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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

To my sisters and brother, Nancy, Suzanne and Phil: Thank you so much for your support, love, laughter, and truth. Thanks for your time and sincere encouragement that is never a question. I love you.

A hearty thanks goes to my very personal board of directors—my dear and great friends. I am a blessed and lucky woman to have you in my life. Thank you for your friendship always, but especially in the year I was deciding to change my life. Your support, patience, kindness, insight, and advice helped me a great deal. Your generosity of spirit, experience and courage are alive in these pages. Also, in loving memory and in the exuberant spirit of my dear friend Lynne Thigpen.

To my closest non-sister sister, Janet Riccio. Janet, words cannot describe the depths of my thanks to you. Your intervention when I was lonely and low taught me a most valuable life lesson that I will carry for the rest of my life: People who love you want to help you, just ask. You challenged me to speak my whole truth to you so that I could finally hear myself. Spaghetti vongole will never be the same again.

A huge thanks goes to my agent, Rob Wilson. Rob, thank you for taking me on as a first-time author. Your guidance and belief in my work validated the efforts and kept me going. Your support and diligence made this happen.

I could not have been more fortunate than to be associated with Prentice Hall, especially as my first experience as an author. Every person I worked with was upbeat, honest, generous, willing and professional. Special salute to Executive Editor Tim Moore for amassing a great team and for granting my contract for Kingmaker. Thank you, thank you, thank you! May there be more.

The intimacy and vulnerability involved in sharing your voice with a stranger is a daunting and intimidating experience. Development Editor Russ Hall is one tough Texan and we worked each other hard. Russ, you were spot-on with your suggestions and you probably didn’t bargain on being my teacher and mentor, too. Your work made every bit of difference in this book. I’ll never look at a pronoun, a split infinitive, or a fishing rod the same way again.

Louis Columbus, Cleo Coy, and Teresa Horton helped to keep the book on message, on key, and in full comma. Thanks to Mary Jo DeFranco for the cover and Vanessa Moore for your kind and skilled handling of the format, look and feel of the book. You two gave this book its face.

To all of the great bosses I’ve had: Thank you for challenging your workforce while caring about the integrity of the environment. A special thanks goes to Ray Heacox for the collaboration that was the highlight of my career. To all of my not-so-great bosses, thank you for making me stronger. You will see more of yourselves in Chapter 18.

To all of my wonderful former colleagues who continue to be my friends: Thank you for your alliance, support, challenge, learning and kindness through the years and for your insights that appear in this book. To those who chose competition over collaboration and ego over confidence: There is still hope.

I hope you will enjoy this book.

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