My INSPIRE key was given to me by a dear friend, and means a great deal to me. In a few days, I plan to give it to Julia, a woman who has become both a friend and a wonderful mentor to me and to many, many other women.
Julia, known to one and all as JuJu, is funny, charming, kind to a fault, and tough as nails when she needs to be. She is the soul of patience. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen her roll her eyes and we have been together in situations in which she had every right to do so. She ran a large women’s organization whose members have an abundance of leadership skills by listening to all opinions, building consensus, and never shying away from difficult conversations. You always know you are about to hear an innovative solution to a problem or at the very least great sense when Juju begins a thought with, “I don’t know what y’all think, but...” She leaves our organization stronger because she kept a laser focus on our mission while opening us up a little bit to the world: new members, new technologies, new ways of thinking about what we do. She has inspired every one of us with her poise, her grace, and a heart that is always, always in the right place. I am especially thankful because she has inspired me to believe that I can follow in her footsteps. But no promises about the eye rolls.