Avadian, Brenda 1959–

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Avadian, Brenda 1959–

PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced Ah-vay-dee-un; born August 22, 1959, in Milwaukee, WI; daughter of Martin and Arpineh Avadian; married David J. Borden (an aerospace engineer). Ethnicity: "Armenian." Education: University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, B.A., 1980, M.A., 1982. Politics: Independent.

ADDRESSES: Home and Office—Pearblossom, CA.

CAREER: Viacom Cablevision, Greenfield, WI, cohost and coproducer of the series Job Seeking Today and Life Today, 1983–84; Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI, assistant professor, 1985–89; Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, Palmdale, CA, corporate trainer, 1989–95; Caregivers Voice, Pearblossom, CA, speaker and writer, 1995–. Lecturer at Marquette University and University of Wisconsin—Washington County, 1984–85. National Caregivers Advisory Panel, member.

MEMBER: Publishers Marketing Association, American Society on Aging, Alzheimer's Association, National Family Caregivers Association, Toastmasters (past president).

AWARDS, HONORS: Inducted into Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, 1989; Heritage Award, Antelope Valley Heritage Society, 1999.


Drive North in Your Career! The Five Types of Career Drivers, North Star Books (Lancaster, CA), 1992.

"Where's My Shoes?" My Father's Walk through Alzheimer's, North Star Books (Lancaster, CA), 1999, 2nd edition, 2005.

(Editor and contributor) Finding the Joy in Alzheimer's: Caregivers Share the Joyful Times, North Star Books (Lancaster, CA), 2002, revised edition, 2006.

(Editor and contributor) Finding the Joy in Alzheimer's: When Tears Are Dried with Laughter, North Star Books (Lancaster, CA), 2003.

Also author of a book on corporate leadership. Contributor to books, including Communication Is Life, Speech Communication Association, 1990.

Avadian's books have been published in German, Spanish, Korean, and Slovenian.

SIDELIGHTS: Brenda once Avadian told CA: "I had always considered myself a speaker, not an author. In fact, while I was teaching at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, faculty members were invited to write the title of a book they would like to write. All of the faculty members wrote their book titles, except one—me. I did not fare well in English Composition 101 (took it twice) and shuddered at the thought of writing a book! In fact, it was not until I was writing my fifth book that I realized, 'Hey, this is real. You are an author, and people are actually interested in what you write!'

"I find writing to be a humbling experience. As with any skill, we develop our ability over time. When I look at Drive North in Your Career! The Five Types of Career Drivers, I am embarrassed to see my writing style back then because I have grown as a writer. And since Drive North is a published work, it's out there for people to see. Like today's successful actors and actresses who cope with airings of their earlier and possibly less-skilled performances, I hesitate mentioning it for fear of being rejected as a writer.

"On the other hand, writing and speaking are such powerful avenues to share one's message. For example, while coping with being a caregiver for my father who has Alzheimer's, I began writing a journal of my experiences. While sharing these experiences during support group meetings members encouraged me to write a book. I asked, 'Who would be interested in my experience?' 'We would!' they replied. I asked, 'Yes, but who will pay to read about my experience?' Before "Where's My Shoes?" My Father's Walk through Alzheimer's was finished, we received cash and checks for about sixty-five hardcover copies. I guess, at this point, I began to consider myself an author.

"I feel fortunate that audiences want to hear my message and show their support—we are told our back-of-the-room sales record is impressive at fifty percent. What's even better is that we donate forty percent of the sales proceeds to organizations that help people with Alzheimer's and their families."

Avadian later added: "In 2006 I pulled back from most of my weekly community activities after discovering that I was working fourteen-hour days, six to seven days a week, and running to and from numerous meetings. Even though I was helping a lot of people, I wasn't accomplishing my own goals in a timely manner. Our accountant had warned my husband that if I continued to run my business the way I had been, the Internal Revenue Service would declare me a hobbyist. This hit me very hard. I wondered what I could do to earn a decent profit beyond expenses. I decided to return to a twenty-eight year standby—trading in stocks and options. I couldn't have picked a worse time to reenter the market but, despite the losses on paper (and some actual), I am committed and do have plans to write a book on the subject after testing my methods and philosophy."