- Current Employer(s): Peña Plastic Surgery/La Piel Spa
- Bio:I come from the Midwest…CHICAGO, that “toddling town”! That great city is where I was born and raised. My mother is Eastern European and my father is a good ole Indiana guy… a beloved Hoosier. I am one of three children and also the eldest. Growing up I enjoyed singing, playing piano and flute, and playing tennis. After high school I studied at DePaul University, where I received my Bachelor’s of Science Degree in International Business and Finance. I also minored in French…I had the chance of using my French skills while traveling abroad. I also graduated Valedictorian of my Masters program with a focus in Elementary Education. In 2004 I met my husband, Kevin, at a Chicago White Sox game…go Sox! I became a mother at 24 and have two amazing children…a son, Austin, and a daughter, Camryn…I also have two great stepsons Kevin Jr and Nick.I vacationed with my family to Sanibel every winter while growing up, and in February of 2014 I had the privilege to be able to travel down to Naples when my friend opened up a business. I instantly fell back in love with the town. I moved to Naples in December 2014 with my husband and four children. I absolutely love Southwest Florida and feel that this is a great place for my husband and I to raise our kids.
- Community Involvement:-Bonita Kiwanis YP – Founding Member/Board Member- 2016 ~ 2017PACE Collier – Believing in Girls Society Member – 2015 ~ 2016 ~ 2017
Project Help – Committee Member/Volunteer for Events – 2015 ~ 2016 ~ 2017
Passion Foundation – Volunteer/Donator – 2015 ~ 2016
Cancer Alliance of Naples – Donator – 2015
Make a Wish Foundation SWFL – Donator – 2015
- Favorite things to do outside of work: In my free time I love spending time with my family and new Florida friends! I try to involve all in the different aspects of volunteering that I do because it is a very important part of my life. If your family is involved in volunteering in the community, then it will become second nature to your children. You know that old saying, “lead by example”, well that is very true when it comes to young children. If they see that you put a lot of value on assisting others then they will too.
- Favorite quote:“Life is too short to be living someone else’s dream” Hugh Hefner
- What does SWFL mean to you:Southwest Florida is where I’ve planted my roots. Three years leaving the comforts of the Midwest behind, I began my journey to a place I now call home. My children are thriving, my husband as well and myself I found a climate I like, an occupation I truly enjoy and a plethora of amazing people who I now call friends. I truly enjoy living in Paradise…..the place where others vacation!
- Best advice you’ve received:The best advice I was given came to me from my parents.They both believed that with hard work one could achieve anything. They believed in their children. They also taught me the importance of giving back. “To whom much is given much is expected”. There is no greater joy that the joy one creates in giving of yourself, your time, to those who are yearning to be better at something. It is through the understanding, that we really are connected as human beings that true empathy and compassion coexist.
- What drives you:I am driven by the purpose of wanting to continually grow in knowledge and share that gift with others. After all we are on this Earth to learn and the best we can be. Life is for learning and the fruits of that wisdom with others.
- Biggest influences:The influence of my parents, my education and my mentors have shaped me into the person I am today. I truly feel blessed and am grateful.
- Last book read:Emotional Intelligence by Dr. David Walton is the book I have been reading and rereading. This book is a guideline as to how to control ones emotions and to recognize and effectively respond to the emotional states of other people. I am currently a work in progress.