Tell us about yourself.
I’m a bit of a nerd! I work with dinosaurs and have a ton of fun playing board and video games with my husband. I also have a blast painting miniature figures from board games. I have a little dog I take on long walks and play with all the time – a Schnoodle named Dudley – and I love going on hikes and, if I can in the summer, going fossil hunting in Wyoming!
When in your life/career have you been a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader?
I’ve been working at Dinosaur Ridge now for 16 years, and in those years we’ve jumped off a lot of high spots and hoped that we would land well. Creating new programs takes a lot of creativity, innovation, and risk – and fortunately, I’ve had more success with new programs than failures (though they are present and super important for growth).
What does it mean to “take the lead?”
Here at Dinosaur Ridge, and in my personal life, taking the lead to me means “problem-solving.” Whether it’s at work trying to make a new activity work or at home trying to figure out the best move in a board game, I try and take the lead. Being the first to say, “okay – let’s do this” always feels good because then comes ideas, inspiration, and delegation.
Why is it important for girls and women to “take the lead?”
In my experience when a girl or woman “takes the lead,” they’re often labeled as “bossy.” This has negative associations and is generally perceived as a bad thing. Early on you get called bossy and it makes you afraid to make suggestions or even think that your own ideas are valid. I say, “fine – let’s BE BOSSY!” Take it and own it. If they’re calling you bossy, the first four letters are BOSS. Don’t ever be afraid to be in charge at different stages of your life – on that playground, during that game, or in that meeting – because this is practice for when you’re the boss either of your own business, department, or group.
What has helped you achieve success?
Creativity is a huge part of my life – and win or fail, I use creativity to bounce back or keep moving forward. I’ve gotten pretty good at being able to take criticism and put it in the right place to keep you moving forward, so I recommend everyone try their hardest to push themselves to learn new things, try weird stuff, and get creative with problem-solving!