Position: Director, Communications & Operations
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
New Brunswick, NJ
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?
TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?
I grew up in NJ, going to school at Rutgers University, and starting my career at TIAA right out of college. I moved to Charlotte 4 years ago because I fell in love with the area when traveling for work. I met my husband here, bought my first house here and planted roots in Huntersville. I recently got married this past October to my husband Chet, and we have two dogs, Paisley and Jake. I have been at TIAA for almost 7 years now, starting out in Technology and now leading Communications for our individual advisory clients.
DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORIAL MOMENT?
I recently started volunteering at Lake Norman Charter High School, spending time working with kids on public speaking. As the Vice President of the TIAA Toastmasters group and an avid public speaker, it is important for me to share my expertise and experience with students getting ready to enter the next chapter of their education. It has been such a rewarding experience to see these kids take what I teach them and then implement it in their everyday. I love hearing students tell me that they feel more confident because I worked with them.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY?
Giving back to the community is extremely important to me. I try to make it a point to do at least 1 volunteer activity a month, if not more. At TIAA, we have an employee volunteer council that allows us to participate in different volunteer activities each month. In the first week of every new month, I will browse the volunteer dashboard and pick 1-3 new activities to participate in. For example, recent events that I participated in were the Special Olympics, unpacking and labeling boxes for Dress for Success, and packaging meals for the homeless. I try to pick something each time that gives back to a different part of the community.
Additionally, I also serve as a member of a charity called The Unforgettable Prom. Every year, in multiple locations, we put on a prom for teens battling cancer or who are in remission. It is a red-carpet event at no cost to the kids and teens who attend. We host various fundraisers throughout the year for the prom, with our most recent one this March in Fort Lauderdale being a celebrity golf outing with the Miami Dolphins. At prom each year, I work the red carpet and line the kids up to walk with celebrity escorts, get their pictures taken and feel like a star. It’s an amazing experience.
Lastly, as previously mentioned, I volunteer at a local high school, working with kids on public speaking. The students range from Freshman to Senior and I teach them tips and tricks on how to be an effective speaker. At the end of the school year, they give a 5-minute TED Talk, showcasing the what they learned throughout the year in their class. It is extremely rewarding to work with the students, especially because I have always had a passion for teaching,
PLEASE LET US KNOW ANY AWARDS OR RECOGNITIONS YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER:
Named Communications Lead for Women’s Employer of Choice Group at TIAA.
Toastmaster of the Year – 3 years in a row.
Vice President of Education for the TIAA Toastmasters of the Carolinas (2014, 2016, 2018).
President, TIAA Toastmasters of the Carolinas – 2017.
Chartered the TIAA-CREF Iselin, NJ chapter of Toastmasters in January 2013 (Acting President, January 2014 – July 2014).
Recognized as 7-time TIAA-CREF Values All Star.
Certified Scrum Product Owner; Certified Scrum Master through Scrum.org.
Certified Master Blue Hat Facilitator.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTEREST?
I like doing anything outdoors and spending time with my family and friends. In the Spring and Summer, playing golf is one of my favorite things to do along with camping. I also really enjoy cooking and woodworking. I spend most of my time away from work either in the kitchen or in my garage, making food or building furniture. I like anything that gives me the opportunity to be creative.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?
I love quotes, so picking one is really hard. But, if I had to choose, I would pick one, it would probably be a simple one. “Happiness is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of what you make of it.” I try every day to find the good in things that are happening and truly believe they happen for a reason. So, when negativity strikes, or bad times happen, I try to focus on the positive (the 90%) in the situation and not let it define me or pull me down.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? 10 YEARS?
In 5 years, I would like to have my own business with investment properties. I have always wanted to make a career out of flipping homes, long before the episodes of ‘Fixer Upper’ or ‘Flip or Flop.’ I grew up in the garage building things with my dad, and I would love to make a career out of my passion. In the meantime, I get to do what I also love and that is Communications. So, as I spend time in my current career, I use some of my spare time to plan for my future one. I also see myself with children, making memories with my family.
CAN YOUR SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Visit the Northern Lights.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?
In October 2017 when my husband and I went on our honeymoon to St. Lucia.
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?
I have a box in my closet full of greeting cards that I have been given throughout the year. Whenever I am feeling upset or down about something, I pull the box out and read through the cards.
WHO IS YOUR HERO?
It sounds so cliché, but it’s true – my parents. I have wonderful parents – both mom and dad. They would do anything for anyone and over the years I have watched them give back time and time again – to their kids, their friends, and their family. All without blinking an eye. They are two of the hardest working individuals I have ever met, and I am extremely grateful to have them both in my life. I hope that one day I can do half the things for others that they have because that would be a pretty wonderful life for me.
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
The Woman in Cabin 10
WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
In theatres it was Bad Moms Christmas. We don’t get to the movies much. But, at home we just watched Horrible Bosses. I like comedies.
WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?