Author, businesswoman and mom, Kay Wills Wyma has the resume to step into the “C suite” of many companies, but she has chosen the “E suite” instead—“entitlement.” A mother of five kids, Kay committed a year of her life (and their lives) to beating back the rising tide of entitlement that many feel is uniquely equipping the next generation to struggle in school, work and life. The results of her efforts are much more capable children and her book, Cleaning House—A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement.
Business and the White House
Before tackling her current challenge, Kay started her career in the competitive Dallas commercial real estate market with The Staubach Companies, founded by NFL Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. With wider horizons calling, Kay left the business world for a time, working in Washington, D.C., in the White House and covering the globe working with Vice President Dan Quayle and his wife, Marilyn. (She visited every state except Alaska.)
Thunderbird and Dallas
After White House work, Kay earned her MBA from the prestigious Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. Kay then returned to her native Texas, working in Dallas in international finance with what is now known as Bank of America.
Entrepreneur, Mom . . . and Author
Married to Jon and mom to five kids, Kay created a home-based business selling packaged and premeasured ingredients for gourmet cookies. Her clients spanned the country and included top-tier retailers such as Neiman-Marcus. But describing herself with typical self-deprecating humor as a “recovering enabler,” Kay took note of the self-esteem generation she and friends were raising. It was a generation of children told “you can do anything,” but actually prepared to do very little.
Cleaning House charts, with humor, wisdom and practical insight, how the Wyma family learned to turn around on that road and head the other way.
As Kay says, “Here’s to seeing what can happen when we tell our kids, ‘I believe in you, and I’m going to prove it by putting you to work.’”
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