What do you think the daughter of an American diplomat learns as a result of knowing her mother was selected and approved by Congress to be a U.S. Ambassador? A complete list is impossible. However, honestly, it’s a giant confirmation that all the life lessons, detailed teachings and real life learning she’s demonstrated to me through out my life are a huge gift to me and others. I’m beyond honored and elated to list her here as a one of my partners.
When asked in a 1996 interview to describe what the experience serving in the Iowa Senate is like, Mom responded with the following, “To be in politics I think one must have a core of integrity that is not negotiable. Once that’s established the work can really begin.” Her integrity is unwavering.
Also, in our family we have often joked about Lecture 432-b, which truly isn’t a lecture, but a gentle reminder from my Grandfather, Ross Barnett, Mary’s dad, who was famous for quoting a phrase from the book of Luke in the New Testament. “To whom much is given, much is expected.” “Words to live by,” so we say; a frequent theme for my mother she often included in opening day speeches at the Senate, awards acceptance speeches, or inspirational talks to young people just beginning along their career paths. She also used this at the State Dept. the day she was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. Any one that has spent any amount of time around my mother knows that she’s truly applied this phrase to her life.
Mary Kramer, or Mom is passionate about people and being engage in “stuff” that matters. Her life’s successes have been built upon her commitment to all her responsibilities, opportunities, and disciplines. She has a wealth of personal and professional friendships you cannot help but admire, and throughout her 50+ years as a woman professional she has continually exceeded the expectations of others. She embraces all the gifts that life has blessed her with, and she gives back to the lives of others through her special gifts and blessings.