This election is an important turning point for the City of Mount Airy. I truly do not feel that statement is exaggerated concerning this election. No matter what stage of life you are in, this election will have a major impact on how you live, work, and play in our city.
If you want your opinion to be counted, to be heard, you must vote in the primary being held October 8th and then the election in November.
I am the candidate of change. It really is that simple. You have choices in this election. Get to know your candidate or your current council person. Ask them your questions. What is their vision?
Since I am a tax paying voting citizen….I thought I would “investigate” myself to see if I would be someone I would vote for in the upcoming City of Mount Airy commissioners election.
This is Part 2 of 5.
Part 2: Background
Part 3: What are your skills that you would bring to the council? What will you do?
Part 4: The Current Issues
Part 5: What about some personal questions? What do you like to do? What are passionate about?
I was born in San Angelo, Texas on Goodfellow Air Force base. I grew up in Blowing Rock, NC. I moved to Mount Airy in 1991.
As a teen and college student I worked for the Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation department for the Town of Blowing Rock. I was a lifeguard at 16 and became the manager of aquatics at 19. I served as Pool Manager for 4 summers. I also was responsible for opening our elementary school gym on weekends and that started when I was 12! The police department was right next door, I was responsible, and let’s face it…no one else wanted the job! Working for Parks and Rec are some of my fondest memories!
I have a Health Promotion degree from Appalachian State University and a Master’s degree in business (MBA) from Gardner Webb University at night, while working and raising a family. There wasn’t online classes back then!
I have created 3 businesses from the ground floor. I have been involved in helping another small business become a “small player” into a dominant “player”. Not taking credit, but I made a difference.
I brought (working with Kristi Puckett Coram, she was instrumental) Japanese food to Surry County long before it was popular in this area. During that time, I was finishing my master’s degree and working for the Surry County Health Department. It was a busy and stressful time. We opened Shikora Japanese Cuisine in 2003 and later Shikora Express in 2007. Named after our four sons, the express is still in operation today, 12 years later. I have no affiliation now.
I assisted with the tremendous growth (from 38 services per month to over 900 in an 18-month period…we met a need in the community) of the occupational health department at Northern Hospital of Surry County in the late 90’s. It was a true team effort! Barbara Stone, Carolyn Martin, Robin Hodgin, David Jones, Bill James, and countless ER nurses and staff played mission critical roles in making that department a glowing success.
I administered a 3 year, grant funded cardiovascular project called “Start with Your Heart” that was funded by the CDC to the state of North Carolina to the County of Surry. (Click on this for proof I did some work!, LOL) It was groundbreaking in that my “home” county was Surry, but I provided the program to a 15-county region that ranged from Watauga to Caswell County and south to Rockingham County. The cardiovascular grant focused on policy and environmental change to address the cardiovascular death rate. I had to work with officials from all parts of government, education, and health. Amazing how prior experiences prepare you for future endeavors that you don’t see coming….like becoming a city commissioner!
After completing “Start with Your Heart” I was fortunate enough to be selected by the Department of Health and Human Services for the state of North Carolina to consult with 30 other states that received cardiovascular health related grants from the federal government (CDC). I was able to travel to many states and share how NC lead the way in cardiovascular health in regards to policy development and environmental change.
I worked as a health educator for Catawba Memorial Hospital in Hickory, NC for 3 years and for the Surry County Health Department.
I spent 3 years in management for the world largest retailer not named Amazon.
I am currently building my travel business called LIFEISFUN365 that uses DreamTrips as its flagship service. NO! I am not a travel agent and I DO NOT SELL TIMESHARES! Lol. My prior experiences and work life has lead me to this quest to get “everyday”, hard working people, on vacations of a lifetime, every year! WHY?….because I know how it is to GRIND in career, in your job or jobs! I know what dedicating yourself to a career can do to your family and your health and well being. I KNOW that you MUST take care of yourself. A vacation does not solve all your problems….but it allows you time to recharge and reflect. Many decisions that change the course of your life are done on a vacation…where you can escape the “noise” of your life. THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO NOW!
I am a member of Dobson Church of Christ. A non-denomination church. I would consider myself spiritual, but not religious. Jesus Christ is my lord and savior! I value my personal relationship with God above all else.