Executive Director, Midwest Inland Port & Community Marketing Manager, Limitless Decatur & Macon County
Who was your first mentor in life?
My father was my first mentor. His work ethic, community involvement, and commitment to family and tradition set the tone for my future. I’ve also been fortunate to have great influencers throughout my career. Observing how they interact with others, how they face issues and find solutions has greatly contributed to my life.
What was your most memorable lesson?
I carried out a project once that produced an outcome I didn’t intend for it to have. What I learned, thanks to one of my mentors, was that I made the best decision at the time with the information I had, and that you can’t always predict outside forces that impact the end result. Take the next steps and move on. We let negative people live rent-free in our heads by dwelling on the situation.
What does community mean to you?
To me, community is a mindset. We can be part of many communities within the larger physical boundaries that we live in. Perhaps it’s a faith community, a neighborhood, a philanthropic organization, a hobby club, or a small group of friends sharing a common bond. Communities, like the individuals that make them, come in all sizes, interests, and perspectives. Whatever your community is, invest in it. Your investment will make the physical community in which you reside more dynamic.
Why are you involved in the community?
When I moved to Decatur, I became involved to network with others. Volunteering on planning committees, working fundraisers, and serving on boards immediately expanded my network. Once connected with many different “communities,” my involvement turned from a goal of networking to a goal of making an impact. ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ I’m blessed that my position allows me to be part of the tide and be directly involved in projects that have a ripple effect on our region. As a mother, I know the work I do here will impact our son’s future. I want he and his friends to be unapologetically proud of the community they were raised in.
What advice would you give to people who want to do more?
No act is too small, and it’s never insignificant. Giving of your time, talent, or treasure is valuable. Needs exist everywhere you look. It can be both overwhelming and intimidating to do more, but don’t pause. Go for it. Find something that fills you up. Doing more for something that makes you happy will create an undeniable joy that will be infectious and inspiring to others.