The Inestimable Value of Consistent, Effective Support

I started my career at Idaho National Laboratory as a technical writer and have held various other positions since then, leading to my current position as the business division director at INL’s Materials and Fuels Complex. Some might assume that since I started my career in a support organization that I got stuck on that path. I disagree. I have always been enthusiastic about this type of work. Consistent, effective support is absolutely essential to keeping a premier research institution running smoothly and allowing our world-class researchers to continue innovating.

I have always enjoyed helping people and love working as part of a team, and I’m fortunate to have two great parents who I’ve always looked up to as role models. My mom worked in banking and embraced the opportunity to help people from all walks of life. In retirement, she’s the mom/sister/grandmother/ friend who drives everyone to appointments or takes them to sporting events just for something to do. She currently volunteers at our local library. My dad, an INL retiree, has never, not for one day in his adult life, been without a volunteer job. His volunteerism has taken different forms: coach/referee/director of our youth soccer league, United Way chairman, legal aid helper, and a whole host of other things. He currently serves as mayor of our small town.

I aspire to be like them. I followed my dad into a career at INL but took my own path. I can’t follow my mom because she’s better at everything than I am. But I am continually inspired by them, and that has helped me lead a rewarding work life. I have volunteered outside work in many capacities, but it’s my volunteer work at INL that lets me get the most out of my affinity for helping people and using my skills as a team member and leader.

I’ve always understood that I need to excel at my day job so that I can serve in roles outside the one I’m paid for. I have been able to serve in many throughout my 20+ years at the laboratory; some were mainly networking opportunities, but others have been highly rewarding in the support area—the essential area.

I currently serve as co-president of our LGBTQ employee leadership council, which we call Prism. I want everyone to feel welcome at INL, with a real sense of belonging. I can be my true self at work, and I want that for everyone. I want to help build a team that demonstrates our humanity, and I get to do that by working with the Prism group.

Help others while you’re on your journey. It’s rewarding.