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Welcome to  C2C 's Getting to Know....

Welcome to our Getting to Know page which allows members to share more about themselves than the information provided in our Member Directory.

Interested in being featured in Getting to Know?  Please contact Nathalie Valley at


Getting to Know:  Jennifer Keohane

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in Connecticut. Married, no kids, one cat named Hobo. I love being Aunt Jenny to my 7 nieces & nephews and 6 great nieces & nephews.


Two years ago I leaped into the non-working life with both feet and am enjoying the freedom of doing what I want instead of being pressured by my “I should”. I am co-leading a new TTN Chapter in Connecticut.


What transition are you anticipating, going through or contemplating?

We are starting a Connecticut Chapter of TTN. This means I’m moving away from my two years of no structure retirement into a phase where I am out in the community meeting people, using social media and actually have events listed on my calendar!


What advice do you have for Coast to Coast members who are considering a career change?

Create a strategic filter by reflecting on your “best day at work” and your aspirations. Create a list of what your next career must have to make you fulfilled. This can be how your time is spent, who it is spent with and what the environment is. Use this list as a strategic filter to assess your new opportunities or career. One more thing, be open to the possibility that you might need to seek some of items from your strategic filter through personal or community involvement. One job may not check all the boxes.


What advice do you have for Coast to Coast members who are planning to retire?

A year or 6 months before you retire, post a blank piece of paper on your refrigerator and label it at the top “When I’m retired, I will…..”.

Every time you think of things you’d like to be doing other than your current work, add them to the list. Every time you learn about an activity or group that sounds interesting to you, add it to your list. The “When I’m retired I will” list will be an invaluable tool and comfort in the days after your retirement when you feel overwhelmed by the possibilities and perhaps are feeling a little loss of identity.


How do you have fun?

Aqua fitness, knitting stuff animals, reading, thrifting, dancing in the kitchen while cooking, organizing, and beading. 



Previous Spotlights


Getting to Know:  Nathalie Valley

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am a mother, a Veteran, and an avid reader of books. I currently live in Florida. I love the outdoors and hike trails in the Florida panhandle or wherever I might be traveling. I am learning how to write a memoir and want to explore writing fiction too.



What transition are you anticipating, going through or contemplating?

I have been contemplating complete retirement from paid work for several years but have found out in the process that I enjoy working (still). I am on a hiatus from my latest position and considering next steps.



How do you have fun?

I read, I practice yoga, I go for walks outside, and I travel. I also like to cook for myself. Watching Star Trek episodes (Voyager, TNG, original) is my guilty pleasure.



Describe a personal transformation you are most proud of and why?

I recently (late 2020) stopped drinking alcohol. It is a change that I thank myself for every day since.



Can you share what it has been like for you to be a member of a chapter that meets virtually?

I love the flexibility of meeting with other chapter members who live in many different places and enjoy sampling TTN offerings from the comfort of home. I also volunteer as the chapter secretary. I have been fulfilling this role since August 2022 and am thankful to be working with the other C2C steering committee members who now feel like family.



Getting to Know: Sue Newshutz

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

My name is Sue Newshutz. My husband and I have been married for 36 yrs. We have two adult sons who live in Minnesota. I retired from a 35+ yr career at IBM as a senior computer engineer working as part of the leadership of a worldwide engineering team. I got to work on super computers and even quantum computers.


In 2021, we sold our home and most of our belongings and bought a new-to-us 5th wheel camper (RV) and big pickup truck, and headed off to live in this RV full time. We’re in our 3rd year of full time RVing, and have traveled to 42 states. The snowbird resorts in Arizona and southern Texas are a pleasant surprise to us. I’m in Tucson, Az for 5 months as I write this.


Our lifestyle is more environmentally friendly than you may realize. We’re often in good weather, so rarely run our AC or furnace. When we do, we heat or cool a much smaller space. We’re also very aware and limit our electricity, water and propane usage. The tradeoff is poor mileage when we move the RV. We’ve met exciting people, seen longtime friends and family, visited wonderful scenery (southern Utah!), and have not sacrificed much in these 310 sq ft of a “luxury” RV. It’s been a wonderful adventure, and I can celebrate my February birthday in a Tshirt and sun, instead of shoulder deep in snow!


What advice do you have for Coast to Coast members who are planning to retire?

If you’re looking at TTN, you probably already know transitions aren’t necessarily easy. I recommend you set aside time and a budget for transitioning. Take time to ask yourself what you want to be or do, but go easy on yourself if you don’t have all the answers. For many, it’s a time of trial and error. Exhausting at times, and exhilarating other times!


What do you love most about the place you are currently living?

I am living full time in an RV with my husband. If you asked me what I’d be doing ten years ago, this was not on my radar! I love seeing new places with new sets of scenery (some amazing and some meh). I love trying out new communities and sets of people. It’s been a very active learning curve, and there are opportunities to debug problems, manage projects big and small, to be active biking and hiking, and yet lot of rest and recuperation too!


What is next on the horizon or what are you currently enjoying in the present moment?

So far, we’ve never taken our RV across a country border. But we plan to enter Canada next summer and drive to Alaska and back. There are already many challenges and things to be planned out. But this will be a great adventure. Why am I going? I have a TTN friend in Anchorage, of course!


Can you share what it has been like for you to be a member of a chapter that meets virtually?

TTN’s Coast to Coast Chapter has filled a real need in me for friendship with others in my phase of life. Having spent the last 20 years working with team members around the globe, I’m no stranger to the idea of a virtual community – and how real it feels, despite using technology to connect. I’m lucky to be in a virtual peer group with 6 other ladies who really have my back when I need it. I look forward to continuing to learn from TTN events, to continue to connect and contribute and to be vibrant for many years to come.


Getting to Know:  Rikki Quintana

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

My current passion is my fair trade business, founded in a leap of faith after a 31-year business law career. HoonArts now works with artisan groups in 3 Central Asian countries, helping to empower over 100 artisans, mostly rural women. It’s all about long-term partnerships and building connections and understanding!


What transition are you anticipating, going through, or contemplating?


As noted above, when I retired from the practice of law, I did not anticipate becoming an entrepreneur. But the opportunity presented itself, and I dove in head first, with no experience in the area of fashion, retail sales, marketing or many of the other skills it turned out I needed. It’s been quite a learning curve!


How do you have fun?

I love to travel and learn about new cultures. That ranges from watching foreign language mystery and cop shows to leading tours to Central Asia in my business. I also finally have the time (and willingness) to spend a lot of quality time with my children and grandchildren. Just nurturing those relationships provides a lot of fun and joy.

What have you learned from all the transitions that you’ve experienced in life so far?

Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way: (1) building and maintaining relationships are key to success, whatever path you choose; (2) you have to take some risks, and allow yourself to fail, if you want to ultimately succeed; (3) every failure teaches you far more than any success.

What new things do you want to explore?

I still have a lot of places in the world on my travel bucket list. I’m also thinking about the possibility of writing a book about my experiences working with artists in Central Asia and the world of social entrepreneurship. And I also want to get back to my pre-law school textile arts work, using what I’ve learned from my artists.


Getting to Know:  Ruth Schimel

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m in my 4th, 5th and 6th careers concurrently to use time well. Now a career and life management consultant and author of seven books, I also lead a nontraditional foundation encouraging collaboration and innovation for the public good in the DC area.  I am now developing ways to integrate poetry, art, humor and play into my career consulting services. Since 2015, I have written over 70 articles on personal and professional development published by YourTango for distribution on their site and online. As you may sense, I love to write, learn and develop sharing relationships with meaning, openness and joys.


Previously, I was a diplomat in Ecuador, Guatemala and Calcutta (Kolkata) as well as focusing on management improvement in the State Department, professor and management consultant. I finally got my PhD at 50; my dissertation resulted in a one-sentence definition showing how almost anyone could express their capacity for courage. I speak Spanish. 

What brought  to you to TTN Coast to Coast?

I’ve been a participant of and contributor to the TTN DC Chapter for well over a decade.  When I learned of the work, creative, effective leadership and wide range of the Coast to Coast chapter, I joined and started to contribute to it as well. I was delighted to have the opportunity to facilitate a group focusing on storytelling as a bridge to appreciating purpose and meaning in life.  Now, I am assisting in designing and co-leading Sages of All Ages for women under and over 50; I also participate in a peer group that evolved from our storytelling adventures.

What advice do you have for Coast to Coast members considering a change, whether career or retirement?

Start from the inside out, exploring themes in your values, transferable skills, passions and interests. Avoid labels such as titles and retiree in favor of integrated descriptions of your richness and curiosities related to what you truly want to do and be.  Ask yourself what, how, why and with whom you want to collaborate.  This is just a taste of the nonlinear process of honoring yourself, your needs and unique capacities. Whatever your time frame, consider creating a portfolio including work, volunteer, learning and play.  Needless to say, I walk my talk; I do not intend to retire and delight in encouraging others to keep renewing themselves.

Describe a personal transformation that gives you pride and why:

I’d say I’m in continuing transformation regarding my life, work and relationships. I do it incrementally, sometimes too slowly, yet working on being honest with myself and getting authentic support.  In the process, I keep learning from my mistakes, detours, discomfort and occasional pain.  If you want to get a sense of my voyages that reflect the process of becoming courageous, I invite you to visit


Getting to Know:  Cyndi Ferguson

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m 63 years old, happily remarried for the second time, and live in Connecticut.  I work full-time in an interesting career (30+ years).  I am a health care consultant and work with Tribal Nations across the country who run their own hospitals/clinics and provide a wide range of social and health services to their people. 

What transition are you anticipating, going through, or contemplating?

As I near the end of my professional career, I feel like I’m going through a “change of season”.  I’m less than 2 years to retirement, but my husband and almost all our other close friends have already retired and are enjoying their “go-go years”--traveling, spending more time with grandchildren, and pursuing passion projects.  While I’m certainly excited for them, I have never worked harder or longer hours!  I thought (mistakenly) that the transition to the end of my career would be easier.  While rewarding, my job has required me to constantly look for new ways to be creative, to stay up on the latest in technology, social media and to learn how to work with a new generation who thinks and performs in different ways.  So, I’m in this interesting place in my life where one part of me is ready for retirement NOW and the other part is juggling new skills, mentoring young professionals and trying to leave a positive impact on a decades-long career.

What new things do you want to explore?

Over the past year, I have been looking at how to use my skills in new ways.  I took a 6-week writing course, have reached out to work with a Life Coach and have been attending and participating in some of the wonderful TTN webinars and events.  I have a fantastic network of close friends and I have made more of an effort to stay connected; even if it’s a quick phone call to chat, meeting up at Starbucks or taking a walk. I’m trying to remain alert to new opportunities that may present themselves. I know that I’m fortunate to have good health and energy and want to remain physically active.  Currently, I’m able to “squeeze in” some daily exercise, usually a bike ride outside or some gentle yoga.  But I would love to spend time engaging in physical activity and movement in a more enjoyable way and not just “check the box” off my to do list.

What is next on the horizon or what are you currently enjoying in the present moment?

My husband and I are currently discussing options about whether to age-in-place or move.  We love our home and community and live near family, including our 3 young grandchildren. We recently bought a new (used) boat and have been enjoying cruising and swimming in the lake within 10 minutes of our house.  I feel like we have a good balance of being located between two big cities (New York and Boston); yet we are also within an hour of the coast and other beautiful rural areas of New England.  We live right next to a hiking/biking trail that we use daily to walk our dogs and bike ride.  It’s really a nice life-- and while New England weather isn’t always the best, we could stay put for most of the year and travel somewhere warmer in the winter months.  Just writing this out makes me realize that maybe that decision has already been made!

What motto do you live by or what quote inspires you?

The pandemic certainly highlighted for me how quickly life can turn on a dime. It’s important to not put off doing something fun each day and spending time with loved ones.  Life is precious and short, so seize the day!