My personal philosophy is that you should find something you have a passion for—but don’t let it get in the way of putting your family first. Balancing work and family has been my single greatest challenge—knowing my priorities, and checking my actions and decisions against those priorities, helps me keep my life on track, both professionally and personally. This philosophy is paralleled by my management belief, which is to invest in people. I am committed to developing others and building a deep bench of talent. My steadfast focus on these correlating philosophies has brought me a real sense of fulfillment.
In terms of critical decisions in my professional growth, my decision to move to Mexico to study Spanish at the age of 18 was a defining moment in my career. That decision piqued my curiosity in people and other cultures and started me on the path to exploring the travel industry. Many doors have opened both professionally and personally for me as a result of being bilingual. Today, my family and I are involved in Medical Ministry international, where I have the opportunity to use these skills to impact the lives of others in need, primarily in South American countries where medical needs go largely unmet.
I am told that I am known for being straightforward, honest and genuine, with a holistic approach to business. These attributes are fundamental to building respect and trust, not only with my internal team, but with others in the business world. I have had a number of mentors, but one who stands out most is a former CFO, who taught me to think strategically and to consider the potential impact of my decisions on the entire company. He also taught me the value of outstanding written and verbal communication, which has proved its worth, time and time again.
As a mentor, I have this advice to offer: Do the things you have a passion for, and you will always do well. If you find yourself in a role you do not enjoy, or that you feel is not a good fit for you, learn as much as you can in the process, and find ways to focus on the aspects of your work that have value and that do bring a sense of accomplishment. Remember any role is what you make of it. Most of all, keep your priorities in order so that you are spending your time on the things that matter most to you and your family.