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  • Banking & Insurance
  • Biotechnology & I.T.
  • Construction Trades
  • Manufacturing
  • Municipalities & Schools
  • Non-profits
  • Veterinary & Health


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 Testamonial:  Georgian's workshop, "Advice to Your Younger Self:  Celebrate Your Story" at the 2015 Connecticut Women's Conference was very well received.  Each attendee came away with newly discovered energy and courage to take on life's transitions.  Her workshop was the perfect follow-up to our morning program, "Unleash Your Inner Hero!" 

Joanne Gustafson, President, Connecticut Women's Alliance.


Workshop Offerings Include: 

Your Next 20 Years - A Workshop for Midlife Career Women

Develop realistic hope for earning as we age; address 'what if' scenarios; catalog transferable skills and talents; explore opportunities to do what you always wanted!





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My Website for Adult Caregivers:



Mister Ed, Lucy, Mom & Me is a booklet that shares how watching '60s sitcoms with my Mom helped lighten the caregiving experience.  Available on Amazon. 

Here is the Amazon book link:


Insights & Observations

 Welcome! Note the tabs on top -- Trades Success showcases Handbooks I co-authored that celebrates careers in the trades. The "Working Women" section offers services and ideas to help summon our creativity in every phase of our careers.  In the "Ponder That" section I comment on current news items and emerging trends.  In the "Tips" section I offer workplace advice and reminders. "About Me" is just that. "Mid LIFE Matters" has segments from my public tv show.   "The Ryan Group" tab offers access to an astounding set of organizational improvement services.

2019 career advice for success in the trades:



Available on Amazon  

Special Edition Building Success in the Trades


Manufacturing Trades Success: 



Below are two managment e-books I authored for retaining talent:


Read these E-Books  in 2 hours at Work!

Printable Workbook Format



Below are shots of inspiration for experienced working women: 


 Available at Amazon - paperback & ebook




 "Mid LIFE Matters" - Wallingford Public TV

 I host a half-hour show on WPAA-TV celebrating women's wisdom and wit.  Fascinating women share their stories and growth mindsets:  Segments are under the MidLIFE Matters tab on this site and on You Tube, under my name.

I am honored to win the 2016 Community Media Rika Welch leadership award for community impact; a testimony to the Guests who shared their stories on MidLIFE Matters



Management Training:

E-Book Webinars & Workshops

Thank you to Joan Lahti, Ph.D., of Get To The Point Books for sponsoring a 45-minute webinar on my e-book, Are Your Star Performers Packing Their Bags?  How to Persuade Them to Stay.  Participants from across the country (and globe) reflected on their own retention tactics, and saw how to navigate this user-friendly workbook approach.   I offer similar sessions -- in person, online, or using blended technology, for any size group.  Contact Joan for a reference:







Coping with Confinement

A NYT article by Nick Kanas (08/30/10) offers NASA tips for those 33 trapped Chilean miners, but I think they can be applied to any workplace.  Research about helping people cope with being 'cooped up' include keeping them in touch with family and friends, anticipating displaced tension towards "outsiders" and supporting  leaders.  Also, tending to the needs of family members help the astronauts stay focused on their tasks and deal with confinement.

Listen to how successful leaders in extreme situations are described, based on decades-long research in the Antarctic:  They ..."perform twin (sometimes conflicting roles):  they assign tasks and monitor the emotional states of individuals."  Similarly, my favored management theories endorse cultures that focus on achievement and support, vs. power and roles.

Honestly, we don't need a crisis or exotic work situation to know that people thrive when they have a good boss and some assurance their families are not suffering because of work demands.  In this jobless economy, those may seem optional, but I don't think we are going to get out of this mess by ignoring basic human factors.

Regarding the miners, I hope they and their families get all possible support.



Welcome Distraction

When the impossible happens, or life flips upside down, we want 'normal' back.  Nothing seems funny, smiles are forced -- except when you are being licked by a puppy. 

How wise for management at Hartford Distributors to host eight German Shepherd puppies from Fidelco, the Bloomfield-based guide dog school.  Getting back to work after the deadly shooting rampage must be a huge daily challenge for each and every person.  As one employee was quoted by Channel 22 news, "We are so excited.  You don't understand.  It just brought a little bit of joy into the company and I think that's what we needed." (wwlp.com)

A local journalist and author, Gerri Hirsey, collaborated with the Fidelco Foundation on a new book, "Trust The Dog" which traces the organization's 50-year history. I plan to read this book to learn more about Connecticut's own contribution to pet therapy.  (Hartford Courant, 5/30/10)

A high point in my Mom's stint in rehab this past April was a visit from Ginger, an enthusiastic golden retriever.  I missed her call, but  her owner, Sandy Lok, told me "we thoroughly enjoy and are grateful for the opportunity to bring a few moments of happiness to each person we visit."  Ginger and Sandy belong to  "Trails of Joy" which, among other services,  offers scholarships for pet therapy training.

Our household includes two Portugese Pointers that are a unique, ancient breed.  While our schedules do not always line up with their high energy levels, they make me smile every day.


World-Class Teamwork

Neil S. Buckholtz deserves everybody's thanks.  This chief of the Dementias of Aging Branch at the National Institute on Aging dared to think of a world where a problem "...was important enough to get people to work together and coordinate in a way that hadn't been possible before." That problem was Alzheimer's.  In a wonderful example of how creative ideas pop up in unlikely places (like, for example, the shower), he was struck by the notion as he drove with a longtime scientist friend to an airport in 2003.  Seven years later, an unprecedented collaboration among public health agencies, drug and medical-imaging companies, universities, foundations, non profits and veterans' hospitals has provided promising research on biological markers that show progression of the disease on the brain.  The diagnostic use of PET scans and  spinal taps, as well as drug trials, are underway. 

The compelling motivation to collaborate was the daunting challenge the stakeholders faced individually.  As one researched explained it, "...we all realized we would never get biomarkers unless all of us parked our egos and intellectual-property noses outside the door..."  This model is now the basis for a project tackling Parkinson's disease, sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. 

Having witnessed the power of self-managed teams, I am thrilled to see people come together for a common good.  Is it too much to hope that Neil Buckholtz's "aha" moment can become contagious?

Source article:  NYT, 08/13/2010 


American Ingenuity

A French president of a biotech company in Boston once told me that America's competitive edge is  creativity.  From his perspective, other countries are less comfortable with the messy, expensive process involved in bringing new ideas to market.  A friend of mine who is a design engineer said that was certainly his experience in dealing with Chinese manufacturers.  My limited experience with setting compensation for jobs in France, Germany and Asia gives me some appreciation for how different educational systems and work contracts affect employees.

So I was concerned to read that our national patent process is under-resourced.  I've since misplaced the source article, but as most new job creation is credited to small businesses, seems like we should encourage good old American ingenuity. 

 I had the honor of hearing Bill Gore speak shortly before his death, about how he set up the Gortex company to encourage workers to contribute everything in their power.  He called his organization a "lattice" framework.  People were carefully selected, then told to go find someone who would let them in on a project.  At the time, I was creating self-managed teams and he spoke to me personally for about 15 minutes, showing great enthusiasm for how organizational structure can unleash vs. inhibit employees.  As for patents, hopefully there was less of a backlog when he was creating Gortex materials for running shoes, space suits and surgical heart patches.

USA Today featured Frank Yang in an article about his fancy trash cans (08/09/10).  This political science major took a design class on a whim (actually the credit goes to the woman he later married) and then went to work for his father's shelving business.  The Container Store loved his concept for a high-quality garbage can in 2000: Simplehuman goods was born.  Frank has since modified and expanded his line to offer less costly cans and related products.  He is most proud of the floor devoted to research in his Southern California headquarters.  "Torn-apart gizmos, coffeemakers and prototypes are strewn on desks and in bins and shelves.  The room is decorated with frames of the patents Simplehuman has." Yang says its all about focus, and function always comes before form.  As for competitors offering cheap knockoffs, "My products will always be a step above," he says.  Sounds like a great place to work, yes?


Purpose, Passion and Perserverance

Victor Frankl's book, Man's Search For Meaning, drew on his intense experiences during the Holocaust.  One conclusion was that survivors often had a vivid goal or purpose that kept them focused on life beyond the barbed wire.  Career choices are much less-life or-death, but the "where do you want to be in 5 years?" interview question implies the importance of a plan. 

David Brooks, in a NYT article entitled "The Summoned Self" (08/03/10) draws a distinction between 'The Well-Planned Life' and one that seeks to answer the question of 'what are my present circumstances summoning me to do?'  He proposed that the planned approach is more common in America than elsewhere.  He cites an interesting notion from Clayton Christensen (Harvard Business Review) that 'people with a high need for achievement commonly misallocate their resources -- in an effort to produce tangible results in the short-term, more important areas, like growing a family -- may get the short shrift.' 

Our job crisis is causing some people to take a less-planned road.  For example, early career lawyers are applying for unpaid prosecutor jobs at the state and federal level.  In Atlanta, nearly 40 applicants competed for 4 unpaid positions, which normally pay in the $70 - 100K range.  The goal?  Gain essential experience.  (USA Today, 08/02/10

When Ricky Skaggs,  a 1985 Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year, found himself outside the mainstream, he stuck out on his own and returned to his bluegrass roots. Nearly 15 years later, he has an album, "Mosaic", in which he returns to a full band lineup. (The Hartford Courant, 08/03/10

I commonly hear employers looking for applicants with passion -- which makes a good argument for finding creative ways to do what makes your heart go pitty-pat.