Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Royal Oak. I am a proud product of Royal Oak schools!
Tell us something about your family.
My husband, Bill, is my best friend and amazing partner in life. We have two children: Matthew (age 6) and Annabelle (age 3.5). We have a 10-year-old dog, Lily, who is a mixed breed. I like to say she is Australian Cattle Dog mixed with the streets of Detroit.
Why did you choose to be part of the Parenting Program?
I became involved with the Parenting Program by receiving Individual Family Support and joining a parent group after my son was born. I often say I didn’t know how much I needed a parent group until I was in one. We have a core of five families from that group who still meet regularly.
I loved my group experience so much that I became a volunteer group leader. I led five groups, including one with my daughter. My husband was my unofficial co-leader and came to all the meetings with me; he was a great support to the dads in the groups. I volunteered for five years until a group coordinator position opened up last year, and I jumped at the chance to get paid for working with the program! I now call myself a baby matchmaker and I have the chance to help the program that helped me so much.
What was your first job in health care?
I am a certified genetic counselor. I worked at Beaumont, Dearborn for 10 years providing cancer and prenatal genetic counseling.
Who or what inspires you?
First responders and medical professionals of all types. The people who rush in when others rush out, the people who provide comfort in uncomfortable times, and the healers who help us recover.
What are your hobbies or special interests?
I am on an adult synchronized ice skating team and we are currently undefeated in our division! My workout of choice is Jazzercise, which I attend in Royal Oak and Troy. I enjoy crafts and geocaching. I am the unofficial Parenting Program staff baker – I love to bake!
What’s your favorite family-friendly destination?
Our family tries to get to Mackinac Island every year, which is a favorite tradition. But really, any city that has a children’s museum is my favorite family-friendly destination. We enjoyed Seattle, Chicago, and Virginia Beach.
What’s your favorite movie? Book?
My favorite movies are “Cool Runnings” and “Love Actually.” My favorite book is a “Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. I read it several times in print and it’s a wonderful audiobook too. It chronicles his experience with the Appalachian Trail and gives history on the trail.
What’s your favorite meal?
Tacos. I haven’t met a taco I didn’t like. El Guapo is my favorite food truck.
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough: it consists of chocolate and caramel ice creams with chocolate chip cookie dough, peanut butter cookie dough and a crunchy chocolate cookie swirl. That’s two kinds of cookie dough in one ice cream!
Share something about you that might surprise us.
I am a two-time national champion synchronized skater. I won the Adult division with Team Elan in 2005 and the Masters division with Allegro! in 2014.