I am a woman of many interests. By day, I am the director of communications and engagement at a community bank. I am active in the local chapter and national organization of the Association for Women in Communications and it’s charitable foundation the AWC Advancement Fund. I also serve on the board of directors for Social Media Club Des Moines. Away from work, I enjoy creative writing as most of my writing at work is reporting employee activities or social media governed by bank regulations.
After earning a Journalism Degree from Drake University, I grew up in the information technology department at a large international insurance company managing a team of technical writers. An early lover of sci fi, I had already embraced computers and learned to keep up with the latest technology.
By night and on the weekends, I love to garden and take photographs. The thrill of the hunt for antiques and folk art beckons me. New avocations are ballroom dancing and painting.
I have been an internationally known teddy bear artist for over 30 years. When the Teddy Bear Reunion in the Heartland 2015 was cancelled I was charged with producing a teddy bear event to replace it in Des Moines, Iowa USA. I decided to produce two separate events – Americana Fine Folk Art Festival in June 2017 and Teddy Bear Festival in October 2017. It remains to be seen if I am able to produce any more of these events.
Since an economic downturn negatively affected the collectibles market and many of us full-time artists turned to or former careers, I teamed up with two other teddy bear artists and long-time friends, Joel Hoy and Terri Larson, to form a cooperative called Once Upon a Needle. We have occasional online gallery shows and about once a year I attend a live teddy bear or folk art show and represent all three of us.
Two West Highland White terriers, Rowdy and Scamp, call me “Mom”. So do my three adult children. My husband and I recently added two cat brothers, Finn and Mango, to our household. There is some tension between them and the terriers.
A few years ago, I became an ordained minister and have officiated at my first weddings.