Who are your mentors in life? How many have shaped you and do you currently have a mentor? In my monthly brainstorming group among friends, my photographer pal Kris asked this question last month. In business I would have to say I do not have a mentor at present.
I would like to talk today though about a mentor I had at the age of 20. While in school I worked at Montgomery Wards in Denton and I had the most dynamic, hardest working manager on the planet, her name was Jimmie Holland. She was like 5 feet tall and yet she walked with a confidence that made good ol boys step aside. She was in her late 50's at that time and she was a role model, a surrogate Mom, and in general a force to be reckoned with. To say she was respected in business is an understatement. She had a long career with Montgomery Wards back during the days when sticking with a company was a sign of loyalty that would be rewarded. She made her way in business the way many women did back then, in high heels with a sense of humor and a strong sense of self that must have served her well in a male dominated work force.
Jimmie reinforced in me a strong work ethic that was already present and more than anything she lead by example. She was an important woman in my life that gave me confidence at a very impressionable age.
Jimmie Lee Holland died Sunday the 27th at the age of 83.