Title: Director of development at Virginia Mentoring Partnership, a nonprofit that supports mentoring programs through training and quality coaching

Born: September 1974, Fort Rucker, Ala.

Education: University of Maryland, Bachelor of Science in early childhood education, 1997; University of Richmond, master’s in human resource management, 2016

Career: The Discovery School, 1998 to 2001; Family Lifeline, 2010 to 2011; YMCA of Greater Richmond, 2011 to 2014; Virginia’s Community College System, 2014 to 2016; Junior League of Richmond, 2016 to 2017; Virginia Mentoring Partnership, 2017 to present

Where in the metro area do you live?: Far West End

Best business decision: “Continuing my education with a master’s degree in human resource management to allow me to learn how to speak to corporate partners using the return on investment language needed to influence and invest in the nonprofit I serve based on employee engagement and retention.”

Worst business decision: “Everything is a learning opportunity. I’ve learned that hearing ‘no’ in my field just means ‘next opportunity.’”

Mistake you learned the most from: “Learn the communication styles of your co-workers. I learned this lesson early on in my career after walking down to a co-worker’s office to discuss a topic only to be told he would rather I email him first so that he had time to process my request before discussing. Whereas I like to ‘talk to think,’ he preferred to think before responding.”

What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years: “Virginia Mentoring Partnership’s biggest opportunity is to move into the workforce readiness space. We have been training supervisors to have more of a ‘mentoring mindset’ when supervising entry-level employees and interns. As organizations focus on their retention rates for new employees, especially with regards to new college hires, having a mentor in the workplace and/or supervisors that act as an informal mentor will be important. Virginia Mentoring Partnership has the ability to help facilitate this relationship.”

First job after college: Teaching prekindergarten

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “I would have started journaling earlier in my career to help me explore personal and professional growth over time.”

Book that inspired you the most, and why?: “The Glass Castle.” “I am always inspired by people’s stories who overcome adversity. In her memoir, Jeannette Walls experiences a chaotic childhood yet is made to believe it is a fantastical journey.”

Favorite and least favorite subject in school: Favorite: human development; least favorite: physics

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