I originally worked in sales and marketing and spent a lot of time traveling. When my daughter was born, I realized I didn’t want to travel and my husband, who’s always been a tech “hired gun” and was used to being placed by staffing firms, pointed out that staffing could be a good industry for me.
He, a partner and I started a niche Oracle firm and I focused on placing people in tech roles. We moved to Madison in the early 2000s and I continued to work in headhunting. But over time I started to feel frustrated in this role—especially because I didn’t always get the feedback my clients wanted and needed when they didn’t get a job they’d interviewed for. I was the liaison and it made me look bad when I couldn’t provide these insights: the job search system is very broken.
I helped coach a friend’s adult son—doing mock interviews, helping them navigate LinkedIn and showing them how to do a referral hire as an alternative to applying online. My friend said, “You have a business,” and I realized she was right.
This role marries all of my experiences and strengths. I enjoy helping people navigate their challenges and giving them a roadmap and a process to conduct a successful job search. It’s hard work and the person has to be motivated. I can provide good starting points, and feedback; I can help them craft a strong resume and LinkedIn profile. But they have to have the drive and the energy.
I’ve helped everyone from students looking for their first job out of college to CEOs who are ready for a change. These are interesting times during COVID, but there are still jobs out there. And I’m here to help people find them.
My most memorable caffeine was the coffee farm we visited in El Salvador. My husband, daughter and I went to visit an expat friend who’d moved there. He had a PhD in agricultural economics and helped exporters who wanted to ship their coffee to the U.S. We visited him in San Salvador and got to tour a coffee plantation (a vinca) and cup the coffee—which is like a wine tasting. It was absolutely wonderful and so interesting to see the process up close. My husband now loves to roast his own coffee and I think that started with this trip.
My current caffeine of choice is an eggnog latte. I love seasonal fall drinks, but I make myself wait until Thanksgiving to start getting eggnog. I also enjoy the occasional “Mexican Coke” made with real sugar.
My favorite places for caffeine are Colectivos—either on the Square or Monroe Street—because they have great coffee and great food. I also like Grace Coffee Co. because they seem like good community citizens. They took over a space on State Street—an historic building—and painted it black. The community responded negatively, and Grace listened and changed it back!
The people I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with aremy father, who died when I was in my 30s—I would love to have more time with him. And it would be fun to meet Roger Federer. I am a tennis player and former tennis teaching pro and I really respect Roger, his talent and his philanthropic efforts. I was a big Chris Evert fan growing up but would love to connect with Roger now.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: Equity. I volunteer at a food pantry and also help mentor people through Merlin Mentors. I’ve seen how so many people are struggling, especially young women of color, and especially as we deal with COVID. How can we lift each other up? What kind of training or education can help? There are so many young people who have the drive and the brain power, but they don’t have the economic footing to go forward. I’d like to change that