Occupation: Director of Sales, GreatAmerica Financial Services
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishments: Being named to 40 Under 40, participating in and graduating from the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance’s Leadership for Five Seasons program, and being recognized by my peers as a GreatAmerica Outstanding Achiever.
Who are your local mentors: Anne King, a business professor at Mount Mercy University; Vernon Squires, an attorney at Bradley & Riley PC; and David Pohlman, chief operating officer at GreatAmerica Financial Services.
What would most people be surprised to learn about you: I am an adrenaline junkie! I’ve been skydiving, I love rollercoasters – basically anything that goes fast or you have to go high. My friends laugh at me because I have a fairly calm demeanor, but I like to climb mountains and jump off things.
What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career: Regardless of your job or rank, making time to develop and help others is just as important as your personal development. When you start out, right out of school, you’re all about yourself and how you can get ahead, but I realized that the more I could boost other people up, the more I learned. Strengthening my team helps us be even more successful, rather than just one person being the superstar.
How do you ensure a balance between work and your personal life: Each day I try to get up early for personal time and a good workout, thank God for three things, make time for planning and reflection, and have fun.
If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support: I am a huge advocate for access to nutritious food because it is a basic human need, so I would support programs like Feed Iowa First that are dedicated to expanding access to good, quality food and advocating for sustainable food production.