If you opened your own business, what would it be? 

I envision a restaurant with a large, supervised playground in the middle of it. The actual dining seats are in a loft above for parents who’d like to enjoy a quiet dinner while watching their children play safely below. Think: summer camps meets fettuccine alfredo. Kids connect and play while parents dine and relax, but you all drive home together with no mosquito bites.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

Lose the ‘tude. Looking back, I was naïve and arrogant about life and leadership and management. I wish I had been more patient with the leaders I had early in my career. I had no idea the investment of time, emotion and patience that it takes to effectively lead people and if I had it to do over I’d give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re doing their best and have good intentions.

Exceptional Skills- 

Optimism. I am relentlessly positive and enthusiastic about all the things.

What makes you feel fulfilled?

Achievement. I have a fiercely competitive spirit and I love any activity where I can measure success. From athletics to weekly dashboards at work, I love the feeling of seeing tangible improvement.

When asked to describe yourself, what’s the first word that pops into your mind? 

Driven.

Favorite Book- 

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

What makes your heart race? 

Uninterrupted conversation with my husband. He’s my rock and we love to spend time driving around or having a great dinner. We’re simply in a season of life with 3 kids, 2 dogs and busy careers where time like this is infrequent and sacred.

Organization or cause near to your heart- 

Is it too cliche to say Girl Scouts, because, well, duh! I see the impact it has on the girls in my troop daily. Dedicated adult mentors plus unique opportunities to flex the courage muscle is a recipe for strong girls.  But to venture out (and essentially cheat by listing two) I’m going to say the Iowa Amputee Golf Association. I’ve been on the board for 5 years and we raise money for scholarship support for families affected by limb loss. Survivors of some of life’s biggest tragedies- cancer, accidents, rare diseases, war, and beyond, come together to laugh, grow, raise money and sort of play golf. That annual weekend is one of the only times in life where I get to feel normal. It’s a group of about 65 tremendously inspiring, self-deprecating, optimistic people, hilarious, kind, generous people who have built a unique resilience to life’s hurdles.  

What keeps you up at night? 

The capacity limits I have on giving of myself. Am I loving my husband enough? Will the kids be permanently damaged emotionally because I couldn’t tuck them in? What mission critical items have to be pushed to the top of the work list this week?
What is a belief you once held but no longer do? 

I used to believe that being nice and likable were things to strive for. My life path has taught me that being strong, kind and respected are the qualities that move mountains.  I’m not afraid to be pleasantly direct about things that matter to me.

What are you interested in connecting with other women about? 

Careers. I love deep conversation about life, work, strategies, hurdles and the balancing act of being a career woman. 

Beth Shelton

Executive Director

Click here to contact Gina