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What’s in your purse?: Lori Villegas

Lori VillegasLori Villegas divides her life into three worlds — her family, her career and making a difference in other people’s lives.

That’s evident in her purse as she has snacks for her children, which she often enjoys, too. She carries her iPad so she can work remotely, and she has a journal in case she needs to take notes while meeting with a client.

She also has energy bars, with a United Way business card wrapped around them, that she can give people on the street. Sometimes she also carries a book she uses when tutoring young women.

“I fully recognize that there are two different worlds that we live in,” Villegas a senior vice president, investments and wealth adviser at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management said. “I recognize not everyone has all the gifts that I’ve been given, and I want to give children access to a different world so that they can change their dynamic and go on to live a fruitful life and not continue those cycles of poverty.”

She often involves her children when she volunteers at soup kitchens or other projects because she wants them to understand they can make an impact on others’ lives, too. It’s important to her that she raises her two children to be kind and responsible.

Villegas said that when she would read to young girls in schools she discovered a lot of them didn’t have a great sense of self-worth and confidence. She doesn’t always carry the book, “It’s a Money Thing!” with her, but she uses it when she tutors young girls because it’s a great book about money.

She said she spends time reading or just talking to children, especially girls, in schools. Villegas has been in her career around 25 years. While the percentage of women that do what she does hasn’t changed much, she wants to let girls know they can understand things like math and finances, too.

“I love what I do, and I want to encourage other women that they can have careers or have an education in math-type abilities and still be cool, boys will still like you. You can have a worth there,” she said. “If I can teach children about knowing themselves, then it’s a good lesson for me.”

The Purse

purseThe purse itself is Kate Spade. It was given to Villegas by her mother for her birthday in August. “My mother buys me a lot of my accessories. She has great taste.”
1. A Kind bar with a business card for 211 with the United Way, which she is heavily involved with. She gives them out to homeless people instead of giving them money. “It gives them the services and shows a little bit of kindness.” In the winter she sometimes carries gloves she picks up at a Dollar Store.
2. Snacks for herself or her kids.
3. Tea bags. “I drink a lot of green tea and it gives me a little boost throughout the day.”
4. Silver business card holder her mother gave her.
5. Wallet packed with gift card and coupons.
6. Sunglasses.
7. A small tube of sunscreen. “I still love the sun so much, but I’m much more careful.”
8. Trilogy everything balm. It’s her “Windex for everything. It kind of helps all ailments.”
9. iPad in a designed case so she can work remotely.
10. A journal so she can take notes in meeting with clients, for her kid’s school or just thoughts for herself. She liked the words on the cover and also bought her daughter an identical copy.
11. About a dozen lipsticks of varying colors. “I’m a lipstick fanatic. It really does match my mood more than sometimes what I’m wearing.”
12. Travel tissues for her kids and herself.
13. Her keys, which also have her two most important key cards, for the Maryland Athletic Club and Anne Arundel Public Library. “Yoga is what keeps me sane. … I’m a big reader and I don’t believe in buying books. … Those two things completely keep me balanced.”
14. iPhone.
15. “It’s A Money Thing!” book she uses when tutoring young girls.

This article is featured in The Daily Record’s Path To Excellence: A Woman’s Guide To Business. The mission of the Path to Excellence magazine is to give our readers the opportunity to meet successful women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and learn how they define success. Read more from Path to Excellence.

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