Home: While I hope to be a snowbird one day, Chicagoland will always be home. Age: Forty-ish. Birthplace: Born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago. Profession: Education leader, DEI champion, adjunct professor and editor. Title(s): School Administrator; Private Investor; Board Member; Author. Alma mater: Roosevelt, DePaul, Northern Illinois University.
Current project: Working on content for the book The Essentials of School Finance published by the Illinois Association of School Boards. Latest accomplishment: Selected to lead operations for the second largest school district in Illinois. So blessed to serve in this capacity. Woo hoo!! Latest contribution to others: Appointed to the Illinois State Board of Education's Professional Review Panel for the Evidence Based Funding Model. What’s been your big (or biggest) leap? After being on academic probation my first semester of undergrad, I went on to obtain my M.B.A. and a doctoral degree. Hobbies: Travel, hiking, personal finance, real estate. I also love to hate Crossfit, but that’s a story for another day. Recent travel or adventure: Barbados. I went for vacation, but ended up in government isolation for the first five days of my trip. While that part wasn't fun, the people of Barbados took good care of this American. Last book read: The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod.
Personality profile: Inquisitive, collaborative, loyal and sometimes a little too honest. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Since "ride or die” isn't one word, I guess I'll go with "supportive". Moral compass: Trust that GOD has a master plan. He wouldn't bring you to it if He couldn't bring you through it. How do you define an ideal business relationship? One built on respect and transparency. What is your guilty pleasure? Gummie bears (don’t judge me!). What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Social workers, our children need them. How do you relieve stress? Hot yoga, the steam room and the Calm app. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? An ocean. And champagne, of course!
What’s featured prominently on your home or office wall? Pictures of the people I love - including myself! What is the best advice you received growing up? Work hard, play harder. Advice I gave myself early in my career. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? My iRobot vacuum. What is your favorite app? My podcast app for sure. It makes my daily commute easy peasy! What is your go-to source of news and information? My virtual assistant Alexa of course! She gives me daily news briefs and reviews my calendar every morning. What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? The Great Recession. When the real estate market crashed, I diversified my portfolio and started developing multiple streams of income.
I would love to see the day when educational equity is at the forefront of financial decisions in schools.
What message do you want to send out into the world? Everything happens for a reason, whether you know what the reason is, or not. What mega-trend most excites you? The move to hybrid workplaces. While I LOVE face to face interaction, I appreciate the fact that organizations are being more flexible with staff work schedules.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? A Story of Politricks. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Angela Bassett. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My mother, who died when I was 22. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? Interestingly, I wanted to be a teacher but my father wanted me to go into business. We both got what we wanted in the end! What advice would you give your younger self? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My undergraduate college years. Instead of running home or working every weekend, I would spend more time socializing and enjoying those first few years of "adulthood".
Personal mission: To have a positive impact on as many children as I can. Personal motto: Everything happens for a reason. Favorite quote: "And still I rise" (Maya Angelou).