If you opened your own business, what would it be?
I actually do own my own business! Video Production by Brenna is my side gig – I freelance video for weddings, corporate advertising, etc.
If I didn’t do video, I’d love to start some sort of baking or cooking business, although I have no idea what that would look like. I spend a large part of my free time finding recipes, cooking/baking, snapping photos of the end product, and trying them out.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would encourage my younger self to not be ashamed of who I was or of my bold, honest actions. I was (maybe still am? Ha!) a very bossy girl who struggled a lot with being shamed for it by classmates and teachers. Now that I’m older I see that my bold, bossy behaviors were actually those of leadership. I’m thankful now to understand that while I may not have been utilizing my natural sense of leadership in the best way back then, I have full control of using it in the best way today. Throughout my time studying leadership at Drake University and since graduating, I’ve been able to really groom my leadership skills and style to continue to grow as a leader. I’d love for my younger self to know what I know now and to ignore those who didn’t see me and my leadership for what I was (and could be).
Organization, commitment, and living life with integrity.
What makes you feel fulfilled?
Selfishly, I really enjoy achieving a healthy lifestyle of well-rounded eating and exercise. Since getting married in October of 2018, it’s been really fun to watch these habits rub off on my husband, too. I like sharing healthy recipes and running photos with my network of friends and family – if it encourages one person to make a healthy change then I feel pretty good about continuing to share that aspect of my life!
When asked to describe yourself, what’s the first word that pops into your mind?
Dedicated. I pride myself on my dedication to my training, my health, my job, my church, my hobbies and my relationships.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I wish I had some deep, profound professional book to share as my favorite but honestly, I enjoy reading for fun much more than reading for education/professional development. Each year I make a goal to read one book a month and this year is the first year I am successfully doing it (so far- let’s not jinx it)! I’ve been reading a lot of running-focused books and they take forever. The minute I dig into a fictional book, it flies through my fingers in a matter of days. Gone Girl is a twisted, dark book but I find it so fascinating that someone in the world can think up a story like that.
What makes your heart race?
Running. Both in the obvious ways of a raised heart rate due to exercise, but also with nerves and excitement. My biggest passion is running – I train 4-5 times a week with a group of friends and lately have been doing about one marathon per year, with other races sprinkled in between. There is nothing like trying to swallow down a bowl of oatmeal before you walk out towards the start of the Chicago Marathon, something you’ve been training for, for over four months. My heart races and my nerves or so bad I can feel butterflies from my stomach to my tongue (weird, I know – but true). Someone once told me that being nervous for something means you care, so I guess it means I really, really care about running, which makes me happy.
Organization or cause near to your heart-
Girl Scouts! Big surprise, right? I grew up as a Girl Scout, with my mom as my troop leader. After college, I sought out Girl Scouts and began volunteering. Shortly after that, I committed even further as a team member of the wonderful organization that is Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. I truly believe a big part of who I am today comes from my experience as a Girl Scout, whether I recognized it back then or not. Each year I see the transformation girls make in the troops I volunteer with. It is so important to lift up our young girls – they will be our future leaders. If you think women are kicking butt in the world not, just wait. Our next few generations of girls – Girl Scouts especially – will change the world, I have no doubt.
What keeps you up at night?
Irrational fears of fires, tornadoes and bears…I wish I was joking!
What is a belief you once held but no longer do?
For a long time, I always wanted to be the tough one who didn’t show emotions or go below surface level with others – especially when it came to work relationships. Within the past 5 years or so, I’ve learned that vulnerability is an incredibly important part of being a successful leader, coworker and friend!
What are you interested in connecting with other women about?
I’d love to collaborate creatively with my video skills and someone else’s creative skills. Also, any time anyone wants to talk about running, meal prep or Girl Scouts - I’m your girl!