Start off by telling everyone about yourself:

I grew up in Marion, Iowa. I went to Drake University for a few years, but left Des Moines to finish my degree in New York City. I loved living in New York – Brooklyn in particular. But when we found out we were expecting our first child, we knew we wanted to be closer to family. So we moved to Chicago. We were there for a few years, but after our next child was born, we realized we wanted to be even closer to family. And now here we are, looking for a place to raise our kids in Des Moines.

What is your professional background?

My degree is in Individualized Study from NYU. This is a very silly sounding degree, but what it means is that I got to design my own course of study and I designed mine around digital new media.

I started off filming and editing video of student teachers for Hunter College in New York. They used those videos to build a YouTube-of-sorts for student teaching videos and then brought me on the team to manage this database/web application. This grew to another similar initiative, and then another, each of which offered me more ownership and control, until I was building my own web application that drew from stored data.

I realized I really liked this type of work. During this time, and continuing through Chicago and to Des Moines, I've also had my own side graphic design business, which has afforded me some super cool opportunities like filming guest speakers for NYU's Center for Global Affairs (I still can't believe they paid me to do that – it was so interesting), editing wedding videos, creating print media like invitations, logos, business cards, t-shirts and creating small websites for local businesses. When we decided to move to Des Moines, I found Visionary right away, and I'm super excited about it!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Hobbies? What hobbies? Can you tell my kids about hobbies? When my kids are asleep, I really like to read, I love to turn on a really good podcast and go for a run, I enjoy cooking – baking in particular, and I enjoy just hanging out with family or friends.

What have you enjoyed about Visionary so far?

I mean, this will sound like I'm sucking up, but I'm 100% serious. Everything. Perhaps I'm still in the honeymoon stage (I haven't even been here a full month yet), but I really like all of the people I work with, I like the structure and organizational methods that VSI uses, and I love the flexible hours and the family friendliness of the management.

After being the primary caregiver for my boys up until now, it is such a relief to know that I'll be able to take them to their doctor appointments, that I'll be able to work from home if they are sick one day, and that I don't have to stress about getting out of the house at a certain time every day since the flexible hours make it pretty hard for me to be late (and I'm extremely good at being late).

Where is your favorite place to eat in Des Moines?

I technically don't live here yet (I’m working on it!) so I don't have a whole lot of experience eating out. However, I really loved the croque monsieur at Django and I'm pretty fond of the bison Maid Rite with beet fries at Reed's Hollow.

If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?

My iPad, sunscreen and bug spray.

Best book or blog you've read lately?

Defending Jacob by William Landay, I've been liking all of the books by Liane Moriarty, particularly Big Little Lies, What Alice Forgot and The Last Anniversary. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey terrified me and still terrifies me, actually, but was really, really good. I'm currently reading Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero which so far is delightfully campy and dark.

What’s the best decision you’ve ever made in life?

This is such a complex question I think it will be difficult to answer in the confines of a blog post! But the short answer is moving to New York. I got to meet so many amazing people who were so different than me or the people I had grown up with. I got to have some amazing experiences that honestly, could not have happened somewhere else. I met my husband there and now I now have these two crazy fun kids. Nothing in my life would be the same had I stayed in Iowa. And being away from Iowa for so long really made me appreciate the childhood and upbringing that I had here - so moving to New York actually brought me back to Des Moines!

What are your words to live by?

"Learn something new every day." "Be nice."

What are you loving at the moment?

I'm pretty obsessed with Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride.

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