“As we lose ourselves in the service of others we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf
A note from Whitney:
From the moment you meet Gina, you know she is special - in large part because she has the amazing capability of making every human in her presence feel incredible and HEARD. From our very first conversation, I knew I could trust Gina with my deepest insecurities, my ugliest thoughts and my wildest dreams. This woman shows up to listen. She shows up to connect on a deeper level and she passionately pursues her most innate capability - creating community. To Gina - the women who truly does it all: thank you for consistently showing up in all your honesty. You allow us all to exhale and live a little more fully in this beautiful mess we call "real life."
A common theme I hear from women who are “getting it done” in our community is “there’s never a perfect time to start something”. Relationships develop, careers lead you in unexpected directions, children need different things at each stage of their lives, and so on. I’ve got a lot going on. To say that I love everything I do in life would be a disservice to those of you reading this piece. Sometimes I do things because they need to be done- not necessarily because they fill my heart. For example, planning my son’s parties at school and determining what crafts they will create doesn’t spark creativity and joy in me. But it does contribute to the happiness of 23 first graders and so I do it. The joy comes when I attend the party and witness the children having fun.
I have a lot of privilege. Something I’ve focused on the last few years is making sure I acknowledge my privilege and then do what I can to give back to my community. I do that through loving my family as well as I know how, taking pride in my professional work, showing up for other women and filling in where I can. I may not always be the perfect person for a task but I might be the only one willing to do it! Using the privilege we have to expand opportunities for all women is one cornerstone of modern feminism.
I’ve always been drawn toward leadership roles. I like engaging with others and I’m not afraid of speaking my truth. I’ve enjoyed many programs and academies where I’ve built up my leadership muscle. The Atwood Center for Women is my way of taking the wheel and steering the ship. It’s me deciding that I have valuable things to offer women in my community and then doing something to serve them. I’m a relationship person. I want to dive right in when I first meet people. I want to know how you’re broken and I want to tell you how I’ve patched myself back together over the years. I want to build you up and I want you to hold me accountable. So let’s get started.