Photography by Don Kadair
Position: Vice president of marketing and sales
Family: Husband, Randy, and three children: Calob, Kendal and Cobin
Hometown: Kaplan, Louisiana
Education: Marketing degree from Southeastern Louisiana University
What was your very first job and what was your takeaway from the experience?
In my first job, I worked as a hostess at Ryan’s steakhouse. Besides being a great opportunity to meet people, a huge takeaway from that job was learning the value of humility.
What are your best productivity hacks?
Not sure I have any hacks, but I am most productive early in the morning, when it’s quiet—allowing me to get a head start on the day.
You’re taking me out to a business lunch in the Capital Region. Where are we going and what do you recommend I order?
That’s a tough one, because there are so many great places around the region. My “go-to” would be French Market Bistro or Phil’s Oyster Bar. Also, my “go-to” gathering place after hours is Ruffino’s. All three places have great food and amazing atmospheres.
What’s your ideal morning routine to get your working day off to a great start?
On the weekdays, I typically start with a cup of coffee and sit at my computer, catching up on things and planning my day. I find this is the perfect, quiet time for me to be productive.
How do you like to unwind after a particularly busy work day or work week?
I like sitting on my back porch in a rocking chair, enjoying the peace and quiet, and reflecting back on my day.
What’s something about your job that might surprise people?
I think many see me as a “sales” leader. Although I love the sales aspect of it, the part of my job I love most is budgeting and analyzing income statements.
What are your hobbies, or your favorite things to do in your free time?
I love spending time with my family—making memories with them is most important to me. I also enjoy playing golf and watching high school football.
What are some of the volunteer efforts you’re involved with in the community and what motivates you to give back?
I am on the board with Junior Achievement, and I sit on the golf committee. This year I will be participating in Dancing for a Cause to benefit ARC. But the most rewarding organization I volunteer with is Dreams Come True.
What’s something you’ve learned the hard way?
I think it hasn’t taken me a long time to figure out that hiring the right people can make your life so much easier. Hire people that are smarter than you!
What’s one of the smartest purchases you’ve ever made, and what’s one of the dumbest?
Smartest purchase would have to be a mobile home we purchased when we were just starting out. We were able to sell it for more than what we bought it for, which afforded us the resources to buy land and build our first house. The dumbest purchase was a house that was in foreclosure. I bought it sight unseen, as a flip project, and ended up losing money on the deal.
What is one of the best vacations you’ve ever taken and what’s a vacation you hope to take in the future?
One of the best vacations was a golf trip to Pebble Beach with friends and family. We are hoping to take a boat trip to the British Virgin Islands in the future.
Can you name someone who has had a great impact on you as a leader, or someone who has been a mentor to you in your life or career? How have they changed your outlook?
I would have to say my mom, and for a couple of reasons. She raised three girls on her own. She had to work two jobs to provide for us. That is where I learned what true hard work and determination really is. Seeing what she went through for me and my two sisters taught me to work for what you want and take nothing for granted. She is now the executive director for Dreams Come True. To witness what she does and how she gives back to these kids with terminal illnesses is truly amazing. Her work is truly meaningful and makes such a difference to so many.
What’s your strategy for trying to achieve a healthy work/life balance?
Prior to June of 2008, I did not have much of a work/life balance. I was determined to climb up the corporate ladder and worked tirelessly to do so. On June 25, 2008, my oldest was in an accident where he lost his leg. It was then that I realized that my family and the time I spend with them is more important than any title. It’s ironic, because after I changed my outlook, I became more successful then ever.
What is one of the luckiest things that has ever happened to you?
I know it’s going to sound cheesy, but I am so sincere: meeting my husband. He is my rock and makes me such a better person.
What is one thing you absolutely determined to do in life?
My true determination in life is to be on my deathbed and look back knowing that I made a difference in the lives of the people around me.