Home: Maidens, VA. Age: 45. Birthplace: Shreveport, LA. Profession: Speaker, author and facilitator; certified coach. Organization: Through the Woods Consulting. Title: Founder. Significant other: My husband and greatest supporter, Nelson Wood. Alma mater: Virginia Tech.
Latest accomplishment: Organized, hosted and keynoted the 2nd Annual WILDwood Symposium in Richmond, VA. Held annually on International Women’s Day and dedicated to Women’s Intentional Leadership Development (WILD). What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? From a stable career in medical sales to creating, owning and running my own coaching and consulting business. A fabulous ride with many lessons learned and incredible clients along the way. Hobbies: Watching my kids enjoy their sports; most all things in nature; walking my English Pointer, Louie, in the early morning; riding horses. Formerly an avid show jumper, I now ride as often as I can, and also enjoy watching my daughter become a great horsewoman. Last book read: Essentialism, by Greg McKeown; Atomic Habits, by James Clear.
Passion project: The “Equine Factor” has been my life’s work. In this powerful program, which blends my degree in Animal and & Equine Sciences with my certifications in coaching and communications, I coach individuals or small teams as they work with horses to expand their awareness of self, their communication with others and their overall leadership skills.
Personality profile: Extroverted, passionate, visionary, imperfect. DiSC profile D/I (dominance, influence). What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Genuine. What is your greatest joy? My family. I try to soak in every moment with my children and husband. What word or phrase do you use far too often? Engage with the Universe. What is at the top of your bucket list? World travel with our children. How do you relieve stress? Leaning into my gratitude statements and going for a walk or hike outdoors.
What was your first paying job? Cleaning stalls; selling shoes at a local family shoe store. What was your favorite college course? Equine Management. What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Building forts in the woods with my brother. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Christmas Vacation, a family tradition at Thanksgiving. What’s the best advice you received growing up? The alternative to getting older isn’t great. It’s death. What’s the best advice you received in your career? Always run to an opportunity, not from a situation. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Having my calendar on my phone at all times.
Leadership is not an outward skill. Leadership is a collection of tiny skills that begins with self.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? For individuals and companies to see and believe that leadership development begins first with leadership of self. Once we build that foundation, we can begin to turn great leaders out into the world. What message do you want to send out into the world? Believing in abundance will ensure that you always have enough. Focusing on what is lacking in your life will ensure that you never have enough. What widely held belief do you reject? That everything in life needs to be fair. The simple truth is, life is not always fair.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Life Is What You Make It. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? An attorney or veterinarian. If money were no issue, where would you live? In two homes: a horse ranch in Virginia and a house with a view in St. John (USVI). What advice would you give your younger self? You can do it all, you just have to spread it across various seasons of life. What day in your life would you choose to re-live? My wedding day.
Personal mission: First and foremost, raising my children to be kind, grateful and joyful humans. Second, to trust in my own path and encourage others to do the same. Personal motto: Life is crazy; find your own balance and enjoy the journey. Favorite quote: “Give thanks for blessings already on their way” (Native American saying).