Georgia Witkin

Well, not really a nerd. In fact, Georgia seems to maintain a super-human life balance: family and career, work and play, smarts and sex appeal. This petite blonde Ph.D. is a world-renowned expert on stress management with two professorships at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (in psychiatry and reproductive science) and 11 books in print. She’s also been a featured health expert on every network from Fox to NBC.

Still, she finds time to throw parties with a husband she adores, travel with a group of 60(!) girlfriends, and most recently—and passionately—serve as Senior Editor at grandparents.com. “When you become a grandmother, there’s a built in spot for those kids in your brain and in your heart that you didn’t even know was there. You get to be young again, and this time you’re not the bad guy.”

  • How old are your grandchildren?
    • One, six and nine.  My fabulous daughter Kimberly, the lawyer, has three boys. 
  • How are grandparents different today than they were ten years ago?
    • Grandparents now are the boomers. And boomer women in their 60s are like our grandmothers were in their 40s. We’re reinventing what it’s about. You used to become a grandma and you put on the black schmatta housedress and you wore it. You looked like a grandma. Now we can define it however we want. I email with my grandkids—we play Rock Band together and take drum lessons. 
  • Tell me about your style.
    • My friend’s daughter-in-law defined it for me. She said, “my goodness, you’re a little bit rock and roll.’ And she was right. I love that my husband [Michael Tadross, executive producer] is in the movie business because I love to put my jeans with a fabulous leather jacket. 
  • Do you have favorite designers?Image
    • All of my clothes are from three or four places. I love Armani. It fits, whether I’m teaching at Mt. Sinai, being on air or at a conference. For casual, Ralph Lauren. It’s not that I love having that polo player on my chest—it just always fits. When I dress up it’s Carmen Marc Valvo. His stuff is amazing, because he combines elegance and sexy.
  • Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry?
    • Most of my jewelry is from Judith Ripka. But I also go to a guy named Thiam on 47th street who will rework existing jewelry. For example, he takes all my short earrings and makes them long hanging ones. He’s amazing. 
  • Who inspired you?
    • I’ll tell you briefly about my mother, and I might get a little upset when I do, but….
    • She got breast cancer in her early 30s and was given a one percent chance of living. She said, ‘I’m taking that one percent. From now on, my life is mine, no more shoulds and coulds.’ She went back to school. When I got my doctorate, she did too. When she had to have a second mastectomy in her 50s, she said, ‘if I make it through this, I’m going to help other women who have cancer.’ And she went to Cornell and worked with women who had mastectomies.
  • I can’t believe she got through all this.
    • She became the Associate Director of the Family Clinic and Sex Therapy Clinic at Cornell. She actually trained the young woman who became Dr. Ruth!  She eventually got thyroid and stomach cancer, but she beat them both. She wrote a great book called Single Again when she and my father divorced after 40 years. She met and remarried the most wonderful man and they traveled all over the world together, and she died in her 80s of a heart attack. 
  • Oh Georgia, what a story.
    • So that’s who inspired me. No one can hold a candle to that… except my daughter Kimberly who’s spirit is so similar to hers. They even walk the same way.
  • What’s your favorite restaurant in New York?
    • Campagnola. I’ve been going there all my life. It’s Italian food, and the kitchen cooks it like you want it. They have the best Napoleons on the face of the earth. 
  • Tell me about a great book you read.
    • I loved Peony. It’s about generations of women. Very special. And it was my mother’s favorite book. 
  • What do you use to cleanse and moisturize your face?
    • You wouldn’t believe it, but I wash my face with shampoo—VO5. A dermatologist might tell you this is a terrible thing to do, but it gets my skin very shiny and very clean. It works for me. And I moisturize with Neostrata—a lotion with a slight peel. I put it on at night. 
  • Do you have a signature perfume?
  • What’s your biggest indulgence?
    • Candy. And I’m not talking chocolate. I mean orange circus peanuts and cotton candy.  Pure sugar. That’s me. 
  • ImageWhat’s your passion project?
    • My annual theme party.  Every year my husband and I throw one—these are big deal parties. Last year the theme was “The Class of 1967”—our senior prom. Everyone dressed for it—cheerleaders, football players. We were all out on the dancefloor. We tend to miss dinner—but eat dessert. 
  • What do you do for exercise?
    • Dance. I go to an unbelievable exercise guru named Oscar—his website is EntertanimentO.com. The entire workout is dancing. The whole class is screaming and yelling and doing salsa. For me it is a passion. 
  • What’s your secret favorite place in New York?
    • Recently, when my husband was away filming, I went to Times Square every evening I was free and bought whichever house seats were available. I saw every show. I need a lot of light to be happy, and at night 42nd street is lit up like it’s day. 
  • What’s the single most important thing you’ve learned in your career?
    • There’s always a way. 
  • What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about money?
    • When you get older and become a grandparent, it’s a way to feel needed. Everyone pictures grandparents as these older people who need financial help, but they’re the ones who have the money. Their houses don’t have mortgages. I love that I’m the one who can pay for my grandchildren’s summer camp. 
  • Why do you think FOF women are so fabulous?
    • I think we’re the first generation of women on the face of the earth who got to define themselves. 
  • Great answer.
    • Never before. And you know what? Every time women have outnumbered men in history—and there are only five times in recorded history when this has happened—women make advances in all kinds of places, from politics to medicine. But then it goes back to the status quo. This is the first time we have our own economic base, and nothing is going back.