aWelcome to the Forty Over 40 blog. We frequently spotlight one of our honorees and their thoughts on reinvention, mentorship and momentum…plus a peek into what makes them tick.

This Q & A is with Ekpedeme “Pamay” M. BasseyGlobal Learning and Development Executive.  Pamay is innovating her field of work by launching My 52 Weeks of Worship Project in 2010 and authoring the book, My 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey to encourage conversation in the public arena about spirituality, faith, religion, culture and understanding. She also visited 61 different places of worship worldwide in 1 year to increase spiritual connectedness—does what she challenges others to do.

1) What was a pivotal momentum of reinvention for you?

3 moments come to mind. First, when my “position was eliminated” at a technology startup where I worked in 2001, I responded by doing two things: fulfilling a lifelong dream to study and graduate from the Second City Conservatory in Chicago, and launching my own e-learning design and strategy company, The Pamay Group. Then, in 2010, a personally challenging year where I lost my father and my grandmother inspired me to take a spiritual journey which led to my writing and publishing my first book: My 52 Weeks of Worship: Lessons from a Global, Spiritual, Interfaith Journey. Finally, and most recently, after determining it was time to shake things up in my life, I moved to New York City and took on a Director position at an asset management firm – moving from entrepreneurship to intrapreneurship.

2) Who has been a valuable mentor or sponsor?

My sisters, Sorors, and friends. I have been blessed to be surrounded by a number of strong, intelligent, accomplished women who have served as motivators, mentors, sponsors and supporters.  From time to time, depending on whatever personal or professional challenge I might be facing, I call one of the women on my “personal board of directors,” and we talk through it on the phone, or grab brunch, or coffee, discuss via email, or plan a rejuvenating weekend getaway – whatever it takes – and afterwards I feel refreshed, inspired, and ready to tackle whatever is next.

3) What is your biggest goal right now?

I am challenging myself to focus on health, wellness and fitness, so I can live a well-rounded life and enjoy all the gifts I have been so fortunate to receive.

4) How did you get your first job? How did you jump to your second job?

My first job was working for my mom in high school — she has owned a health food store in Atlanta for almost 30 years. I jumped to my second job by applying to and being accepted by INROADS, a program whose mission is to develop and place talented youth in business and industry, and prepare them for corporate and community leadership. Through INROADS, I secured an internship with Coca-Cola USA, where I worked for 3 summers in college.

5) What time do you typically wake up? What do you do every morning?

I’m up at 5AM in the morning, generally. Every morning, I start my day by reading something spiritually inspiring, and meditating and/or praying. When I don’t do these things, my day is noticeably and negatively impacted.

6)  What challenge / achievement are you most proud of?

My 52 Weeks of Worship Project. It was personally transformative for me, and it has been a true honor to meet people who have shared that they have been touched by my story, and the lessons I have learned on my journey.

7)  What is your “keep me going” quote?

“It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or worst of it. I hope you see things that starve you. Hope you feel things you never felt before. Hope you meet people with a different point of view. Hope you live a life you are proud of and if you find out you’re not? I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”  -The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

8)  Who on the list of prior Honorees would you like to meet?

So many of them! Betsy Beers, Producer, Shondaland, Suzanne McKechnie Klah, CEO of Build, and Denise Restauri, CEO of GirlQuake, to name a few!

9)  What was the last business book you read?

 The Power of Failure: Succeeding in the Age of Innovation, by Fran Tarkenton

10)  What song can’t you get out of your head? 

‘Work” by Rihanna

Check out Pamay Bassey’s full 40 Over 40 profile here!

Whitney Johnson
Whitney is the author of the acclaimed Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream. She has been named on numerous Smart Thinkers and People to Follow lists by major media such as Inc. Magazine, Business Insider and Huffington Post and is quoted in Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fast Company, Forbes and more.
Whitney Johnson

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