Michelle was travelling the world when she met a sweet as Kiwi fella and has lived in Hamilton since 2006. “I compare my exploration of the New Zealand workforce to the trajectory of a bouncy ball launched from the top corner of an indoor sports hall”, she explained.

“I’ve gone all over the show, gathering stories and experiences that have led me to a vibrant life of multiple projects under the banner of enlightened self-employment.”

Michelle is the Director of both Magnetic Hub and Howie Consulting Ltd. and explains the experience as two business, one woman, many lessons and lots of gratitude for the opportunity to work with amazing clients and communities. She shares her life with her partner Shawn and their two boys.

Her talk this year is about her learnings as a woman and the moments that have shaped her:

“Working with women gets me out of bed in the morning. I didn’t use to feel this way but my experiences of motherhood have aligned me with the unique place women occupy in the world. I am most alive when I am listening to a woman tell her story and find her voice. I have felt most visible and heard when another woman has let me speak and played audience to my own story. My reason for being is to create places and ways for women to use their voice and make sense of their lives by talking to other women.”  

She describes herself as someone who likes working and getting a lot done. “I am a super-ambitious (but quietly so) person who sets terribly high standards for myself. Work is the easy way to keep striving to reach those heights.”

Michelle learned two life lessons through the satisfaction of completing work and constantly being the one to come up with solutions and results. The first life lesson being ‘ask for help and invite others on the journey’, and the second ‘take meaningful breaks to rest and relax.”  

There are three things that motivate Michelle to continue her work running women’s discussion groups: Humanity, leadership, growth and the mundane everyday simplicity of nature showing us the way.