I was born and raised in Minnesota, but married a Texan who thought 40 degrees was about as cold as it could get so I never thought my life would bring me back. When my husband was offered a job back in northern Minnesota, I was excited for the opportunity to come home.
I love the diversity of the seasons and all of the amazing activities those seasons allow us to enjoy. I missed the changing of the seasons in other places I’ve lived. And while I hate being cold, one of my most favorite smells is the smell of fresh snow on a crisp, clear, super cold winter night.
If you could have a conversation with anyone - past or present - who would it be?
I would love to be able to sit down with all four of my grandparents and hear about who they were and the experiences they lived through. I never got to know any of them as an adult and I feel like the stories and wisdom they had to share are a lost treasure.
What personality trait or skill do you consider your greatest asset?
I’m a planner by nature, so being able to see the big picture and then break it down into actionable steps is a skill I don’t know if I could do without, both personally and professionally. I love being able to put the puzzle pieces together.
What tool, object, or ritual could you not live without?
My stand mixer is one of the most used appliances in my house. Baking is what I turn to in times of turmoil, and it’s what I turn to in times of celebration. My great-grandma and grandma were both great bakers, so I feel a sense of connection to them in the joy I find in it.
I try and write down at least five things I’m grateful for every day. Some days are easier than others, but it does me good to recognize how fortunate I am and how many great things I have going on in my life at the end of a bad day - it puts things in perspective.
What does success mean to you?
Getting to do something you love. When it isn’t about the money, it’s about the fulfillment that doing something you love brings to your life. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, I think that radiates to all other areas in your life.
Caring well for the people I love, and making a positive impact on someone’s life - no matter how big or small.
What is the biggest challenge or greatest sacrifice you’ve made in pursuit of your passion?
My biggest challenge has been learning how to turn my “work brain” off when I’m not at work. I used to not be able to disconnect, and it would drive me into a hole feeling burned out and uninspired. Taking time to not think about work, while sometimes hard to do, is never a bad idea in my opinion. It allows you to step away and come back with a new perspective or a refreshed mind, ready to tackle the projects and problems that await you.
Is there a significant decision you made or experience you’ve had that has forever shaped your life?
Taking my first “real” job out of college in an industry that I never thought I’d be working in was a choice that has impacted my life. I was a tentative and shy girl who lacked self confidence, and I landed in a fast moving, high stress industry with a boss who believed in a sink or swim mentality. Luckily, I learned to swim! My boss and the job taught me an enormous amount about myself, who I was and what I was capable of. I’ve seen the ripple effect of what I learned there in every job I’ve had since. I also met my husband through that job, so that was a nice perk too :)
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I turn to my husband and my family. They know me best and can talk me off the ledge better than anyone.
Is there a piece of advice you’ve received that brought you to who you are and the meaningful work you do today?
My first boss always said “All you have is your name, use it wisely” and that has stuck with me over the years. It’s taught me the importance of taking great pride in not only the work I’m doing because my name will be attached to it, but also in the way I choose to live my life.
I want my name to be associated with work that pushes the boundaries of what’s been seen and done. I want my name to be remembered as someone who was kind and generous, took care of the people she loved, and lived a full life. Those are the things that I want my name attached to.
What words of wisdom would you want to tell your younger self?
Trust your gut and take the risks. Looking back, the things that felt too big or too scary to do have led to the best outcomes.