I grew up on a small farm in Virginia where I learned the value of hard work and where I developed resourcefulness and self reliance. I learned to solve problems on the fly, because on a farm problems happen every day. If the tractor stopped working in the north field, I had to jerry rig to get it going again using whatever tools and resources I had on hand. Farm life helped me to develop discipline and good problem solving skills that have served me well throughout my professional career.
I was born to two remarkable depression-era parents who were the first in their respective families to go to college.
My father was a NASA engineer who worked on the Apollo and Viking missions. From him I learned to be a keen observer, to think logically and test out hypotheses before jumping to conclusions. He taught me to aspire to the moon, and he finally proved successful when Apollo landed on the moon, inspiring me to achieve what others thought impossible.
My mother was a registered nurse who often worked in emergency room settings. She taught me to be cool under pressure and accurately triage emergencies. She also instilled in me a heart of service to others.
Sports, especially baseball and basket ball, were an important part of my life through middle and high school. I also played on a college basketball team. Through sports, I learned to be a good team player and to push myself beyond my own limits to succeed.
After leaving home as a teenager and attending college, I began my career as a software technical writer for a German computer software company and quickly advanced into marketing and product management positions where I was responsible for creating the vision and launching profitable multimillion-dollar products into the marketplace. I soon advanced to director level positions in top tier technology/data communications companies where I created a vision, developed highly effective teams and led organizations to success. I received advanced training in total quality management and LEAN, (a set of management practices that increases effectiveness and efficiency by eliminating waste.) Using these techniques I have re-engineered processes saving companies millions of dollars.
I ultimately founded and operated a successful technology consulting company before moving to Colorado in 2003.
I pursued a pre-med program and graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Microbiology. I later earned a Master of Science degree in Business Management with a specialization in organizational development.
Pursuing a lifelong interest, I returned to school in 2003 to pursue a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology and earned a certification in addictions counseling. I practiced counseling for 10 years before taking a position at the State of Colorado managing statewide grant programs.
I married my husband Kaarl in 2005. We have three children and 7 grandchildren who are the light of my life.