Occupation: Marketing director, OPN Architects Inc.
Greatest professional achievements: More than a project or award, I think the greatest professional achievements are the relationships that I’ve built with friends, colleagues and collaborators over the years. I’ve been lucky to work with people who have inspired and challenged me and enriched my life with their unique perspectives.
Who are your mentors: Matt and Jeanne Brandes (parents), Mary Ellen Kenney and Mary Jane Brandes (grandmothers).
What would most people be surprised to learn about you:
I played rugby in college. If you met me, you would not suspect that was on my resume.
What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career:
I’m more aware of how important it is to create a network outside of your friends and co-workers. Volunteering and getting involved with professional and community organizations lets you meet people who you might never cross paths with under other circumstances. Cultivating that diversity is valuable and opens you up to a world of opportunity.
What’s something people should know about your generation in the workplace:
I’m on the cusp between Gen X and millennial and I identify with both sides of the generational divide. As a general observation, I think that people under 40 perceive change in the workplace as a natural occurrence rather than an unwelcome risk. My peers are looking for autonomy, creativity and personal impact as the markers of success rather than longevity or job security.
If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support?
Alleviating childhood poverty, encouraging universal access to education and advocating for women’s economic and social equality.
What is your biggest passion?
Connecting with peope, helping them articulate their strengths and goals and encouraging them in their careers and lives.