How many of us envision ourselves as a healthy, active professional when we’re 94-years-old? Before I met Lee Moczygemba, it never occurred to me I might be sharp and still engaged in my community, much less involved in business. When Lee told me her age, I laughed and said, “I don’t believe you.”
She then pulled out her wallet and showed me her driver’s license so I could verify her birthdate!
Lee Moczygemba is an amazing woman: smart, accomplished, witty, vivacious and with more drive than people half her age. Lee is currently finishing her book, Wake Up, Dress Up and Show Up, and is President of Amazing Speakers & Trainers International which provides organizations with speakers, trainers and entertainers worldwide. I wanted to know how such a successful woman, of Lee’s generation, began her career, so I went to Austin to meet her.
Beginning as a stenographer and then advancing to an executive secretary at Exxon, in Houston, Lee eventually transferred to their Corporate Worldwide Meeting & Planning division, a position she said, “changed my life.” When she learned speakers could make $5,000 for an hour—even though she had no training as a speaker—she decided she could do that. On the flip side, she also knew if she stayed at Exxon she’d have benefits for the rest of her life, a stock option plan and a “gold-plated annuity.” Lee stayed, but she had a plan. For the next year she asked her boss to let her go to every workshop and seminar that came to Houston.
“He didn’t realize I didn’t go to the seminars to learn the information,” Lee said. “I went to learn how to do a seminar.”
During that year Lee realized that while corporations spent tens of thousands of dollars sending executives to fancy resorts for training seminars, no one was training the staff. Lee had found her niche!
“I call myself a late bloomer,” Lee said. “I was 50 when I left Exxon and started my real career.
Armed with a Dale Carnegie course and her knowledge of how to train and conduct seminars, Lee Moczygemba put together an eight-session training program on Personal and Professional Development for the staff of large companies. Lee’s two-hour seminars covered topics like self-esteem, confidence, how to get along with people, communication, listening skills and dressing for business. When the course was over, she gave her attendees a signed certificate with a gold seal and a red ribbon, which most of them framed and hung on their office walls.
“That was my bread and butter,” Lee said. “I trained 3,000 people at Exxon, alone. I created another program called ‘Secretary Extraordinary.’ It was the easiest sell in the world, because then a boss’s attitude was, ‘Let’s toss the secretaries a bone and send them to ‘Miss Lee’s Charm School.’ Because the self-esteem and the impact of these classes really paid off, they were only to happy to recommend my training classes to other corporations. I went from one big company to the next.”
Lee told me her secret for staying young is, “Don’t have anything to do with old people.” By then she had me laughing and learning and loving her!
Lee Moczygemba is a pioneer and a champion of women. As the recipient of more awards than she can count, two years ago, at the age of 92, she was awarded the Gene Barnwell Waugh Mentor Award from the Women Communicators of Austin, Texas.
I don’t know about you, but Lee Moczygemba is my new role model.
She is inspirational! Thank you for introducing us to her–we need more attention paid to women who have done and continue to do great things in their lives, even after 50, 60, 70, 80…or 90.
I’m happy you liked her, because she is inspirational in so many ways. Our age group… and older, are generally overlooked unless they dress outrageously. Lee is a classy, accomplished gal who still has an amazing energy and drive. xoxox, Brenda
What a great story about an AMAZING woman! Thanks so much for sharing this!
Thank you, Laura Lee! I love strong, smart women who keep going no matter what life puts in their way. Like you!!! xoxox, Brenda
And now she is mine, too!
Oh good!!! You’ve given me a big smile! Thank you, Diane. Brenda
Wow … what a powerhouse … what an inspiration! Love being introduced to Lee’s story!
HI Juliet, Isn’t she an inspiration? She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met, much less someone who’s 94. She is definitely a powerhouse! Thanks for stopping by. I know Lee will appreciate your comment. Brenda
She’s living her life so well!
So true about waking up, dressing up, and showing up as we get older.
The more we embrace the day and like who we are as we age is such a healthy attitude!
God for her!!
Hi Robin, You’ve hit upon something that’s vitally important to our physical and mental health as we age and that’s liking ourselves. I don’t think my mother liked herself or had much self-esteem, and it caused most of her problems with herself and those around her. It broke my heart, even more so now that I have more of a perspective. “Showing up” is half the battle! I hope Lee publishes her book because it’s full of wisdom we all need. Thank you! Brenda… PS: Loved your post about Savannah and your cousins!
Wow! She is amazing! Thanks for introducing us to her!
You’re welcome, Beckye! I’m glad you liked her. xoxo, Brenda
What an amazing story! I could sit and talk to someone like her all day! Thanks for sharing Brenda!
And that’s just what I did, Elaine! LOVE SEEING YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE HERE, AGAIN!!!!! You’ve had quite a journey! xoxox, Brenda
I consider my blessed to count Lee among my friends, teachers, and mentors. She’s at the top of the list of women who inspire me! It’s so wonderful to see her featured here to show women everywhere what is possible for us all!
Thank you, Brenda for another inspiring story!
Hi Donna, I should have guessed that you knew Lee!! I know Susan does. She really is my new role model. Brenda
Having grown up in the 50’s and 60’s, I have a great appreciation for everything this woman overcame – yes, she’s now a role model for me, too.
I’m there with you, Alana. My grandmother was a professional woman and a go-getter. She may have been the only woman I knew, growing up, you had a career and excelled at it. I admire them both tremendously. xoxox, Brenda
So inspring, thank you Brenda!
Thanks for letting me know, Amy! We women of a certain age need role models and we often don’t think about women Lee’s age. I’m glad you enjoyed getting to know her. Brenda
Lee is something else! It’s her spunky attitude that I admire. My motto is, “Don’t THINK old! Embrace change and try new things.”
She’s what my Long Island raised husband would call “a pissa’“! (LI accent emphasized!)
Hey Val, I’m so glad you like Lee. She’s one amazing woman! If only I’m half that engaged and interesting. Not sure I’m getting the “pissa.” LI would be a Pie-sa… might be a Pee-sa… Hmm… Doesn’t compute in my Texas vocabulary, but I’ll think on it. xoxo, Brenda
WHAT A SMART WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THERE IS A LINE STARTING TO FOLLOW HER!!!!!!!!
HERE I AM!
Isn’t Lee amazing? She would have been a great addition to our lunch! She’ll be happy to know you’re a fan. xoxox, Brenda
no, say That’s not true… I think not every person looks like this after 90…
But she remains her health very well… So I like her efforts and wishes for life which take her to this positions…
It’s the perfect example of how our birthdays don’t have to stop us….AT ALL!!!
I loved reading this and even sent it to my mom!! I mean my mom is an inspiration herself, but she does tend to limit herself at times!!