How did you start out?
When I graduated from uni, I wanted to work and travel abroad. Finland was the only country in the Students Working Abroad Program that was “close to home” and that would guarantee a job prior to arrival. I took a position as a French and English second language Instructor and I immediately fell in love with the field! From there, I moved to Toronto, Montreal and finally San Francisco, always saying “yes” to new challenges, never looking back, and more in love with the field than ever before, 20 years later.
What helped you get as far as you have?
I would say that my curiosity and eagerness to learn make up ½ of the answer. The other ½ are all the people who answer my questions and help me grow. I’m thinking of childhood friends (Val), mentors (Pauls and Dad), and so many influential women who inspire me daily!
What piece of advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?
Set your goals high and figure out what it takes to get there. Don’t be afraid to set them truly very very high!
A low point in your career/life and how you overcame it?
In the last 10 years, both my brother and my husband went through deep, dark and dramatically challenging times. While their circumstances differed greatly, in each situation, my family, friends and colleagues compassion offered more sustenance and peace of mind than they ever knew. Compassion, given and received, helps overcome life and career adversity.
One word to describe yourself?
Your first paying job: What and when?
I took on lots of babysitting jobs as a 12-15 year old but my first real paycheck came at 16 years old, as a ski instructor. The more I think about ski instructing, the clearer my retirement plans…
What do you do to keep yourself centered?
Weekends in the mountains or on the coast with my husband, or surrounded by friends. Early sunrise runs and yoga are also incredibly grounding! And sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.
What’s your favourite quote?
My mother drilled this one into me:
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Every day, my behaviour and my decisions are shaped by this very simple directive. I also really like…
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
What would the closest person in your life say if I asked them, “What is the one characteristic that they totally love about you, and the one that drives them insane?'“
My husband would say that the same thing he loves about me also drives him crazy: My optimistic attitude of “always up for anything”. As my mother would say, “Fatigante”!
What would your superpower be?
I’d love to manipulate time! Imagine the ability to add hours to our day to squeeze in an extra hour of sleep, a longer dinner with my hubby, an extra yoga session, or just a couple of extra emails?! Flying also sounds pretty fabulous.