Everyone calls Norina “Ms G,” and she loves it! And, we love Norina because she is the kind of heartfelt human who brings a care package of clothes, toiletries, underwear and mouthwash to gift to a homeless person every time she is goes into New York City. During her younger years, Norina was a department store model and a charm school instructor. — she recently retired as the Assistant Superintendent of a Long Island School district, while also working as a New York City talent and venue Promoter and running her own Event Consulting firm by night, for over 35 years. Norina says she always worked three jobs because she was a single mother and had to provide for her twins — Shayna and Earl.
Norina is also the survivor of domestic abuse. It was her second marriage … she knew him since she was 17 … they were off-and-on business partners over the years. After two years of marriage, she suspected he was having an affair and was preparing to leave him…that night, he beat her. She looked in the mirror, called the cops and walked away — and she never looked back. She needed to be a strong example for her children, especially her daughter. She also wanted to send a message to all women which is how her Podcast – “CONVERSATIONS: WOMEN CAN WE TALK?” – was born. She wants women to know they never need to be ashamed by circumstance — “You need to move on, even if you have scars,” Norina says. And, she encourages women to be empowered to help each other and keep themselves safe!
Norina is also a loving and exceptional friend. She says she has been blessed with the 5 most wonderful female friends, EVER — they are her ‘posse’. Their birthdays are all in March and Norina cooks one huge family dinner for all of them and gives each friend a personal and thoughtful gift around a different theme, every single year. She says, “We all feed off of each other’s strengths and diverse backgrounds.” Mama Connie is the mother hen of the group and a fashion designer for clothes made of leather and suede, she is an angel to all, and could design your house like nobody’s business! Madonna guides them in all legal affairs and always plays ‘devil’s3 advocate’. LInda was in the medical field, and Louisa is the hair stylist and great listener! Sadly, Diane, the artist and model, has passed away. And Norina — she’s the socialight! Norina always smiles every day and finds humor in almost everything. Maintaining a positive attitude and a caring/giving spirit keeps her happy and whole.
Norina used to be a fit model for HSN and took some photos for Hot in Hollywood, and last fall, she modeled the new Laura Mercier make-up line for women of color. She was “discovered,” she says, when she went into Bloomingdale’s one day to buy make-up! “You never know what’s just around the corner waiting for you!”
Norina shares, “I always try to have a can do attitude! Just always say YES first, never, ever say no!”
We are so glad that you said “yes” to being a Heartfelt Role Model, Norina!