I envision a world where our autonomy as uniquely gifted individuals and our interconnectedness as a community moves and grows in harmony.
My mission is to influence this harmony by helping organizations create spherical systems that support their people and their purpose.
"You are a system thinker".
This observation from a mentor was the first time I had a name for how I am wired. My instinct always looks for the bigger picture, the story behind the story, and how all the different elements work together because I know it is in the nuances that our harmony is created.
I am a tensegrity artist.
In art and nature tensegrity refers to structures created through the balancing of different tension elements to create structural integrity. As a metaphor for systems, tensegrity refers to the omnidirectional give and take dynamics at work in all our interactions. We exist in dynamic relationship to each other. We are autonomous individuals and interconnected through our relationships and community. When we bring these dynamics into harmony everyone has what they need as individuals and the integrity of the larger system, whether a family, a business, or a community, is strengthened.
There is a great story about a guy walking through the woods who hears a baby crying in the stream. He pulls the baby out and starts to care for it and soon hears another. He rescues that one and calls for more help. Soon there are many people pulling the babies from the stream, setting up feeding stations, housing etc. Finally, one person asks, maybe we should go upstream and find out how they are getting in.
I work with systems because my instincts always take me “upstream”. What excites me about this work is the shift I see in individuals when a system is redesigned and rounded out to be spherical. It is like a weight has been lifted or a barrier removed. When our systems are healthy (well-rounded) it is easy for people to live into their highest selves and to use their gifts to be the contributions they are called to be. My passion for nonprofits comes from my mother. She was, in her words, "a professional volunteer". At the age of 37 she learned she had a condition that could cause a fatal aneurism any time. She was given medication, but beyond that it was a case of cross your fingers and hope. She lived the next 24 years determined to make a difference while she was on this side of the grass. I share her belief that we are all called to do the good we can when we have the opportunity.
I am an Iowa girl. I grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Roosevelt before heading to Tennessee for college. My 4 years at Vanderbilt University gave me a bachelor’s in communication and taught me that I am truly a Midwesterner at heart, so I came back to Des Moines to work for the family business for a few years before going to law school at Drake. While I learned a lot from my time as a collaborative attorney and mediator, I eventually realized it wasn't my path. I enjoyed the teamwork of collaborative practice and the amazing, innovative people I worked with but my instinct to see the full picture made representing one side frustrating. It felt like having a vibrant pallet of paints in front of me and only being able to use one color.
I have two amazing daughters, also Roosevelt grads (go Riders!) and 2 goofy cats. The arts have always been a big part of my life. I love the theater, I play the harp and I have been singing in church choirs since I was a kid. I think I have always been drawn to the arts because that is how we tell our deepest stories. It is said that what is most personal is also most universal. Our stories are what bring us together, the shimmery thread woven through our human tapestry. Our stories connect us and these days we desperately need more connection.