Lecturer on “SMMP—Determining Organizational Structures and Influences for Support” at the 2009 Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress; adjunct instructor at Minnesota State University at Moorhead; founding maven at The Mavens Network, a group of experienced hospitality industry individuals who speak on strategic issues impacting the way business is done now and in the future; and managing partner of her own consulting company, Red Barn Group, Fargo, N.D.
1. If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?
This minute, sitting front row at the Tony Awards. Any other time, I’d be home, sweet home: Fargo, North Dakota!
2. If you could be a superhero, what super power would you want?
I think I would be invisible. I like to snoop and know what people are talking and thinking about when their guard is down. I will admit: I am that person in the next booth, listening to your dinner conversation. I just find people so fascinating that I want to peek into their worlds.
3. It's time for a second (third, fourth?) career, what do you choose?
Author. I hate to sit down and write, but would love to write a book. Maybe I could hire a ghost writer and just be a storyteller!
4. What's the best book you read in the past year?
The Moment I First Believed by Wally Lamb. It’s about fictional teachers who worked at Columbine High School but it goes deeper into history about women’s prisons, Civil War history, the Quakers, and Mark Twain. Who can do all that in one book?
5. Who inspires you?
Anyone who stands up for what he or she believes in despite being told they can’t do it. I am astounded by people who persevere against all odds. I don’t even have to agree with their points of view, but just interacting with someone who is passionate about what he or she believes in always inspires me to be true to myself.
6. If you could trade places with anyone (living or from history) for a week, who would you choose?
Oprah when she does one of her hero events, so then I could meet some incredible people.
7. What is your favorite cause/charity?
Animal adoption ranks high on my list. Also, cancer, as I have lost a couple of family members to it. Andgiving back to this industry. I try to give back when I can through speaking to students, mentoring students, and volunteering in professional organizations.
8. How do you strike a balance between work and your personal life?
I don’t really. I think sometimes work wins and sometimes my personal life wins. I know that working for myself allows me to figure out what needs the most attention at any given time. By far, I still find one pushing on the other, but I think it doesn’t feel as much like pressure as it would if I worked 9 to 5 for an employer.
9. What is your greatest strength?
I feel deeply about people and things. I think it is also my weakness, since I don’t think I give the things the time that I feel they deserve, despite my depth of feelings about them.
10. If you could go back in time, what would you change about your life?
This is probably the toughest question. As I look back, there are many things that were painful and wouldn’t want to do them again. However, I don’t think I would be who I am today without going through them. Would I spend more time with my grandfather before he died? Would I tell one of my best friends not to get on that airplane? Would I rethink a disastrous marriage? Yes to all of the above, but then I would not appreciate the time I did have with my grandfather, I would not know how strong I and others could be at a tragic loss of a bright light, and I would not have my son, who provides me love, inspiration, and a high standard to live up to!