Betsy Billard
58, NYC

What do you do for work?
I’m a Private Wealth Advisor and have my own practice with Ameriprise Financial. Been in business for 23 years and LOVE what I do. Have offices in NYC and LA

Funniest dating story?
I had a first date with someone and was rushed to an emergency room because I ate a dessert with nuts in it. I am severely allergic. My date went with me to the ER and she stayed with me til my brother showed up. The next day she told me that she wanted to check on me to see if I was ok. She told me she wanted to see me again but only if I wrote down all my allergies so that a server could see it all clearly and show it to the chef.  I really wanted a second date with her so I ran out to FedEx and made 500 cards listing my allergies. We did have a second date and then wound up together for a decade.

Biggest personal goals?
My personal goals are several—to be open to all possibilities in life. To book a trip to Africa. To workout hard and nail on my 1-2 combo in boxing. To be a rock for my people. To fall in love again with a great woman.

Favorite book?
Hard to say. I’m a voracious reader.  I read everything. Lately, I have loved Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas. Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich. The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams. Save Me The Plums by Ruth Reichl.

Favorite movies?
Cinema Paradiso
and Broadcast News.

Last google search?
For a quiet restaurant anywhere in NYC. Does that actually exist?

Your coming out story?
I came out to my parents and sibs in 1978. Not an easy time to be out. I was in my first year of college. I knew I was gay since I was a little girl. Didn’t know what to call it then but I always knew I liked girls a little more than most other girls liked girls :). It felt isolating and scary and also felt bold and brave. I marched in a pride parade the next year and it led to a life of activism. Raising money for AIDS in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 80s. Have sat on LGBT Boards and chaired one of them. Now I am on Maria Shriver’s Board of Directors for her organization The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. I am so amazed by the progress of my community since Stonewall. We are a beautiful people. Happy Pride to all who celebrate or who have friends and family who do. Your support really matters.

What’s your motto?
Lead with empathy. Always.

Tags : WOW
The Woolfer Newsletter Team
Stephanie Staal and Nina Collins have worked together and adored each other since 1994 when they were both babies in the world of book publishing. Stephanie is a lawyer, journalist, & author of READING WOMEN, and Nina is the founder of "What Would Virginia Woolf Do?" Hillary Richard is also a lawyer and co-host of the Raging Gracefully podcast. Sidney Morss is a recent NYU grad and the youngest member of our team.

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