Describe your role at United Way.
I’ve worked in the role of digital marketing for many years, but my role at United Way of the Plains is special. I get to share the stories of how we make an impact on our community. I’ve only been here a short time but have found United Way has a wide reach. On top of that, I’m looking at ways of expanding our digital footprint through social media and creative writing.
Share your career history and how you made your way to United Way.
I have a split career, one path has taken me down the road my family has always known and the other is my own adventure.
I’m a farm kid, growing up as a fourth generation farmer on a piece of land that has been in my family for 100+ years. Wheat and cattle were the primary focus; we now focus on a small cattle operation. I’ve always enjoyed this work, even fixing barbed wire fences and fighting poison ivy. It keeps you busy, keeps you on your toes and keeps you humble.
As for a professional career, I started at KAKE-TV as a part-time photographer and worked my way up to being a reporter. After years of working in the media, I was ready for a jump and found digital marketing to be a great fit. It combined my skills as a storyteller from TV news and focused it on crafting messages. I’ve only worked in non-profit roles since my time in media. It probably has to do with my background growing up on the farm: if you have to do hard work, make sure you enjoy it. Working for non-profits is great because you can really get behind their mission for doing good.
What are your interests or pastimes?
I love music. I’ve been playing the piano ever since I can remember. I’m not all that great, but I do enjoy it. In contrast, I also like using a chainsaw. It seems like every weekend is spent clearing cedar trees from pasture ground on the farm. Frankly anything at the farm is more of a pastime than a career. Four-wheelers, tractors and trucks; if it can get muddy, you know I’m down.
And if anyone wants to know, yes, I can still play the piano and no, I haven’t cut off a finger with the chainsaw. Knock on wood…
I do have a couple other past times. I’m really into photography and drone videography. I’ve let my skills slip but am looking forward to getting back into it. I’m also, apparently, an animal lover. I’ve rescued dogs from the side of the road and we’ve taken in all sorts of strays at the farm.
Share a favorite book or movie and why.
I don’t have ‘a’ favorite but ‘many.’ Jurassic Park, Twister, anything made by Marvel. I like the adventure in these films and in some cases, the fictional science. I would say that there is one piece of video entertainment that tops the cart; Shitt’s Creek. Never before have I found a show that I could laugh at over and over. I don’t really relate to any of the characters, but do find myself sending Moira Rose GIFs several times a week to describe my mood.
If you would like, share a little bit about your family.
I’m currently a dog dad of a puppy that has just learned that after enough tries, anything can be shredded. Pillows, clothing, important documents.
What is the number one reason you love working at United Way?
The impact we make for every person. I’ve gotten to share several stories about the good we do. It’s inspiring. Continuing that and looking at ways to make that impact greater is going to be a fun and rewarding journey.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
“I didn’t do it.” – if a piece of technology can be broken, it will break when I’m around, even if I haven’t touched it. Sometimes I can just look at a computer and it will break. I feel bad for the person in charge of our office technology. My PC will inevitably die for reasons unbeknown to anyone. It’s truly a curse.