Plum Burruss Cluverius

Profile Updated: September 28, 2009
Residing In: Richmond, VA USA
Spouse/Partner/Significant Other/Insignificant Other!: Mike Cluverius
Occupation: Executive Coach
Children: John, born 1983
Alan, born 1986
Yes! Attending Reunion

Hello Fellow Falcons:
It has been great reading about you and seeing your photographs and learning what you are up to. There have been a lot of twists and turns in our lives and as I read each profile I have been impressed by the resilience, the laughter and the wisdom of my classmates. I am looking forward to being with you this weekend!

In the fall of 1969, I left Richmond for Florida State University. I didn't stay there long--in January I was in Blacksburg for one of the coldest winters I've ever experienced (what was I thinking)! The ratio of men to women was 5 to 1, so college for me was fabulous. It definitely did wonders for my self esteem. I met my future husband my junior year. We were friends for several years before we became involved romantically and married in 1975.

Mike and I started our lives together in Woolwine, Virginia--in a house off a dirt road 1/2 a mile from the nearest neighbor. The three brothers who lived closest to us had never been further away from home than Floyd--except for one who served in France in World War II. We had a huge garden, raised chickens, hiked in the woods and generally enjoyed rural life. We moved to a house between Ferrum and Calloway in 1979, which meant we could get to a real grocery store in less than half an hour! At the time, that was a luxury.

We did a variety of things to earn a living out there, but eventually moved to Richmond for work. I had earned a masters degree in organizational development and well, there wasn't much call for that in Southwest Va.

Years before that, when I was working as a lifeguard for the City, I was working in the North Side and fell in love with Ginter Park. I didn't think I would ever live in Richmond again, but I told myself that if I did, Ginter Park was where I wanted to be. We bought a house there in 1985 and have been in the same place ever since. We love it here. We can walk and/or bike to restaurants and shops and our neighbors are great. It's still hard to imagine ever leaving.

In the eighth grade I set my sights on becoming a guidance counselor, a career I gave up my junior year in college when my education professor me I would never get the social studies teaching job I needed to start my career. I never questioned his information or judgment (again, what was I thinking)! Anyway, I suddenly had no idea what I was going to do to earn a living after I graduated. I traveled for the better part of a year and had a very short career as a reporter for two local weekly newspapers. I sort of lucked into the work I do today. I was working for a substance abuse treatment facility in Martinsville as their prevention coordinator, and I went to a human relations skills event as part of my training. It showed me the power of learning to understand one's hidden assumptions and needs and to communicate authentically. I've been helping leaders do that ever since--first as a trainer and consultant for the Virginia Department of Human Resources, then ten years as a senior organization development consultant for Trigon, and the last nine years as a consultant and executive coach for my own firm, Vedere Consulting.

Our sons, Alan and John are both grown and launched into their adult lives. Alan graduates from VCU this December and looks like he has a job lined up. John is working in DC, planning to go to graduate school next year and getting married in the spring. Mike and I are enjoying being empty nesters. We still love the outdoors and spend most of our free time sailing, cross country skiing, hiking, biking or gardening.

School Story:

I don't know about you, but I experienced a fair amount of adolescent angst in high school. Reading all you have written has reminded me again how much of our time together was really fun. Thanks for the reframing!

Top of the list of great memories is the trip several of us took to France summer of 1968. Beverly Moore has a great photo of us on her website. We had a great time that summer, eating French pastries and food, drinking French beer, meeting French boys and every now and then studying French. Other highlights are buying 3.2 beer with Shelley (Kathy) Smith and Bev Moore and drinking it through a straw to try to get a quicker buzz, partying at the drive in with Dick Guy, Max, and a a host of others, riding bikes to school with Max and Scottie on casual day (remember that girls could wear culottes as long as they came down to your knee), senior day, and watching Bill Blair turn in amazing performances in the school plays.

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Plum and Sue XC skiing in Norway!
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