Who is Jo? I’ve been asked this many times, and I thought I knew and could sum it up for you fairly easily; however, I’m starting to second guess that thought. But, anyway, here we go: I was born and raised in Bergen County-Northern New Jersey (exit 163 off the parkway for those who get that). Yes, it is a beautiful state, known as the Garden State. Jersey does have nice beaches, beautiful parks, fun places to go skiing, and is known for having amazing diners! There is nothing like being out till the wee hours of the morning and “hitting” a diner for a taylor ham egg and cheese on a roll with fries well done. I love Jersey because it’s close to NYC, Vermont and the lovely Hamptons. It’s the home of the “big hair”, Jersey attitude, no push-over girl, Bruce Springsteen (who I adore) and Bon Jovi who is smokin’ hot! I will always love the “Jersey Girl”: easy going, fun and flirty, take no prisoner, and loves a good mall!
I have accomplished many things thanks to Jersey: Good old-fashioned public school upbringing, college, real estate class, manicurist license, esthetician license, and worked for Fortune 500 companies.
My run in New York was life-fulfilling, enriching and life-changing. It prepared me for my future here in beautiful California. I lived in New York for 16 years and learned a lot. It’s the home of the burning of the midnight oil in the city that never sleeps. You get back what you put into something; be ready to run in heels and be friendly with a twist of NY toughness. I raised my beautiful children here and taught them everything I knew about life. Being the youngest of six and having four older brothers was a priceless experience! My sister was the princess and I was the tomboy. My father was a Special Education teacher who not until I had my own children realized the significance of his chosen profession. My mother was a “stay at home mom” which was normal for those times, and I feel like a lucky person when I think of my childhood. We didn’t have money, but we had each other; our freedom to play and explore and good old fashion fun that would make a lifetime of memories. I would play all day with kids in my neighborhood, go trick or treating with my friends (alone), pool hoping, and just be free to be a kid! I enjoyed being the “baby” of the family. I learned by my sibling’s mistakes and accomplishments, understood the importance of seeing my mom’s face when I walked through the door after school, and grasped the concept of kindness and acceptance through my father’s gift of touching the lives of others. I was beautifully molded into a human being who through trials and tribulations learned how to not judge and extend a hand to those in need, expecting nothing in return, but feeding my own soul.
Now I live where I have always dreamed of living, in beautiful California! My father and I would have lengthy discussions about this amazing state and how someday I would be living here. “Well, here I am!” I feel prepared to start and somehow continue on this amazing journey we call life, and I am blessed knowing that along away I get to touch, enrich, educate, inspire and give hope to those who need and want it. I know I need it; all the mirrors in my house remind me of that!
It’s nice to meet you all! Let the fun begin!