Investor Relations and Communications Director, Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation

 2019 Women Of Influence Summit | Dear Younger Me

As we prepare for #Summit2019 we thought it would be fun for all you to get to know our speakers. So we've interviewed each one to share a little about them and what they are looking forward to at this years Women of Influence Summit! Read below to learn a little about Sonja Gidlow! 

Tell us about your education and career path:

It’s circuitous! I have a B.S. in Design from the University of MN, a M.S. in Community Counseling from St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and Ed.D. (doctorate) in Higher Education Administration from SCSU. I've had a number of career roles including Human Resources management, executive administration in higher education, certified life coaching, and marketing and communications.

What is the best part of your job?

Writing and creative thinking/solutioning.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I do inline skating marathons (26.2 miles).

What is your favorite family tradition?

Isabel Sandwich. My husband and I have one daughter, now 21. Since she was a baby we’ve both hugged her at the same time, one facing her front and one facing her back, so she’s in the middle, our arms reaching around all three so she’s trapped in between. She laughs while pretending to complain. We still do this even though she is a young adult. Someone randomly says “Isabel Sandwich” and we know what to do!

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

A Woman’s Thirst

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to ride a horse effortlessly.  I’ve taken lessons but alas, it is not to be.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Graphic artist, gardener, painter, or writer.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?

Sweden. It’s my  father’s homeland. He immigrated to the U.S. when he was 23. My family traveled to Sweden when I was 14 and I met my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for the first time.

What is your favorite meal? 

One where friends and family are around the table.

How do you keep a healthy work-life balance?

Sufficient sleep. I love a good 9 hours. Anything less than 8 and I’m wobbly.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? 

Our daughter.

What book do you most often recommend to others and why? 

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. The quality of his mind and writing give me pause. I read sentences and paragraphs over and over because they are so interesting and lovely. To say he “has a way with words” is a serious understatement.

How has Next Monday been of value to you and your career?

I belong to a tribe of kindred spirits who provide support on all aspects of life.

What is your favorite memory from past Summit events?

Bernie Perryman’s Option B video in 2018. 

What are you looking forward to at the 2019 Women of Influence Summit?

Gaining more personal insights on life and living.

What are you hoping to share with fellow attendees at the Women of Influence Summit?

Everyone’s on a life-long journey and no one has it figured out.
Topics: Spotlight
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