1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? Vice President for Institutional Advancement – but few really know what that means. In short, Institutional Advancement aligns all communications, advertising, branding, community relations and fundraising into a single unit to improve consistency of messaging, awareness and support. It takes a pretty forward-looking organization to move this direction, which is one reason why I wanted to come to Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare for the opportunity.
2.) Can you tell us a little about your education/career history? I’ve spent my entire career working in health and education. I’ve had an array of jobs, from speechwriter for the US Surgeon General, to middle school teacher, to fundraiser to marketing director. I like to say that ultimately I am a misplaced cultural anthropologist – the thread through my schooling and career is that I am very interested in how our communications shape culture, beliefs and actions on both the individual and societal scale.
3.) Why did you consider coming to Gillette? There were three things that initially attracted me to Gillette: (1) I wanted to get back into child health in either healthcare delivery or advocacy, and (2) I wanted to be someplace that was very mission-driven, and (3) I wanted to be in an organization that realizes the world of communications, advertising and fundraising is changing rapidly and is willing to try new things to adapt. Once I began the interview process and learned more about Gillette’s history and mission and met the leadership team here, I knew that this was the kind of place I wanted to be a part of. I want to be able to contribute to our efforts to keep the core what makes Gillette special, while helping to transform the organization to be able to adapt and thrive in the new – and constantly changing – healthcare economy.
4.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I’m one of those people who has to move around a lot, so I enjoy getting out and riding my bicycle, going for a swim or even just taking a walk. That is good because I also really like good food and drink – I am loving the great restaurants in the Twin Cities – and social activities. I also enjoy art, music, movies and games – things I can do with my family.
5.) Do you have any children or pets? I have a son, Alex, who will turn 13 in February. He’s a really great kid – he’s incredibly kind and he’s smarter than his parents (we’re just lucky we have more experience than him). Alex is in 7th grade, but attends West High School in Salt Lake City where he is doing really well with a tough course load that includes high school level Arabic and Computer Programming along with all of the standard classes. We don’t have pets because my spouse is allergic to pretty much every animal on this planet except reptiles, and they creep me out so I won’t allow them.
6.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? This is a hard question for me – I really love to travel and have been lucky to go to some incredible places. In terms of places I’ve never been but would like to see, I would like to tour the eastern Mediterranean – Venice through the Balkans and Greece to Istanbul – or India. I absolutely loved my time in China, Thailand and Australia and would go back to any of those places in a heartbeat. Also, the moon. That would be cool.
7.) What is one fun fact about you? I was once detained for several hours by the Chinese Army. Long story.
8.) How are you adjusting to life in Minnesota? I really love it here so far. We’ve had a few days that are colder than my native southern California body would prefer, but ultimately that’s a minor inconvenience. People have been incredibly friendly, and Minnesota drivers seem both safer and more polite than Utah drivers. I love all of the sunshine – even when it’s cold – and am excited to explore the state more.