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ODE TO RUTH CODE

December 6, 2009

In November, I had a birthday. And within a week, I was flooded with mailings from a variety of heath insurance companies and others asking me how my retirement plans were coming. What a disconnect!! Hasn’t the world out there heard me say I want to mirror Ruth Code and still be doing events when I am 80 years old?

After raising her family, Ruth began her event career. From her days as a step-on guide, she grew to a full-fledged event planner and a resource for sophisticated, tasteful and authentic décor. Ruth and Leisure Code epitomized event excellence. This classy lady mentored several of us as we found our way in a fledgling industry in the early 90’s-and for that, I have always been grateful.

Debilitated with rheumatoid arthritis at 80, she fought hard to overcome the issues surrounding that. But when climbing ladders to set an event became too difficult, she succumbed and retired. With her clients’ interest at the forefront, she matched their profiles and needs with strengths of some of us and then asked us to care for them. From Ruth, I inherited a division of General Mills.

A couple years ago, I saw Ruth at the grocery store. She was 85 then, and frustrated that she hadn’t found a new career replacement to stimulate her like the event world did – but she was still looking because she did not want her brain to stop working!

Her enthusiasm and inspiration continues to motivate me to keep up and keep going and I thank her so much for being the role model to demonstrate that it is possible.

I confess, there are days, in this current world of exponential change, that I wonder if my passion for this industry will be sufficient…and then I remind myself – I am doing this not only as a career, but like Ruth, I need the Brain Food!

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