I fell in love with Gwen Gibbs way back in 2002. I say fell in love because I don’t know if you become friends with Gwen, to know her is to love her. When you meet Gwen, when you are around Gwen, you simply are in a space of happiness and love. She radiates this every time I am around her or even talk to her on the phone. Gwen, or as she was sometimes affectionately known, G.G., has the warmest heart of anyone I have ever met, Couple that with her cheerleading spirit and you feel loved and supported the minute you are in a room with her. She is a super smart, well spoken, confident, strong and classy woman, not to mention she is so much fun to be around. I”m paying tribute to 50 women who have had a huge impact on my life and Gwen has a huge presence on that list for me!
I met Gwen when I went back to work after being a stay at home mom for a couple of years. We were both Account Executives in the mortgage industry. I worked part of the Portland territory in Oregon and she worked the Boise, Idaho territory. We met at a sales meeting in Seattle and like I said, I just fell in love with her. I think our first sales meeting she had us dress up like cheerleaders for a skit or something….well, if you know me, I have a cheerleader in my soul. My cheerleader archetype is one of my favorite qualities about myself so it is no wonder that I could see that archetype/personality style in Gwen as well….. And I loved it.
Gwen eventually became the Sales Manager and became my boss. To this day, she is still the best boss I have ever had. She checked in and offered great suggestions on how to boost our business. She truly supported us and cheered for our success. Gwen was our boss as the ship began to sink in the great Mortgage Implosion of 2008. When she talked to me, I knew she cared about my well being, she checked in often as fear was spreading like wildfire throughout our industry. It was a wildly stressful time for everyone in the world but the Mortgage Industry started feeling the effects of “going down” in 2007. Gwen stayed in close contact with all of her sales team. We all worked remotely so I know this was not an easy task. She kept us well informed and didn’t try to sugarcoat what was going on but also did her best to encourage us. I have always trusted her and I can’t say that about all the managers I’ve had throughout my life.
After we all lost our jobs at that fabulous mortgage company, Gwen and I remained in contact. Gwen would check in on me from time to time and I knew she genuinely cared. When my marriage fell apart, she found out and called me often to see how I was doing. I began to make road trips to Utah for my support group that was in Salt Lake City. I would stop in Boise and stay a night with Gwen. She would cook for me and we would stay up all night talking and laughing. One such trip had a huge impact on me. My divorce had just become final and I was headed to Utah for a weekend retreat with my support group. I stopped at Gwen’s for lunch, she had laid out all of her purses that she had collected over the years. We had both made quite a bit of money in our days of Mortgage, so the purses were Coach, Dooney & Burke as well as other fancy name brands. She told me that it was time to let go of my “old luggage” and choose a new “bag”. She might not have known but that metaphor was huge in my recovery and healing. I chose a bright, red Coach purse. I had never had a name brand purse and it felt a little awkward at first but what it symbolized was my journey to becoming comfortable as a strong, confident and powerful woman. These were all the qualities that I admired so much in Gwen. She could be all of these qualities, including badass and LOVING. She was my unicorn and as I walked my path of healing and growth, I slowly let go of the baggage I had picked up along the way that no longer served me as I tried on new qualities to see what I could grow into and what felt authentic to Sheri Joi.
I also learned “HOPE” from Gwen. We both went through divorces about the same time and I watched her learning to dance in the rain so to speak. So it was no surprise she found the love of her life and when they were married on a beautiful destination wedding site, right after the “I do’s” a huge rainstorm/hurricane hit and instead of getting upset….. she laughed and laughed and laughed.
Her hair was soaked, her dress was soggy but she didn’t even care…. You could see the pure joy in her eyes as she danced the night away with the love of her life. Just her presence on social media has inspired me to always have hope, keep growing and be the best “boss babe” I can be. She has also found that “bad ass babe” side of herself with her husband. She has become an incredible archer and enjoys the outdoors with her ruggedly handsome hubby, Heath. She remains classy even after a long camping trip. She is truly a “Bad Ass Boss Babe”.
I still check in with Gwen when I road trip through Boise but I mostly see her on social media as she is a force for good in a sometimes dark media space. It is no wonder she is wildly successful at everything she puts her mind to accomplish. It is magical to watch her thrive. There have been incredible women throughout my life and GG… Gwen Gibbs…. Gwen Forsey…. is definitely on this list of AMAZING women. Because I know you Gwen…. I have been changed for good!
PS…. she is also the cutest little dog mom I have ever seen! Who else posts first day of school pics of their pups…. I just ADORE you Gwen!!