|Patti Channer - My husband, Gary and I moved from NYC in 1977 to Ventura, California and worked together in his Pediatric Dentistry practice for 28 years. My “wonderful guy” and I shared 42 fabulous years of marriage before he transitioned from this world in May of 2013. His father, Charles a decorated combat veteran and POW of WWII returned from the war with active TB. As an infant, Gary’s immune system was vulnerable. The TB bacteria seeded in Gary’s brain and remained latent, allowing him to live 65 amazing years, “living the dream." Some have stated that he would be considered a secondary casualty of WWII. The Necklace came into my life in 2004 while I was redesigning a future for myself. I became acutely aware of the all-consuming epidemic of “affluenza” and what really matters; examining how and why I accumulated “things” had a profound impact on me. Listening to the needs of my community brought me into a new paradigm; one of being connected, making a difference, sharing and creating possibility. Having this opportunity to be part of a circle of women committed to empowering others has proven more valuable to me than any accessory on the planet. Our lives have been enriched through this experiment and what is most inspiring is knowing that through our book, The Necklace written by Cheryl Jarvis, we have created the possibility of inspiring others. The forward in our book by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. is something I live and share: “Here we are, women who have been the beneficiaries of education, resources, reproductive choices, travel opportunities, the Internet, and a longer life expectancy than women have ever had in history. What can and will we do?” My passion these past years has been producing and supporting numerous non-profit foundations and arts events. “What we do matters….What we share grows…”|
|Maggie Hood - Born in Rhode Island at a naval base, I am the oldest of five children. Raised on the north side of Chicago, walking distance to Wrigley Field, I'm a die-hard Cubs fan. College in Winona, Minnesota saw me earn a degree in English and Communication Arts, and landed me a job as a TV reporter for a CBS affiliate in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After several jobs in advertising and marketing and many years of shoveling snow, I relocated to warm, sunny Ventura, California. My brilliant daughter is at UC San Diego and surfs competitively, and my funny, equally intelligent son in middle school might be seen on TV golfing someday. I founded a non-profit organization called the Surf Safety Alliance, after my daughter was knocked unconscious by another surfer. Currently and for the last 21 years I'm a licensed Realtor. I live to travel and love adventures of all kinds!|
|Nancy Maulhardt Huff - is now 61 years old. Six years older than the day, I said, “YES” to the purchase of a diamond necklace. I was born in Oxnard, California in 1949. I am the daughter of great parents and the sister to three very different brothers. I feel blessed every day of my life for family, tradition and faith. I grew up loving tennis, the water and laughter. My first love is my family. I have been married for forty years to Wayne aka, “Sparky” and have three amazing kids. I also have three grandchildren that have filled my life with awe and wonder. I work in our family business as the Property Manager of Maulhardt Industrial Center in Oxnard. I love my job! All in all my life is great and my adventure with Jewelia is a gift. I treasure the new women in my life and hope to continue with the experiment that the necklace has offered.|
|Mary Karrh - I’m a daughter, a sister, an aunt, step mom “Mare” (kids name for me), “Grandmare” (the grandkids name for me), a wife, and hopefully a friend to many. My husband, Billy, and I have been happily together for almost 30 years. Although I have no biological children, his kids Jeff and Su are like my own. And more adorable grandkids, Daphne and Lily, are hard to find. I’ve been in business with Cindy for over 20 years sharing ownership in our CPA firm, Fanning & Karrh. I love my job as it keeps me involved and I meet wonderful people. Golf is my favorite pastime; however, not much time to play. And last but not least, I am a breast cancer survivor. There’s nothing like cancer to kick one in the butt and start “living life large”. This is what I try to do in my life and do it with joy.|
|Roz McGrath - Loving life at 60 plus is the title of my bio. I am a retired kindergaten teacher who has done a variety of things in her life besides teach. I have worked for several non-profits in my community since the late 70's after receiving my M.A. in early childhood ed at San Francisco State University. Born and raised in Ventura County to a large 4th generation Irish family, I also co-manage a family farm, volunteer for the local hospice playing the Celtic harp and assist in various fundraising endeavors. In the last three years, my partner and I have planted a one acre vineyard and continue to restore my family home in Camarillo. He is an inspiration to me- one of the hardest working men I have ever known. With four dogs in tow and no children on either side, we continue to live our life to the fullest. As a breast cancer survivor I appreciate the finer things in life- choosing positive people I want to be around, yoga, art, music, hiking, open spaces, national parks and of course, travel.
|Jonell McLain - I am a mother, a daughter and an only child. I have two children, I’ve had two careers and two husbands. I have always lived on the California coast and now I live in Ventura my hometown. I’ve been a cowgirl, cheerleader, a debutante, a sorority girl and a protester (in that order). I love cheeseburgers, Charlie Rose and Jon Stewart, gardens, art, utopian ideas and rock and roll music. I do wear my heart on my sleeve and when you read the book, you’ll see how that works out for me. I believe there is enough to go around in this world if everyone shares and that the act of sharing is what ultimately makes us happy and feel connected to the human race. I have learned that anything is possible, that people want to feel loved and acknowledged, that sometimes you have to speak up but you always have to listen.|
|Dale Muegenburg - I was born in San Francisco and raised in Palo Alto. I attended College at UC, Santa Barbara, where I studied psychology. I am married to Ted, an Estate Planning attorney, who is the best husband imaginable. We are the proud parents of four grown children. I have worked as an educator (teaching French) and in the business and legal fields. I am naturally curious and tend to be a peacemaker. My passions are travel, history, foreign languages and fine food. One of the best things about the Jewelia experience for me (outside of the “romantic boost” to my marriage described in the book) is that I have made such wonderful lifetime friends and have learned the joy of sharing my blessings with others. I have also learned a lot about myself, what is important to me and how to better express myself. What an exciting an unexpected adventure this has been!|
|Mary O’Connor - Currently a business owner, formerly a high school English teacher and Department Chairperson, my favorite profession is of a domestic nature and one from which I will never have to retire. I love my roles as wife, mother and community volunteer. Originally from Williamsville, New York, I was awarded an M.Ed. degree from SUNY Buffalo before heading west after my husband received his Chemical Engineering degree from the same university. I have been a member of the Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee for 15 years and, with the other Women of Jewelia, served as Grand Marshal in 2009. My favorite aspects of the "experiment" are the camaraderie and friendships that have emerged from the adventure and the opportunities to support charitable non-profits.|
|Mary Osborn - Born in the Panama Canal Zone, the daughter of an Air Force Pilot, I was raised in a middle class neighborhood in Southern California. Married to Michael, with whom I share a passion for politics, an interest in motorcycles, guns and world travel, we will soon be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary. We have two married daughters and five grandchildren who bring us much joy and fill our lives with happiness. The experiences I’ve shared as one of the Women of Jewelia fulfills a chapter in my life that has become a greater adventure than I ever anticipated. It has been very gratifying to know we’ve helped make life better for some of the less fortunate in our community and inspired others to do the same in their communities. Life is good!|
|Tina Osborne - I was born to Irish-Italian Catholic parents in Los Angeles, the only daughter amongst seven brothers. My passion in the formative years was ballet. I took instructions under the famous Nico Charisse, husband of Cyd Charisse. While attending UCLA, I joined the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta and soon met a handsome dental student, “Ozzie” whom I have loved and been married to for 38 years. We settled in Santa Barbara and having a love for the ocean, moved down the coast and raised our four children at Solimar Beach. Sean, Ryan, David and Mary are exceptional surfers, my daughter turning pro. Our best times as a family are spent on the patio entertaining family and friends. I was so looking forward to the golden years, but sometimes life throws you a curve. Unexpectedly, my husband was diagnosed with Parkinsons at the age of 57. Within 6 weeks we sold our dental practice and our roles reversed. I had been teaching part time at a private school and soon found myself back in the work force full time. My story changes from day to day as the disease progresses. At first, I was reluctant to join the group and was in need of “no more friends.” As the years have passed, I have been embraced by 12 fascinating, challenging, generous and supportive women. I realize that the “Jewelias” have been placed in my life for a reason and I’m totally open for all the unexpected. I continue to pray to God for love, patience, health and whole lot of laughter.|
|Jone Pence - I grew up in Minnesota and those mid-west values are a big part of my life. My family moved to Ventura when I was in Jr. High. I studied fine arts and Interior Design at UCSB and started my Interior Design firm in 1988. I’m very organized, energetic, a good problem solver and like helping people create a beautiful home. My father was in the construction business, which was an influence in my career choice and also inspired me to become a licensed contractor. I’ve had many successes in my design business; my work has been published in several magazines, two published books and I was the winner of HGTV’s “Designers Challenge” and one of 16 designers featured in their book, “The Best of Designers Challenge”. When I’m not busy working, I love to work in my garden, digging and planting flowers. People in my neighborhood stop to admire my garden, but, I have to give part of the credit to my 89 year old Mother who helps me garden for 6 hours at a stretch. Both my parents modeled how important it is to be involved in the community. I have served on Ventura City’s Design Review Committee and most recently I have become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to a 17 year foster girl. I’m not only her mentor, I also advocate for her in court, school and all areas of her life. My personal future vision for being a Jewelia is to one day open a house called “Jewelias’ Arms” a home for emancipated foster girls, who have nowhere to go and need a helping hand and a place to live. I have a very happy and active life, full of friends, family….and my special buddy, Blue, my dog.|
Priscilla Van Gundy - For most of my life I had only one close friend — and she lived in Houston. It seemed like enough because I worked all the time. I’ve worked since I was thirteen. I married at twenty-one, had three children by 27, and never stopped working. I never had time for women friends. When my younger sister died I shut down completely. It was easier to plug in the remote than to reach out to people. My husband saw these women smiling and laughing in our store and negotiated my being in the group as part of the purchase price. It was the best gift he ever gave me. He gave me my life back. He gave me a future. Growing up I knew I had a gift with my singing, but after getting married I let it go. I’m determined to have a singing career before I die. Without this group of women I wouldn’t have imagined it. Now I have friends who will support me in doing something risky. For the first time I’m composing my life.
|Roz Warner - My life has been a series of incredible adventures: it began as the oldest child and only daughter in a family with four brothers growing up in Indianapolis. Then as a mom at age 17, I started college with my (then) husband at the Univ of Pennsylvania and after two years began my many trips from coast to coast. After earning a college degree I continued as a high school biology teacher and then moved, as a single mom, to California, entered a PhD program at UC San Francisco but subsequently changed paths again and graduated with an MD degree from UCLA Medical School at the age of 36. A Residency program in Obstetrics/Gynecology took me back to Penn in Philadelphia and upon completing a four year training program I traveled west again to practice Ob-Gyn in Santa Monica. Following another episode of bouncing between Southern California and Philadelphia, I finally ended up in Ventura in 2001, starting a new medical practice with my (now) husband Michael Hogan, MD, a Gynecologic Oncologist. Along with medical practice, I began contributing time and energy to many local non-profit organizations and serve as a board member for the Ventura Music Festival, Rubicon Theatre, UCLA Medical School Alumni Association, and Saticoy Country Club. As a board member of Casa Pacifica, the only shelter and residential facility for foster youth in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and as the chairperson of our Transitional Age Youth Task Force, my goal is promoting this entity whose mission is to unite all those interested in helping “aging out” foster youth successfully transition to adult life. Another exciting endeavor has been the opportunity to be part of the Jewelia’s extraordinary “message by example” which is evolving into a potential global lesson of community service and sharing. My life has been amazing so far and would only be better if all of our children and grandchildren lived closer….|