PalmSprings.com Spotlight Feature: An Interview with Mary T. Roche Community Leadership Award-Winner, Madeline Redstone

MadelineMRedstoneMadeline Redstone served as the Managing Director of Bear Stearns & Co. before retiring into a life of giving back. She currently serves on the Board for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the Nashoba Brooks School, the Palm Springs Museum, the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation and the Palm Springs Film Festival.  She is also a member of the Children’s Trust of the Boston Children’s Medical Center.

She will be honored with the “Mary T. Roche Community Leadership Award” on Friday, January 29, 2016 at The Women Leaders Forum (WLF) of the Coachella Valley’s 4th Annual “Women Who Rule” Fundraiser presented by Desert Regional Medical Center.

Kate Buckley: Madeline, where are you from originally, and what brought you to the Palm Springs area?

Madeline Redstone: I’m from New Jersey and New York. I came here with my husband and youngest son for a holiday vacation.  My husband fell in love with the desert and we ended up buying a house on that vacation.  After two years, we bought a larger house and started spending more time here.

KB: Congratulations on both your career and philanthropic achievements and on receiving the prestigious Mary T. Roche Community Leadership Award! Can you tell me about any mentors or role models who were instrumental to you in your journey?

MR: Actually, I mentored myself in business.  I was widowed at 32 with three young sons and went to work on Wall Street.  Since I had to provide for the boys and myself, I worked very hard and loved the business. As far as a role model, Betty Ford was surely my idol.  She had the dignity and strength to confront addiction and breast cancer in public which no woman or man had ever done.  Mrs. Ford faced her illnesses with dignity and grace.

KB: You’ve said this will be the greatest honor you’ve received because it honors what you are doing with your life. What do you personally see as your legacy for future women leaders?

MR: The Mary T. Roche award is so important to me because it validates my life of giving back.  My own recovery 10 years ago at the Betty Ford Center, enabled me to work with women and children to have a better life.  I lived and worked in a man’s word and learned that it can be done.  To me the strongest human is a mother and a wife or companion and I’m humbled by the award.

I would like to think that I’ll leave a legacy of trying, giving and kindness.  Asking for help wasn’t easy for me, but I now see that I could not have succeeded without the help from others.  I hope that all women will follow “Get up, get dressed, and get out, no matter what.”

KB: What do you believe is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

MR: My greatest strength is my love of my family and friends.  I’ve lost two husbands and a son; they have all been with me with love and support.  Impatience is my weakness. I need to count to ten most of the time.

KB: What does a typical day look like for you?

MR: I wake up at 6am.  I’ll always be on East Coast time.  After reading the newspapers and doing my crossword puzzles, I start my phone calls for planning the day. There are numerous meetings and I do play golf on some mornings. I do read a lot both fiction and non-fiction. Dinner is usually out with friends or at home.

KB: You do quite a bit of community fundraising and work for some very important causes. Which cause is closest to your heart and why?

MR: The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is very close to my heart.  That is where my recovery started and where I see miracles every day.  The Children’s Program which the character Beamer is a part of, is close to my heart. Eisenhower Medical Center is also a priority of mine.

KB: When you’re not hard at work, what activities do you enjoy in and around Greater Palm Springs?

MR: As an avid reader, I am thrilled to have the Rancho Mirage Writer’s Festival here in January.  Reading is learning and learning helps us grow.

KB: Are there any upcoming Palm Springs events you’re particularly excited about or would like for our readers to know about?

MR: I’m looking forward to the Beamer Gala in January.  This dinner raises money for the Children’s Program at Betty Ford.  We are able to provide free services for young children who come from homes where there is addiction.  Also Eisenhower Hospital’s 45th Anniversary is coming up in January.  The money raised there benefits all of us in the Valley.

KB: What is it you love most about the community of Palm Springs?

MR: I love the peacefulness and camaraderie of the community.  The desert is a true gem.

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