How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? I have four kids – Jackson is 14, Addie is 12, Liv is 10, and Mia is 6. My husband Ben and I moved to Westport in Fall of 2002, so it’s been a lifetime.
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? I have always liked a nice business transaction. I started with a solo lemonade stand at the corner of my street, then combined forces with a friend on the block. She brought stacks of candy from the Costco-like store from back in the day. We expanded into fruit punch, pink lemonade and ice tea, and rounded it out with popcorn from an air popper wrangled from one of our kitchens, which we ran from an extension cord to the end of the driveway. Shortly after, we pilfered my parents’ garden and sold all of their vegetables. Later in high school when I taught swim lessons for people in town, I layered in private swim lessons after town swim programs to create more income.
While I started as an English major when I entered Lehigh University, I quickly moved over to the business college and enjoyed all it had to offer. My first (semi) paid internship was for Salomon Smith Barney where I interned for a young executive and ran trade tickets to the tubes to be approved (funny story – that young executive settled in Westport after being overseas and brought her kids up here, and of course we reconnected)! I was paid like $6 and change an hour. I definitely lost money on my train ticket coming in on the LIRR each day to NYC, but it was worth the experience and lessons learned.
I started at a large investment bank coming out of Lehigh in their middle market division (Paramus NJ!) and made my way to an analyst position in NYC in that firm. From there I grew and learned and moved around to three different groups to learn various aspects of the debt markets (structured high yield to investment grade) before I landed in my current position. This July will mark 25 years at the firm!
I feel it is important that girls find it the norm to see females in leadership positions, whether it be running a department at a business, running a business, or leading organizations at a local or national level. Because of this, I try to step up where I have time locally and focus on something that fills my bucket, like coaching youth sports. I always encourage the moms, older sisters and new to the community women who have time to coach to hop in and lead! I also encourage girls to try many sports at the youth level and find what fits for them, recognizing it may change as they grow and mature. Trying new things – often not knowing what you are doing – but being willing to learn and willing to make mistakes and retry, are huge life lessons.
I have found opportunities to lean in and help, while encouraging the growth of the sports and elevating local program offerings by serving on the Westport PAL boards for Girls Lacrosse and Basketball and being Rec commissioner for my eldest daughters Rec basketball league for a few years. Like everywhere in life, it takes a team to organize and create the programming at a local level. I have learned a lot by serving on those volunteer boards and working with various folks in town to help deliver strong youth sports programming. I have also had the honor to serve on the sidelines and coach many girls in the community across lacrosse, Rec basketball and Rec soccer. It is incredibly humbling to have the trust of parents to teach the youth in our community, and It is very rewarding when the players trust you and learn and develop.
What was your best memory from the last few COVID years, a strange time we know…Just being around my family every day which I wasn’t able to experience until the world came to a slow down during COVID
What is the last book you read? ‘The Poison Thread’ by Laura Purcell
What is your favorite podcast? Don’t listen to any although I am interested in finding some good ones to start with
What is one food you could not live without? Cheese
What is one product you could not live without? Post it notes
What is your greatest fear? To be eaten by a shark
What is your greatest indulgence? Naps
Which talent would you most like to have? To play the violin like a boss
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am inherently shy
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? Sleep in, have no plans, be around my family and laugh with them and friends
If you weren’t doing what you do now, where might you be? If I weren’t in finance I could see myself coaching or running a small business. Or maybe I’d just take a break and grab a few more naps per week and a long run or two.
Are you a morning person, or a night owl? How does sleep fit into your life? Morning person; what is sleep?
What is the first thing you do when you walk in the door after a long day? Shoes off, change out of work clothes and put my phone down
Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Who are your heroes in real life? My dad and my grandmother; my high school cross country coach and my lacrosse coach
QUICK THIS OR THAT:
At a movie: Candy or Popcorn? Popcorn
Cook or order in? Order in
Cake or Ice Cream? Ice cream
Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee? Hot
Beach or Mountains? Mountains
Puzzle or Board Game? Both
Wine or a Cocktail (if cocktail, which one?) Wine
Reading or writing? Reading
Before bed: Social media or book/TV? Book
Watch or play sports? Play
Stay in or go out? Stay in
Comedy or Drama? Comedy