This is who I am ...

TLDR: A thinker. A learner. An explorer. I love to get my hands dirty and build stuff. I also love yoga, bodies of water, traveling, reading, growing things (and people), and my family.

I was raised in the far southwest suburbs of Chicago where I spent most of my life surrounded by cornfields & suburbia. In college, I studied psychology, social work, and journalism. Graduating right in the 2008 recession and without a job prospect in sight, I bought a one-way ticket to Europe and became an Au Pair in Ancona, Italy. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by history!

Inspired by the incredible art and architecture in Europe, I chose to attend art school instead of grad school when I returned to the States. It was while studying at the Savannah College of Art & Design that I learned to design & build my first website using Dreamweaver.

Several years later, I became a mom! It was in those bleary newborn days that I taught myself the basics of code by customizing a Wordpress blog (Yep, Mommy Blogger). Using platforms like treehouse & codecademy I learned HTML & CSS plus a little Ruby & Javascript. When my oldest was in all-day preschool, I took a leap of faith and enrolled in Wyncode, a coding bootcamp, where I dug deep into Rails, Ruby, and Javascript. Within two weeks of presenting my final project, I had landed a life-changing remote web developer position.

With mostly startup experience, my roles have never been clearly defined. So when I was frustrated about building features that no one was using, I started reading books and listening to podcasts about user experience, design thinking, and product management. These topics fit nicely with my history of studying psychology (empathy, motivation, behavior) and design (UI/UX). Since my company lacked a formal product discipline, I suggested forming a cross-functional Product Team. It wasn't perfect - consensus based product development isn't ideal - but it was the first step to finding cohesion and direction among customer needs, business requirements, and technical constraints. Within a few months, the benefits of being 'product-led' started to crystalize and I earned a new title: Technical Product Manager.

While I still love coding (and do so frequently) my heart belongs to product management now.

My Core Values
  1. Prioritize the Living. People, Plants, Animals, Earth > things. Always.
  2. Embrace Curiosity. Never stagnant. Never NOT learning.
  3. Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway. Courage or comfort. Never both.
  4. Be Creative. Use what you have, create something new.
  5. Choose Carefully, and Quickly. Even the smallest decisions have far-reaching consequences, consider the consequences and then commit.
  6. Optimism Wins. Negativity kills.
  7. Rest. Sometimes the best thing to do, is nothing.
Credit Due

This site is built by yours truly using Gatsby.js & deployed with Netlify. (It's my first time using either product and I'm very impressed with both!)