I am running because education solves problems, reproductive rights must be guaranteed in our state, and our community needs an advocate to keep it safe and growing.
I grew up on Long Island, NY, in a multigenerational home. My grandmother, an anthropologist and avid feminist, worked to build affordable housing to get people beyond the cycle of poverty. My grandfather taught in the inner city, driven by the belief that every kid could learn and every kid deserved an education. My mother was trained as a psychologist; my Irish-immigrant father is a veterinarian. Together they built a successful veterinary practice that gave us all a front-row seat to the rigors of running a small business.
Through middle school and high school, as a member of Civil Air Patrol I learned military science, participated in search-and-rescue missions, learned to pilot a Cessna, honed my leadership skills, and made lifelong friends who still serve in our armed forces. During my senior year in high school, I completed my Girl Scout Gold Award. Girlscouts and CAP formed a foundation of public service and leadership.
I left home for Cabrini College in Radnor, PA to study History and Political Science on an academic scholarship. In addition to my studies, I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and other organizations in urban Philadelphia. I graduated in 2000 after three years, magna cum laude and with the Political Science Department award.
I spent two summers working for the Fire Island ferry service, serving one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities on the East Coast.
I learned how crucial it is to foster inclusion and to protect everyone’s rights and safety.
A summer internship at Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, a Manhattan firm that specialized in labor law, clarified that I didn’t want to be a lawyer, but did drive home the importance of unions and the important work I could do as an advocate.
After college, I started a career in Purchasing, learning about the relationships between American business and the Chinese, Italian, and Brazilian factories. When I joined Quest Diagnostics in their new central purchasing department, I worked with medical labs across the U.S. and learned to thrive in the fast-paced, quality-conscious world of medical testing where our clients constantly pushed the boundaries of medicine to save lives. I got a first-hand experience of how vast the medical industry is and how integral and fundamental it is to every American’s health.
In 2001, we moved to Minnesota where my husband had accepted a position in high tech and where I joined the ranks of substitute teachers. If you want a crash course in the education system, the differences between urban and suburban districts, and a cross section of Minnesota life, try substitute teaching. It was enlightening and exciting.
When we purchased our first home, I took a position at Polaris Industries in Wyoming, MN in the powertrain purchasing group.
At Polaris, I was immersed in the hunting and farming culture of the midwest and spent years learning more about finance, manufacturing, business, project management, and international cultures as I managed a multimillion-dollar budget and traveled worldwide
During this time, I also earned my MBA at the University of St. Thomas.
In 2012, I had my third child and chose to leave Polaris to focus on family. Full-time parent life is the hardest job ever. I used every management, leadership, psychology, and research skill I had to make it through those first years. Stay-at-home parenthood is rewarding in all the ways you imagine and in opportunities to get involved in school and community. Kids let you see new ways you can make a better world – for them and their peers.
In 2016, I ran the VoteYes group for a Forest Lake-area school levy.
Rightsizing the budget was more well timed than anyone thought: it improved the systems and support for technology in the classrooms that became so necessary during Distance Learning.
In 2017, I was elected to our School Board and have served continually, relishing the board’s passion for education that is the basis for every decision we make.
Before and during my time on the board, I’ve made multiple trips to the State Capitol to advocate for better school funding. We were granted meetings every time and they listened politely, but with year-over-year Senate proposals for low to no increases for education, I understood that we need more passionate advocates in the Minnesota Senate and that our educational system is only as solid as it is thanks to a strong Minnesota House.
With year-over-year Senate proposals for low to no increases for education, I understood that we need more passionate advocates in the Minnesota Senate.
With all that is going on in the world, from the denial of school funding to the attack on reproductive rights, I have to stand up personally for what I believe needs to be done. I ran for Senate the first time in 2020 in a very conservative district (SD31) and actually moved the needle. As a second-time candidate, I know a lot more. With redistricting, I am now in SD32, a district I feel I truly represent: suburban, education-oriented, and ready to get things done in our state.