Alpha Chi Omega - Starting Conversations

The official blog of Alpha Chi Omega

How to Live Out the Little r in Our Ritual

Corrinne WolfeBy Corinne Wolfe
Zeta Eta, Bradley University

Most people only consider the big R when they hear the word ritual, our initiation ceremony. It’s the “event” that supposedly defines us as Alpha Chi Omegas, and to an extent that is true. Without that beacon, we don’t always know where to point our Alpha Chi compass. It’s what makes us unique, the embodiment of our name, defines our bond, etc.

I, on the other hand, often consider ritual to be mostly made up of the little r; the one that resonates in my day to day life and seeps into my being whether it’s when I am walking out the door into the world, or into chapter on a Tuesday night.

The little r is what defines me to the rest of my world. It’s what my husband and our two boys see; it’s how my friends, colleagues and my community perceive me. Little r is what drives my behaviors. Little r is our shared values of friendship, leadership, learning and service; which continue far past the day you put on a cap and gown. Little r is why I strive to be the best version of myself every day and to learn from the mistakes of yesterday so that I am stronger tomorrow.

The little r is also why I continue to advise my local chapter. Little r is the journey we all take in Alpha Chi Omega. I always marvel each spring as graduation nears. As our seniors prepare to take on the world, I pause to reflect on their first day as members, of bid days come and gone. I remember how unsure some of them were of themselves (and the few who were overly sure). I think of the time between then and now, of the majors changed, the semesters abroad, the loved ones sometimes lost, the bonds that tightened and ones that broke apart. Most importantly though, I think of the women they become. As those girls who entered our chapter each fall prepare to leave four short years later, I am amazed at the real, strong women they become. Women who possess the strength, grace and authenticity of our Founders.

So as another year approaches and I prepare myself for another marathon recruitment season (which at my age requires a lot more Starbucks and under eye concealer with each passing fall), I feel the little r in the air and it’s electric. It’s sisters embracing after a summer away, it’s an executive board with sights set high on a new school year and it’s the excitement of welcoming a new group of women into our sisterhood to share our bond and continue our legacy. Being part of their journey reminds me why I chose Alpha Chi Omega, literally, a century ago. It bridges the little r of our sisterhood to the big R of our Ritual and reminds me of that amazing thing that brings us all together.


Real World Balance

web_Michelle_WoodardBy Michelle Woodard
Kappa Omicron, High Point University
Resident Consultant, University of North Carolina – Charlotte

“My daughter, Michelle Woodard, is making chicken? On her own?” – my mother’s reaction when she found out her youngest daughter can actually successfully cook a meal without burning the house down.

Being in the real world was always something that scared me. I’ve always had a job growing up, and I went to college 11 hours away from my hometown, so I had always been somewhat independent. However, being a REAL adult always scared me. Living on my own, having to clean my own house, having to buy groceries (and not just ride in the cart and annoy my mom while she shopped) was always a concept I couldn’t quite grasp. Being a consultant for Alpha Chi Omega has not only led me to grow in this organization, but as a woman in the real world.

Not only have I learned how to cook chicken on my own without burning it, but also I’ve had to learn things such as: when garbage day is, and where exactly you roll your garbage out to, how to properly balance a work phone and a personal phone in your hand while also holding a wallet and sunglasses, how to setup cable on a complicated yet simple television, and how to fix a breaker box when the fuse has blown.

On top of all of this, Alpha Chi Omega has always told its consultants to become a part of the community in which we live. We are not just on-site to do a job; we are on-site to start a life in the community where we are placed. By this organization constantly encouraging me to keep a work-life balance, and not only work in this community but to be a part of it, I have found myself calling this place home only after being here for a month. For example, we are expected to set goals over summer training that are non-work related. This can be anything like “get 8 hours of sleep when possible,” or “eat healthy even when you want a milkshake instead.”

My goal was to start attending yoga classes. I have always been a gym-goer, and have always loved to work out, but yoga always intimidated me. People being that flexible… all the time… and being so “zen”… really just felt like there were high expectations that I could not meet. But I set the goal, my supervisor held me to it, and I can proudly say I have attended yoga for the past month! It has not only helped me physically, but emotionally and mentally in this fast paced job as an Alpha Chi Omega consultant.

Every job has its pros and cons, but I truly believe the pros of being a resident consultant 100% outweigh any and all cons associated with this job. Are there going to be many sleepless nights because of formal recruitment that seems to never end? Yes. Are there going to be consecutive weeks when all you can have for lunch is Chipotle because your days are so packed with meetings and it’s the only thing close to campus? Yes. However, there are going to be countless smiles you get from the women with whom you work, the neighbors you have come to know in your new community and the employees at the gym who know you by your first name and know that if you’re not to the gym by 7, you must have had a long day at work.

I truly believe that I would not be as successful in the work place or as happy in my community if I didn’t have the support and push that I get from my co-workers and supervisors. Being an employee for this organization has pushed me to my fullest potential, but never have I had to do so on my own with all of the people surrounding me – even if it’s via text message, Skype, GroupMe or email. The encouragement to keep a healthy balance between work and life is something special to Alpha Chi as an organization, and it’s something that makes this job so special and so unique.


Building a Home and a Legacy

web_Dakota_HerseyBy: Dakota Hersey
Kappa Pi, University of North Carolina – Wilmington
Resident Consultant – University of Southern Mississippi

It is no secret that membership in Alpha Chi Omega is immensely special to everyone who has the privilege to call themselves a sister.

I have so much admiration for the founders who created this organization that has molded me into the woman I never knew I could be. They had a vision. They dreamed of creating a home on campus where they did not currently have one. One that offered the same lifelong development and friendship that other organizations had, but one that was perfect for them.

As a founding member of the Kappa Pi chapter, this vision resonates with me because I shared the same dream. I did not have an organization to call my own until I ran into the confident, authentic, beautiful Alpha Chi consultant team on campus. They presented an opportunity for my future sisters and me to become a part of this wonderful sisterhood that provides more than we could ever give back. They are the reason that vision came to life. They are also the reason I am who I am today and why I love Alpha Chi Omega as much as I do.

The main reason I was so determined to become a consultant was to see this vision come to life in many other chapters. I was beyond excited to inspire members the way every consultant has inspired me and, in turn, be encouraged by the members’ passion and dedication. After coaching one of the five chapters installed this past year, Kappa Sigma, through their first formal recruitment, I witnessed the same desire and drive to succeed as I saw in my founding class.

I absolutely loved my collegiate and founding experience. Now, as a consultant to a chapter filled with incredibly bright, talented, charismatic founding members and the new members they have recruited, I can’t even express the joy it brings me to work with them and listen to their stories.

The other day, I had the opportunity to ask a few of them what brought them to Alpha Chi. How and why did they choose to join this new chapter? It made my heart happy to hear what sounded like my own story and vision as the basis for the reasons they chose to create history as the founding class of Kappa Sigma. They were searching for something more and (with the help of some awesome consultants!) found it in Alpha Chi. They are willing to work for the sisterhood they have envisioned and they will stop at nothing until their chapter rises “To The Top!” I know that it is members like these women who make up all of the newest chapters of Alpha Chi Omega and I couldn’t be more proud.

If you are considering founding membership in Alpha Chi Omega, my advice to you is absolutely go for it. Being a founder is a once in a lifetime experience. You get to create a home on campus that does not yet exist for not only yourself but also the thousands of women who will come behind you. You have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the original founders of Alpha Chi Omega. It’s hard to believe, but before you know it you’ll be alongside your sisters, rocking your first formal recruitment, mentoring new members just like yourself and taking your unique experience into your future – as a real, strong woman of Alpha Chi Omega.



Be the 9,999

web_Emma_EriksonBy: Emma Eriksen
Sigma, University of Iowa
Region 2 Traveling Consultant

If there is one thing I have learned so far as a chapter consultant, it’s focus on the big picture.

It is truly is possible to fall in love over and over again with Alpha Chi.

One of my favorite new leadership theories that I learned over summer consultant training is to “be the 9,999.” Think of your favorite singer. In the middle of the concert, when the audience of people is cheering, dancing and having a blast, they don’t worry about the 1 person who chose not to come. They focus on the thousands of people who chose to buy tickets and attend.

That’s exactly what I’ve learned to do. “Being the 9,999” while on the road helps me focus on the lives that our team is changing and influencing and how each day makes this experience even more memorable. As a group, we consultants remind each other of our purpose and build each other up so we can all become the best women we can. Even better, while we support each other and serve our sisterhood, we’re also having the time of our lives!

Summer training was one of the most memorable and incredible experiences of my life. Our consultant team is truly amazing. We learned from each other, found our niche in the group and, most importantly, gained skills to give back to the organization that has given us each so much. There is no greater feeling in the world that sitting in a room full of your Alpha Chi sisters listening to their passions, perspectives and advice. And there is no better environment in which to grow as an individual.

A standout moment of training for me was a session where each of us went around the room and shared why we took this job; the words of my sisters brought the majority of the room to tears. As a few of my sisters shared during that session, “I do this because Alpha Chi is what I’m good at, and after graduation I sure didn’t want to stop.”

Why did I take this job? Alpha Chi Omega is never a past tense. I continue to find amazing opportunities in our sisterhood. Looking back on my collegiate experience, Alpha Chi did not only make me into the woman I wanted to be, but made me into the woman I did not know I could become.

I guess all twenty-somethings get a little nervous hearing the word “new,” whether that’s a new job, new place to live or a new life post-grad. Work toward your goals, make an impact, influence others and be a sorority savant. That’s exactly what I learned to do, and what the 21 other amazing women on the consultant team do for each other daily.

I loved Alpha Chi Omega before I became a chapter consultant, and I didn’t think it was possible for me to love it more. But this sisterhood continues to surprise me, just when I think my soul is full, a new experience, friendship or piece of knowledge adds to my motivation to give back. It truly gives me everything I never knew I needed. And for that I am so thankful.


Living Our Ritual in the Peace Corps

Aug_IMG_0056By Kim Kelly
Kappa Xi, University of West Florida

Our Symphony can be applied to so much of the Peace Corps experience. Every day I saw “beauty in the common things of life,” because everything else was stripped away. Living in a rural village where many people didn’t have electricity or running water, TVs or iPads, or extravagant toys for the little ones; I saw people who lived a simple, common life. And I realized that even without all these things, they were happy and loving, and there was true beauty in that. PeaceCorps

Another line from our Symphony, which rings so true for my PC experience, is “to see and appreciate all that is noble in another, be her badge what it may. In this case, her badge would be her culture. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to be completely immersed into a culture that is so far from your own. There were times when I would experience something and think to myself, “No way. No way is this actually happening!” For example, during the ceremony where we volunteers were paired to our host families, I experienced oralating for the first time. This is where the women come from out of nowhere and circle you while dancing and making a very loud sound, which is made by moving your tongue very quickly back and forth (it’s not easy). It was so unusual and something I had never seen before; all of these women dancing and making this funny, loud noise, but it was beautiful. There were so many incidents where I was able to appreciate the culture here. And throughout my experiences the people of Botswana reciprocated. They made me feel welcomed and loved, always referring to me as their daughter or auntie. Regardless of our “badge,” we were able to appreciate all that is noble in another.

Aug_IMG_1128_4Although I could come up with a relatable moment for every line of the Symphony, this one sticks out to me the most: “to shed the light of love and friendship round me.” The mission of Peace Corps is to promote world peace and friendship, and I think that’s exactly what the Symphony is saying. Although I found great joy in the projects that were successful at my site, such as a boy’s empowerment camp (GLOW Camp) or the after-school peer educators club, the most fulfilling and rewarding part of my service was the friendships I was able to create with my students and the love that I both shared and received. The moments of learning traditional games from Gontle and Tono, or when Thati would come over to show me how well he did on his math exam, or when Lentle and Kelebogile would tell me about their latest crushes and then cover their faces with their hands, in spells of giggles, if I dared to tell the boys… These were my favorite moments. These were the moments when the light of love and friendship was glowing brightest, when I knew my Peace Corps service was worth it, when I knew I had created relationships that would last a lifetime.

Lastly, in the last line of the Symphony, “to let my lyre send forth the chords of love, unselfishness, sincerity,” these are all such important traits for a Peace Corps volunteer to carry. The thing is, as Alpha Chis we already carry these traits; Peace Corps just gives you the chance to exemplify them. They say it’s the hardest job you’ll ever learn to love – and that couldn’t be truer – but it is so worth it. You will learn so much about yourself, you will grow in unimaginable ways and you will have the opportunity to live out the Symphony in the most rewarding way possible.


Goodbye to Summer

web_Shannon_HigginsBy Shannon Higgins
Alpha Nu, University of Missouri
Region 3 Traveling Consultant

It’s that time of the year again! The school supplies section has taken over an entire corner of Target and become an office supply enthusiast’s dream! Some people dread the end of summer, but I was always that person who looked forward to going back to school. I enjoyed picking out fresh new notebooks and spending the last weeks of summer with friends and family, but most of all, I loved counting down to the day I would be reunited with my Alpha Chi Omega sisters.

Alpha Chi Omegas all over the country are doing the same thing at this moment. Some are packing to move into an apartment and some will be moving into a chapter house. Some are traveling by car and some by plane. But once they arrive, they will be greeted by the universal sounds that I will forever associate with back to school – the shrieks of sisters reunited and the buzz of women trading stories of summer vacations and internships.

When I began my journey as a chapter consultant last year, I was excited (and definitely a little nervous) for back to school. I hoped that these women I had been emailing would like me, that they would find my suggestions helpful, and that ultimately, I would live up to their expectations as a representative of Alpha Chi Omega. Looking back, I laugh because my worries were unfounded. Over the course of the year, those email addresses turned into smiling sisters who I came to know and love. These women welcomed me into their chapters and allowed me to participate in some of their favorite parts of being an Alpha Chi Omega – bid days, sisterhood events, chapter dinners, “The Bachelor” watch parties and even late-night talks about life.

As a returning chapter consultant, back to school is an especially exciting time this year. I can’t wait to see the collegiate sisters with whom I’ve already built friendships and who I’ve missed over the summer. I’m looking forward to spending time with the women who were some of the first to write, “happy birthday!” on my Facebook wall a few weeks ago and who left comments that made me glow with happiness when I announced that I would be returning as a consultant for the 2015-2016 school year.  I’ll be cheering right along with these women as they welcome their new sisters home on bid day and exchange hugs with the most recently graduated sisters when they return for alumnae events and homecoming. Since becoming a chapter consultant, I have been humbled by the strength of Alpha Chi Omega sisterhood. Sisterhood is not limited by age, by geography or by chapter of initiation. I am awed by the profound impact each and every sister I meet has on my Alpha Chi Omega journey, and I feel like I carry a little piece of every chapter I visit in my heart.

One thing I notice on every visit I make is that our collegiate women work so hard to live up to ideals outlined in our Ritual and to provide an outstanding chapter experience for their sisters. But sometimes in the rush of the school year, chapter goals and officer ideas are forgotten and the excitement begins to wane. Summer is a time for our chapters to hit the reset button. Officers can come back refreshed with new ideas, new goals and new enthusiasm to finish their terms strong. Members who may have ended the spring semester or quarter stressing about finals have a new year ahead of them. Back to school may be the end of summer, but it’s the beginning of a new page for our collegiate chapters. Because of this, I’m excited to trade in my swimsuits for suitcases and head out to work with the women who make my job worth every late night and every delayed flight. I’m ready to usher in the school year, and I hope our chapters are ready to say goodbye to summer with me!


Good Luck to Our Chapter Consultants!

Arianna MaggardBy: Arianna Maggard
Associate Director – Consultant Training & Volunteer Support
Kappa Xi, University of West Florida

About eight months ago, the consultant journey began for our newest class of road warriors. They applied, interviewed and were chosen from the many applicants to represent Alpha Chi Omega during this upcoming school year. I think I speak for the rest of our headquarters staff when I say, we have a pretty spectacular group and we can’t wait for you to meet them throughout their travels!

Our chapter consultants began as strangers, who then spent the last six weeks of training becoming the best of friends. Each one is filled with an undeniable passion for Alpha Chi Omega, and they surprise me every day with their positivity, energy and wisdom. Not to mention, their killer dance moves, silly jokes and unbeatable style! I feel so lucky to have had the chance to get to know this team and prepare them for one of the best years of their lives.

Speaking from personal experience, this year has a lot in store for these women. They will have their ups and downs; some travel delays, but hopefully no lost bags; some challenges, but even better successes; bid days; sisterhood events; recruitment and more. But most of all, this year is sure to fill each of them with an even deeper love for Alpha Chi Omega because of all of you: the sisters they’ll meet on the road. The collegians, executive board officers, new members, alumnae, advisors and future Alpha Chi Omegas of the world have the power to change these women’s lives just as much as they have the power to change yours.

Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know these consultants during their travels. They will be forever grateful to you for opening your home to them, waking up early and making a trip to the airport, showing them the trendiest place to eat in town, inviting them on a Target run and sharing a little piece of your Alpha Chi story (maybe even over a coffee date – they love that!).

But please don’t forget to also open your hearts and minds to our consultants as they spend their year with you. Listen to their advice, learn from them and allow them to make an impact on your Alpha Chi Omega experience. Take something away from their visit with you and always remember that they are your sisters in the bond.

Over the next few weeks, we will be spotlighting our consultants on our blog to help you get to know them even more.  I hope you are impressed, inspired and – more than anything – proud to have them represent your sisterhood this year. Get excited to meet these real, strong women and join me in wishing our consultant team the best of luck as they hit the road!

Follow their journey on the Consultant Chronicles and our Facebook page. #AXOCC!


Buy Licensed to Give Sisterhood

4-19-13 Alpha Chi Dallas-Web-130By: Selby Werner, Epsilon Psi

Let’s begin with a simple question: what is Greek licensing? (And why are we talking about it in a Ritual themed blog post?? Don’t worry, we will get there.) Essentially, Greek licensing is a formal process for Alpha Chi Omega and other Greek-letter organizations to protect the intellectual property assets of the organization. Since the trademarks of Alpha Chi Omega are the property of the organization, they must be controlled and deserve to be protected.

When you close your eyes and think of Alpha Chi Omega, what do you see? I’m sure we all have very different experiences and memories that come to mind, but in addition to those we all see the same symbols: our Greek letters – ΑΧΩ, the lyre, the red carnation, a pearl, perhaps even our open motto, “Together Let Us Seek the Heights!”  I want to reiterate that… that we all imagine the same symbols. Despite there being more than 130 collegiate chapters and over 130 years of Alpha Chi history, we all imagine the same symbols when we think of our beloved sisterhood. Why is that?

The answer is two-fold. The first reason is, of course, the fact that those are the emblems our Founders decided upon when establishing this organization. Each was chosen deliberately and each has its own special significance.  The second reason being that these symbols have been maintained and respected as emblems of the organization since its inception. One of the primary ways they have been maintained is through proper control via trademark licensing; by monitoring and controlling how the marks are being used commercially by vendors, Alpha Chi is able to ensure that they are only being used in ways that are appropriate representations of our sisterhood. Consequently, the integrity and value of the marks are preserved for future generations of sisters to enjoy.

There is no doubt in my mind that every Alpha Chi Omega sister can remember the first set of letters she received. It’s a moving experience; that special moment when she is able to proclaim to the world in big bold letters, quite literally, that she is a member of Alpha Chi Omega! Those letters mean something. They represent the truest nature of our organization – our heritage; our Ritual; our values; and our sisters, past, present, and future.

Too often though, that is unfortunately forgotten. It’s too easy to take the letters we wear for granted and forget that they represent something bigger than our four-year collegiate experiences.  My call to you is this: to remember that those marks have a meaning beyond yourOLP_Logo_RGB own experience in Alpha Chi Omega.

Alpha Chi Omega’s licensing program is fundamentally a process through which product quality control is managed. Buying licensed products is one of the easiest ways to help reinforce our organizations’ values and make sure our Ritual it is protected for generations to come! Luckily for all of us, Alpha Chi Omega has made it easy to participate in this form of Ritual protection by establishing their licensing program. Give the gift of our sisterhood by buying items that have been approved.

For more about licensing and where your chapter can find licensed vendors, visit greeklicensing .com.


Farewell Favorites

Sami_HolleyBy Sami Holley
Gamma Rho, Texas Tech University

With our next class of consultants currently in training, Sami reflects on her time as a chapter consultant.

After two fantastic years as a chapter consultant for Alpha Chi Omega, it has come time for me to say goodbye (and I haven’t even grabbed for a tissue—yet). It is a bittersweet departure as I am equally excited for the consultants that will fill my shoes as I am sad about leaving my memories, friends and sisters.

I came into my first day of training as a fresh college graduate who had no idea what was in store for the next couple of years. I have always been told that Alpha Chi Omega has the best consultant training out there, and it proved to be true that summer. I made memories with friends I will never forget, and I learned what it means to be a real, strong woman and to truly change lives.

While I was daydreaming about my experience as a consultant, I decided I would love to share some of my favorite moments with you.

Summer training: Wow! What a challenging yet rewarding experience. Going in, I don’t think anyone knows that to expect. It’s a really cool concept to work with your sisters. The level of confidence they treat you with is comforting, but the respect that they have for you is what really seals the deal.

Moving (away from Texas): Who even knew that just moving to a different state would change your attitude toward home?! Not only did I move out of the only place I knew, but I moved in with two sisters I had only known for six weeks—talk about really getting to know each other. These women became my best friends and my home. Little did they know what they were getting themselves into on day one. I can’t speak for them, but I know that I wouldn’t take back one day of our time together.

And, it’d be a shame if I didn’t mention my second-year roommate. During hard times she picks me up, she keeps me happy when I’m sad and she never, ever gives up on me! Talk about a true sister. I wouldn’t have made it without her, and I will never forget the joy she brought me when I needed it most.

Creating long-distance friendships: When you first hear about the consultant position, everyone always says you’re going to make so many friends. What I didn’t know going in is that your consultant sisters can become constant companions, even when you’re not in the same state. They are your biggest supporters and push you to be your best as soon as they meet you.

Colonization: There may be no greater joy in my heart than the joy I felt on bid day for our new chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi (shout out, Kappa Sigma chapter). I will never forget the moment I saw all of our new members running home to Alpha Chi. The women at Southern Miss have completely taken my heart, and for that I am forever grateful. They have praised my big wins, as well as my small wins; they have taught me what being a servant leader is all about; and they have brought out my passions.

Two years really have flown by. Thank you to all the women I met along the way. While I had the chance to change lives, you all were changing mine. It has been a fun ride, Alpha Chi Omega.


If Our Founders Were on Vacation…

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

By Susan B. Barnes
Zeta Sigma, Missouri State University

Inspiration to travel can be found nearly everywhere – through movies we watch, books we read, stories relayed by our friends, world music… the list goes on! We thought it might be fun to take a look at our founders – all adventurous in their own ways – and suggest destinations that they may have liked to visit in today’s day and age.

Anna Allen Smith, who graduated DePauw’s School of Music at the young age of 19, lived in Greencastle, Indiana her entire life, and rarely, if ever, left the Hoosier State. A day’s drive – a perfect introduction for a beginning traveler – could easily transport Anna to a wealth of musical destinations, including Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Louisville, Nashville and Memphis.

Olive Burnett Clark – but we’re all friends here, so let’s call her Ollie, as her friends did – studied the piano, violin, cello and double bass while at DePauw. With her love of stringed instruments, Ollie may have left her comfort zone and traveled to the Museo del Violino in Cremona, Italy, which opened last year, or all the way to Australia to learn to play the didgeridoo!

An intense commitment to music led Bertha Deniston Cunningham to become an accomplished performer and teacher at DePauw’s School of Music, not to mention the envy of the school’s students due to her stellar composing skills. Bertha would probably enjoy the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, or the unaffiliated MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) in Brussels, Belgium; a quick hop from Brussels is the charming, picturesque town of Dinant, where Adolphe Sax, creator of the saxophone, was born.

As the “little girl with a big voice,” New York City’s Broadway would likely be high on Amy Dubois Reith list, especially to see prodigies just like her. Closer to home, she could take in stage productions in Chicago, where she could also see a few shows at Second City to appeal to her sense of humor; she had a tendency to pull pranks on her sorority sisters!

In addition to music, Nellie Gamble Childe was passionate about roses and loved to garden. What fun it would be for her to visit gardens around the country! Starting with the gardens at the Biltmore in Asheville, NC, she could easily travel west and make her way to the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Ore. And if Nellie wanted to hop the pond, I’d definitely suggest the gardens at Hampton Court outside of London, and Chateau de Versailles outside of Paris.

When Bessie Grooms Keenan had to give up her life’s ambition of being a pianist due to an injury, she threw herself into building AXO; her daughter Hannah followed her footsteps and eventually became director of what is now headquarters. This mother-daughter team deserve a getaway, don’t you think? For these two, I’m thinking of a summer at Tanglewood in the Massachusetts’ Berkshires, where the Boston Symphony Orchestra summers. The two could spread a blanket on the lawn and enjoy cool summer evening picnics under the twinkling stars and floating musical notes.

Of all of our founders, Estelle Leonard was the most like me – a travlin’ girl. Known to have a “developed independence, decision, and a rather bohemian attitude,” I could see Estelle hopping a plane for destinations unknown. Even more, she’d grab a bag and hop the Eurail, traveling Europe by train to whichever stop piqued her interest – perhaps Turkey, Finland, Croatia, or (maybe not surprisingly), Greece! She’d write about her travels, too – after all, she spent some time reporting for the local newspaper!

How about you? Where do you see our founders traveling to?

Susan B. Barnes (aka travlin’ girl) is a freelance travel writer based in Tampa. A proud Army brat, she was born on a military base in Belgium and has been on the go ever since, graduating from (Southwest) Missouri State University (Zeta Sigma). Susan enjoys traveling to new destinations and inspiring readers to travel themselves – whether around the world or in their own backyards. Connect with Susan on TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.