I grew up in a large family—the oldest of ten children. My father was a Merchant Marine, and my mother was a stay-at-home mom. When I was small, my dad left the Merchant Marines and took a job in the natural gas industry; over the years he worked his way up from blue-collar jobs into management positions.
Although I was born in Ashtabula, Ohio, we moved a lot when I was young. Almost every step up the career ladder for my dad required our family to move to a new town, and often the new town was in a new state. I loved the adventure of being in new places and meeting new people.
I have lived in Alabama for 34 years. I moved here in 1984 because of a job opportunity and have remained here all these years, and I am warmly attached to the beautiful State of Alabama.
As an adult with a small child, I put myself through college and graduated with a BS degree in microbiology from the University of South Florida, in Tampa, Florida. My first professional job was here in Birmingham with Southern Research Institute. I worked as a scientist and program manager at Southern Research Institute and UAB for 30 years.
As a scientist and program manager at UAB, I was able to make contributions in biomedical research, national defense, and environmental research. I also participated in the management of the lab, in marketing, developing business proposals, creating and managing budgets and staff.
In 2013, I took early retirement from UAB and began working in the new gig-economy in my own business as an Independent Insurance Adjuster. Serving as a catastrophe adjuster has allowed me to work with a wide variety of people, often during times of acute need. These experiences have left me feeling humbled and gratified that I have been able to help people navigate through difficult situations.
I am the proud mother of two beautiful people. My daughter Elizabeth is a successful certified financial planner and my son Zackary is a plumber and a decorated Marine Corps veteran who served two tours of duty in the Iraq war.