Hometown: Springfield, Ill.
Role: Director of Communications, Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus
Years of legislative service: 19
The skill she’s proudest of: “My organization skills. Overseeing all communications efforts for 40 legislators can be challenging, so being organized enough to track the workflow of the team is really important.”
Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?
I tend to thrive in environments where you never know what to expect. Working for the Legislature is a bit like that in that no two days are the same. I am able to utilize my journalism and art degrees while feeling that the work I’m doing is meaningful.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
One of my mentors would always say, “Be like a duck and let things roll off your back.” Considering the unpredictability of a communications position in government, this is a good rule to follow. Learning to let go of the negative and keep moving forward helps.
Who or what inspires you?
The women of the Illinois Senate inspire me. They have made great strides over the years. When I began my career with the Illinois Democratic Caucus in 2003, the Senate was 25% female. That number has grown today to 44%. More women than ever before are in leadership positions and at the negotiating table, and it has been amazing to have a front-row seat to witness the progress.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
I can’t name just one thing. There is so much to love about Illinois that I started a website about it. In 2014, I started www.ILikeIllinois.com for the Senate to counter the negativity that is constantly being reported about Illinois. From the scenic byways to the small businesses and restaurants, there’s a lot to love about Illinois.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
I enjoy murder mysteries and true crime. I recently discovered the podcast “Crime Junkie.” The women who host the podcast are incredible storytellers and always leave me anxious to hear the next episode.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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