I have embodied the spirit of change through innovation and reinvention throughout my career with leadership positions in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors and in diverse industries such as trade magazine publishing, consumer book publishing, health and wellness, metaphysics, education, hospitality and high tech. I have been a computer salesperson, advertising and marketing sales manager, publisher, CEO, executive director, author, lyricist, screenplay writer, inspirational speaker, health & wellness coach, meditation teacher, business consultant, hypnotherapist and realtor! For me, learning a new skill or industry allows me to think outside the box and rise to new challenges.
Turn Challenges into Opportunities
Back in the day, when I was publisher of Network Computing Magazine and publishing director of Internet Week, there were only a handful of female publishers, and none as young as me. It was a rewarding career path, but during the height of it, I suffered devastating tragedies in my family. In a period of four years, I lost four family members—one from suicide. These experiences changed the trajectory of my life and career. I could’ve wallowed in self-pity, but instead I decided to turn my experience into something positive. I left my corporate job and executive compensation and started writing books to help people overcome challenges in life. That launched a whole new career as a personal growth expert and speaker, with an emphasis on increasing one’s self-awareness and happiness.
I knew first hand that personal growth was intrinsically linked to professional success, and that to be a great leader, you need a healthy dose of self-worth and compassion for others as well as a keen set of tools to manage stress and change. Since I started writing books, I have spoken to, written about and advised thousands of business groups and individuals alike in adopting healthy lifestyle and work habits from active exercise to passive meditation (which corporate circles now call “mindfulness”).
Keep Reinventing Yourself
In 2010, I was asked to join Stillheart Institute as Executive Director (and later became CEO) to launch the organization as a spiritual, health and wellness retreat center. I never planned to run a nonprofit, overnight facility and clients who ranged from spiritual gurus to corporate leaders, but it was an amazing experience! After four successful years, I initiated and led the sale of the property and facility. Managing the sale was so interesting to me that I eventually earned a real estate license and became a referral agent.
Another opportunity came my way in 2016 that combined my passion for business leadership with women’s empowerment. I jumped into a contract CEO position for 6 months for Professional Business Women of California (PBWC), a membership organization advancing gender equity and women’s leadership in corporations. Shortly after that, another contract position came my way as Interim Executive Director overseeing operations and management for MidPen Media Center operating five public access cable TV channels and MidPen Professional Services offering film production from inception to final editing. Once we secured a full-time ED, I stepped in as part-time Acting CEO to help launch SHE Living, a media platform and sanctuary created by women for SPIRITED, HEART-CENTERED and EVOLUTIONARY voices, shows and events.
Follow Your Passion
Being creative fuels my spirit. To me, that means telling stories that inspire and empower people through books, articles, songs, talks and film.
My two nonfiction books are: The Goddess of Happiness: A Down-to-Earth Guide for Heavenly Balance and Bliss and Vita’s Will: Real Life Lessons about Life, Death & Moving On. In 2013, I wrote my first novel: Note to Self: Love, with an accompanying screenplay. All of my books have an overarching theme of self-empowerment, self-awareness and self-love. My current blog appears on multiple platforms including the Huffington Post. I'm always open to meeting passionate people in the media, music, TV and film industries. That's how magic happens!
I love food (eating, cooking and entertaining) fashion, fitness, funky music (from the 70’s), films (without violence), dogs, dancing (like nobody’s watching), laughing out loud (healing medicine), my husband and two huskies, and anything Italian (yes, I’m Italian from “Da Bronx”, although I live on the CA “left coast” now).
I bring over 25 years of leadership, C-Suite positions and personal growth expertise to helping individuals and groups achieve personal and professional success, developing stories and writing, and stepping into key corporate contract positions. Services include:
*Personalized and professional advisor/confidant
*Creative Writing (business, consumer, books, songs, film/TV ideas)
*Communications and leadership skills training
*Business, marketing and messaging strategy
*Residential real estate consulting (SF Bay Area)
Business Consultant, Life Advisor
Author, Speaker, Storyteller
Subscribe to my news and events updates, and you’ll be entered in our monthly drawing for a free autographed copy of Note to Self: Love.
For my complete work history, education, certifications and services, please visit my LinkedIn profile.
Copyright © Debbie Gisonni. All rights reserved.