• India N. Miles

Carolyn Clements: Live Your Life The Best You Know How And Then When You Know Better Do Better

This week I'm welcoming Carolyn Clements to The BEST Network — a 64 year old full-time Business Development Manager for Ball Office Products. Let me just say that her being an inspiration to us all would be an understatement. Her husband says the only thing she's ever attempted and failed at is retiring which pretty much sums up the fact that she's set the bar very high for us young professionals.

Four years ago this past January Carolyn made her first attempt at retirement only to return to work after seven short months. Ever since then she's been employed with Ball Office Products. A career switch that came shortly after retiring from Suntrust Bank from a career in Commercial Banking.

Her current role came by happenstance and without any script to follow but she has enjoyed re-careering with full autonomy and the unpredictable joy of fulfilling her daily tasks as they come.

What she does now didn't exactly come with an employee manual but she has found ways to use her prior work experience to do her job well and excel. Carolyn is mostly out of the office and in attendance at networking events or presenting office supply and business equipment as a solution to business owners.

She also volunteers ( a lot ) and with several different organizations throughout Richmond and Chesterfield Virginia. She is a board member for the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and helps plan a fundraiser for the Bon Secour Health System called Wine Women and Shoes.

She is a Sunday school teacher for the 2 year old's at her church Winfred Memorial Baptist Church, and lastly, she serves as a volunteer at Maymont's Tourism Museum for over 15 years. She has found that the 30 years in commercial lending has served her well both as a volunteer and an experience professional.

Carolyn has been married for 46 years and is the mother of two adult children and the grandmother of six grandchildren. Without ever attending college she has however become a lifelong learner who believes in learning something new everyday. Her strategy has been finding the smartest person at her job and having them mentor her.

When I asked her if she feels she's lived her best life she replied --- yes --- and that she's lived her life the best way she knew how and when she knew better she did better.

Carolyn is as inquisitive as she is vibrantly ambitious with sincere hopes of leaving the earth in a better place than how she found it. Her next steps in life are to be a full-time volunteer and to travel. She wants to visit Europe, Italy, Paris and England.

A fun fact that I discovered about Carolyn is that at 65 years old she never learned how to swim. Her mother was terrified of letting her swim because of the fear of loosing her like she lost her younger brother when he was four years old. The first thing Carolyn did when she had children of her own was teach them how to swim but unfortunately that didn't mean she ever learned how to swim for herself.

She plans on taking care of that very soon.

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