When the term “Renaissance man or woman” is used, it does not mean that the person really lived in the Renaissance. It can be used for anyone who is very clever at many different things, no matter when that person lived. Mae Jemison, the first female, African-American astronaut, is considered a Renaissance woman because she is also a professor, a scientist and a physician.
The modern woman is expected to do it all, from juggling careers to picking up the kids at school. It’s a lot of pressure to be under. Fortunately for Soroptimist International of Huntington Beach, we have an extraordinary multi-talented Renaissance woman steering our ship as our President and that woman is….Georgette Sleeth!
Prior to launching The Girl Cave, “an extraordinary gathering place for business events and celebrations”, Georgette worked in the corporate world for 14 years for one of the top exercise equipment manufacturers in the country. She began that career as the Accounts Payable Manager but quickly moved over the sales department as the Sales Finance Manager. She said her responsibilities included everything from calculating commissions to acting as an “unofficial therapist to stressed out sales reps!”
And if being an entrepreneur running her own business is not enough, Georgette also helped out one of our sister Soroptimist’s, Heather Maestas, as an “elf” in Heather’s business, Nothing Bundt Cakes, over the Christmas holidays and did some business consulting too. Here’s something you may not have known about Georgette: Before she opened The Girl Cave, she moonlighted as a spin instructor and completed three marathons and several sprint-distance triathlons. No wonder she has so much energy!
Georgette was born in New York, moved with her family to Florida when she was 11 and by the age of 12 was living in southern California. She said she attended 5 schools before 7thgrade. While attending a bachelorette party at a bar in downtown Huntington Beach, Georgette met her husband of 18 years, Nick. Together they have two boys, Jake, 13, and Justin, 12, both who play baseball. Having boys is a challenge for “girly-girl”, Georgette, who is a crafter extraordinaire, especially when it comes to anything having to do with paper. In her spare time (what spare time?), Georgette loves to read and says she is “ashamed to admit” that she is “addicted to Spider Solitaire on her ipad!”
Before the kids came along, Georgette and Nick travelled all over the world, including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and parts of South America and Europe. She said their travel slowed down “considerably” after having kids but they do manage to take an annual family vacation to Hawaii each Thanksgiving and she also tries to get back to New York every couple of years to visit family back there.
Prior to joining Soroptimist, Georgette was the captain of a cycling team that rode 100 miles each year to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. Her team set “many, many” records during the years, including the largest Friends & Family team (at their largest, they had 106 riders) and were also top fundraisers (they raised just under a $1,000,000 in the 10 years they rode). For the past 8 years, Georgette has sponsored a boy in Honduras. She looks forward to his letters and photos and takes pride in knowing that in “some small way” she is helping him get an education.
So what made Georgette decide to become a Soroptimist? In her own words, “I had never heard of Soroptimist until I was approached by a member (I think it was Sue Gordon), who was looking for something unique to do for the monthly program meeting. We planned a private Bunco night for SIHB at The Girl cave, and I loved the kindness and energy of the women I met at that event.” Kimberly Kent, club co-president at that time, invited Georgette to attend a meeting and she loved how welcoming everyone was. Georgette had recently launched The Girl Cave (September 2012) and was extremely busy getting her business “off the ground” and felt sad that, due to her crazy schedule, her involvement with charities had fallen by the wayside. Georgette joined SIHB in September 2013 because, she saw our club and Soroptimist as a great way to give back to the community without having to worry about a huge time commitment (Ha! Ha! Ha! Boy, did we ever fool her!!! Before her first year was up, she joined the Board as Recording Secretary and has been our President for the past 2 years!)
Georgette says that being a Soroptimist means “being a part of something that truly makes a positive impact in the world.” She says she has had many moments of pride as a member of SIHB when she has witnessed, first hand, how much our efforts have helped women and children in our community.
Georgette says she “so admires the women in this group and their willingness to step up and help someone in need, “and I say, Georgette, the feeling is so mutual! Thank you for your creativity, your tireless energy, your stepping up and your giving back. We love you!!!