Meet Holly Richardson, From corporate Exec to Philanthropist


“There are no limitations, unless you make them.  In our business and personal lives we all are faced with challenges, choices and change. So regardless of our situation, each of us has the ability to reshape and control our own destiny”.  

This is the philosophy of Holly Richardson, a super achiever who has embraced change throughout her entire life with a great deal of “Personal Courage”.  Who would have known that at 16 she would become the East Coast Surfing Champion for Women and create a long term identity as a Leader and Life Pioneer.  Determined to make a difference in life’s uncharted waters, Holly opened her own real estate office at 19, and then embarked on corporate America joining Citicorp/Citibank.  Thirteen years, nine promotions later she was running 19 banks and reported to the CEO.  Then changing professions to Olsten Staffing Services, a temporary recruiting firm responsible for managing 9 branch offices. On to the private sector with JMFamily Enterprises, Holly was only the second woman Vice President in the company. Responsible for Strategic Planning, Organizational Development and Marketing, her boss described her as a race horse pulling a milk wagon.  Given her skills, abilities and results, this was a compliment and analogy in one.

But in 2000, Holly’s whole world changed as she faced one of the toughest waves of her life…..Multiple Sclerosis. M.S. is a chronic disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system and the progress, severity and symptoms cannot be predicted.  So at the prime of her life, Holly left the career she loved.  She said, “You have to consider every day as a new opportunity, regardless of the roadblocks.  Even though one may be diagnosed with a disabling disease, the key is to never, ever give up”. 

Richardson has been on the Board of Trustees for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-So. Fla. since 2000 and has helped to build support and awareness as an MS Advocate nationally.   She is also a founding board member for Deliver the Dream, a not for profit retreat program that helps children, families and individuals faced with a serious disease.  As a previous board chair, Holly’s heart and commitment to help others has been demonstrated by supporting numerous charity events that turn the Deliver the Dream vision into reality.

As a member of the “International Who’s Who of Professionals”, Holly uses her life experiences to speak locally and is featured in the book “Power and Wisdom: The New Path for Women” by Dr. P. Marotta.  In 2008 Holly received the “Humanitarian of the Year Award” which has become her most important personal achievement. She is in the process of completing her first business book for women called “Making Waves in Corporate America” along with a pending autobiography.  She said “This will bring me to completion, as I believe Success over time leads to Significance and Substance that can only be found in the heart”.

“Giving Back” through Community Involvement

The most wonderful taste of life is discovering the meaning of service and community involvement.  Haven’t you ever wondered why all the hours you put into building your own success may leave you empty at times?  That is because we all develop a deeper need to reach a point beyond our own personal success, and that comes with achieving significance and substance in our lives which sometimes means doing work that we are “called to do”, rather than work we may want to do”.

I have found great joy giving back and helping others in our community both as a “business coach” and a “personal soul” who seeks to helps others.  Being on the Board of Trustees for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in South Florida is one way I have been able to be a voice for those who can’t and those who won’t.  And I believe there were no coincidences when I became a founding Board Member for Deliver the Dream, a not for profit that helps seriously ill children, individuals and families with all types of diseases. Coincidentally, this took place one year before I was even diagnosed with M.S.

Giving back in your community through service takes that “willingness of heart” to help others see the light shine through.  And when your attitude creates your latitude, then you can finally deliver that “Powerful Purpose.”

Linking Customer Service and Marketing to “A NEW BREED OF BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS”

The New Woman Leader of Tomorrow reinvents herself beyond where a company is and does her homework before anyone can even act on a specific plan with a pocketful of ideas, suggestions and ways to succeed. How? This new breed of professional has a complete understanding of three fundamentals.  Product knowledge, exceptional customer service and marketing strategies and having an all inclusive plan to execute. THIS is a winning combination!

These business strategies and marketing tactics all based around the customer’s point of view and those who live this have a conviction and excitement about HOW they go about owning and implementing the companies’ products and services.  Without understanding what the customer wants along with a needs oriented marketing plan, success does not exist for the long run.  If you want to be successful then the customer DOES come first!

These leaders of tomorrow are following a tried and true plan of the past and use a customer service and marketing philosophy throughout everything they do in life.  It is a mindset of someone who is devoted, and delivers with discipline.  It is someone who listens and communicates and has had a tremendous amount of hands-on previous experience when dealing with people, structuring an organization, and delivering results.   It has been proven that trying to be one step ahead in business and in one’s personal life makes one stronger, wiser, brighter and enlightened.  All exceptional qualities to embrace.  Once this methodology and sales and service process is embraced by all, the organization becomes the people and the people become the customer.  Their new strategic alliance is a “back to basics” philosophy forgotten by some, but not by all…at least not by those who are successful!