A Sun series focusing on people you should know
OCCUPATION: Social media and marketing manager for the Jonnycake Center of Westerly.
RESIDENCE: New London.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: Columbus, Ohio.
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Monitoring the COVID-19 threat and ensuring that the Jonnycake Center of Westerly continues to serve our clients and neighbors in need.
I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: Learning history, reading, walking, following current events, and traveling.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Building a life for myself in a part of the country that's pretty different from where I grew up.
I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Bringing thoughtfulness, compassion, and humor into my work and life.
TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: See more of the world and cook twice as much as I do now.
I ALWAYS CARRY: Smartphone, wallet, keys, chapstick and mints.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: Broadway actor or train engineer.
MY HEROES ARE: My mom and Theodore Roosevelt. My mom was the first woman in her family to go to college, and went on to earn a medical degree, becoming a practicing doctor in the early 1970s. She did this at a time when women were just beginning to enter the field, while also managing to raise four children. I admire her as a trailblazer as well as a model of love, courage, and wisdom. Teddy Roosevelt represents the best in America. He was a larger-than-life figure who, despite unending setbacks, performed monumental accomplishments that transformed American society. The country today is a better place because of his leadership over a hundred years ago.
FAVORITE AUTHORS: E.L. Doctorow, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, and Kurt Vonnegut.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: Currently finishing 'A Gentleman in Moscow' by Amor Towles. I might reread Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy' series next.
SONGS ON MY PLAYLIST: The entire soundtrack of “Les Miserables.” It’s the most beautiful music in the world!
FAVORITE MOVIE: 'Inglorious Basterds” by Quentin Tarantino. It has a little bit of everything.
FAVORITE TV SHOW: 'Bojack Horseman” on Netflix. Such a moving, funny, intelligent, introspective series.
FAVORITE RADIO SHOW: Anything on WBLQ or NPR.
FAVORITE SONG/GENRE OF MUSIC: I like all music that sounds beautiful and expressive.
I could listen to “Les Miserables” or “Phantom of the Opera' all day, or soundtracks to Cirque du Soleil shows, Tchaikovsky, Doo-Wop, Pink Floyd, or Elton John. If the music is melodic and expressive, I want to hear it!
TOP COMFORT FOOD: Macaroni and cheese.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and You-Tube.
TRAITS I MOST ADMIRE: Mindfulness, independence of thought, humor, and a strong work ethic.
PET PEEVES: Dismissing an idea without giving it consideration. Also, people who discard their empty shopping carts in parking lot spaces.
FAVORITE QUOTATION: 'People may not always remember the words you say, but they’ll always remember how you've made them feel.'
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: The incredible generosity of the community. I've lived in other parts of the country where there was not such a sense of community as there is in shoreline Rhode Island and Connecticut. Seeing firsthand how Westerly-area residents banded together to donate toys and gifts for hundreds of families in need during the 2019 holiday season, and the amazing support the Jonnycake Center of Westerly's Food Pantry is receiving as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic, is truly humbling.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: A good book, beautiful music, or my sweet cat, Benny.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I’m fascinated by early 20th century history, especially political movements, art, architecture, fashion, technology, railroads, steamships, and air travel.
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: Don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: History repeats itself. Study the past and you’ll have an idea what’s coming in the future.
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: Foster creativity, thoughtfulness, and truth.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: See as much of the world as I can and revisit my favorite places and people.
I DRIVE A: Gray 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan, purchased up the road at Valenti of Mystic.
I WISH I DROVE A: Zeppelin.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Leftovers.
IF I COULD INVITE ONE SPECIAL PERSON TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER AND CONVERSATION, I WOULD INVITE: Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a prolific 19th-century British civil engineer whose advanced engineering designs were decades ahead of their time. He was a genius at what he did, and he helped literally build our modern world.
— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro