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Member Story - Meet Barb Regnier

Interviewed by  Kimberly Zadeh, Chicago chapter

Barb, nephews wedding

Barb Regnier joined the Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter in 2018, before retiring in 2021 from a 38-year career in IT. She lived and worked in Chicago, Dallas, Memphis, Pittsburg and Detroit over the years, finally returning to Minnesota, where she grew up and went to college.

She has a passion for travel. In March, she had just returned from three months in warm and sunny Palm Spring, Cabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta.

Back home again
When my job finally brought me back home to Minnesota, I had the pleasure of connecting with people of different ages who share an interest in playing golf. None of us have children, so we have a lot of flexibility to get together. We plan annual golf outings around the state.

Some of the members of my golf group are much older than I am and are starting to slow down. I realized that I needed to find some additional friends who are more my age. Women's Connection has been a great way to connect with women who share my interests.

How did you discover Women's Connection?
I was thinking about retiring when I came across the Women in Transition program in an online search. I went to the website and love what I saw! I thought, these are the kinds of people I want to be with and the things I want to do! I joined for two years sight unseen. I went to the WIT workshop and was in awe. It was such a good experience! I knew I had made the right choice to join.

How are you involved in your chapter?
I wasn’t so active when I first joined because I was still working full time as a systems analyst. Now I’m in several SIGS, including a hiking group, a mini golf group, an art appreciation group and a games group that meets in the winter.

I also enjoy volunteering to support our chapter. In addition to serving as treasurer, I help plan events and luncheons. I take pride in using some of my tech skills to do our newsletter and manage our website pages. I also help with facilitation and provide Zoom support for many of our virtual events, including our “Saging” program and most recently for the transgender program we hosted.

What are you enjoying most about retirement?
The freedom of retirement allowed me to explore my love for travel, which had been somewhat constrained when I was working. When my last job brought me back here, the first trip I booked was to Alaska. Since then, I’ve explored Ireland, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand. I’m looking forward to my upcoming safari trip to South Africa in November with my sister and a close friend, and then to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands next year.

I also love warm weather, so every winter I head to Palm Springs for a month or so and then spend a couple weeks in Mexico with my sister.

Outside of travel and Women's Connection engagements, volunteering adds a sense of fulfillment to my life. My involvement with Second Harvest Heartland and ushering at two local theaters provides me with the perfect balance, allowing me to control the extent to which I commit my time.

What would you say to other women who are thinking about joining Women's Connection?
You’ll love the members of Women's Connection! Everyone has had interesting careers and they have diverse skills and experiences. You can learn so much from so many people. Don’t hesitate, just dive in and join even if you aren’t sure. It’s such a good way to form initial connections that deepen over time. I have gained wonderful friendships with phenomenal women.


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