Current position and start date:
Executive Director- I have 2 start dates. May 1, 2016 and November 1, 2016. Why, I first became the interim Executive Director for Hope House of St. Croix Valley in May 2016 at the request of the board to assist them through an executive transition due to the unexpected loss of their beloved ED- Scott Zahren who passed away unexpectedly in April 2015.
After 6 months with Hope House, I grew attached to the mission and work of Hope House and I was thrilled to find out that the board felt similar about me and they reached ask me if I would like to become the permenant ED, and I immediately said yes! It was a great decision- the staff, board and the Stillwater Community have been amazing to work with and to learn from! I am now approaching 3 years my third anniversary with Hope House!
Tell us about your background (education/last job and position).
I have over 20 years of experience in the HIV Sector, prior to 1999, I was the primary caretaker for my partner Tom who died of AIDS 1997. Tom was diagnosed in 1995.
What inspired you to apply to work at Hope House?
I was contacted by the board to assist them with their transition. I have been grateful for the opportunity since!
In what ways do you foresee your role making significant contributions to Hope House?
Hope House is very well positioned to make a significant impact in the area of Aging and HIV. My entrepreneurial spirit along with my keen interest in ensuring that people with HIV have the services and support needed to live long healthy lives positions me well to make a significant contribution to the long-term success of the organization.
What is interesting about you that you would like others to know? (Do you have animals/children/married/spouses’ name/ hobbies/ educational aspirations/ favorite food)?
I live with my Partner Mike and his daughter (my bonus kid) Megan (senior at Henry Sibley) and our dog Bella Grace (a black lab border collie mix) in Mendota Heights. Mike also has a son, Matt who is in his junior year University of Iowa. Our hobbies are gardening, traveling, cooking, going to new restaurants and laughing! My favorite food is home grown spaghetti squash smothered with homemade spaghetti sauce made with mild Italian sausage and tons of garlic! I will make it anytime, call ahead and I will make it on demand!