Monthly Archives: January 2015

Volunteer Service: What Makes Sense?


For many of us volunteer service, whether it’s for a nonprofit or a professional or civic association, is a natural evolution of our professional career and personal passions.  If you’re good at what you do (and I suspect you are!) you may have many opportunities to serve.  How do you choose?  Here’s the process I use, in this order.

Is it in your company’s best interest?  If this opportunity furthers your company’s visibility and credibility and fits the corporate culture, then this is probably a yes.  The benefit doesn’t have to be direct (lead to business) so don’t focus solely on that.  Start first with company fit as there is very little volunteer service that doesn’t impact job hours.  Unless you’re the CEO, you’ll usually want to get a higher-up’s buy in.

Does it speak to you personally?  Ideally, the closer it aligns with your passions the more rewarding, and successful, your experience will be.  Service, of any kind, must be genuine.  A few years ago, I joined a small non-profit board because a trusted colleague asked and because I thought I could help, not because of any passion for the work.  My service lasted one year, with little reward and not much effective service.  Don’t waste their time or yours unless you have great interest.

Can I commit the time and effort for what they need?  First, get a clear picture of what this is.  There’s a great article that my colleague Jeff Jowdy wrote that outlines some solid questions.  Ask these and any that help define your obligations.  And, this is important, if you can’t commit, DON’T DO IT.  Recently I was given an incredible opportunity to serve my profession on their state licensing board.  It passed the first two questions with flying colors yet it was clear to me I did not have the time.  I made the tough decision to resign from another commitment (finding a replacement first so as not to leave a hole).  This was truly a tough choice but doing otherwise would have been a misstep.

This is my process.  Do you have any other questions you ask yourself when called on to serve?  Let HerSavvy know!

About Laura Reinbold, PE

Ms. Reinbold explores ways shecan help build our communities, from the geoprofessional side of the engineering profession.

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Going Natural, Part II

Linda SackLast month we delved into the world of wearing our natural hair color.  One native Nashvillian set herself apart with her beautiful silver hair.   She entered a contest for a skin care line who wanted a representative who was over 40.  Tish Hooker, later becoming known simply as Tish, was a beautiful 45 year-old who had stopped coloring her hair at 42.  From the prominent Fort family of Nashville, I knew her from local media and she wore the prettiest salt and pepper hair I had seen.  In the 80’s, I recall discovering her picture in a Germaine Monteil cosmetics advertisement in a national magazine, Vogue, Elle, or Glamour.

Wearing a full-length gown, I thought how beautiful she was. Today she is still strikingly beautiful.  Tish recalls shocking people with her silver hair when everyone else was coloring their hair.  You can read about how she took a gamble with her life and wound up in New York, and other multi-faceted life experiences in this 1984 article in The Spokesman – Review.

Since writing this, I have asked other friends who have gone natural about their reasons.  Kate Stephenson, an attorney with the best hair around, says her motivation was that she was tired of paying so much to having her hair colored and when she realized underneath was white and that it might be interesting, she stopped coloring at about age 45.  Having begun seeing white hair in her 20’s, she colored her hair for many years.  Using blonde at the end, she simply stopped coloring her short hair and it easily grew out.  Not remembering reactions of other people at the time, she gets lots of compliments on her short white hair today and has no regrets at all. Kate says to anyone thinking about doing it, “Go for it. Natural is good. We are what we are.”

Photo: Linda Sack and her lovely natural hair color.

About Renee Bates

Renee is the executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville, a member based organization. In addition to growing private support for the trails and green spaces, she enjoys oil painting, hiking, nature and working in the garden. Renee is married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, a 3rd generation business begun in 1932 by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.

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The Other Side of the Couch – What Makes a Relationship Last?  Kindness and Generosity

CoupleHow do we know that we have found the “right” mate?  How do we know, once we have found that person, that we will not be part of the 50% of new marriages that end in divorce?  Emily Esfahani Smith has written an excellent article in The Atlantic that appeared on June 12, 2014.  It is well worth reading.

“Science says lasting relationships come down to — you guessed it — kindness and generosity.”

“Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say, ‘I do,’ committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth,” says Smith. “Except, of course, it doesn’t work out that way for most people.”

Click on this link to read the article. You will be glad you did!

About Susan Hammonds-White, EdD, LPC/MHSP:

Susan is a communications and relationship specialist, counselor, Imago Relationship Therapist, businesswoman, mother, and proud native Nashvillian. She has been in private practice for over 30 years. As she says, “I have the privilege of helping to mend broken hearts.” Contact Susan at

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Have a HerSavvy New Year!

Happy New Year

I am the lucky HerSavvy gal who gets the first post of 2015!  I have written before that I am not a fan of “resolutions.”  Resolutions, to me, feel absolute, black and white.  Resolutions are either kept or broken.  If you keep one, you are successful.  If you break one, you fail.  Since I already carry my fair share of “Jewish guilt,” I see no need to pile more on right from the beginning of the year.

I do, however, believe in setting goals.  And while many people see the beginning of the year as a “blank slate,” I approach it as an opportunity to choose what issues or projects to carry with me into the future, and what to leave behind.  So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2015:

  1. Exercise good self-care. That means continue my quest for lifelong good health, fitness, energy and vitality.
  2. Focus my mental and intellectual energy where it is most meaningful. Change is difficult, but often necessary in order to pursue a purposeful and fulfilling life.
  3. Read more. I set this goal every year.  For me reading is a glorious pastime that engages my senses and refreshes my soul.
  4. Listen better. I believe listening is one of the most critical elements in good relationships.  Good listening builds bridges of understanding and trust.
  5. Practice patience. My mother used to say, “All good things come to those who wait.”  I did not understand what she meant for a very long time.  I thought you had to just sit and wait for things to happen.  I now know she was trying to teach me to be willing to work hard and not expect immediate results.  Important goals and dreams take time to realize.  Mom, I get it!

In the coming year, I wish all of you good health, love, patience and the courage to set goals and reach for your dreams.

About Barbara Dab:

Barbara Dab is a journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant. She currently hosts two radio shows locally in Nashville, TN. Check out her website at

Barbara is also creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation. Check it out at If you, or someone you know, is the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.

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