Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates, speaking at the London Summit o...

Melinda Gates, speaking at the London Summit on Family Planning (Photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development)

I have always admired Melinda Gates.  Her philanthropy and vision regarding fighting global disease like malaria and spearheading a movement and backing it up with millions (Billions) of dollars was enough. And then I learned more about her. More about how she and Bill met. How she turned down his first date, which is incredibly brave, as he was her boss. She was valedictorian of her high school and achieved her degree in economics and computer science from Duke.  This year Duke awarded her an honorary doctorate for her philanthropic efforts. They have three children: Katherine, Phoebe and Rory. She is quite notably a brave woman who changes her hair color almost as often as I do. “Girls are the most powerful catalyst for change on the planet.”  She’s leading the pack quite nicely. It takes a strong stomach to lead a conversation about family planning, immunizations and the American education system problems.

“We’re both optimists. We believe by doing these things—focusing on a few big goals and working with our partners on innovative solutions—we can help every person get the chance to live a healthy, productive life.”

These two remind me of the visionaries that founded America. She deserves an award for keeping her head about her when wealth is beyond measure. Plus, she seems like someone I would love to have over for dinner.  It might be hard to convince her to leave her mansion on Lake Washington, but I would make her butternut squash lasagna and serve a crisp white burgundy for the occasion.