Del Mar woman carves new path as mentor

By Marlena Chavira-Medford
Staff Writer

After immigrating here from Ireland as a young woman, Del Mar resident Michelle Finegan Saunders joined the American masses climbing the corporate latter. She spent the next 23 years making a name for herself in the pharmaceutical marketing industry, something that eventually earned her a nomination as a top mentor to women in the life sciences industry. No doubt, she’d finally reached the top of that corporate latter — but she wasn’t’ living her true American dream, she said.

Michelle Finegan Saunders

“Being recognized as a mentor really caused me to step back and take stock of my life,” Finegan Saunders said. “I realized that though I’d really enjoyed my work in the pharmaceutical industry, it wasn’t a fit for me any longer.”

Instead, she said she longed for something that let her use her natural mentoring skills to help others, while affording her a more flexible lifestyle so she could spend more time with her young daughter. Three years later, she has found a calling that fits the bill working as a certified executive and business coach.

“To anyone who wants to follow their heart and change careers I always like to use a quote I love: ‘Feel the fear, and do it anyway,” she said. “It is important in your next career, especially if you change industries or fields, that you stop comparing what you used to do to what you are doing now. You must forge forward and seize the opportunities ahead of you.

“If you hear a voice telling you something needs to change, listen, and go in the direction of your dream.”

Finegan Saunders said after going in the direction of her own dream, she now enjoys a better quality of life, and finally has that free time to devote to her 9-year-old daughter, who was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. But perhaps the biggest payback is how highly rewarding her work is, she added. Using her many years of executive experience, she helps her clients get a clear sense of what they really want to achieve in the workplace, and how to best get there. She also arms them with the tools that they may lack to help them advance up that corporate latter, like the confidence to effectively negotiate that promotion, for example.

For more information about Finegan Saunders, please visit

Related posts:

  1. San Diego woman accused of stalking Chris Chambers
  2. In the changing world of publishing, local man carves niche
  3. Del Mar woman’s career 180 allowed her to follow her dream
  4. Carmel Valley woman devoted to autism education
  5. Del Mar Heights resident selected as 75th District ‘Woman of the Year’

Short URL:

Posted by admin on Mar 30, 2011. Filed under Del Mar, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • Which Luxury Watches Hold Their Value Best?
    By Carl Blackburn Last month, I spoke about Rolex appraisals and the various factors that go into determining the value of pre-owned luxury watches (condition, year, rarity, complexity, materials, etc). But now the question begs, “How much can you expect that value to depreciate over 5 or 10 years?” and “Which watches hold their value […]
  • La Jolla Community Calendar Aug. 28-Sept. 4
    Families are invited to come to the Rec Center for some fun activities 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30. Afterward enjoy a free screening of “The Little Rascals Save the Day” at 8:15 p.m. La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. Donations accepted. (858) 552-1658. […]
  • PHOTOS: Foreigner concert helps ‘Rock the Cure’ for pediatric diabetes research in La Jolla
    Steve and Lisa Altman hosted the legendary rock band, Foreigner, at the annual “Rock the Cure” benefit for Pediatric Diabetes Research Center at UC San Diego on Aug. 10, 2014. The Altmans’ La Jolla home served as the concert venue, and the event also included “a taste of San Diego” with numerous restaurants offering samples of their cuisine. Lisa Altman, Sta […]




  • Rancho Santa Fe Invasive Plants and Better Alternatives
    By Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs In California we are lucky to live in a mild climate that allows us to grow amazing landscapes. Because of this mild climate, plants from other parts of the world often thrive; and some grow so well they become known as invasive. These plants ‘jump fences’ and ‘throw seeds.’ Their […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District’s robotics program receives new funding
    The Rancho Santa Fe School District is making its school’s robotics program more robust this year, allocating $42,500 in stipends to staff coaches just like the district does for its athletics program. “I think the program has taken a big step,” said Superintendent Lindy Delaney. “I think we’re on our way toward developing a great program there.” John Galipa […]
  • Back to School for R. Roger Rowe students
    Students at R. Roger Rowe School bid a fond farewell to summer and headed back to school Aug. 25. Photos by Jon Clark. […]