Gloria Feldt was looking forward to some downtime. She had worked at Planned Parenthood, rising from entry-level job to CEO of the organization’s Central and Northern Arizona chapter over the span of 22 years. She had already achieved far more than many had expected, from teen mother in West Texas to one of the leading voices on women’s issues in the United States. Her plan was to a write another book or two, maybe teach.
Then the call came to become president of the national organization. She had her doubts.
“I was 54 years old and I thought I was too old. I thought that was a real detractor for me. I thought I shouldn’t even consider it,” she told me. “Well, it turned out to be the best thing ever to take a new job at 54, because nothing clears your brain more than having a whole set of different issues to deal with, a whole new learning curve. And at that point in your life, you actually know what you’re doing.”
“If you don’t keep learning, you won’t stay relevant. And I think all of us want to stay relevant,” she told me. “We don’t want to be passé. We want to be part of what’s going on in our world. And the way to do that is to keep learning.”
For Feldt the work is part of a legacy she hopes to leave behind. That, in and of itself, is inspiring to her.
“I think you come to terms with the fact that we’re all mortal. We’ve had to deal with losses in our life — people who’ve had health problems — we’re dealing with all of these things,” she says. “You want to enjoy what you enjoy and to be able to leave something behind that has a meaning, that might help someone else.”
If you can make it to the event on the 14th, as an AGEIST subscriber you will get $25 off the Symposium price, by using the discount code TTLDNYWF25, or $50 off the Evening Performance price by using code TTLDNYWF50.