Company/Organization: Ascension Lourdes
Job Title: Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
I grew up in Conklin and continue to live there in a big old farmhouse with my husband. My two sons are grown and living in Raleigh, NC and Poughkeepsie. After I graduated from Ithaca College, quite a long time ago, I went on to be a “DJ” at WAAL, then moved on to Development Director at Ross Park Zoo, then Marketing Director at Roberson Museum, leading up to my position at Ascension Lourdes.
I can describe my life since BLI graduation in one word: COVID. Seriously though, the pandemic has both forced us and allowed us to think differently about how we work, how we shop, how we seek healthcare, etc. What has certainly been a difficult time and a challenge, has also shown us opportunity.
Favorite books/movies (feel free to provide short explanation/commentary): I love Period Dramas so a few of my favorite movies are Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightly version), Sense and Sensibility (the Hugh Grant version) and The Dutchess. For me it’s a welcome escape to a completely different time and place (although I struggle with how repressed women were.) I also love Jane Austen novels, but two of my contemporary favorites are The Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt and Becoming by Michelle Obama
Current and Past Notable Civic Activities (boards, organizations, [member/officer]): I currently serve on the board of the Southern Tier Zoological Society.
Interests/Hobbies (sports, music, travel, etc.): Gardening, travel, home renovations, furniture restoration, hiking, skiing
How did your BLI experience change your perception of the community, and motivate you to become more involved in the community? Having grown up in this area, I thought I knew everything about it. It was truly enlightening at the depth of how innovative and progressive our area truly is. It has also reinforced that we have so many options for education and entertainment, diverse restaurants, sports, the arts, parks and outdoor recreation and caring for those in need. This can only be sustained if the community supports it.
Where would you like to see a future BLI class or leadership event held in the area? Ross Park Zoo and the Discovery Center, WBNG’s studio
What was your most memorable BLI activity/moment? The retreat was intense! The activities we participated in definitely did what they intended to do by breaking the ice and bringing our class together as a team right from the start! And jumping off that platform 30-some feet off the ground was something I never thought I’d do, but it was totally exhilarating.
What was the most valuable benefit to you from your BLI experience? First, is the connection to all of my classmates and the alum that I’ve also met on this journey. Second, is a new perspective on how innovative our community is on all fronts including agriculture, technology, health and human services and the arts.
What “nugget of wisdom” do you have for your fellow BLI alum? Open yourself to all the possibilities our community holds. So, many amazing things in our community have come from those dreamers who saw opportunity.