Publisher’s Corner: Honoring Moms and All Women

May is the month of Mother’s Day and celebrating the women in our lives. In these pages you will find many women of accomplishment, business owners, managers, doctors, and many wonderful mothers and grandmothers. We honor some of these women in our Women@Work section, but this is just a fraction of the women who make incredible contributions to our lives.

I have been so very lucky to have had some very incredible women in my life starting with my mother, Mary Ann. She was instrumental in nurturing my creative side. While much of my childhood was spent playing one sport or another, I also found time to write a series of stories about different creatures and characters. My mom encouraged me. I was the edgy, artsy kid in my family and she encouraged me to find my own way. Truth is, women are usually better at this than us guys. My grandmother “Nana” was old school but she too found time to understand my eccentric behavior in my youth. My mom and grandmother were both conservative Republicans while I was a budding flower child. I always felt their love and support, no matter the politics.

These days I am still surrounded by wonderful women. My wife Niki is a rock. She has traversed the slopes of the corporate world much of her life and still comes home with a smile on her face and something nice to say about someone. She is very organized and engaging and that makes her a wonderful administrator. After 29 years of marriage, I still learn so much from her. My two daughters are always teaching me something, too. Natalie is the mother of my grandson Jackson. Even through a maze of life’s obstacles, Natalie has been a proud mom. She has found time to go back to school to learn a medical trade and will soon graduate with honors. Women often find themselves juggling three or four personal life challenges simultaneously – usually with great success. My younger daughter Stephanie got married a little over a year ago and will have her first child in August. She’s another young woman who faced challenges and came through the fog a stronger and better person. She will be a great mom, using her own journey as a roadmap for parenthood. My sister Jill, my mother-in-law Jan, good friends Maureen, Jean, “Mike” and Linda, all such unique and accomplished people. The list goes on and on. Great women all!

Seems to me its time for a woman president. Or at least vice president. Certainly more women senators and representatives. A woman in the Oval Office could offer a perspective never experienced at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Seventy countries have had women in leadership rolls including 6 of the 10 most populous nations. It could very well happen in 2020. If not then, I know it will happen soon. Speaking from experience as a man, I know that men like to plod along head first, putting out fires and fixing problems along the way. Not always the most efficient way to run a railroad. Perhaps a bit more planning and critical thinking could head off some of our self-inflicted disasters. I just know that the women in my life have taught me so much including patience, tolerance, and respect, especially for those different from myself. Maybe we need a mom in the White House; a thinker, a planner, a moral compass, an economist, a visionary, a true leader.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. You deserve a card, a gift, something chocolate, a kiss and a hug. Or maybe you will be happier with a seat at the Resolute Desk.
J.B. Lester; Publisher