Letter from Gerarda Collins, HBA Metro president

Wow. This has been an amazing month and it is not even over yet.
We started off with a fun happy hour in East Brunswick on May 6 (thank you to June Zeringue, HBA Metro president-elect, for hosting). It was so much fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones, including soon-to-be members. I look forward to our next happy hour event on June 7 at Pazzo Pazzo in Morristown, NJ where I will have an opportunity to meet “Tomorrow’s Executives.” Register and join us.
HBA Metro celebrates at WOTY
Once again, WOTY was amazing. I had an opportunity to meet some wonderful women at our dine-around the evening before at Tout Va Bien including Karen Vari, who is virtually a neighbor, Lisa Miller, Nyra Bannis and Eugenia Rutenberg. And all of them had their families at WOTY to cheer them on when they stood on stage. But the best was seeing the HBA’s digital elite chair, LeAnna Carey, being pulled by a pedicab and waving. If only I had my camera out in time. Thank you Jacqui Sawers for arranging the dinner.
Now for WOTY. Jacopo Leonardi, Honorable Mentor, was so inspiring talking about his “sheroes” and sharing the importance of the need to move from mentoring to sponsoring. But even more important, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” Our Woman of the Year (WOTY) Jennifer Cook spoke about “being brave is about being authentic and just being your best self.” And since life is not predictable, “embrace the unpredictable ride of leading and letting go.” 
On May 18, I had the honor of introducing our 2015 WOTY, Denice Torres, at Pfizer Pearl River. Once again, unscripted, she spoke of her life story and answered questions from the audience. She spoke of the importance of taking care of yourself and not to “give it away as successful people have boundaries.” And take your vacation time. “It is like leaving money on the table, and worse your health on the table.” Denice also spoke about how we need to set up goals outside of work and keep up with friends. And if we do not take risks we do not grow and how we all need to challenge ourselves. Once again, thank you Denice for an inspiring evening. 
Last month I mentioned that I was taking on some goals. So here are my results for May:
  • Something scary revised to doing something new/spontaneous as not too much scares me: visited sculpture gardens in NJ when I could have been doing chores
  • Wrote a note to my daughter-in-law telling her how I appreciate her
  • I got to meet quite a few new people at WOTY and really engage
And tell me how it is going – feel free to email me or grab me at an upcoming event. Remember life is about growing and having fun.

Gerarda Collins
HBA Metro president
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