My friends look at me wild-eyed when I tell them we have a trip coming up and few plans to show for it. As a result of our (intentional) minimal planning, we’ve found ourselves in some interesting situations over the years: trapped in a snowstorm in the middle of the salt flats, racing up a mountainside trying to beat sundown, sleeping in hammocks in the rainforest…
Although they may seem like avoidable experiences, they were thrilling moments that showed me what I was capable of. I believe in life and in work, experiences are better when they’re unhindered by rigid expectation. Rules are guidelines. And trust is everything, beginning with self.
My parents were my greatest teachers; they grounded me with a sense of self and gave me a foundation of support, which has made optimism and taking risks my defaults.
My adventurous and creative energy are, however, kept in check with intentional and clear expectations of progress and action. I have high expectations for myself and my teammates. While I’m usually prepared to set fire to what “was” to build something better, I take the most pride in getting my hands dirty to make an idea a reality. You won’t see me brooding over the mechanics of an idea or picking it apart. I’ll run first and adjust later.
I know from experience that we all have limitations we create for ourselves and that others create for us. I’ve seen leaders decide to break down those barriers and people shock themselves with their own ability and strength to overcome them. I’ve felt it myself. That’s why I’m drawn to the work we do.
I began my career by taking a chance on a young business finding its footing. We focused on creating opportunities to change the number of women in leadership roles in our community. In my time there, I created and ran a nonprofit side of the business as the Executive Director, built the brand and business model, and expanded it beyond state lines. Years later, in my position at United Way of Central Indiana, I worked with nearly 100 corporate leaders to educate and prepare them to support the local nonprofit community as Board Members. There I also led a team that proved what I had already believed to be true – that genuine relationships with each other made us more effective as a team and our work more impactful.
When I’m not working alongside our clients and partners, I’ll be spending quality time with my boys – my teammate for life, Joshua, and our sweet, adventurous little man, Owen. We keep up with our travels and we love spending time with our extended family, many of whom, to our delight, have been making their way to Indianapolis and calling it home! You might find us cheering on the Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Otherwise, we’re chasing our latest idea – a home project, a camping trip, or our next big excuse to get all of our people together.