Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Fingal, North Dakota and moved to Fargo in 2015 shortly after graduating from Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks. My husband, Aaron, and I have been married for three years and have the most handsome and chaotic dog, a Shiba Inu/ Mini Bulldog named Rusty.
I have been in banking for nearly ten years, but I am coming up on my two year anniversary as an Internal Review Specialist with Western. I was initially hired in a dual role in Internal Audit and Credit Review, but now my job mostly consists of working as an Internal Auditor while still assisting Credit Review with quality control of the bank’s secondary market loans. Our role is important because we work to ensure that controls are in place so the assets of the bank are protected.
Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why?
Without a doubt, my parents, Lee and Karen, have been the most influential! They taught me from day one to always be kind, try new things, work hard and do my absolute best. Without their support, I would have missed out on so many opportunities and experiences, and I am forever grateful for their guidance and love.
What drives you?
First and foremost, what drives me is my family and knowing that they always have my back and want to see me succeed. I am also driven by the desire to be my best possible self, personally and professionally, so I can keep moving forward and create the best life possible for myself and my loved ones.
What are some important lessons you have learned in your lifetime?
Probably the most important—and the hardest to accept—is that no matter how hard you work, there will be times when you still fail, and that is okay. I have also learned that you do not have to go through life alone; you have a support system and there is absolutely nothing wrong with leaning on them during the good times and the bad.
What are some of your favorite things to do in our community?
My husband and I love to frequent local parks such as Rendezvous in West Fargo and Woodlawn in North Fargo so we can be active with our dog and enjoy nature without having to go too far out of the city. We also love to visit local breweries and restaurants so we can try new things!
What is your dream job and why?
Ever since I was a child, I have always wanted to be a historian. My Uncle Loren instilled a love of reading, history and geography in me before he passed when I was young, and this love has carried over into adulthood. Learning about our past and understanding events is important because, as the saying goes, “those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?
Right now, I would have to say that my favorite author is Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have read several of her books over the last year including “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and “Malibu Rising,” and I love that she has created her own world rich in drama and epic characters.
If you’re in need of a story that will tug at your heart, I highly recommend “The Good Left Undone” which is filled with a vibrant family and stories of love, grief and hope.
I also greatly enjoyed “Peach Blossom Spring” which follows three generations of a Chinese family dealing with the lasting horrors of war and the importance of sharing family history
What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?
I hope that I am able to learn more about who I am and where I want to go in this life, get more involved in our community, grow my confidence both personally and professionally and gain the friendship of a group of amazing women that will last a lifetime!
What do you think can be improved in our community?
I believe that our community could improve on the resources available for low-income families and children who want to get involved. While the United Way and BIO Girls, for example, have made great strides in getting kids active and giving to those in need, we still have a long way to go to make activities, events and even school lunches accessible to those who may not have the means to afford it.
What do you think can be improved in our business community?
I believe that our business community could work to provide better and more resources to teachers in the area. Our teachers are paying for classroom supplies and decorations out of their own pockets each year, and while backpack drives and similar donations are great, the business community should be doing more to supply teachers with the materials they need to bring a warm and nurturing classroom to students so they do not have to go it alone.
What are some of your passions outside of work?
In my spare time, you can find me reading (my goal is twenty five books minimum this year and I have already finished six), baking new and fun desserts, going on road trips with my husband and pup and spending time with our wonderful family. I also love to travel and I have been lucky enough to visit remarkable places such as Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica!