Well, aren’t you a curious thing! Just kidding! I personally love reading other people’s back story to find out what makes them tick, so I can’t blame you for clicking deeper.
From the “Way Back” Machine
I grew up in a little teeny town in northwest lower Michigan, technically it was the Village of Kingsley. I’m the only daughter of the high school guidance counselor, cross country and girl’s track and field coach (he’s since retired from all of those roles). My mom worked at the nearby vocational school and encouraged me to take a 8-week summer class there before I started 8th grade which turned me onto the graphic arts. I followed the path of print production and majored in Printing Management at Ferris State University. Go Bulldogs!
After graduating with a job offer in hand, I quickly moved from Michigan to Wisconsin to jump into the career I’d planned – sales in the printing industry. But as the saying goes “the best laid plans often go awry” (that was Robert Burns, I may have a degree in Printing Management, but my heart is still in English Literature!)
Turns out, the word of print production wasn’t what I loved nearly as much as print absorption. I didn’t want to set type, I wanted to consume it. And I do. Reading is my most beloved pastime and while I’m actively engaged in writing my first book, Navigating Shift Creek: A Guide to Career Transition in Today’s Business World, I can often be found with my nose tucked into a book at the library, the local coffeeshop, or between the stacks at some small Indie bookstore.
“You did what?”
I am known for taking on some fairly odd activities. Not like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane or cage diving with sharks-level of odd, but rather, I embrace “living courageously” by regularly pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Below are a few examples:
Create a Hunger Games-inspired employee appreciation event and dress as Effie Trinket to draw names from the glass bowl to determine the teams - “Not a problem.”
Wear a Bucky Badger-like mascot costume to engage with the young children attending a client’s fund-raising event (it was Homecoming weekend, and a willing teenager wasn’t available) – “Sure, I’m happy to help!”
Sing a medley of patriotic songs in front of ALL your fellow employees and their families at a project kickoff event while standing on a float equipped with various bells, horns and whistles collected from all around the world, on the field of the minor league baseball team, accompanied by a calliope. – “We might need a dry run, but otherwise, I’m good.”
In two of these examples, I was also the project manager of the event. So, when I say I’m willing to do what it takes for my client’s success, I mean it.
Though I’m still singing now and again mostly in church (though I’ve been known to break out into song when necessary. Nothing brings an audience back from their 5-minute break faster than singing the National Anthem!) another passion is my current quest to run a race in every state. The events range from 5Ks to half marathons, both road and trail, and I completed my 19th state in December 2019 (in Austin, Texas). This experience, while both challenging and humbling, has been an amazing way to see our great country. I meet wonderful people, take in beautiful sights, drink great beer, and stay in shape - so I can continue to drink great beer!