- Hometown: Richmond, Va.
- Role: Clerk of the House of Delegates and keeper of the rolls of the commonwealth of Virginia
- Years of legislative service: 25
“I’ve always placed a high priority on forging good working relationships with all whom I encounter, regardless of background, party or seniority.”
Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?
As the first branch of government, the legislature at its core is a “people business.” As a people person, I really enjoy meeting, working with and helping folks from literally all walks of life. I also relish the opportunities afforded by public service to listen, learn and apply my talents and energies to not just doing a job but doing it right.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
I have a disposition personally and a propensity professionally for seeking to collaborate and cooperate with others. I also derive a lot of satisfaction from being around smarter and brighter people—and those with different experiences, perspectives and skills—but who share a desire to come together as a team to achieve more than we ever could by ourselves.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
My grandmother always said, ‘Work hard, be about something bigger than yourself, have a smile at the ready and for goodness’ sake don’t take yourself too seriously.’ In practice, I’ve always placed a high priority on forging good working relationships with all whom I encounter, regardless of background, party or seniority. I’ve also learned that no matter how long the hours or busy the day, finding a little humor in every situation helps, especially during stressful times.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by “Service above Self” which, as a Rotarian, is one of our key mantras. Being clerk for the institution that was America’s original model for our ongoing experiment in representative self-government affords countless opportunities (in and out of session) to lead, serve and help make things right or better. It’s very cool and I derive a lot of satisfaction from serving the public good.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
Virginia is for lovers! I especially love, admire and have benefitted so much from our truly outstanding system of higher education. Virginia’s colleges and universities—public or private, big and small—enable one to become whomever one wants to be. William & Mary, Go Tribe!
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
I listen to Classic FM from London constantly throughout the day—often to the dismay of my younger office colleagues. At home, I watch a lot of cooking, travel and garden shows on TV. And, reading anything other than bills, House rules, the constitution or any and all variety of policies and procedures is a pleasure. My secret’s safe, right?
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Use the email icon above to suggest a staffer for the “Staff Snapshots” series.