I was born in Szczecin, Poland and immigrated to the United States at the age of 13, fleeing the communist oppression of my homeland as a political refugee with my parents, younger sister and dog. The challenges of immigration to and assimilation in the USA left me with deep scars and pushed me to relentlessly pursue “the American Dream.” I went from not knowing a word of English to graduating from Hofstra University, building a successful career in television production and eventually founding CheapCaribbean.com. I also met and married the love of my life and became a mom to two incredible children – Mira and AJ – my life’s greatest treasures. Daisy completed our family.
For fifteen years I was part of the leadership team of a business I co-founded along with my husband Jim.
We grew from a complete start-up to 500+ employees with offices located in multiple states and eventually 2.5 billion dollars in revenue. I was the only woman in executive leadership and one of very few in the sector for many of those years. While running the organization, I was also a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a community member. It was fun and exciting for quite a while but eventually keeping up the “strong leader” facade became exhausting. I felt like I was constantly juggling a million things while trying to outrun everyone at the same time. Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of who I was outside the roles I played for others. I lost myself.
While my heart was in the right place – I led with intuition, generosity, creativity, connection and love – it wasn’t always welcome in the business world.
Although the company I started with my husband was an extension of our family where everyone belonged and was on equal footing, eventually we needed financial backing, which brought in new leadership. I was suddenly fighting against a different way of doing business, the old-school corporate model, which was asking me to become someone I wasn’t. It was asking me to give of myself more than I was willing.
My role in the business started becoming smaller and smaller and eventually I was let go by the very company I had started – while my husband was kept on. A couple of short years later, our family relocated to Paris, France and the business was sold. I officially retired in my late 30’s.
This brought the race I called “my life” to a forced and sudden pause – a total and complete crash.
I faced a major identity crisis, filled with hurt, resentment, disorientation, confusion, and a lot of darkness and pain. It looked like anxiety at first, followed by panic attacks and then heart issues and full blown depression. I suffered deeply for two years (as did my family) and embarked on a healing journey which continues to this day. I spent the next decade learning about holistic wellness, nutrition, stress management, childhood trauma, the human brain, various types of therapy and somatic and energetic work. I studied anatomy, yoga, breathwork and meditation. This spiritual walk brought forth an awakening of insight, wisdom and a desire to help others navigate the challenges I had faced and overcome: both as a political refugee as well as a successful business executive and entrepreneur.
Out of this experience, my Coaching and Mentorship business was born.
Today, I offer a very private, confidential and exclusive companionship model to a select number of men and women in top leadership positions all over the world. I also work with organizations to help them understand the need to change the toxic corporate structure that costs the health of so many they employ. The process I call Soul Leadership offers a new way to define power and success. It creates not just conscious leaders but heart-centered businesses which bring forth a massive wave of positive change globally.
Welcome to Soul Leadership.
Lead with empathy, inclusion, vulnerability, transparency, courage, healthy boundaries, self-respect, self-love, accountability and unity.