It's Never Too Late to Share Your Story
Meet the women who embody our mission! The women in our community continually impress and inspire us. The Lotus Lady initiative puts a spotlight on the incredible life journey of one of these women each month.
A Lotus Lady…
- Is authentic and vulnerable
- Has a life story that’s never been shared publicly before
- Provides our readers with inspiration, tools, creative ideas, entertainment, and/or education
Our Current Lotus Lady is...
Previous Lotus Ladies
Joanne Davidson often thinks about an ongoing conversation she has with her college roommate, pondering whether life is determined by fate or destiny. She has never been able to answer that question. What she does know is that she is grateful for the way her life has unfolded, and she intends to hold that gratitude closely as she continues to move through what she knows has been a blessed life.
Katie Friedland’s busy life led her to miss a crucial mammogram, but a routine task led to a cancer diagnosis, plunging her into a tumultuous journey of surgeries and treatment. Through this painful process, she discovered newfound resilience and a determination to embrace life’s uncertainties as she begins a new chapter at 51, full of art, connections, and the hope of love.
Marla Wynne Ginsburg has experienced a remarkable journey of career twists and personal transformations. From her beginnings in public relations to producing an Emmy-winning show, relocating to Europe, and ultimately founding her global fashion brand MarlaWynne, her story exemplifies resilience and the belief that it’s never too late to pivot.
Joan’s life took an unforeseen turn when her daughter Morgan was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. After losing Morgan, she and her husband channeled their grief into philanthropy, founding the Morgan Adams Foundation to fund pediatric cancer research. Despite facing personal tragedies, Joan continues her mission, driven by stories of hope and the desire to make a difference for families affected by childhood cancer.
People in recovery often get stuck in the worst parts of their stories: the promises broken, the relationships shattered, the disastrous choices and, most of all, the shame. Teri Smith, who has been in recovery since 2005, has those stories too, and she doesn’t shy away from them, but for her, the far more compelling story is what caused her addiction to gain a foothold in the first place, and the new life she has forged for herself since.
Vivian Delgado is of the Yaqui/Tiwa nations and comes from a direct line of enslavement and captivity. Growing up, Vivian was bombarded with messages that she was less than those in the dominant culture and she began pushing back in her teens. Now, she overcomes adversity and advocates for indigenous rights, and even established a four year degree program for Indigenous Studies that she hopes will impart a different perspective of how knowledge is acquired and values are instilled.
Seija Nelson’s life had spiraled out of control since moving to Denver, leading to an alcohol addiction that threatened to destroy everything she held dear. Seija knew she had no choice but to make a major change. She went to rehab, turned her focus outward, found purpose in helping others, and is now sharing her story to offer hope and support to others in need.
Heather Peterson has two words posted in her Salt Lake City office: Significant and Secure. Those are the guiding principles of everything she does as a businesswoman and colleague, wife and mother, volunteer and church member, and also as a student, which she became yet again as she entered midlife.
Tracy Baxter is profoundly grateful for 2022. It was, she says, “a long, hard, good year,” a year of discovery, exhaustion, growth and ultimately, success. None of it was easy. All of it took time. But, as with the memorable events she creates for others, so too it is in the slow and often painstaking process of building a life and a career.
Irma Velazquez did not grow up with love, and her scars are a visible reminder of all that she was forced to endure, but what she has chosen to keep from that time is what she refers to as the reward for all her pain, the love that was born inside her with each of her children.
Throughout her years of advocacy and leadership, Dafna has had to navigate a complicated landscape of divorce and remarriage, more than one round of cancer, the loss of a desperately wanted baby through miscarriage, and the trials that come with raising a struggling child. She stayed true to the vow she made as a 14-year-old girl, never to complain if she wasn’t going to work for a solution.
Through the help of meditation and her work producing life history documentary films through her company Family Legacies Inc., as well as her civil rights activism through the Anti-Defamation League, Susan Brody learned to heal from grief and find purpose. She believes that having a strong purpose in life, which includes her love for her husband and sons, her meaningful work and her activism, is the key to healing and continuing to live a fulfilling, productive life.
After close to two decades in the corporate world and tired of finding herself the only Latino in a leadership role, Elizabeth decided it was time to do as her mother had taught her and put her education and experience to use doing something to help others. Along the way, she learned that it’s never too late to strive.
Elsa Holguin knows that the early years of a child’s life are the building blocks for educational success. A first-generation immigrant and college student, Elsa founded the Denver Preschool Program to give underserved kids the social and emotional skills they need to learn, thrive, and stay on pace with their peers while providing parents a safe place to leave their children while they work.
When a baby is born, it is often described as perfect. This is not because the baby meets some empirical standard of perfection, but simply because the baby is. Somewhere along the way, however, expectations shift; we seem to lose our intrinsic value, focusing less on what makes us valuable and more on the ways in which we fail to measure up. This month’s Lotus Lady wants us to change the way we think about that. It is never too late, she believes, to know our worth.
“A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Eleanor Roosevelt said that. Becky Haddad lived it. Through her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, divorce, and the loss of her adult daughter to breast cancer years later, Becky found out the hard way just how strong she is.
There is a quote that Fiona Mechem has always loved. It comes from Elsie de Wolfe, known as America’s first lady decorator, who said, “I will make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life.” For Fiona, a business owner, interior decorator, wife, and mother of three children, creating that beauty – both in the careful curation of her clients’ homes as well as in the special moments she fosters within her own family – has become a way of life.
When Linda Yip lost her beloved only son, Nathan, in a tragic car accident twenty years ago, she could easily have become mired in grief. Instead, she and her husband Jimmy channeled their pain into a thriving educational philanthropy. She now says that, while she lost her son, she also gained thousands of other children who depend on the important work she and her husband do to honor their son.
Pam Hatcher has learned from experience that there is no such thing as growth in the absence of setbacks. Those lessons have come in the form of a strained relationship with a free-spirited, largely absent mother and the collapse of a long-term friendship and business partnership. While both created stress and hardship, they also helped shape Pam into the businesswoman, partner and mother she is proud to be today.
Louanne Saraga Walters, who bravely volunteered to share her story as our fourth Lotus Ladies Personal Profile, is the embodiment of one of the core values of Lotus Network: It is never too late to become the person you always wanted to be. We hope that her story will inspire you to share your own story or nominate someone else whose story deserves to be heard…we believe they all do!
Benny Samuels, who bravely volunteered to share her story as our third Lotus Ladies Personal Profile, is the embodiment of one of the core values of Lotus Network: It is never too late to become the person you always wanted to be. We hope that her story will inspire you to share your own story or nominate someone else whose story deserves to be heard…we believe they all do!
Lori Frisher, who bravely volunteered to share her story as our second Lotus Ladies Personal Profile, is the embodiment of one of the core values of Lotus Network: It is never too late to become the person you always wanted to be. We hope that her story will inspire you to share your own story or nominate someone else whose story deserves to be heard…we believe they all do!
Nancy Alterman, who bravely volunteered to share her story as our first Lotus Ladies Personal Profile, is the embodiment of one of the core values of Lotus Network: It is never too late to become the person you always wanted to be. We hope that her story will inspire you to share your own story or nominate someone else whose story deserves to be heard…we believe they all do!