Administrative Director, Cancer Research Center
JOB DESCRIPTION: I oversee the daily operations, development activities and finances of the Cancer Research Center.
HOMETOWN: Fulton. Go, Hornets!
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree from William Woods College, 1993.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: American Cancer Society Relay for Life volunteer; Delta Chi chapter of Alpha Phi sorority adviser; American Red Cross volunteer; Cancer Research Center board of trustees member; Central Christian Church – Fulton member; Columbia Metro Rotary attendance committee chair and membership committee chair, 2003-2006; Columbia Chamber of Commerce Chamber Ambassadors chair, board member, multiple-committee chair; Leadership Columbia co-chair, 2007; Community Nursery Schools board member; 40 Under 40 Class of 2003; Habitat for Humanity volunteer; Humane Society volunteer; National Society of Fund-Raising Executives Columbia chapter secretary and president; Women’s Network member.
PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: KFAL/KKCA radio news director, 1992-1993; William A. Gamble Governmental Consultants public relations assistant, 1993-1994; Cancer Research Center development director, 1994-1999; William Woods University director of alumni activities, 1999-2000; Cancer Research Center administrative director since 2001.
A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE: There are so many who impress me, it is hard to select just one. Dan Scotten, Lynda Baumgartner, Bob LeMone, Bill Burnett, Bruce Wilson, Fred Parry, Jose Lindner, Brent Gibson… They all take business seriously and strongly believe in giving back to the community. It is this attitude that makes Columbia a great place.
WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: I truly believe in the mission of the Cancer Research Center. Although I am on the administrative side, I am intrigued and fascinated by our research staff and their activities. Every effective therapy started at a laboratory bench before it was introduced to a patient. Our scientists work every day to find a kinder way to treat cancer—and possibly prevent it. Wouldn’t it be nice to see someone fight this disease without having to endure the terrible side effects of current therapies? I also work with some of the most wonderful people I know. When I left employment with CRC, I missed our staff, volunteers and board members. I may have met them through work, but I count many of them as friends. Those individuals and our staff are just good people, and I am fortunate to work with them.
IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING: When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher or a country music singer. In middle school, I wanted to be a telephone operator because they were paid to talk on the telephone. After broadcasting school, I realized a good news day was a day full of bad news. How depressing. I like to be positive. If I weren’t doing this or singing commercial jingles, I might be working with young people or for another organization with a mission I find important.
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME: I’ve passed the age of fearing that I’m not taken seriously because of my youth. Now, I guess my biggest career obstacle would be the juggling act all of us do between work and our personal lives. I am fortunate to have a wonderful support system with my family and even more fortunate to have a position that will allow enough flexibility to attend events for my children.
A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: My favorite recent project is my daughter’s flower garden. We are enjoying inspecting it every evening to see something new sprouting through the mulch.
WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: Nonprofit administration has an added bonus. I enjoy the administrative work, but I have the benefit of knowing I am contributing to an important cause. What holds true for any profession is the necessity to recognize the qualities each person brings to your team and to treat others the way you would want to be treated.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I enjoy boating and water sports, fishing, bowling, golf with friends who don’t keep score, entertaining friends and spending time with family.
FAMILY: My husband, Michael, and I married on June 10, 2007. We have four children, two cats, and one dog. Dustin is 15, Austin is 13, Bailey is 8, and Brian is 4. Skeeter and Margaret Gotto are 13 and 2, respectively. Barker the Beagle is 12 weeks old.
FAVORITE PLACE IN COLUMBIA: Downtown. You can find any type of restaurant you might be craving, and the shops have unique items you won’t find in a chain store.
ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: My family. They bring me smiles every day. It is my job to take the time to notice.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT: I once toured Great Britain with a dance company, I attended college on a vocal scholarship, and I have driven a freight train. (My dad worked for the Katy Railroad. It’s all in who you know.