If you opened your own business, what would it be?
I have always dreamed of owning my own event management company with a boutique flower shop space. I have a passion for plants and flowers that began when I was young. My grandparents had an orchard when I was growing up and I spent a lot of time in the greenhouses and in the fields helping my grandpa out. My love continued to “grow” with my first job as a 14-year-old watering plants for Boesen’s greenhouse and eventually getting hands on experience in their wedding division for over 8 years. I went on to get a degree in Advertising with an emphasis in event planning and minoring in Horticulture. I at one point was exploring opening my own shop, but life happens and my priorities with my family have kept me from pursuing the dream, just yet. I do keep the passion fed with volunteering for the SCI gala each year, doing all of the floral for the event as well as having done many of my very dear friends’ weddings. My current job keeps my passion for event planning live and well getting the opportunity to visualize and execute many of the communities’ signature events such as Women of Influence and Forty Under 40.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would have told my younger self that having high expectations is perfectly ok, but giving yourself a break is too. I have always worked hard to be my best and in being driven in that way, have been pretty hard on myself. As I have gone through many ups and downs in life, I have learned that there is not just one version or plan to having a happy life. The boxes don’t have to get checked off in order and that the path may go in unexpected directions, that’s not failure, yet the beauty that this life offers if only you choose to view it that way.
I like to think that I have a knack for people. I can find common ground with people and build a comfortable rapport that is a trait not all people have.
I can see things from multiple directions and consider all the angles in an empathetic manner.
I am intelligent, creative, and organized.
What makes you feel fulfilled?
I am most fulfilled by my daughters and the gift of being their mother. The girls fill my heart with love, hope, pride and bring to my life the most happiness. I am happiest when we adventure together to new places.
When asked to describe yourself, what’s the first word that pops into your mind?
My most recent standouts have been Girl Logic, You are a Bad Ass and Into the Wilderness
What makes my heart race?
Is this good heart race or bad?
My favorite heart racing is when I get to take to the pavement to go on a long run or when I get to go hit up a sculpt yoga class.
My least favorite cause to heart racing is public speaking. I was in debate, mock trial and a variety of speaking related activities in high school, but as I’ve aged its become less and less of my favorite go to activity. A year ago, I had to step in and do the presentation for the Book of Lists event due to a colleague of mine having had an unexpected accident. I could not get my nerves to calm knowing I was going to have to address 500 + of Des Moines movers and shakers. I took to the stage and accomplished the task, but later that night when I looked at my Fit Bit my heart rate was 3x my normal rate when exercising and registered that I had been “working out” for over 4 hours.
So, I much rather would be orchestrating behind the scenes and take care of the details of events, or lead a meeting of my smaller staff, or engaged in a coffee with individuals or small groups, than be front and center speaking in front of large crowds.
Organization or cause near to your heart-
I have worked closely over the years with organizations that bring assistance and empowerment to young women in our community.
I had been involved with the YEP board of YWRC for about 3 or so years before stepping down this past winter. The YWRC mission to empower and support young girls is something I believe in very much.
I am currently a coach in the Girls on the Run program at my daughter’s school helping to engage girls in positive mind set and get the hang of running (which I have been passionate about the sport for a long time). We are gearing up for our end of year 5k mid May. I enjoy seeing the girls discover how they can create healthy and positive external and internal mind sets with themselves and their peers.
What keeps you up at night?
Our political climate has me fairly horrified. I get anxious about what the world will be like and what it will have to offer my daughters in 20 years. I want, like any parent, the ability for my kid’s lives to be exponentially better than mine. I hope that the goodness in the world can be preserved and accessible to them specifically, but also to the masses and not just an elitist few. Everyone deserves an opportunity at a good life.
What is a belief you once held but no longer do?
The way in which I measure success is very-very different than the vision of it I once held. Instead of the social norms being what I strive for or teach to my girls, I realize that everyone’s happiness looks a little bit different and constantly changes throughout your life. That knowing yourself and being happy internally first is the number one priority you should have. I spent a large deal of my life putting myself on the back burner and doing what I thought I should be doing instead of what truly makes me happy as a person.
What are you interested in connecting with other women about?
I am interested in connecting with women on a genuine level about who they are and what makes them excited. I love to be able to connect people and passions.
I am always one to raise my hand to help out, but want the time I invest to make a difference and feel well spent.
Initiatives in the community I have interest in connecting over include: community gardens, young women’s education and empowerment, and education.