Women of September 2020: Maxine Topper

Tell us a little about yourself and who you are?

Everyone knows me as Max from PHC. I’m also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother of 4 with one more on the way in October. I’m Executive Vice President of Physicians Health Centers in Miami Dade, and I’ve been with the company for over 21 years. My private time is often spent in my Art Room with vinyl playing in the background – Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Richie Havens…. During this Pandemic, I also enjoy swimming and social distancing with a few close friends in the yard.

How does a day in your life look these days?

I’m working from home – or, am I living at work?? Not always sure and impossible to disconnect. I’m on the phone Zooming with clients –often assisting them with pressing COVID-19 questions and return to work dilemmas. I try to take walks intermittently with my hubby, who is home as well.

Tell us about your career and how you got started.

I’m a Jersey girl who moved to South Florida in 1978 to run Special Events for Jordan Marsh Stores. Some will remember Jordan Marsh during its heyday in Miami, when tourists would visit the Omni on Biscayne Boulevard – buy suitcases and fill them up with merchandise to take back to South America. I was young and loved the job, even traveled to Italy, and brought in Sophia Loren to promote her fragrance. I took some time off to have children, and moved into the medical arena a decade later. I went into workers comp with Medical Care Systems, Prudential, Vincam (later became ADP) and in 1999 I joined Physicians Health Center and Dr. Richard Dolsey, a true pioneer in Occupational Medicine.

What is your Why? What inspires you to do more/better?

I think it comes with getting older, but I want to stay relevant and keep moving forward with new ideas and challenge myself. It helps that I work with a young team – definitely keeps me energized and inspired to learn new technology and ways of staying in touch, even during a Pandemic. Let’s say – I want to stay in the game for a while longer. I love being the mentor to younger employees and colleagues. My absolute passion is introducing people and opening doors for them. It’s extremely rewarding and I get more satisfaction than you can imagine. I’m told that I’m a headhunter and matchmaker all in one, and I love that role. I find them a job and sometimes even a partner. What is better than that? I’m in my Sixties, and now I feel a sense of greater happiness from pursuits outside of myself.

What are your future goals?

I love my job at PHC, but I do relish my time off to paint, spend time with friends and family, and travel. I don’t see myself as a working artist, but maybe that will be my next landing place – going to art retreats, improving, and growing in that direction. I don’t see myself selling the art – although I may just run out of room. I’m not looking for pressure to get into a business, although I recently got a call from Laguna Beach, CA from a shop that wanted to sell my painted chairs. That’s on hold.

Statistics on the Pursuit of Happiness say that 73% of people say volunteering lowers their stress levels and 92% of people report that volunteering enriches their sense of purpose. So, maybe I’ll volunteer with my art!!! We will see


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