Margye Solomon is a Converse wearing, bourbon drinking Professional woman in her late sixties who has fully embraced her #laterstagelife by #agingnotsogracefully. Loaded with her life’s stories, she’s ready to share her white-haired wisdom with other women. Awards, career, board seats, volunteer work are no longer important in and of themselves – it’s the lessons learned and lack of regret that are important to aging not so gracefully while living her later stage live.
Margye and I first met over a conversation about her Converse sneakers at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia. Margye was there as the event host for a co-networking event for http://WalnutClub.org, http://EllevateNetwork.com, and http://FemCity.com. As you know, I love meeting event hosts and asking who the movers and shakers are in the group. Margye wasted no time in connecting me with many amazing women in the group and has continued to support and connect me with women in Philadelphia and beyond.
The first elected President of the Cincinnati Chapter of Ellevate Network, originally 85 Broads, an organization created to inspire, empower, and connect professional women, Margye has been serving in some form of leadership for more than 11 years. After serving as the President for the Cincinnati and then the Philadelphia Chapter, Margye recently turned over the reins to a new leadership team and is serving happily as an Advisor.
Connections have helped Margye in her long and successful professional career. As a professional and as a business owner she has had an amazing career, 30 of them were spent in travel and tourism. As one of the first female no pilot Directors of General Aviation in the United States, she had an all-male crew of six pilots and two mechanics until she hired a female pilot. She shares that all of her jobs and career movement came from connections.
Her job at Avis Rental Car came when she closed her travel business and someone she knew through her travel business called to ask if she’d be interested in a management position in her hometown of Nashville, TN. She says, “It’s all in who you connect with.” Having been in the travel industry, she has connections all around the world.
All of her experience in the travel industry and having traveled, she is getting ready to hit the road and start something new. She and her husband are planning to travel and blog about her experience of couch surfing across the country for three or four months. Visiting family and friends across the country is something they are looking forward to doing.
Currently Margye is working on a book with her friend and co-author, Heidi Solomon-Orlick. Aging Not So Gracefully is a collaborative effort bringing the stories of women over fifty and beyond. Margye and Heidi are gathering stories and combining them with the articles and blogs Margye has written over the past several years. As Margye and her husband travel across the country she plans to interview people and add more stories along the way.
Aging Not So Gracefully is about going out the way you want to go out, not the way everyone else thinks you should go out. Connect with Margye and stay tuned for the book launch!
Margye shares an inspiring connection story about two men who made a huge difference for her career after being transferred to Cincinnati, OH before the 2008 recession and her following lay-off at the age of 54. With the reality of being out of work and with no prospects in a city she did not know, her husband took her out to help pick-up her spirits.
She and her husband started connecting with the people at a local bar they had never been to. There was a group of people at the end of the bar and Margye started talking with two of the men. She had shared that she had lost her job at Avis prompting one of them to share that Avis was the rental company he used all the time, at which point Margye offered to help anytime he needed with her connections she still had there.
During their conversation she had also shared that her very first job out of college was Opryland. As it turned out, they had started King’s Island in Cincinnati and years later shared that the reason they liked her and took her under their wing was because she was a “carnie” and had worked in the “carnie” business. One of them turned out to be the Managing Partner in the largest venture capital firm in the Midwest and the other owned one of the largest advertising media firms in the Midwest. Between the two of them, they introduced her to every mover and shaker in Cincinnati.
She shares that they adopted her and that changed her whole life. With that and her work at Cincinnati Public Radio and 85 Broads, she became Commissioner on the Small Business Advisory Board of Cinncinati, she was Athena Finalist and she had jobs and a whole entire new career in a new city.
“All I had to do was stand up.”
Margye shares her reason for not using the word networking. She prefers to use the word connecting because that’s what we really need to do. It’s about conversation and getting to know the people around you. “Retention requires relationship!” If you don’t make a connection, if you don’t keep a connection, you won’t retain that relationship.
“Give to get to give!” At an annual event for the Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Conference Margye talks about one of the men who she had invited to speak at the conference and how he had spoken about a women in the audience he had drawn into a business relationship. He shared that relationships are built when you walk into a room with intention of giving rather than getting. When you focus on giving, you get something much more in return, and then it is your responsibility to give again. Margye has asked for and has received permission to use “Give to get to give!” and this is the philosophy she lives by and it’s the philosophy that has helped her build strong connections wherever she goes. “Give to get to give!” is the philosophy she imparts to others who wish to grow their connections.
Margye is a true inspiration and someone I admire deeply for her courage and wisdom as she shares her stories about change and the challenges of starting over in your later stage of life. An iconic woman in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, Margye’s Aging Not So Gracefully book will be a page turner for certain, one I can not wait to read.
Connect with Margye Solomon