I decided to start the Conversations with Hilary series so I could feature incredibly interesting people that inspire me and who I thought were making a positive impact in the community. The extraordinary people that I have been lucky enough to interview range from NFL superstars to actors, artists, musicians and philanthropists. After almost two years of this series and thousands of page views on the PlumpJack Blog, I feel honored with the response I have received from the audience. My favorite part is getting to know my friends a lot better as they thoughtfully consider the answers to my questions. It was only recently that it occurred to me that I had never done the exercise of answering the questions myself. If you know me, I am mostly an open book, but for those of you who want to know a little bit more about who I am and what I am passionate about, well then, here it is, my version of Conversations with Hilary, featuring ME!
What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment?
My daughters Talitha and Siena – they are growing into compassionate young ladies, who care about others in a genuine way. This is all I could ever hope for as a parent! And I am proud of my strong marriage to my husband Geoff Callan, one of the most loving and hilarious people I have ever known.
Do you have a prized possession?
I have a Cartier “love bracelet” that belonged to my mom. She gave it to me to borrow when she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. One of the best days for me was when I gave it back to her when she was in remission. Sadly, I have the bracelet back on, for good, since loosing my mom to cancer in 2002.
What qualities do you think others love about you?
I think people would say I am loyal and (mostly) kind! I think I am occasionally funny, but maybe that is just wishful thinking.
If you could do anything other than what you currently do, what would it be?
Philanthropy brings me great joy, so I would love to eventually run the PlumpJack Foundation. This will happen, I just need more time!
What do you like most about what you do for a living/career?
I am in the business of making people happy. When I came to PlumpJack to work for my brother Gavin, I never imagined I would be here 19 years later and still having so much fun! What is there not to like about the world of hospitality.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Reflect on how many times my two toy poodles woke me during the night! Then revisit the very vivid dreams I had.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
Have dinner at my best friend Lori Puccinelli Stern’s house. She is a great cook and throws a great dinner party!
What were you passionate about in your younger years growing up?
Making people happy. My youngest daughter says that to me now- that she only wants to make people happy. I think that is something that has stayed with me over the years, my desire to be a people-pleaser.
What are you passionate about now?
Helping people, even if it’s one person at a time. Raising my daughters to be good citizens, loving my family and friends.
What’s your favorite season and why?
I love the fall. I love the cooler weather (I have great coats!) and that the holidays are right around the corner.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what three items would you want to have with you?
Can we consider my husband Geoff, and my daughters Tali and Siena items? Probably not, so I would take pallet of Teas’ Tea in Golden Oolong flavor, my iPhone for audiobooks and a really big solar light, as I am afraid of the dark!
What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? Anything performed by Eoin Harrington, I especially love his rendition of “Hallelujah.” I’m also a big fan Pat Monahan of Train!
If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Well considering Hillary Clinton was just in SF having “Conversations with Hillary” I was a little hurt she didn’t invite me, so looks like I will have to invite her!
If your life was made into a movie, what would it be called?
“Chaordic”, the story of a happy life filled with organized Chaos. My husband would suggest, “Wonder Woman: The Unauthorized Biography of Hilary Newsom.”
Do you have any regrets?
That all I tried to do for my mom, it was not enough.
Physically: Feeling safe in your home, in your city, in your country.
What are your personal core values?
I value loyalty, approachability, and being compassionateabove all.