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    Right Where I’m Supposed to Be

    right

    By Tisha Floratos

    I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we are all led on a path to discover later that we are right where we’re supposed to be.

    My dream was to become an anchorwoman. As a young girl, I would sit in front of the mirror and recite the nightly news. My parents watched the Today Show religiously, and I had a dream that someday it would be me inside Studio 1A at Rockefeller Center. I studied journalism. I held Editor-in-Chief positions. I even created a news show called TV 1A. My passion was writing features—sharing stories about people’s struggles, triumphs, and celebrations. With so much trouble in the world, I felt it was my job to share positive, uplifting, inspiring stories. So I did!

    Throughout my college years, I had a full-time school schedule and simultaneously worked full-time as an Executive Assistant for CEOs, all the while working my way into the world of broadcast television. After spending almost a decade as a print journalist, I shifted gears and took an internship at the TV show EXTRA, and was soon offered a full-time position. I was now working side by side with people who had been in the business for years. I was a sponge, eager to learn and work my way to the Big Apple. After a few years at the studio, a friend invited me to move to San Francisco. Young, spontaneous and ready for a change, I moved to the Bay Area, all the while thinking, would this help me get closer to my dreams of New York?

    Two years later, my dream of being a news anchor in the far distance, I became Judy Dlugacz’s Executive Assistant. I vividly remember sitting in Judy’s office in Oakland, enthralled by the radical, lesbian, feminist, grassroots story of Olivia. The stories moved me, empowered me. I wanted to be part of this world.

    Judy and I connected the minute we met. I was hired. I was fortunate to go on my first Olivia cruise in 2003; it was the 30th anniversary celebration. I will never forget the feeling I experienced the minute I stepped onto the ship. Women were smiling and holding hands. There was so much love. So many friendships. A sense of feeling free. A feeling of belonging.

    That first cruise changed my life forever. A year later, Judy promoted me to lead the Travel Team, and seven years ago, I was appointed Vice President of Travel and Business Operations. I’ve seen us grow from doing four trips a year to doing as many as 15 trips a year. I’ve witnessed love found and friendships formed. I’ve met inspiring women. I’ve seen the highs and lows and it’s wonderful to see Olivia soaring! And what an incredible team we are in the office.

    Thirteen years and 70+ trips later, I have the same feeling I did when I stepped foot on my first Olivia cruise. How grateful I am to be part of a company and a community that celebrates women, diversity, love, friendship and so much more. And how grateful I am to have found my forever love through Olivia. I may not have lived my dream to be an anchorwoman. What I do know, though, is that I’m right where I’m supposed to be!

    Tisha Floratos is the Vice President of Travel and Business Operations at Olivia.