Meet a Member: Rosemary Carroll

I first remember working with Rosemary Carroll in 1989. Idaho hosted the NFPW conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Rosemary was elected NFPW president at that meeting. That was one of my first experiences working with NFPW leadership as we organized that successful conference. It was a pleasure getting to know this talented professional who has enjoyed such a varied professional career. She is already making plans to join us next fall for the NFPW conference in Kansas. I know many of our members will enjoy rekindling our friendship with this unique and unbelievable NPFW member.

Name: Rosemary Lalevée Carroll

Rosemary Carroll

Rosemary Carroll

City and State: Annandale, New Jersey

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Past President of New Jersey and Massachusetts affiliates, Third, Second and First Vice President of NFPW (1984-1989) and President of NFPW 1989-1991.

Years a member of NFPW: 42 years

Tell us a little about you.

I have enjoyed a storied career in newspapering, public relations and fundraising, moving from New Jersey, to Illinois and Massachusetts, and back to New Jersey. How exciting it was to be the first editor of The Lawrence Ledger (NJ); to direct public relations for Plimoth Plantation, telling the Pilgrim and Wampanoag Indian stories; and then development and public relations director for The Seeing Eye, touching hearts on how special Seeing Eye dogs safely guide and love their blind owners. I also headed up public relations and development at three hospitals, one each in New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Along the way I met Svetlana Alliluyeva, Helen Thomas, Betty White, Princess Nori of Japan and the Crown Prince, Julia Child, Tom Brokaw, Joan Lunden, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Malcolm Forbes, Tonda Rush, Joan Barthel, governors, senators, and others of note. I received local, state and national awards for my work, many from NFPW, and the Athena Award while working in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first recipient of the award in that state.

In 2003 I received a Master’s in Theology which led, ultimately, to my present work as director of Seton Associates, the lay affiliate of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. In 2014, I graduated with a Certification as a Spiritual Director from An Croí Wisdom Institute and Celtic Spirit Center in Drogheda, Ireland to complement my work and to provide spiritual direction to those seeking a closer relationship with the Divine.

I have served on many boards with two favorites: Josephine’s Place, a storefront in Elizabeth (NJ) where immigrant women can feel at home while learning English, computer and business skills, prepare for the US Citizenship Exam, and other job-related skills; and ChangeALife Uganda that empowers families and women through education, micro-finance loans and jobs, and health care. I sponsor lovely Bridget, paying her tuition all through private school – with a commitment to underwrite her college tuition. Two years ago I spent two life-changing weeks in Uganda at the sites we support.

My wonderful newspaper editor husband Ed died suddenly in 2008, just before retirement, and who knew then that I would be doing all that I am now! We reared three great sons and many dogs. It has been an incredible journey!

Any career advice you would give?

Do what you love and you’ll have fun doing it and doing it well! Put your signature touch on the work you do. Don’t be afraid to re-invent yourself every now and then because the challenge is good, and it keeps your mind and body energized. Trust in your abilities!

Which talent would you most like to have?

Play the piano.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Santa Barbara, California, in a small hacienda on a hill over-looking the Pacific, or in southern France near Avignon – in a chateau of course, or a cottage on an island off the western coast of Ireland, but really where I am in rural, serene Hunterdon County, New Jersey – close to New York, airport, so much.

What book are you reading?

Peter the Great by Robert Masse which transports you through so much Russian history and life. Already read Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman also by Masse. Both are fabulous reads and offer a fascinating framework for understanding contemporary Russia. Also reading Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now and What the Mystics Know – both underscore our need to live in the now, the present, and to be energized by the inner spirit.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

In grade school, I was a terrible stutterer. By high school I discovered that if I replaced the “trauma” word with a synonym I didn’t stutter. Being a word person helped! Turns out that is a recommended therapy but in my case I did it on my own.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I attended the formation meeting of the New Jersey affiliate back in the early 1970’s, and was the youngest one present. The older, more experienced professional women accepted me as a peer. I never forgot that or how it felt. Moving through state and national gatherings, it was always the same: professionals welcoming and valuing each other for themselves and for the work they did. As a younger member, I was impressed by veterans still writing regardless of age. Now I’m a writer of a certain age and I am still working! Still writing! Affiliates and NFPW nurture and sustain the professional and personal self-confidence that enriches and advances our careers and lead us to fulfilling lives.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

Yikes! Not on any!!

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