My dad was a landscape architect… or, when I was younger, he just “worked with plants.” He planned and pruned, staying out for 12-16 hours a day, talking to the one Earthly creature who wouldn’t talk back to him (six girls; one bathroom). He called me “Pollyanna.”
Doors propped up on the kitchen table to clean northern Minnesota wild blueberries, playing Norwegian Wood on a pipe organ, snowmobiling 50 MPH across a frozen Arctic lake, a kitchen overflowing with the scent of homemade Christmas wreaths, singing backup for Sister Sledge, my dad taking me overseas for his brother’s funeral – because he was afraid the United States wouldn’t let him back in without me: these are the things I remember.
These things prepared me… to manage a grassroots hurricane rescue org, coordinate a resistance response in support of health insurance, and create rainbow graphics for the resistance church.
Business consultant and communications strategist with two decades of experience in educational technology, organizational development, and UX/visual design | Speaker | Editor | Entrepreneur | Project manager | Corporate university strategist for two Fortune 100s | State government learning consultant for the Affordable Care Act, Employment and Economic Development, Housing Finance, and Preparedness and Emergency Response Centers | Board member for several nonprofits serving youth leadership, education, and public safety | Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award winner
Musician | Composer | Artist | Author | Immigrant | Monarch whisperer | Pipe organ player | Social justice advocate | Purveyor of faith in humanity | Maker of a mean lasagna
The shorter list is a lot more important… and probably a lot more interesting.
What does it all mean?
I’ve had a few decades to figure out who I really am and what I really want to do. One thing’s clear: I avoid the sun. I mean that literally and figuratively. I enjoy dark corners, rainy days and sharing a nine-mile stare with my laptop. And yet – the enigma in me sings lead and plays mandolin in a band.
I can talk the hell out of a keynote, but I’ll probably run from the room, once I’m done. I can manage the hell out of a project, but I’ll probably hand it over to someone else for accolades. I can design the hell out of a business logo, but I’ll probably never get to my own.
One thing’s clear: I will never compromise who I am or what I believe. I bring my whole, authentic self, wherever I go. Usually, that means you get kindness and good cheer.
If I’ve had my coffee.
You too? Let’s meet.