People Who Make Monaco: Judy Churchill

Judy Churchill is a British national and one of Monaco’s most long-standing and influential residents. Speaker of six languages, certified translator for the Monaco law courts and General Secretary of the Outward Bound Monaco charity,  Judy plays a more than active role in Monaco life.  As well as her tremendous efforts within the Principality, she has still found time to become a motivational speaker, celebrated author and accomplished athlete. Here, we try and get Judy to condense 35 years into 60 seconds!

Q: How long have you lived in the Principality / Riviera?

I’ve been here for 35 years.

Q: What three traits define you? 

It’s always difficult to define yourself but people say I’m hard working, courageous and inspiring.

Q: Who are your heroes?

There’s a long list so I’ll try and cut it down to the main ones: My number one heroes are the Paralympic athletes, they truly inspire me. Cesar Milan (the dog whisperer) for his calm assertive energy, Winston Churchill for his leadership skills, my parents for giving me amongst other things their work ethic, Louis de Funes (French comedian for making me laugh so much), Dr. Pat Allen (author and a mentor to whom I strive to do justice in my coaching sessions) and Tinkerbell for being Tinkerbell!

Q: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Over the past 35 years there have been many but some of the more memorable have been working with different film and sports celebrities and heads of industry many of whom have taught me as much as I’ve taught them. Working with Piers Morgan as the consultant on ‘Piers Morgan on Monaco’. Interviewing S.A.S Prince Albert in the palace gardens around 15 years ago for a video called Bridging Cultures North, South. A huge highlight was being asked to tour Europe and South America for a number of years to coach and train groups of medical consultants and major pharma companies. Also being asked to be one of the authors of The MBA Women’s Guide to Success in the USA. That was a huge honour.

Q: What has been the greatest challenge of your career so far?

That one’s easy! Anything that has stopped me from being mobile. Due to a prolonged period as a competitive athlete, I’ve sustained my fair share of injuries. Back in 2009 I had an Achilles tendon operation which came at the time I was organising a tree planting project in Piera Cava with Outward Bound Monaco. So I had to be carried up the mountain to achieve it! I also had to carry on working with my clients with my foot in plaster up on a table. Then in 2014 I had a hip replacement and the surgeon had to postpone my op for a month, a real drama as I’d already signed some major contracts which involved hopping on planes and 5 weeks after the op I was speaking at a 3 day pharmaceutical conference in Vienna and had to do it with crutches and a wheel chair! Oh yes and learning to speak Russian – an on-going daily challenge!

Q: Where is your favourite place to eat or drink in Monaco?

For Italian I love the Sans Soucis, for a healthy informal meal Stars ‘n’ Bars and for a special occasion, the grill at the Hotel de Paris.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

I would probably have become an actress as I used to do a lot of amateur dramatics, or I might be working full-time with young people and children helping them with their issues, to make sense of the world and feel better about themselves.

Q: How do you define success?

For me it’s that really good feeling that comes from knowing that you have helped someone else be successful. Success should always be win-win, never one-sided and nothing beats having someone tell you how much you have helped them. For me it doesn’t get better than that.

Q: What is your favourite book?

Who Moved My Cheese, which I read several times a year, and The Road Less Travelled.

Q: Tell us something that might surprise us about you.  

Well many people know that on weekends I can often be found at the top of a mountain but not many know that I have a morbid fear of heights! Doing a Via Ferrata for me is terrifying, but the only way to conquer your fears is to face them.

Q: What do you love about Monaco?

I love that it’s so small and that everything is easily accessible. I enjoy the incredibly dense variety of highly interesting people. I love the different nationalities and cultures and being able to work and socialise in many different languages. And I adore the fantastic natural resources of the mountains and sea.

Q: If you could have one wish, what would it be?

That people could just die of old age without having to go though the pain and suffering of disease. Disease, whether mental or physical, is such a waste of a great life and I wish we could eradicate that.

Q: What has personally been your most rewarding contribution to Monaco life?

Very definitely setting up Outward Bound Monaco back in 2003 and seeing it grow over the years. Working alongside the instructors on our Monaco-based course and seeing how children are transformed by Outward Bound has been hugely rewarding. Outward Bound is literally life changing and if we can improve the lives of young people in any way in our Monaco community and have a positive impact, then what is more rewarding than that?