The VP of Business Development for Powerhouse on why no day is a typical today, the art of visiting Dublin during a worldwide pandemic and why having a sense of humor is your greatest ally.
What is the most cherished item in your home office?
My bulletin board collage with pictures of my children, best friends, favorite quotes, and beautiful photographs and trinkets I’ve collected along the way. They are just things that make me smile, remind me of places I’ve been, and keep me motivated.
What is your favorite time to get things done?
In that quiet hour between 9 a.m.-10 a.m. (EST) before people start to arrive at our office in Texas. I also love the evenings between 5-7. I usually work late until around 7 or 8, especially during COVID.
What is the soundtrack that plays in the background of your office?
I get distracted if music is playing, so I typically keep it quiet in my office. I’m also usually on calls most of the day, so it’s impractical to have music playing.
What does a typical work day look like?
There is no such thing as a “typical” workday at Powerhouse. Some days it is nonstop calls with clients and prospects. Some days it is working on RFPs all day. Some days (pre-COVID) it was travel and trade shows. Others it is a full day of meetings. The one thing that is always constant is that there is never a dull moment. I strive for the ever-changing workday that Powerhouse holds and truly enjoy the variety each day brings.
How are you staying connected with your team? Customers?
With clients and internal teams, we do Zoom meetings, MS Team Meetings and conference calls. I am starting to do a little bit of travel again to walk job sites and meet with clients.
Name the band you cannot take off your playlist.
You’d laugh if you saw my Spotify playlists. There is quite a hodgepodge of musical styles, but who do I go to over and over again: Lana Del Rey, Drake, Cage the Elephant, and Angus & Julia Stone.
What are you binge watching right now?
I think the question is what haven’t I binge watched. “Dead to Me.” “Ozark.” “Billions.” “Succession.” “Killing Eve.” “Fleabag” and “Schitt's Creek” for a little levity.
Coolest thing you have done since the pandemic hit?
I’m not sure how cool this is. Crazy is probably the more operative word. I flew to Dublin, Ireland for 48 hours to ensure that my daughter would be able to make it back into the US during the COVID-19 European travel ban. She got stuck in Barcelona, Spain on the day of the travel ban. Her only option was to fly to Dublin and then to the US from Dublin.
Because she had an Italian Visa on her passport, we were not sure she would be able to get into Ireland. So, while she was flying to Ireland from Spain, I was flying from the US. I arrived in Dublin on a Friday morning and left with her 24 hours later.
During that time, the entire process for reentry back to the US from Spain and other European countries changed, and our entire return trip was disrupted. We were lucky to make it out of Ireland after a chaotic experience with US Customs in Dublin.
We made it home and had to quarantine for 14 days because of her travels through Italy, France, and Spain, and because of my exposure to her and hundreds of other travelers who had been in those countries, too. Luckily, we both emerged virus free.
Dublin, what little we saw of it, during a jet lagged afternoon, was beautiful. We hope to go back soon to experience it like normal tourists.
Favorite comfort food.
Gummy Bears, either the old school Haribo variety (I think I ate my body weight in them during the lockdown as a stress reliever), Sugarfina Champagne Bears or the Rosé All Day Gummy Bears.
Best advice you ever received?
“To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t just accept the ones you like.” — Mike Gafka
Biggest influence in your life?
My grandmother. She was always pushing me to be my best. She always believed I could do better and had bigger aspirations for me than I had for myself.
Trait you most admire?
A great sense of humor. The ability to find humor in every situation, and especially the ability to laugh at yourself, especially today. In our world, if you can’t find something to laugh at, the world looks very bleak.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Save as much money as you can in your 20s and 30s because you never know when you might need a little extra cushion to help a friend or family member in need.
First thing you are going to do when we get back to some sense of normalcy?
Are things ever going to be normal again? I’ve rescheduled a trip to Italy with my family to celebrate my daughter’s college graduation for May 2021. Fingers crossed that we will be able to go this time.