My transition …. to a second retirement

Retiring will give me even more time to enjoy my love of figure skating.

Next year I turn 70! So I need to start some serious planning on my second transition from working. My first transition was 14 years ago when I retired from full time work at IBM at age 55 and started Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, my diversity and career development consultancy.

Transition From: the first transition will be out of my consulting practice. I now have a fantastic professional who I am preparing to take over my business. Deanna Jones, in addition to training as a consultant is already a most dynamic speaker, especially when she shares her journey of gender transitioning. During this year, she will be assisting me with and attending various trainings I provide, and I hope many of you get a chance to meet her.

Transition To: so when leaving work, that door closes and provides a pathway to open many more doors. Here are a few:

More skating! Do listen to my story of how I started to pursue my dream of becoming a competitive adult figure skater at age 59. Stopping work will provide me the time to enter more figure skating competitions, attend more figure skating camps to build my skills, and more time for lessons.

I would love to travel more! Photos clockwise from top left: Peru, Zanzibar, Finland, Morocco.

More travel! International travel and experiencing the world has always been one of my passions. I have already traveled to more than 65 countries, and there are still several more on my bucket list. I have not yet been to India, South Africa, Argentina, Antarctica … and there are some places in the US I need to go to like Glacier National Park.

Joining corporate boards for pay. With my very broad business experience, I feel I can be a real asset on corporate boards. I have strong strategic and operational experience. I am registered with a leading board placement service, BoardSI, and then even commissioned this excellent executive bio “A trailblazer in diversity management and organizational effectiveness”

More nonprofit board engagement. I am currently on a few boards and committees of nonprofits doing important community work, the LGBT Center of Raleigh, North Carolina Council of Churches and “Gay Sons and Mothers.” I also am the President of Other Sheep, an ecumenical ministry working to help religious leaders in third world countries be more queer inclusive. I need more time to seriously recruit to fill our long time open position of Global Coordinator.

More just hanging out with friends. With not working, I can have the flexibility of taking a 3-hour lunch or a half day long walk with a friend at the spur the moment

And new adventures! What kind of new things may I want to try? I am thinking about trying out for community theater. I have not acted on stage since high school days when I even got one of our high school’s coveted “best acting” awards.

I am excited about transitions ahead!

Diversity of Views and Approaches Delivers Results – A Figure Skating Coaching Example

Both my coaches presenting me their wonderful gift – my own US Figure Skating jacket at a recent competition.

Many of you know that I am a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant and trainer, and also an avid figure skating fan and competitive adult figure skater myself. Over the years I have written several blogs connecting my work with my love for skating and the ties between diversity and figure skating.

In a recent discussion with one of my coaches, she remarked that she is very pleased that I have two primary coaches instead of just one, and that when I travel the country, I try to arrange a lesson or two with a coach at that location.

In terms of having two coaches, they each focus on different aspects of my skating. I started my skating journey with Paula McKinley eight years ago, and she led me through basic skills including ice dance, and she also loves to choreograph new programs. Then four years ago I began working with Robin Harger-Harger, who also loves choreography, improving my jumping and spinning technique, and working with props for showcase events.

With my first coach Paula McKinley following one of my first competitions

My two coaches are excellent with collaborating with each other; they talk every other week or so to compare notes on what they are currently working with me on. They also often see things going on with the programs that the other may miss, and because of these two sets of eyes and expertise, my skating is stronger.

Then when I travel or attend skating camps, I can work with a variety of other coaches. Robin recent remarked that “sometimes different coaches can express or explain things in different ways and you can learn something from each one.” That is so true. I find that as I work with various coaches, I pick up a new tip or technique that further helps my skating.

My Coach Robin Harger-Quigley with two of her US Adult Nationals medalists – Rebecca Martin and myself!


And this lesson from figure skating ports to the corporate and organizational world. Diverse teams with people with different life experiences, different lenses and different ways of thinking working together can arrive at better products, services and solutions to problems. Instead of being frightened of or threatened by the increasing diversity in our country and our workplaces, we should embrace it as it leads to the best results.

* * * * * * *

Check out my dynamic 11-minute on-stage story of my adult figure skating journey at Durham, NC’s “The Monti” Storytelling event.

Check out my figure skating page for my upcoming competition schedule, links to videos, additional blogs and more!