LONG BEACH, Calif. – Urbana native Mary Kay Slesinger Rich has had an embarrassment of riches fall on her recently.
The 81-year-old motivational speaker and author, who starred in her own movie, was a speaker and award presenter May 11 at the California Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California. She presented an award, which she previously received, in front of 10,000 female leaders from across the nation.
“I just live every day to the fullest,” she said, noting the speeches she gives reflect her positive outlook on life. “I’m just hoping to inspire.”
Slesinger Rich has been conducting motivational speeches for years and recently has published books on living life. Her newest book, “Bloom,” will come out in the next two months. It will be available for $12.95 from Amazon.com.
Her last book, “You’re It,” expressed to readers that they must love themselves before they can love others. She based her talk at the conference on this book.
“People think the answers lie in other people, in loving other people,” she said. “But loving yourself is what life is all about. If I love me, I can love you easily.”
Slesinger Rich works with fellow Urbana native Gary McLaughlin, who took photographs and videoed the speech Rich gave at the conference. McLaughlin will be developing a Youtube channel featuring Rich’s life coaching tips.
McLaughlin has his own storied career as photographer, videographer and composer. He was Michael Jackson’s personal videographer and editor in the last 1.5 years of his life. He’s recorded and played percussion with a number of famous acts, including Glenn Frey and Jose Feliciano, and was the video director for several beauty pageants around the world. McLaughlin composed two songs for Rich’s movie, “My Dream Beside Me,” a love story about the late-in-life relationship between Rich and her third husband, Paul Rich Jr. Slesinger Rich co-wrote and stars in the movie.
McLaughlin said he enjoys working with Slesinger Rich. “I’m very happy that I’ve been able to share her life with her. She has had such a great life, and now she’s dedicated to helping people. I love working with her. She’s so positive.”
Slesinger Rich lives in Miami Beach, Florida, though she has a home in Urbana she visits periodically.
Slesinger Rich said she’s considering retirement, though there are others who want to collaborate with her on projects.
“I think I’m done. I never know. I can’t say for sure,” she said. “I just want to be a grandma, hang out, take out the dogs, make friends and just relax.”
Rich’s Youtube channel has not been set up yet, but McLaughlin posted a video of Slesinger Rich’s movie premiere at goo.gl/vtkecS.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.