The people that make up our communities and the beauty of our natural surroundings are what I love most about being at home in Elkin, North Carolina. When my husband and I first came to this area to visit family over two decades ago, we immediately formed a bond with the peace and beauty of the area. When we became parents to four amazing kids, we knew that raising our family here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains was what we wanted to do. That is why I am running to represent you in the North Carolina House of Representatives.
My father was a first-generation college graduate. My mother worked tirelessly to help put him through college. They instilled in me a strong work ethic, the gift of education, and the importance of being honest. My dad worked for Amoco, and as a result, we moved from one small midwestern town to the next. Each of those small towns impacted me and shaped my understanding of how important community is. My parents set a shining example of what commitment, belief in something larger than yourself, and loving without fail can achieve. They are the American dream.
The lessons and example my parents provided me are something I took to heart. After high school, I studied and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation I started in the manufacturing engineering profession, working in aircraft engine manufacturing. I then continued my education in an MBA program, including business, language, and culture, and culminating in Master’s degrees in Management and Materials Science/Engineering from MIT.
Hard work and commitment are a couple of my core values. Those values led me to a successful engineering career and they opened doors for me. I transitioned into manufacturing management and then consulting in the medical manufacturing field. Projects I worked on ranged from blood glucose monitors to cancer treatments to Flumist, the nasal flu vaccine. Again, hard work and experience allowed me even greater opportunities as I helped businesses thrive in these highly regulated industries, ensuring that patients were kept safe.
By helping my clients to be successful, I was successful in my own right and was offered a partnership in the consulting firm. Hard work and commitment led to the success of our firm, and we earned the attention of a larger business and we sold the company in 2011. I held the importance of our work and the value of our employees very dear, and so I stayed on through the transition period to ensure that the most important parts of what we had built were well taken care of and that continuity of care was maintained for our clients.
In 2011, my family and I had visited Surry County and the surrounding area numerous times. We had a few July 4th celebrations in Mountain Park under our belt, we had experienced community events from Dobson to Mount Airy, Wilkesboro to Sparta. When the decision of where we were going raise our family was made, it was Surry County that had won us over. It didn’t hurt that my husband’s family was close by. Eventually, my parents also moved to the area. Even though I had the ability to be semi-retired, a mother is never able to stay still. Raising four kids, currently from 10 to 17 years old, and balancing a wide variety of volunteer commitments is full-time work in its own right. Mixed with the occasional consulting opportunity, I find it extremely important to follow that example my parents set for me when I was a child.
So most of my days are a mix of school drop-offs and pick-ups, volunteer meetings, sporting events, academic competitions, and practices. I also enjoy running and personal fitness. My strongest passion has been in ensuring that the children in our communities have access to the best public education possible. Since moving to Surry County, I have volunteered with Millennium Charter Academy in Mount Airy and Elkin City Schools to ensure the academic success of students, helped with the introduction to advanced technologies like robotics, supported critical skills like reading and mathematics, and coached academic competition teams. Community involvement and service are also foundations of my upbringing so I have dedicated myself within the community by serving or having served on the boards and as a leader with Elkin Academic Enrichment Foundation, local Girl Scouts, Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat for Humanity, Friends of the Elkin Public Library, Yadkin Valley Community School, and Tri-County Citizens Foundation.
I love the small-town feel that our area offers. The sense of community. The beautiful natural features and groups that work so very hard on making our area an example for communities across the country. My purpose in being your Representative in the North Carolina House is to unify our communities and neighbors, to be a voice for everyone. I have proven time and again to be a strong, honest, and compassionate leader. Serving as a voice for everyone in our General Assembly, we will ensure quality public education, access to adequate healthcare, a protected environment that ensures clean drinking water for not only the humans but the livestock that drives so much of our local economy, a voice for the workers and the farmers, and most importantly that everyone feels that government is working to uphold its responsibility to each of us.