Michelle Brailsford, Volunteer Par Excellence

It is with a heavy heart that over the past couple of weeks we have shared with you the sad news of the passing of our wonderful friend and colleague, Michelle Brailsford. Michelle touched the minds and hearts of the many people she interacted with within PWN and she will be missed terribly.

Michelle BrailsfordHaving loyally and enthusiastically served as a PWN Volunteer for over 10 years we are all still trying to comprehend the loss of one of life's truely inspirational leaders. As a member of the PWN Global Board, she lay the foundations for growth of the network and was part of the core team that introduced mentoring to the network. As co-President for PWN London she helped create a successful local network. Most importantly though, Michelle brought great energy and fun to whichever part or activity of PWN she worked with. From the huge amount of memories of her shared by many on our social media channels, she clearly impacted many lives in the most memorable ways. Anecdotes of how she encouraged people to find their purpose, enjoy their lives and make a difference - leave a legacy. You will find a small collection of them at the bottom of this article.

On Wed 20th June, exactly one week after Michelle passed away after a short battle with some very aggressive cancers, PWN members around the world came together to celebrate Michelle's life. From a Mediterranean beach vigil in Nice, to a business hotel in London, and places far beyond, the women and men who's lives Michelle had touched, stopped for a minute of silence. Those moments reminded us how connected we are within this network.

Many of us, ourselves of the PWN team included are heartbroken by the news and we worry that these words aren’t worthy enough to commemorate such a ray of light. And then, one of Michelle's favorite mantras hits us: 'Done is better than perfect!' A mantra that we hope will live on forever within PWN. Those of us who actively volunteer for the network will recognize this with a beautiful smile on their faces remembering Michelle for the warm, inspiring and professional woman she was. Rest in peace Michelle.

Click here to reach a donation page for Cancer Research UK, in memory of Michelle.

 Michelle Brailsford 22 February 1962 - 13 June 2018
Michelle Brailsford
22 February 1962 - 13 June 2018


Remembering Michelle

"I vividly remember Michelle presenting at an event in Barcelona in March 2016. The topic was Epic companies and what makes them Epic. As we all know, her energy was epic by itself, let alone the presentation she shared with us."

Caroline Courtier, VP Corporate Partners, PWN Barcelona


"Michelle remains a source of inspiration on commitment to a cause, knowledge and understanding of reality, humanity and professionalism. Do hope her example stays with us, guiding each and everyone in our paths. Whilst working with her on the Federation Board, Michelle was the glue able to bring different personalities together, and to build on that."

Patricia Salvação Barreto, Former Secretary General, PWN Global


"If I were to give a presentation today I'd presume the letter P speaks to me about Michelle... In my experience Michelle was endlessly passionate about empowering the underdog, an extraordinary proponent and keeper of the peace. Michelle was incorrigibly positive that everything would work out, eventually: so persevere!  Never one to be persnickety about details - to Michelle "Done was better than perfect".  No excuse to "wait for" perfection: get the process started & get done.  Michelle was definitely not a procrastinator when it came to leading by example. Michelle inspired me to be a better person and to be a better team player. Most admirably Michelle added play to our super long work days."

Anna Farrenkopf, Former VP Mentoring, PWN Global


"Michelle came to Portugal several times and she supported PWN Lisbon very strongly. She held a speech at our annual Event and was always ready to help us by sharing her knowledge. She was definitely an important person at pursuing our cause. It is extremely sad to receive this news. We send our condolences to her close ones and family. With love."

Monica d'Orey Santiago, Former President, PWN Lisbon


"I want to join the enormous group of women who feel grateful to Michelle for her generosity. When I was VP of Mentoring in PWN Madrid she came several times to support the women of our Corporate Partners in their development and she always made the difference."

Rosa Uturbi, President, PWN Bilbao


"Her contribution to the success and sustainability of PWN was immense and her passion to volunteer and contribute whatever time she had was relentless. As former President of PWN London and PWN Global Board member, Michelle has left her mark."

Sonya Richardson, Co-President, PWN Global


"We are so proud and greatfum to have worked with Michelle. She was a great example of a person that made a difference in peoples' lives. We had Michelle as guest speaker at several Coorporte Parners events. She was generous and had that rare ability to both, inspire as a laeder and have fun in everything she did. We enjoied her very much. We will miss her."

Raquel Cabezudo, President, PWN Madrid


"She gave SO much to this network, from London to the Federation Board. She was an advisor on keeping things fun, joyful and on many other topics during my time at the Fed, delivered a stellar Givers and Takers session at the big event in 2011 and continued to give of her expertise at the local levels as a guest speaker. She lived her purpose to the fullest and helped others find theirs - including helping me refine mine. It’s hard to process it for all of us - she lived positivity until the end."

Marijo Bos, Former President, PWN Global


"Vividly remember the encouraging phone conversation I was lucky to have with Michelle years ago. Key learning for me : always express gratitude /say thank you. My encouters with her beautiful soul leave a lasting impression and positive influence on my daily work."

Pia Koch, President, PWN Copenhagen


"Michelle always had a smile and was very positive. She was a friend and confidant who helped me greatly in my early months on the Board of PWN Global by giving me insights into how things worked with a women’s network. I will be forever grateful for the fond memories I have of Michelle - an inspiration to us all."

Rob Baker, Co-President, PWN Global


In addition to these quotes, there are many more people who have shared their stories regarding Michelle on our LinkedIN thread , and our Facebook thread.





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