Alumna of the Month: December 2006
Loretta LaRoche '61
What at Hofstra gave you your edge?
Hofstra gave me the opportunity to realize how powerful it is to continue the process of learning. Education is the foundation of life itself.
What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I am a stress management consultant with an expertise in how to use humor as a coping mechanism. I also am an author and have had six one-woman PBS shows. I am fortunate to know that who I am is what I should do. My humor and my interest in how the body/mind functions has been there since before Moses. I had a nurse's outfit and a doctors' kit when I was five.
What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned here?
My first job was motherhood. I married at the beginning of my junior year and became pregnant immediately. I graduated with my class, and my son was at my graduation in his carriage. I did not start creating my career until my middle thirties.
What is your single most rewarding experience in your career thus far?
I am most proud of the fact that I am able to help those less fortunate through my fund-raising capabilities. At this point in my life, people will pay to see me. It enables me to use my talents in very positive ways.
Who in your field do you most admire?
The Dalai Lama is probably one of the best stress management specialists I have met. His message totally resonates with what we all need to hear: "Be happy now."
What is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
The school was in its beginning stages, and it was fun being part of a pioneer process, as well as being care free. I loved the discussions in the cafeteria with the Bohemian set, of which Francis Ford Coppola '60 and Lainie Kazan '60 were a part.
In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
What advice would you give current students?
Do what you love, learn as much as you can, be open to all, think about what you think about, make a difference with your life, and have fun.
How do you balance work and life?
I try not to make everything an emergency. I laugh a lot, particularly at myself, I exercise, eat well, have massages, connect with everyone I love, meditate, play with my cat, act with compassion and kindness toward my fellow man, and try to have the juiciest life possible.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to keep writing, and speaking, and have an Institute for Health and Happiness.
Describe your role as an adjunct faculty member of the Mind/Body Medical Institute and how it relates to your career.
I teach a portion of the program on positive psychology when it is offered as a continuing education program during the year.
Can you tell us about your plans for Broadway?
I have always loved the Broadway stage. I was born in Brooklyn, and my mother took me to see all the shows. So I have a dream to do something around stress that would be comical and would involve song and dance. I see it as a Mel Brooks-type venue. I will try it in my area and who knows … where it will go.
What motivated you to establish your company, The Humor Potential, Inc.?
The realization that individuals really have to understand how important happiness, humor and fun are in relation to health and success. If you're not enjoying your life, you're missing the point.
Loretta is an international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is a member of faculty at the Mind/Body Medical Institute in Boston. She writes a weekly newspaper column called, 'Get a Life'…She is a contributing writer for Diane Magazine (Rodale Press)... She is also featured as a stress management expert on LLuminari.com, a community wellness website.
Loretta is founder and president of The Humor Potential, Inc, a company offering programs and products for life style management. Her special brand of optimistic psychology has an incontestable positive effect on the health of all that are exposed to her. Organizations worldwide use Loretta's prescription for laughter to manage stress in the workplace and improve morale.
Loretta's energetic meeting openings, trainings and keynotes serve to improve learning skills and put a room in an enthusiastic frame of mind. Corporate clients such as IBM, The New York Times, Fidelity Investments, Microsoft and NASA, just to name a few, have used her material to defeat stress in the workplace. She is also a well-recognized TV personality on PBS and best selling author. She has had six one-women television specials air in 80 PBS stations across the country. She has been nominated for local and prime time Emmy Awards, has appeared on CNN, ABC and NBC affiliates. She has authored 6 books, The Joy Journal, Happy Talk, Relax: You May Only Have a Few Minutes Left, Life is Not a Stress Rehearsal and, Life Is Short- Wear Your Party Pants, Squeeze the Day and her latest book Kick Up Heels Before You're Too Short to Wear Them will be out in March 2007.