Through storytelling, our speakers highlight ways people and businesses can make the world a better place.
I write books to and for teens in foster care. I speak to groups of older youth in foster care and the people who serve them, including case workers, CASA, and current and prospective foster parents.
Prior to writing books, I was a lawyer, serving as the General Counsel of a publicly traded company – one of the largest pet health and wellness companies in the United States.
When I stepped away from the law in 2019, I had been recognized as one of the world’s leading Intellectual Property strategists.
This may sound arrogant, but knowing that I survived foster care and thrived afterwards gives me hope.
If you are familiar with the research on Adverse Childhood Experiences, you will understand the significance of this. Growing up as a foster child, my ACEs score was 9. The only reason my score wasn’t a 10 is because my father’s incarceration didn’t take place until I was an adult.
When I realize that THAT kid – that abused, traumatized kid – he overcame, and was able to get an education – two business degrees and two law degrees, have a wildly successful legal career, and most importantly, have lasting, meaningful family relationships – THAT gives me hope.
I observed courage early in my legal career.
When I was starting as a lawyer, working in the state’s largest firm, I saw a young lawyer (a rising star, but still a young lawyer before becoming a partner in the firm) witness some unethical behavior by other lawyers in his firm, including a senior partner, inform the firm that he would quit working at the firm (the behavior did not involve him), unless the behavior was appropriately reported.
That willingness to do what was right, even when it put this young lawyer’s own job at risk, seriously impressed me. I wasn’t surprised when he went on to become my state’s Attorney General.
I regularly use swag t-shirts, high quality insulated water bottles, and bags. My all-time favorite piece of swag was a sturdy, high quality duffle bag with my firm’s name and logo stitched onto it. Still use it 15 years later.
Is it time for the fun?