Role Models

We all have people in our lives that make a difference to us if we let them in. It’s so important to remember to honor these people, whether it’s your family, friends or colleagues for how they’ve touched us and made us think.

It’s those precious few that make us think twice about how to live our lives. I have been fortunate to have these role models throughout my life.

Mentors, Advocates & Sponsors: our Guideposts

They give you the support when you need it coming from a safe place, asking nothing in return.

  • Mentor – A trusting relationship. A person you can go to for advice providing a third eye perspective guiding you to success.
  • Advocate – Recommends you for a position or opportunity.
  • Sponsor – Will endorse you.

The keys to success in my career have been these people.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

– Margaret Mead

Dorothy Schwartz, My Mother

There’s nothing like my mother’s hugs, they were the best. She always stood by me and was always there for me. She was my everything: from grade school to college, my professional career until she passed away at 93 years old.

One of the many memories I have of my mother, were the delicious dinners she would make each night for the family growing up.

After dinner we would go to Dairy Queen, eat our ice cream, sit in the car and people watch. We made an evening out of it … as a family, great fun.

We did a lot of things together. She was the connector that held us all together. Aside from eating ice cream and people watching, we would watch popular TV shows, and movies. Every week, we would go to the movies. We loved to get engrossed in another person’s story.

My mom was an intellectual, a reader of current events, watching the daily news. My love for the news came from those times we all watched our favorite anchors and reporters, in addition to reading the newspaper and other current periodicals to stay up on industry trends.

A heart of gold, a love of people, a friend to many she found interesting. She was dynamic and loving, a woman who “truly made a difference.”

Life of Dignity

In her later years, my mother suffered from kyphosis. She was a survivor and lived with this condition for 18 years at the Montefiore Nursing Home in Cleveland, Ohio. She never once complained. She had too much pride and dignity to complain. My mother is the total package: very smart, beautiful, well read.

Mom shared a lot of insights and ideas that made you think and made you strive for excellence.  She always said what was on her mind. You always knew where you stood with my mom. Very lovely, very straightforward. Tender, yet very strong.

We celebrated her 92nd & 93rd birthdays in her room at the Montefiore Nursing Home before she passed. I have immense pride to call her “mom”, “my best friend” and “my love”.

With Dignity and With Class,
In Celebration of Our Mother
A Woman Who Truly Made a Difference
How much our Mother meant to me goes without saying or does it?

Gentle, sweet, caring, loving; always there with the right words, loving thoughts.

Affection with her touch; a warm kiss, cuddling hug, an eye that didn’t miss any detail.

Holding my hand, embracing me, sharing her wisdom, her inner and outer strength.

Classy in her resolve to constantly and consistently overcome adversity. A sense of pride bar none.

Listening and honing in on just the right thing to say or not to.

My best friend, my love, my Mom…

Always with me in my heart, mind and soul. With class and with dignity, she touched our lives.

In loving memory and celebration of our Mom.

Doris Griffin, My Mother-in-Law

I’m grateful to have my mother-in-law, Doris Griffin, Mom 2 as another role model and leader in my life. She’s known for her upbeat personality, her impeccable taste in clothing, and her pretty high heels.

She says her morals are her foundation, which she learned from her family growing up in America’s heartland. Her father used to say to her “whatever you ask of anyone else, make sure it’s something you would do yourself”.  She has dedicated her life to her husband, her children, her family, and her community.

To Doris, “Age is just a number”.


Advocate for Seniors

Doris was highlighted in the San Antonio Express News August 31st for the 30+ years she has spent as a long-time advocate continuing the fight for the dignity of older San Antonians.

She was the Executive Director for 30 years of the Jefferson Area Outreach for Senior Citizens. When she retired the city of San Antonio and WellMed Charitable Foundation named a Senior Center after her in San Antonio, the Doris Griffin Senior One Stop Center. #love #leader #veteranscenter

She is a nine-term member of Texas Silvered Legislature at the state capital in Austin. She co-chaired the Joint City/County Commission on Elderly Affairs and was part of a senior transportation coalition for quadrants of San Antonio.

Now she is a Spokesperson for WellMed Charitable Foundation in Texas.

Cyndee Goldstein, My Sister

My sister Cyndee has been a kindred heart all my life as a dear friend, advocate, close confidant, never judging, always understanding and looking at both sides of the equation.

She was there for me throughout my adolescence, college years to the present. She has been a significant role model in how she has raised her children, led a successful career in fashion as a leader at Saks Fifth Avenue for over 20+ years in Beachwood, a suburb in Cleveland and recognized for her business acumen and charitable giving.

Cyndee and Harry raised two beautiful daughters, my nieces who have taken the baton learning the in’s and out’s of helping and serving others.

Cyndee Goldstein, Memorial

It’s with a heavy heart I share my sister passed away too early, June 3rd 2022 from 4th stage colon cancer.

In memory and tribute, I wrote this poem when I received a call from my niece Shelby. 

Cyndee passed away on Shabbat after my family and Rabbi had gathered around her sharing prayers and song. With Cyndee was her husband, my brother-in-law, Harry and nieces, Courtney with husband, Aaron; Shelby with husband, Zach and dear friends, Shelia and Susie.


The Love of a Sister, my Sister, Cyndee Goldstein

Where do you begin to share the story and the love of a sister?

From childhood to adulthood, Cyndee was always a constant source of strength, love and support, warm hugs.

Stories shared, cries of joy, of grief, turmoil, fun and serious, growing, maturing over all the years, the intimacy unique and special.

Friendship, respect, our safety net of sister experiences, no one can take from us, ever.

Cyndee was everything to me like our Mother – a Role Model, Mentor, Advocate, Sponsor for each other and all the women in our lives we truly cared for and about.

Will always love you Cyndee, a sister’s love – never forgotten, endured today, tomorrow, for a lifetime.

Sharing with each of you that have a loving sister, brother, mother, father to cherish and enjoy each and every moment. #love #share #like #respect #safety

Cyndee photo Court's Wedding
Cyndee with Court Shel at Court's Wedding

Joy Griffin, My Sister-in-Law

Joy, like my sister Cyndee, is another woman who has made a difference in my life.

Always funny, choosing to see the bright side of every situation elevating the people around her making them feel like they are the most important person.

Joy has never met a stranger. Always has a story, anecdote to share that leaves you inspired, full of laughter, makes you smile, and rids you of any worry you may be going through.

She goes out of her way to help senior citizens to children to any family who is in need.

Betty Siegel, President Emeritus, KSU

Betty Siegel was my mentor, advocate and sponsor from the time I met her when I was with WSB-TV from 1989-2001 until her passing a couple of years ago.

Along the way she became a dear friend, role model and more.

Betty was the President Emeritus of Kennesaw State University for 25 years.

When she arrived on campus in 1981, Kennesaw State only had 3500 students. After her 25-year tenure, it went from a 15-degree college to a university with 55 undergraduate and graduate degrees, and 18,000 students.

Today KSU has 38,000 + students and is the 2nd largest university in the state.

More than that, she was a professor, educator, leader, connector, and friend. She was the ultimate connector.

She loved introducing people that could see the big picture, people that would ultimately produce a deal.

She was an amazing keynote speaker: powerful, articulate, and outgoing. From her energy and her enthusiasm, she was a force of nature.

She was the longest serving female president of a state university in the United States. She passed away in 2020 at 89.

There are many articles about Betty discussing her impact on the world around her and what drove her to success. Here are a few: [KSU] [11 Alive] [Atlanta Business Chronicle].

Susan Hitchcock

Founder and Host Emerita of Women in Leadership

Susan B. Hitchcock is a native of Franklin, KY, a cum laude graduate of Agnes Scott College, a participant in Boston University’s Leadership Institute, and a recipient of the GA Executive Women’s Network Founders’ Award. Susan’s BellSouth corporate career included multiple leadership positions in Network Operations and in the Management Assessment and Training organization.

For over two decades she worked with the Turknett Leadership Group as VP Client Services, Executive Director of Women’s Initiatives, and currently, as an Advisory Board member. She founded and has hosted Turknett’s Women in Leadership (WIL) seminar series since 2003, having facilitated over 185 monthly programs to date. As a community advocate and volunteer, her past board service includes AWN, GEWN, Possible Woman Foundation, Literacy Volunteers, BD of Directors’ Network, Global Ethical Leadership Foundation, and CEO Netweaver.

Currently, she serves on Agnes Scott’s Athletic Advisory Council, is past president of the Alumnae Association, a former member of the BD of Trustees & Executive Committee, Chair of Student Affairs Committee, and is a 2017 Outstanding Alumnae Award recipient. In 2012 Susan was inducted into the Womenetics Hall of Fame receiving a POW! Award for her leadership and advocacy for women’s advancement.

In 2014, Susan was an invited contributor to a book entitled “The Female Leader: Empowerment, Confidence & Passion.” She also has interviewed and written “SHEro” profiles for over 60 women from various fields, is a keynote and workshop speaker, and writes monthly leadership highlights for Turknett’s WIL seminars.

Carolyn (Lyn) Turknett

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Turknet Leadership Group.

She served as President of the firm for thirty years, and now serves as co-chairman and senior consultant. The focus of her work is character in leadership, cultural assessment and change, and executive team development.

Ms. Turknett’s consulting engagements have included leadership and executive team development, organization assessment and change, and individual feedback and coaching.

She is particularly interested in helping teams at all levels improve effectiveness and working relationships, and in helping organizations maximize intellectual capital and create cultures that support innovation and initiative.

Dr. Candy Kaspers, Ph.D

Founder at Bettie Brand Mothers’ Empowerment fund

The Bettie Brand Fund began in 2009 by daughter, Candace Brand Kaspers (former Chair of the Atlanta YWCA Board of Directors) and son, Jeffrey Brand, to honor their mother and ALL mothers and special others who contribute so much to their families and communities.

The purpose of the fund is to “Provide women in need with a hand up, not a handout, so they may live with dignity and independence.” Every year, it provides stipends of up to $10,000 to amazing women, each of whom agrees to “pay it forward” whenever and however she is able.

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