Managing Partner, JMPankey Partners
Julie Pankey serves as Managing Partner at JMPankey Partners. This animal lover found a niche to allow her to give back by taking pictures of dogs up for adoption for the shelters to use to show the dog’s unique personality and help them find their forever homes. Having worked in this industry for 24 years, she feels blessed to be living her passion. Julie’s guilty pleasure is lying in bed all day, binge watching a series in her fuzzy pink chenille robe.
“The struggles I have endured spanned a good part of my spa career. My life seemed pretty charmed up until 1995 when my Dad died unexpectedly on Christmas Eve. It only got worse before it got better…my first husband was permanently injured at work propelling me into the primary bread winner position and forcing us to move back to my childhood home. Over the next 14 years I lived in a silent misery, my only solace was my work and my dogs. I was married to a man that made me feel like the worst version of myself. I actually was a master at disguise because I could flawlessly manage a multi-million dollar spa without missing a beat and no one knowing my hidden pain. I dove head first into my work often working weeks straight, the spa was my safe place.
It wasn’t until I worked for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in the Bahamas and a very good friend said to me, ‘you are not even a recognizable person, it is like you have lost your soul.’ This was a wake-up call. Because you know, she was right. I lost the sparkle in my eye, that fire inside. I made drastic changes! Go big or go home was always my motto. I moved back to the US, got a divorce, lost 70 pounds and transitioned my career from a Spa Director to where I am today…living my passion as a spa consultant helping others keep their fire burning strong and achieving their own dreams and goals. I should also mention I am remarried to my soulmate, the man that sees the best in me even on my very worst days. Sounds like a fairy tale? I guess it’s my fairy tale. But none of the changes came without learning through the very hard lessons that life teaches us.
I have learned that through my pain, despair, loss, loneliness, fear, disappointment, heartbreak and failure that I am stronger, smarter and happier. I have learned to be more accepting of others because they have their own struggles and that in this industry our world is turning to us to help them be well. I have learned to be patient, and that sometimes you have to get through the worst to get the best. I know that I am flawed and imperfect but I’m totally content being me. Funny, that is a lesson my parents taught me when I was little…just be yourself.”