SYLVIA BECKERMANFounder & CEO, Women's Empowerment Advocate, Entrepreneur, Podcast Host
The revelation that he owned my email address and wouldn’t give it back! Wow – that was the moment I knew we needed to band together!
When I left my second ex-husband in 2015, I had my shoes, my clothes, some wine glasses and little else beyond my aspirations.
So – looking to my son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law for inspiration – I marched myself over to Bed, Bath & Beyond and set up a post-divorce gift registry.
They were starting new and so was I. I registered and threw myself a party. A new door was opening. My sons were grown and this would be my time.
It’s that kind of hopeful, outside-the-box thinking that has seen me through two marital splits, a 20+ career as an executive in the insurance industry, the creations of Life Après and Après Divorce (its predecessor) and now my latest venture, the podcast series ‘Sylvia & Me’. The podcast is a Life Après Production.
Après Divorce was a result of realizing that I no longer had possession of my email address. One that I had had for over 20 years, way before I had even met my latest ex. Small, minor and some may even say, petty. And I would agree with all of that. That is, until I decided not to. For so many people that email address could be a part of their identity. We can’t negate what is and what isn’t important to people. I realized that this little piece of information was probably among many small and large pieces of information, that if disseminated among other women, could be beneficial. What other pieces of information did I have that others did not? What other pieces of information did other women have that I could benefit from knowing?
It seemed that women going through all phases of divorce were not the only ones who wanted to get together with other women.
And so, the expansion to Life Après, encompassing women going through all stages of such diverse life events as losing a spouse, becoming an empty nester, reentering the workforce, retirement and caring for aging parents, just to name a few. The one thing that each new life event had in common: change was coming. And with change, there is an opportunity. It’s what you do with that opportunity that matters. With each life event, a connection could be made. The most important connection is the one that matters the most, the connection with OURSELVES.
And then there is the podcast series, ‘Sylvia & Me’. I’d had so many inquiries about wanting to hear more from women who had led conversations at our monthly salon gatherings, a podcast was the natural step into my newest venture. I’m having the time of my life having conversations with some of the most extraordinary, inspiring women from all over the world. Mothers, daughters, human rights advocates, authors, a Gold Star Mom, the Founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, artists, therapists, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut, founder of No Limits Café – giving adults with intellectual disabilities unimaginable opportunities and let’s not forget, a professor who teaches women how to be a politician.
I don’t know what’s in store for the future. What I do know is that I’ll keep opening those doors and writing new chapters. My mother was a role model for not letting anyone tell you that you couldn’t… that because you’re a woman, you can’t – yes you can, that because you’re older, you can’t – yes you can. I started out as a single parent with an 18 month old and a 4 year old in New England. Here I am some thirty odd years later. Après Divorce, Life Après and now ‘Sylvia & Me’ have all been started in my 60’s and I intend to keep on going. Yes we can!