Welcome to our latest installment in our “Meet the Member” series, where we will feature a WFE member. This quarter meet Sabrina McTopy!
Read on to learn more about Sabrina:
How did you get involved with WFE and how long have you been a member?
I joined at Margaret Ceconi’s suggestion. I think it was 1996.
What is your favorite thing about WFE?
I love the feeling of community I experience in WFE. And I always love the fashion show.
10 Quick Questions:
1. What was your first job?
Working in a snowball stand at 13 with my best friend, whose Dad owned the stand. I was paid mostly in snowballs.
2. What do you like most about your current job?
The freedom it offers in terms of which clients and lawyers I work with at the firm. I have always felt stifled by a lot of hard and fast rules.
3. What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Save your money in the early part of your career so you can spend it in the later part.
4. Who is your role model?
My grandmother who raised me. She was a teller at a community bank three blocks from her house for over 20 years and thoroughly loved seeing her customers. She knew their families, visited them when they were sick as well as cooked and baked for them. And they in turn loved her; many days I opened the back door to find a bushel of some vegetable left on the porch in thanksgiving, with no note. Though she often had reasons not to be joyful, she suffused my life with hope, understanding of what community means and how we must take care of each other.
When she learned a new male co-worker she was training began with a higher salary than hers after 20 years, she asked her new boss for a raise and was instead fired. I’ll never forget living through her heartache as she applied for jobs at other banks in the area and realized she had been blackballed throughout the parish. Seeing her treated so unfairly lit a fire in me. I got a job processing claims at the unemployment office, where I worked for the next 5 years, handing most of my paycheck to my grandmother. And promised her that one day, money would no longer be a worry.
In 2000, we bought her the house of her dreams. We enjoyed 13 more wonderful years with her in which we did the things she had always dreamed of. Her 90th birthday party started at noon, involved a parade and ended around 1 am. I think of her and the blessing she was in my life every day. I can still hear the sound of her laughing and saying che dolce (sweet), che bella (beautiful), luce dei miei occhi (light of my eyes).
5. If you weren’t working at Jackson Walker, what would you be doing?
Doing (or trying to do) some kind of competitive dancing. I took ballet and jazz for 9 years and was on dance team all during high school and college.
Taking continuing studies courses – preferably in person – at Rice’s Glassock School of Continuing Studies.
Going to Italy for a month each year.
6. Do you have any pets?
Yes, our yorkie Maggie May. I must always have at least one pet. There is no other way in life to experience such unconditional love.
7. What are you currently reading?
The Beautiful Fall, about the professional rivalry of the fashion houses of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves St. Laurent in the 1970’s and beyond
Gods & Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano
Wine & War: The French, the Nazis & the Battle for the France’s Greatest Treasure
The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed Work
How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life, Frank Lipman, MD
8. How do you handle stress?
Since I tend to have insomnia, I have a panoply of coping behaviors, particularly of late:
getting some sunlight exposure in the morning each day to keep my circadian rhythm on track, exercising 4 x a week – both cardio and weights – going to bed and rising at about the same time every day, bubble baths with Epsom salts, time in the Zero Gravity massage chair, stretching on the Spry gym mat, using the Normatec compression Pulse 2.0 recovery boots, using the Vielight 810 infrared light therapy device intranasal device that delivers energy to blood vessels in your head, and using the Hypervolt for muscle soreness.
Before the pandemic, I did only 3-4 of these things on a consistent basis – and never the morning sunlight exposure – but now do most of them each day.
9. What do you make time for no matter what?
No matter how much Veuve Rose has been enjoyed: my nighttime ritual of serums and creams and daily physical block sunscreen.
10. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I grew up with 5 generations of women.
11. What “lesson from mom” do you still live by today?
From my grandmother: Giving is loving.