Quite Continental Charm School: Day 19 — Find Balance

19/02/2012 § Leave a comment

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
Photo taken by Nina Leen in 1949, for Life Magazine.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker! The lovely Jodi Fournier is the President of Windsor Resources, a full-service staffing and professional recruiting firm headquartered in New York, the wife of the feisty owner of Terrapin Stationers, Ted Harrington, and the mother of a lovely teenager they enjoy referring to as “The Spawn” (her real name is Kyle).  I had the pleasure of meeting Jodi through Ted, who you may remember did my lovely business cards, and whose work you have probably seen all over the internets and via some of the classiest fashion week invites.

While I first must remark how much of a delight it is to know her personally — and how it’s always a treat when she makes an appearance — it was after reading her thoughts on how she tries to achieve balance in her life, that I truly began to admire her as a person, and I bet you will too.  She truly has it all.  Jodi has managed to combine a successful career, a loving family and a deep commitment to giving back.  She remains one of the loveliest people to be around and has a delightful sense of humor.  She also has an adorable dog and horse.  Jealousy!

If you are not yet familiar with Jodi Fournier, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Jodi’s tip for a charmed life.


Day 19: Find Balance
When I think of work/life balance it connotes a 50/50 split or some sort of concession of work and “life.”  I don’t like giving less than 100% to everything I do nor do I like to compromise; neither option is classy or fabulous so, I say I can have it all by MERGING career, family and volunteering with proper planning, passion and involving the whole family.

Giving back is very important to me, my husband Ted and our 16 year-old daughter Kyle.  When Kyle was in the 7th grade, she and I joined a group of 9 other student/parent pairs and two geography teachers on a 10 day “middle school version of the Peace Corps” service trip to Senegal.  I was recruited to chair the fundraising efforts, which took many months and lots of planning; not an easy feat as the President of a small recruiting firm with offices in NY and CT.  To merge work with this huge undertaking, I made sure I used my time wisely, when at work, I concentrated ONLY on work – giving 100% so that I didn’t experience any pangs of guilt at night or on the weekends when I was “working” on our Senegal mission.  To give 100% to these efforts while not at work I made it a family affair.   With all hands on deck working towards a common goal it was very easy to merge family and volunteering.

Ted volunteered his time and materials – he owns a classy and fabulous printing company: Terrapin Stationers – by making 200 notebooks and pencils for the students of the school we helped build.  Kyle wrote an impassioned email and sent it to her grandparents, aunts, uncles and family friends asking them to make a donation to this cause in lieu of giving her Christmas and Birthday gifts.  I coordinated and organized, with their help and the help of the other students and parents, a concert and auction which resulted in net donations of over $20,000.

I have to say, we received so much more than we gave.  Today, the visionary geography teachers and a small group of parents have formed Humanity Now, a 501c3 organization; Kyle has founded a High School group and has made new students aware of what is going on in the world and how they can help; and Ted continues to give to the cause too, by volunteering his time, talent and materials.  It’s a classy and fabulous family affair.

by Jodi Fournier.


The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

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