Twenty-five years ago, I moved to Russia on a one-way ticket and embarked on an amazing adventure that led me to Mary Kay, and to a life very different from the one I had imagined for myself. The words my mother told me at the time, when I had no job and no real plans were, “luck is preparedness meeting opportunity.” While we cannot control luck, we can definitely be prepared to embrace every opportunity that comes our way! 

This means approaching life with the right attitude, and the willingness to work hard.


Of course, we all know that sometimes things just don’t happen the way we want them to.  That’s where DETERMINATION is essential to success.  As our founder Mary Kay Ash said, “The definition of successful people is simply ordinary people with extraordinary determination.”

I was determined. 

I was determined to be prepared, to be open to new opportunities, to be ready to change my plan and to be smart enough to know a great opportunity.  It’s about grit and determination – the courage, resolve and strength of character to be unstoppable no matter what comes our way.

I found a great opportunity to work at Mary Kay.

I started my Mary Kay career upon the opening of Russia as the third employee and was paid only in products… yet I could see the opportunity that existed. It was through hard work, passion and a determination to succeed that have led to my role as President of the Europe Region today. I led the start-up teams for Mary Kay Ukraine, Mary Kay Kazakhstan and Mary Kay Poland – all of which have become successful markets for Mary Kay. Parallel to developing markets, I took on an increasing responsibility in country management, including in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2002, I became President of the Europe Region, taking on management of additional countries and subsequently opening new markets. My journey, just like many others, has been filled with both successes and challenges, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! 

Mary Kay Ash was also famously quoted as saying, “There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. We all have a choice. You can decide which type of person you want to be.”

Those are simple yet powerful words! We, at Mary Kay, are all people who make things happen and who even more so make positive things happen. We make plans, we work hard, and even when we do not achieve our goals, we set new ones. And we keep dreaming and striving and taking action every day!

Of course, I am sure that we have all stumbled at some point or another in our lives.  That is how we learn and grow.  It is part of life.  But like our founder, Mary Kay Ash, we have determination; we have grit. We have and will always stay focused on our mission of enriching women’s lives and being the very best we can be.

I can. We can. We are Mary Kay.