Finally SPRING is upon us, thank goodness! This month’s Fabulous Women Over 40 I am featuring the wonderfully beautiful and talented Kate O’Neill! I met Kate many years ago while attending various Nashville business mixers including the Technology Council. The one thing I always noted about Kate was her energy, her smile and most of all her laughter, she always seemed to be the happiest person in the room. We joke about having the same last name but it is spelled differently…sista-from-anotha-motha sort of thing. I have always known Kate as an extremely intelligent and powerful business woman, but when I found out about her newest personal project I knew I wanted her to be a part of this blog series. These stories are not just about the fabulous things women over 40 have accomplished within their careers but the ability their stories might have in helping others deal with life changes that offer personal growth, insight and compassion along the way. My hope is that Kate’s story might help someone out there who is in the process of dealing with the painful emotions surrounding the loss of a loved one.
I will start with the early stages of Kate’s career, after studying at the University of Illinois she worked as a language consultant translating German and Russian documents into English. She was a technical writer for Toshiba, a content manager for Netflix, a communications consultant for Lexicom Inc., a senior business analyst for HCA and held many other positions with companies like Landmark Digital Services, Searchmonkey and Magazines.com. Outside of her technical and marketing background she worked as a songwriter and publisher for Honey Bowtie Music. Born in Park Forest, Illinois and having lived in Germany, California, Oregon and Chicago, in 2003 Kate settled in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2009 she started her own business [meta]marketer which she closed in 2014 to start her new endeavor KO Insights, where she provides training, guidance and strategic marketing for businesses. With an impressive list of accomplishments, she is also a speaker, an author, a mentor and a consultant.
While all of these accomplishments completely make Kate a FABULOUS woman over 40, the one that is closest to my heart is her recently published ebook dealing with her personal struggle of loss, called “Surviving Death.” I have always admired Kate’s humor and writing style within her social media platforms so I knew this book would not let me down. I was intrigued to see how she dealt with the stages of death and grief and how she moved forward in the aftermath. Although the title may seem to allude to death and sadness, Kate’s sense of humor and unique style of sharing ideas through her journal excerpts allows the reader to experience her growth while it was actually happening. Sharing her personal thoughts written in pages of her journal during the painful, drawn out years of watching her father die to cancer offers a poetic insight to the unfair side of life experience. In contrast she expresses the feelings she was faced with in the sudden loss of her husband to suicide several years later. Her process of turning those negative moments of loss into positive life lessons offer a great contribution to us all because none of us are spared from experiencing death. In the end her story presents her journey of becoming more grateful, finding the strength to rebuild, to move forward, to accept help from others and finally finding the enlightenment of joy, laughter and meaning on the other side. Kate never intended on writing this book, it happened by accident, it is the result of her healing after several very painful years of processing her loss.
Kate mentors for Jumpstart Foundry and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. She is a Chair-Elect of the Business Intelligence Systems Advisory Board at Tennessee State University as well as an executive board member for The Nashville Technology Council. She serves as an advisory board member for Evolve Women, and a columnist at The Tennessean. If you would like to know more about Kate O’Neill you can visit her business website here. If you would like to read her book “Surviving Death” you can find it here on Amazon.
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