Hometown: Can I have two hometowns? Woodbridge, New Jersey and Huntersville, North Carolina
Favorite late night snack: Freshly popped popcorn, preferably with black truffle salt. Buy the kernels, put in a brown paper bag for 1:30 in the microwave. Spray with butter, oil or whatever you prefer. Add salt. Perfection.
If you could live in any TV/sitcom home, what would it be?
Without question, Will & Grace. Everyone needs a Karen Walker in their lives. But, I’d also happily live in the kitchen of the Barefoot Contessa. Ina Garten and I would be fast friends. And, I set a mean table.
Most embarrassing childhood memory: When I was in elementary school I broke my arm playing kickball. How does one do this?
Favorite smell in the whole world: My mom’s pumpkin bread. It’s delightful. I have the recipe framed in the kitchen of my house and we bake several loaves every Thanksgiving holiday. My eight-year old daughter made them this year and I was one proud momma!
Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson. LaCroix Sparking Water. I have tried every flavor that I can find and we always have at least four flavor options in our refrigerator. Because, that’s all we can carry home from the grocery store. We also serve them in stemware. We are that fancy.
So what do you do?
As the National Director, I am responsible for leading the foundation and reporting our progress to both the congressional leadership and our National Board of Directors. Our responsibility is to deliver the program to young people throughout the country on behalf of the U.S. House & Senate. I oversee all program, congressional relations, audit and fundraising activities. So on any given day you may find me in meetings with our staff, planning an upcoming event, reviewing Gold Medal Record Books, meeting with a member of Congress on the Hill or chasing Sibley (our office dog) down the hallway. She often escapes to the Science Committee. I believe they keep bacon under their desks, but that’s just a theory.
Hometown: Staunton, Virginia
Favorite expression: “Hurry up and take your time.”
Website I visit the most: congressionalaward.org, of course!
I will never be seen without… The fab five: wallet, watch, keys, phone, & ChapStick.
My life as a hashtag: #BeautifulMess
What’s trending in my life? I’m a new homeowner. I see paint and cabinet hardware in my dreams.
So what do you do?
I help develop our overall strategic communication plan, manage our online and social presence, and bring The Congressional Award brand to life through design. I cherish interactions and have a passion for bringing people together through our shared mission of encouraging and recognizing youth achievement.
Hometown: Newark, Delaware
What is in your Netflix queue? “Friends” is always in my queue, but I just finished watching the “Gilmore Girls” revival and next up is “The Crown.”
Cake or pie? Cake, specifically a black bottom cupcake (dark chocolate batter with cream cheese filling).
What is your spirit animal? A giraffe.
Do you ever count your steps when you walk? I do and in case anyone is curious there are exactly 18 steps from the bottom of the U Street escalator to the top of the Metro entrance.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
When I was little my parents used to bring my brother and I to a lot of different events and at the time I never understood why we couldn’t just run off and watch TV, instead we hung around and talked with all of the adults. It wasn’t until recently that I learned why they did that. So my best piece of advice comes from my parents and that is to constantly network and put yourself out there. Communication makes the world go round and it’s always good to make connections with people from all walks of life.
So what do you do?
As the North Program Manager I oversee all parts of the Congressional Award in the Northeast and much of the Midwest. I help participants from the very beginning to the end of The Congressional Award process – from registration to Record Book submission to finally planning the medal presentations. I am also responsible for the Gold Medal events in June which bring together hundreds of medalists from across the nation, their families and Members of Congress. I enjoy seeing the medalists from across the country come together to be honored for all of their hard work and dedication to bettering their communities and themselves. It is truly rewarding.
Hometown: I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico but my most recent hometown is Carson City, Nevada.
I will never be seen without… my latest knitting project.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? My time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Vanuatu.
3 things you remember about kindergarten: Filling my socks with rocks, running off the stage at a dance recital because of stage fright, and having to clean tables with shaving cream.
What’s your pet peeve(s)? The smell of shaving cream, when people crack their knuckles, and grocery carts with one wheel that won’t turn.
Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!
So what do you do?
As the West Program Manager, I work with Congressional Award participants, advisors, councils, and congressional offices in the Southwestern and Western regions of the U.S. Additionally, as the intern coordinator, I oversee the hiring and training for our office interns throughout the year.
Hometown: Escondido, California
I will never be seen without… Other than the normal cell phone and other personal effects, I do carry M&Ms a lot of places. They’re a convenient sweet treat that I enjoy having at work!
Where would we find you if you weren’t at work? I love local bookstores and fun board game stores, and DC has those to spare! I especially love going to Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle and Labyrinth Games in Eastern Market. Nats Park is high on my list during the baseball season, especially the week that the Giants play here during the summer.
What are some of your hidden talents? I’m great at trivia and having a random fact for every situation (although the people around me might wish this was better hidden!) I’ve also played the ukulele since fifth grade, and love to play every once in a while.
What’s in your Netflix queue? Right now I’m re-watching 30 Rock again (I think this is my ninth time?), but I also like the historical shows that they make themselves, like The Crown and Versailles.
Who is a hero of yours? I have trouble picking one hero who I know, so I’ll move into the realm of history, where it’s easier! Winston Churchill is someone who I’ve always looked up to – the ability to inspire a nation to keep at a fight with such high costs as World War II is so amazing to me, and such a dedication to public service I think is a real virtue.
Hometown: Woodbridge, Virginia
Where would we find you if you weren’t at work? Definitely at the gym or outside running! I am a huge health nut and have to exercise at least 4-5 days a week. Working out is my time to de-stress and focus on me, it’s become a necessity for survival at this point.
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better? I talk senselessly to my puppy. My pup is a small Pomeranian Beagle mix that was blessed with the biggest and sweetest puppy dog eyes ever. I’ll lay in bed and talk to him while he stares at me and listens unconditionally.
What are your pet peeves? These may seem kind of silly, but both scenarios drive me up a wall:
People that are unnecessarily loud in quiet spaces (like the library during finals week… rude)
People that don’t follow basic gym etiquette (i.e. putting weights back when you’re done & not lifting directly in front of the weight racks so nobody else can grab dumbbells)
What is your favorite family tradition? Outback Steakhouse Friday! For the first 18 years of my life my family would go to Outback for dinner every Friday night to relieve my parents of dinner duty and to have weekly family bonding time that no one would dare miss out on.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? “You create your own reality” – from the wisest person I’ve ever met, AKA my mother. When I was growing up she would drill this phrase into my head, and I swear by it to this day. The way you think about yourself and the situation at hand determines everything. If you focus on the negative or tell yourself you aren’t capable of success, that’s what will happen. She always told me to focus on what I want and to frame my thoughts and goals from a positive perspective rather than focusing on what I don’t want or what I may be afraid of.
For more information on which staff member to contact, visit the Contact Us page.