Title: founder and program manager of The Starz Program, a children’s fitness educational enrichment program offering parent-pay classes in dance, sports and cheerleading and school-pay fitness programs that schools can use as their physical education program

Born: 1975 in Norfolk

Education: bachelor’s in physical education, Old Dominion University, 1998; master’s in education, Old Dominion University’s College of Exercise Science, 2012

Career: dance instructor, Virginia Performing Arts Academy, 1996-2001; health and physical education teacher, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, 2000-06; founder and program manager of The Starz Program, 2005-present

In which part of the metro area do you live: Short Pump

Best business decision: “When I started my company in 2005, my vision was to create something that could be replicated and easy to implement. I knew that I eventually wanted other people to be able to take my program and manage it independently. Thanks to a ‘begin with the end in mind’ approach, the company is now doing just that.”

Mistake you learned the most from: “I cannot pinpoint any one mistake. I’ve probably made too many. I believe that with age and the experience of making mistakes comes wisdom. I have come to realize, and have the belief, that when something doesn’t work out, it is usually because something better is in the works or just around the corner. Rather than get upset when things do not go as planned, I now believe that after the planning and making adjustments, it is best to be patient, allow things to unfold, and, then, trust the process.”

First job after college: teaching position in Virginia Beach

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “I would have been more patient and kind with myself. I am my toughest critic. I recently read the advice, ‘Why not give yourself the same love and compassion you would to a friend.’ That made a lot of sense to me. I try to keep this in mind as I move forward.”

Book that inspired you the most: “One of the first I ever read that really helped and changed the direction of my life was ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey. I read it sometime in 2004 and it helped me realize that what we do today affects our tomorrows. We have to take the initiative and be proactive in pursuing our goals. Covey’s vivid description of attending one’s own funeral really drove home the concept to begin with the end in mind.”

Favorite/least favorite subject in school: “Throughout high school, I attended the Governor’s School for the Arts. I was a dance major. I left high school very early in the day and by noon or so, I was in Norfolk dancing four to five hours a day. I was so fortunate to study ballet and modern dance and to be able to train with the best. Having said that, I only had to take essential classes in high school. Most of my time was spent dancing.”

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