For Mindy Berkson, a fertility expert, life and work have collided. Hailing from the Chicago area, Mindy was initially destined for a life in venture capital, attending the University of Michigan for Economics and later working for a venture capital company. “My first job out of college was writing business plans for start-up companies in the 1980s,” she says.
While she was content in the industry, she found herself going in a new direction after the birth of her first daughter, initially intending to be a stay-at-home-mom. “The day my daughter was born, I said, ‘thank God I never have to write another business plan,’” she chuckles. Upon attempting to expand their family, Mindy discovered she was infertile. She was plunged into the world of fertility treatment. “I spent three and a half years as a patient in the industry [which] stymied me. It was so difficult to navigate. I didn’t know what questions to ask, I didn’t know how to locate the right resources.”
The frustration of the industry ignited something in Berkson; she had found her passion. After her twins were born, she returned to the industry, this time as a professional. She worked in a fertility centre for eight years, recruiting egg donors and surrogates on a national scale. Her previous experiences as a patient gave Mindy a unique edge in the industry, helping women, men and couples finally conceive and accomplish their dreams of becoming parents. Her goal is to help intended parents explore their options for biological families and serve as a guide through the often-stressful financial, physical and emotional demands of the infertility process.
“It was at this point of my life when I took my venture background and married it with my experience [in with the fertility industry] and wrote a business plan for Lotus Blossom,” Mindy explains. Lotus Blossom Consulting was born in 2005 and has helped myriad people with a range of fertility issues.
Though the company has grown exponentially in the last eight years, Mindy still personally meets with her clients, regardless of their location. “My approach is very individualized; there is no cookie cutter consultation. Each client comes to be with very different needs and I always work one-on-one with my clients,” she explains. Berkson and her team of multi-discipline professionals work with clients to fulfill financial, emotional and physical needs, which vary with each client.
Although her consultancy is located in Chicago, IL, Mindy works with clients all over the globe. She’s worked with couples and individuals from Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America to make their dreams of parenthood a reality. While many clients travel to the U.S. to personally meet with Mindy and her team, she travels the world to meet with doctors, lawyers, immigration officials and translators to ensure her clients have the best possible experience. In addition to the in-person consultation, Mindy meets with international clients via Skype for continued support.
Although her professional and family lives are demanding, Mindy still devotes much of her time and energy to charity. She founded the Jude Andrew Adams Fund in 2007 in honour of her stillborn nephew of the same name. “The grief [of his family] expressed reminded me of… my clients suffering from infertility. The grieving process really meshed for me,” Berkson says. The fund helps financially needy couples overcome their infertility issues, typically helping 2-3 individuals or couples per year. “10% of profits from Lotus Blossom go towards the fund.” Mindy is also a newly elected board member of Fertile Action, an organization that raises awareness for fertility preservation for cancer patients, often taking measures to help cancer stricken women preserve their eggs before they begin treatment. “Another goal of the organization is to [educate women] about options after their cancer is in remission, such as egg donation and surrogacy.”
Mindy credits her own experiences in finding her passion for the fertility industry, saying, “my three and a half years as a patient [helped me] find my passion for the industry.” Now a happy mother, Mindy helps others overcome what she did 16 years ago. She hopes that, in the changing landscape, anyone dreaming of becoming a parent can achieve their goal. “There are so many different families out there today. Thank God we have all this advanced technology to help these people achieve their aspirations of parenthood,” she smiles.
For more information, please visit the Lotus Blossom website or contact Mindy directly for a complimentary consultation at 1-847-881-2685.