Meet Christine Amer Mayer, president of GAR Foundation, long time Women's Network member and the Keynote Speaker at our upcoming Annual Meeting on Monday, Sept. 18.
"I first heard of Women's Network through Kristen Lino. She was describing the organization at an event and her passion encouraged me to check it out on my own." - Christine Amer Mayer on how she first learned of Women's Network
How do you start your day? With three children and a few pets in my home, I usually have a fair amount of running around and logistics to handle each morning. That said, before my feet hit the floor, I am intentional about lying awake in my bed, no phone in hand for just a minute (sometimes probably only 30 seconds!). It’s not complicated – it’s my moment to be thankful for another day, to set an intention or two, and to take a few deep breaths.
How do you end your day?
I try hard to read every night, even if it's just a few pages. The pure enjoyment I get from reading is a peaceful way to end the day.
What woman inspire you and why?
My mom Mary Ellen Amer inspires me. In partnership with my dad, she raised ten children. She has seen so much in her lifetime – so many people and things that have come and gone, so many highs and lows. And yet she just kind of carries on with grace, with the willingness to give people the benefit of the doubt, and the ability to find something positive in most everything. I feel better about our chances as a human race when I’m around my mom!
If you were to tell one person "Thank You" for helping me become the person I am today, who would it be and what did they do?
I’d thank my dad. He taught me – through his own example – that a person who is willing to work hard can overcome many an obstacle.
What are your passions?
I’m passionate about the outdoors – especially hiking, bird-watching, and gardening. I find nature to have a healing power that I don’t find anywhere else.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Hey Christine, why don’t you replace messages of perfectionism and “never enough” with self-love and acceptance!
What book would you always recommend and why?
I would always recommend “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. (In fact, I persuaded a man in the airport bookstore to buy it last month!). It is a beautifully written tale of human connection that transcends nationality, history, and circumstance.
What's the best advice you have received? You’ll never be better than a second-rate copy of someone else. Instead of always trying to measure up to others, focus on being the very best version of yourself.
What’s an experience that changed you?
Being the mother of a child with special needs has changed me more than anything else I’ve experienced. You come to understand just how many expectations and assumptions the world in general and parents in particular lay on our children. I am working to “un-learn” long-held habits of pushing Elizabeth in particular directions; instead I am more focused on trying to see the world through her eyes and helping her to be happy and fulfilled in it.
What are you currently watching on Netflix?I just finished Thirteen Reasons Why (mandatory watch for a parent of teens) and I am eagerly awaiting the next season of Stranger Things.
Hear more from Christine and join us in celebrating 40 years of Women's Network on Monday, Sept. 18. Registration closes Friday, Sept. 15.
About Christine Amer MayerChristine Amer Mayer is the president of GAR Foundation, the largest private foundation in Summit County, Ohio. Mayer guides the foundation's strategic direction and annual grant making which focuses heavily on education and economic development. GAR Foundation's mission is to help Akron become smarter, stronger and more vibrant.
An Akron native, Mayer practiced commercial litigation and business law for eight years with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs. She joined GAR Foundation in 2001 as a program officer. She was named president of the foundation in 2012.
Mayer received a Bachelor's degree in English from Duke University and a law degree from The Ohio State university. Her happily chaotic household includes her daughters Julia and Elizabeth, her son Jimmy, their spirited golden retriever Leo and their street-smart tiger cat Finian. When she is not spending time with her family or exploring Akron, Christine can be found digging away in her reasonably productive vegetable garden.
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