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Place of birth: Terre Haute
Date of birth: July 3, 1979
Title: Bartholomew County prevention services manager for Turning Point Domestic Violence Services
Duties: Supervising outreach staff and focusing on domestic violence prevention and education to eliminate domestic violence
Education: Bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana State University
Family: Husband, Kevin; daughters Emma and Sydney
Came to Columbus in: 2002 to work at Fresh Start
Community involvement: I’ve been involved with the Homeless Coalition, Substance Abuse Council, Desperate Households, Communities that Care and Domestic Violence Action Team.
Hobbies: I spend a lot of time with my kids (dance, choir, piano) and we spend a lot of time together in the yard, tending to flowers and a vegetable garden. I really like being outdoors and I love to fish. I also like to get together with a small group at church to study the Bible, have a meal or just to talk.
What was your first job
At 15, I worked at a tax firm, helping accountants during tax season.
What lessons did you learn from that job?
I had to be responsible, on time and organized. I also learned that if you work hard you get a paycheck, which, at 15, was kind of exciting. I also made good connections. The company did my taxes for me for free until I left Terre Haute.
How did your leadership abilities develop?
In college, I held management positions in retail, and when I moved to Columbus, I learned a lot from interacting with and observing the many leaders in this community, including Larry Perkinson, liaison officer at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., and former Turning Point president Pat Smith.
What are the biggest leadership lessons you’ve learned?
That you don’t have to be involved in every activity or everything in your organizations — but that you should focus on and be passionate about the things in which you are involved. And make sure you have a good team around you, from co-workers to community partners.
What do you like best about your job?
I like working with the people, both the employees here and the people we help. The passion of my team really motivates me, and helping people is very gratifying. I also really appreciate my employer’s flexibility. I recently switched to a 32-hour work week, because I want to focus on spending a lot of time with my children. I think it doesn’t make sense for me to tell everybody to make good choices for their families and to not make those good choices myself.
What do you like least?
That the work never stops. It doesn’t matter if you work 20 hours or 60 hours, there’s always more to do. And the system sometimes frustrates me, especially when it gets in the way of people working hard to help others.
What advice do you have for people who are just now starting out in their careers? How can they make sure they contribute?
Build your resume as early as you can. Start in seventh or eighth grade. No matter where you come from, there are opportunities in Columbus to get involved. We have teenagers in this community who do some really amazing things, and if more students knew about that and would get involved, they would become leaders far earlier than they do.
What’s your favorite place to visit and why?
The state of Washington, because my sisters live there, because the scenery is beautiful and because you can do something different every day.
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