AGE 38Public Information Officer, Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
Hometown:Born in Fairbanks,
grew up in Fairbanks
and Kenny Lake
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a Minor in Journalism and Broadcasting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Accredited in Public Relations by the Public Relations Society of America
Community work: Alaska Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Public Relations Society of America National, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, American Heart Association, Denali Elementary Parent Teacher Association, Girl Scout Troop Leader, Fairbanks Youth Soccer Association, Fairbanks North Star Ballet-Nutcracker
Family: Spouse Bill, children Ella and Symone
Favorite lunch spot? I almost never eat lunch out, but favorite dinner spot: A group of women in my neighborhood take turns hosting monthly wine dinners with amazing food, hilarious women (especially as the night progresses) and stunning words of wisdom.
Best stress reliever? Zumba, yoga or Pinterest. If you’re not into Pinterest, you need to be, it’s fantasy football for women!
Favorite place in Alaska? My parent’s home in Kenny Lake. In the shadow of the Wrangell Mountains, we fish, hike, ski, run, explore, relax, read, practice yoga and make incredible family dinners.
Your most memorable experience that could only have happened in Alaska. I can’t list only one … gold mining in the Brooks Range, snowboarding through Thompson Pass, hunting sheep in the Wrangell Mountains, hiking to Kennicott mine at midnight, watching the Aurora from Chena Hot Springs, etc.
Name the person you most respect and why. My grandmother, Elonore Riedel, homesteaded in Fairbanks in the 1940s. She left a comfortable life in New York to live in a cabin in the woods off Chena Hot Springs Road. She believed women could do anything, and they could do it with style. She taught me to ride horses, ski, identify plants and birds, how to garden and how to properly use makeup.
Famous quote to live by: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
How did you make your first dollar? Working at my family’s construction company in Kenny Lake. I started at 6 making $1 an hour cleaning construction sites after the contractors were done.
What did your pet or child teach you about business? My kids have taught me that business at home is first priority, everything else is second. It makes me more confident in my decisions because I’m at peace with the priorities in my life.
Favorite superhero? My husband. When I am locked out of my car, the house or a website, he is the one who saves the day! (This happens more than I like to admit!)
What is the best moral lesson learned from a character in a book? From the Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics: We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate. That is powerful!
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Spelling. My kind mother calls me a “creative” speller.
What was the least intelligent thing you’ve ever done or seen and what did you learn from it? Gathering wood, I thought it was lucky when I found a pile of half burned wood where my dad was clearing our field. I stacked the logs near the house. About an hour later, looking out the window, I was amazed to see this wisps of smoke coming up near our house. I realized that the wood still had some live coals and I’d managed to set the house on fire. Fortunately it was a small fire.
Describe something you learned as a child that made a difference in your later years. I grew up in a home without a TV. Because of this we were voracious readers, with vivid imaginations. This creativity and imagination has served me well in life.