Christine Beckwith Takes Stage at mPower Event to Talk Safety

(Christine Beckwith, by Anneliese Mahoney)

NEW ORLEANS–Christine Beckwith, CEO of 20/20 Vision for Success Coaching & Consulting, Laconia, N.H., spoke about setting boundaries and safety tips for business women during a presentation May 21.

The presentation was part of an mPower event held during the Mortgage Bankers Association Commercial/Multifamily Finance Servicing and Technology Conference here.

In addition to a career spanning more than three decades in the mortgage industry, Beckwith has written a number of books, including “Clear Boundaries: Every Business Woman’s Essential Safety Guide.”

Beckwith listed some incidences in her life that drove her to advocate for safety, including a colleague and friend, Nikki Evangelous, who was killed by an acquaintance while Beckwith was in college. Additionally, Beckwith spoke about her colleague, Colleen Brownell, who was killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2017, along with Brownell’s sister.

Beckwith also talked about instances in which she’s personally felt unsafe, including when a seemingly inebriated man followed her into a hotel elevator and behaved aggressively.

“We don’t think we need this. We think it only happens to other people. I had the ability to know at 18 years old that this does happen to you, and it can happen very close to you,” Beckwith said, referencing Evangelous’ murder.

Beckwith provided a series of tips for the assembled crowd–and noted there were significantly more in her book addressing myriad situations both personal and professional.

For example, she reminded listeners to be alert and aware in public–she asked: “How many times are walking with our heads down, on our phones, or earbuds in?”

She also noted that surveys of violent perpetrators indicate that women fighting back, viscerally, can make a difference.

In terms of business-travel-specific locations such as hotels, she pointed to the need to be vigilant in dark or poorly lit parking lots, pointing out that hotels will often send someone to escort guests if they feel unsafe, or provide other assistance.

Among other recommendations, she told listeners to make sure their phones are charged and in a reachable place if in a hotel. She also encouraged them to research how to activate the SOS or help function on their phones, noting that all Apple iPhones, at least, come with that functionality.

Ultimately, Beckwith told attendees to trust their instincts.

“We can’t be over-cautious. I would rather be wrong in my gut and take action in some sort of way that may or may not embarrass me over not taking action and wishing that I had,” Beckwith said. “And so please listen to your gut. If you feel that something is speaking to you, stay alert.”