I were extremely close. Eventually when she relocated to Sarasota, Florida I would travel to see her annually to visit with her for a week or two.  

7.) My son and I have two cats – one is Louie and the other is Huey (son and cats, below). They are quite the characters. Louie is not afraid of anything and Huey is terrified of everything. Huey also is our “interior designer” because he constantly drags the throw rugs where he wants them and lays on them and is quite proud of his redecorating. I was raised around all kinds of animals – even raccoons.  My parents are avid animal lovers. I was raised with cats, dogs, horses, a pony, and then my dad would bring all kinds of animals home that he found and we would take care of them. One time my mom found a whole litter of puppies left in a crate on the side of the road and she brought them home and we took care of them while my parents found homes for them. 

8.) I took Tae-Kwon Do for a couple of years and am at the level of a black-rec belt. I never got to finish to get my black belt due to other priorities with my son, but I really enjoyed the classes and made a lot of friends with whom I still keep in touch with.  

9.) I got my MBA while working at Siena.  I took a finance accounting class and it was traumatic. I failed my first exam and received an email and voicemail that I needed to schedule a date and time to meet with my professor. I did, and he made me cry because he told me I should pick a different master’s program. I told him I couldn’t because this was the last class I needed to take before I could work on my thesis to graduate. He and I talked through it, and I found out his wife worked in HR so he relented and said ok, let’s figure this out. So, I promised him I would get tutors and do whatever it took to pass the class. He wasn’t positive I would pull it off because he said usually when students fail the first exam they fail the course, and I said not me. So, I got a couple of tutors and somehow ended up passing the class with a B. He said he never saw anything like it, that’s how difficult that course was. At the end of the course, I discovered he lived right up the road from me. To this day we keep in touch. He now teaches in Connecticut.  

10.)   I really want to learn more about my ancestry because I have discovered that way back in the family line a family member was a Duke to the Queen of England.  So perhaps I might be a royal at some level? Stay tuned…