Women’s History Month: The Inspiration of Sylvia Lawry

Whether you’ve just started your career or you’re a seasoned professional, establishing yourself as a leader at work can boost your ability to achieve success in the short term and advance your career over the long term. An important part of being an effective leader is inspiring those around you. In honor of National Women’s History Month, I want to take the time to highlight the accomplishment and inspirational leadership of Sylvia Lawry.

Sylvia Lawry is the woman who single-handedly launched an international war on Multiple Sclerosis. In search for a successful therapy for her brother Sylvia put an ad in The New York Times. The year was 1945 and she received more than 50 replies from people who were themselves seeking a cure. This was her first step in the fight for a world without MS. She won over famous scientists to her cause and shortly after her initial ad, in 1947, she had founded the National MS society.

My interest in Sylvia Lawry’s story goes deeper than supporting National Women’s History during the month of March. It’s personal as I have family members, friends, and clients who are affected by MS.  Today, 70 years later I am supporting Sylvia’s vision to find a cure for MS by participating in the 2016 MS Leadership Class. Leadership class members commit to increasing their knowledge about MS, to raising public awareness, and to raising funds for ongoing research.

My interest also has professional roots. At The Center, we are a team that meets you where you are, understands where you want to go and through collaboration with you, we develop and execute a strategy focused on your financial well-being through every stage of life. While retirement planning is a common cornerstone of a majority of financial plans, it is not uncommon for clients to make contingency plans for health related issues or craft philanthropic strategies to ensure their charitable dollars create the desired impact.

National Women’s History month presents an opportunity to be intentional about reflecting on the past successes of women throughout history. It hits home here at The Center too as our 30+ year history reflects the inspired leadership of many women through the years. When you wonder what you can do because you are one person, think about Sylvia Lawry.

Laurie Renchik, CFP®, MBA is a Partner and Senior Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® In addition to working with women who are in the midst of a transition (career change, receiving an inheritance, losing a life partner, divorce or remarriage), Laurie works with clients who are planning for retirement. Laurie is a member of the Leadership Oakland Alumni Association and is a frequent contributor to Money Centered.

Raymond James is not affiliated with Sylvia Lawry or The National MS Society.