“What’s Bonnie Going to Do?!”

“What’s Bonnie Going to Do?!”

camping and hiking in mountains

Ever since Jim’s Succession Letter went out last month announcing that Forrest has become President of Bell Investment Advisors, people have been asking me about my own plans for 2019, as if now I would be joining the Peace Corps or the circus, or finding a new job, or traveling to the Far East all on my own.

I have observed for years that most people are a little uncomfortable when they hear about other people’s career/life transitions, be they layoffs or promotions or “quittings” or firings or retirements. As normal human beings, we want things settled, definitely not “up in the air;” definitely settled. We like to hear about plans when they’re all set, not when they are unfolding. So the answers to your questions about my own transition from decades of entrepreneurial endeavors to partial retirement is partially complete and partially incomplete. Is that perfectly partially clear?

Let’s start with what I consider to be The Big News, which is that I have found someone I consider to be the perfect person to begin taking on all new career coaching clients at Bell. I will continue to work with my current coaching clients and former coaching clients when and if they return and wish to continue working with me. I will continue to write for the Opening Bell and will continue my blog at least for the coming year. I’ll tell you more as the future unfolds. I want to take some time to get used to the new me with more free time in my life. I don’t want to start filling up all the open spaces.

Finding someone to continue the coaching offer at Bell beyond my own employment has been a major concern of mine for a very long time, and a primary endeavor this past year. I am deeply gratified to introduce to all of you, Jane Micallef (pronounced “McAlif” accent on the “Mic”), a Certified Professional and Leadership Development Coach, with expertise and certification in Whole Brain Theory and Strategies that improve individual, team and organizational performance. She holds a Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall School of Law, and prior to working in management for almost 20 years at the City of Berkeley, she was the Executive Director of the Homeless Action Center in Berkeley where she provided legal representation for over five years for those experiencing homelessness.

I first met Jane when she was working for the City of Berkeley as the Director of Housing & Community Services and I was the President of the Board of the Chaplaincy to the Homeless in Berkeley. Our lives intersected for several years having to do with issues of homelessness, but eventually our lives and work took us in different directions and we lost touch. We always held each other in high regard.

Then toward the end of 2017, when I was thinking a lot about how I was going to go about finding just the right person to match the needs at Bell, I was shopping on Fourth Street in Berkeley when I heard someone calling my name. I stopped walking at my brisk pace to see who it was. There stood Jane -Micallef emerging out of the fog of several years. She said, “Bonnie Bell! It’s Jane -Micallef!” As soon as I came to my senses, I said, “Jane! What are you doing these days?” Her answer blew my mind. She said, clear as a bell, “I’m a coach now! I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you to let you know. Are you still coaching? Her voice sort of trailed off while inside I was saying to myself, “Whoa!! Did you hear that??? She’s a coach!!” Everything sort of stood still while this registered and we exchanged contact information.

Soon Jane and I were having monthly conversations about everything having to do with coaching, and eventually, along about June, the conversations started getting more specific about her beginning to take on the new coaching referrals at Bell. It became clear that we were thinking along the same lines. She came in to meet the staff and the staff was in agreement that Jane seemed to be a great fit for our needs.

By the time you read this, Jane’s photo and bio will be on our website so you will be able to see her for yourself and contact her via her email at Bell: jmicallef@bellinvest.com. When you email her, she will follow up with you to arrange an initial phone conversation. Following that initial contact, the two of you will determine whether or not it makes sense for you to meet in person for the free consultation in our office. During that time, you can tell her more about your situation, she can tell you more about how she might be able to help, and together you can determine if you want to proceed with some coaching sessions.

Meanwhile, I’ll be fairly easy to reach by email or message at Bell, and will be in the office regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ll tell you more about what I’m doing as plans begin to unfold. Thank you for your interest!

Our dear Bonnie Bonetti-Bell was the force behind our Career/Life Coaching services, until her passing in 2019. As a principal of our firm, Bonnie had an innate talent for seeing the best in people. Moreover, she helped others see the best in themselves. Bonnie is fondly remembered and deeply missed.

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