I was born and raised in Coos Bay, the daughter of a nurse and a small business owner. My two older sisters and I were educated in the Coos Bay public school system. I moved away to go to college and married my high school sweetheart, Jeff. After living in Seattle for a brief time where we had our two children, Bradford and Molly, my husband and I moved home to raise our young kids.
I fell in love with public service in our schools. I first helped out as a crossing guard when the transportation budget was cut in our school district; then came fundraising. I baked cupcakes and helped organize school carnivals. These volunteer activities quickly led to an appointment to the Coos Bay School Board in 1989. For eleven years, I served in this position working to balance budgets fairly and preserve a high quality of education in our local schools.
In 1998, Arnie Roblan, then principal of Marshfield High School, brought the ASPIRE pilot program to Coos Bay. I became a volunteer mentor helping students develop a plan for education and training after high school. It wasn’t long before I went to work for the Oregon Student Assistance Commission to expand the program across the state. I retired from this position in 2010, leaving behind a program that provides more than 1,000 volunteer mentors to 11,000 students in 115 high schools across Oregon.
I received a phone call from Governor Kulongoski in 2003 inviting me to sit on the Board of Commissioners of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay. For the last eight years, I have been serving in this position working to develop infrastructure and grow jobs on the South Coast. I was on the front lines when the Port of Coos Bay stepped up to take ownership of and rehabilitate the Coos Bay Rail Line, and I continue to be a strong advocate for investment in infrastructure on the South Coast.
In my free time, I enjoy running, paddle boarding, spending time with my husband Jeff, our children Bradford and Molly, my parents Dick and Bette, and playing with our three dogs Baloo, Huckleberry, and Cowboy.