AGE 38President of Providence Alaska Foundation
Adam Elliott Photography
How did you make your first dollar?
At 16, I went to work at Jay Jacobs in the Cottonwood Creek Mall in Wasilla. It was 1989. Do you remember clothing styles in 1989? Oh my!
Education: Certificate in Nonprofit Management, Student at the University of Alaska Anchorage
Community work: YWCA of Alaska, Foraker Group
Family: Husband Shannon, daughter McKenzie and son Dakota
Favorite lunch spot? Vagabond Blues in Palmer
Best stress reliever? Running
Favorite place in Alaska? Downtown Palmer and downtown Talkeetna.
Name the person you most respect and why. My mother. Dad put himself through college and was a seismologist with the Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer for over 30 years, 14 of which he also served as the mayor of Palmer. My mother spent her life serving her family, and there isn't much recognition for that. She was the backbone of our family, and it was her dedication and unconditional love and support that provided our family of six with a happy and solid foundation. My daughter once told me that she hopes to have a mom like mine when she is older. I knew exactly what she meant.
Famous quote to live by: "Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart." — Albert Einstein
What did your pet or child teach you about business? Pet: Don't take yourself too seriously. Children: Have patience, messes will happen, and laugh a lot.
What is the best moral lesson learned from a character in a book? "The Bell in the River" is the story of Mother Joseph and the Sisters of Providence. She had a calling to go to Vancouver in the mid-1880s, but was passed over. After that group took a wrong turn (ending up in Peru), Mother Joseph was selected to lead a second group. She died in 1902, the year a few of her brave Sisters made their way to Nome during the gold rush. My lesson, you are exactly where you are meant to be. Always strive to be the very best and do the very best you can, where you are, with what you have.
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? Beginning a career before earning a college degree. Kaizen, a Japanese word that means continuous self improvement, is my mantra. There is only one finish line in life. Learning and growth should never end.
What was the least intelligent thing you've ever done or seen and what did you learn from it? Groupthink. Humans can become riled into violence over issues they think, or are told, threaten their most sacred beliefs or the social norm (Socrates, Jesus, Alice Paul, The Holocaust, Dr. King). While we are making immense progress, social injustice still exists. I have learned that the issues may change, but the rhetoric stays the same. I'm learning to watch my own language and actions because it is so inherent that even those professing against such judgment may stereotype those who they think are most likely to be judgmental.
Describe something you learned as a child that made a difference in your later years. Take responsibility for your own circumstances, actions and attitude. Don't run away from your problems, face them, learn from them and move on.