I'm officially over the hill this year and have lived in Highlands Ranch for 15 years. I was born in Iowa, and have lived in a few states, but visited Colorado several times in my youth while learning to ski. We decided to make the move when I grew tired of the concrete jungle of Houston and the unrelenting hurricanes. When my company at the time offered us a transfer to Denver, we immediately jumped on the opportunity.
My husband also enjoyed visiting Colorado as a kid so we agreed on the Denver area. My cousin lives in Denver and had recommended a marriage class at Cherry Hills Community Church. That life-giving class became the center of our community. Admittedly, I did briefly consider moving back to Iowa, but there are three problems with Iowa — January, February, and March.
I'm currently a life sciences sales underwriter in the insurance industry, but my most recent side hustle has been the business novel I wrote with my dad, “The Best Seller.” He's been in sales for decades and has mentored hundreds of young professionals. We combined forces to help the younger generations who are trying to build their business — think Realtors, entrepreneurs, direct marketing reps and really anyone else who understands relationships are imperative to their success. The book is really about the power of mentoring and the importance of working together whether you're in business or leading your family.
I've been involved at Cherry Hills since we moved here and was a leader in the MOPS group there for a few years. Personally, I believe we all need a supportive community where we can “get real.” Being a new mom is extremely difficult and in the MOPS role, I was able to come alongside many women to support and encourage them. There were bumps in the road for me as well, and I was thankful to be able to lean on the group during the more difficult times.
I have also been heavily involved at our local public charter school. I genuinely enjoy rallying the community behind a good cause, so my husband and I have led the big fall fundraiser for a few years now with very low overhead and remarkable success. My husband is also a huge advocate of the WatchDOGS program, where dads help out in the classroom and throughout the school for a day.
Working with others and creating teams to back common interests is a passion of mine. For example, we wanted to build a community in our neighborhood so I started a quarterly block party. That blossomed into an annual neighborhood Fourth of July parade. Events like those have brought us together and built relationships not just among the adults, but with the kids as well.
In high school, I researched spirulina algae during an internship at a R&D company, and since then I've always been intrigued by this mysterious, and powerful biomass. Algae is not only a sustainable food source but can be used for water treatment and pollution mitigation—truly a well-versed organism. In a time where people are clamoring for alternative sources of protein (crickets, anyone?), spirulina algae should be getting more attention. Perhaps we will add some spirulina side dishes to the next block party and see what people think.
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