I was raised in Montgomery County, Maryland about 20 minutes outside of D.C. After graduating from high school, I kissed the suburbs goodbye and left for college in the hills of beautiful Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I graduated from Shepherd University with an honors degree in Recreation and Leisure Sport Fitness after completing an internship at the Sagamore Hotel in upstate New York.
I had managed a women's fitness facility while in college and tried my hand at all varieties of work in the fitness field moving from West Virginia to Tampa, Florida to Raleigh, North Carolina.
While I enjoyed these cities, I knew that the country life was for me. I moved back to West Virginia and got my first state government position as a Child Support Specialist. I loved the work and helping families manage the challenges that come with their changing situations. I made the leap to Virginia Division of Child Support Enforcement and worked in the Winchester District Office with some of the kindest and most fun people I have ever met.
I got married in 2006 to a sweet fly fisherman who landed a job as a guide at the Homestead resort. We got married at his parent's farm in West Virginia, had our honeymoon in the Catskills, and bought our home in the southern part of Augusta County - All in one week! (I don't recommend this!)
I transferred to the Verona District Office for Child Support Enforcement and excelled at my work there. I attended a CommonHealth program while at Verona DCSE and asked the presenter how I could do what she did. I thought it would be a perfect match of my love for the employees in state government and my strong interest and background in wellness. I was totally right. I got the job and started out working for local governments as the regional coordinator.
When the opportunity came up to be a part of the Department of Human Resources CommonHealth program, I jumped at it. I am so happy to make a real difference for the people who work so hard for the Commonwealth every day. To know that I am able to provide them with reliable information on how to take better care of themselves and support in their journey to good health, makes me feel that I have found the best job in the world!
Why did you choose health education as a career field?
Taking good care of myself has always been important for me and I found that there was so much health information out there, it was often difficult to tell fact from fiction. I sought training in Sport Fitness to give me a strong foundation of knowledge to take care of my family. I also thought that college would be really fun as a recreation major. I was right about that, but I had no idea that being a health educator would bring so much positivity and happiness into my life.
What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy visiting people at all of the various agencies and seeing them learn more about how their bodies and their minds work. To be able to teach people things about themselves is just so cool. People are really busy these days and we often don't take the time to slow down and listen to what our true needs are - especially while at work. I absolutely love the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia treats their employees like real people, with complex issues that go beyond meeting deadlines and finishing projects. I feel really privileged to be a part of a system that focuses on people first. My agency coordinators make the job a true pleasure as they are great a keeping things simple and are committed to the improved health of their fellow employees.
Do you want to share with your agencies?
Here are a few super cool websites for you to check out local goods:http://www.buylocalvirginia.org/
Think about supporting local business this holiday season - keep your neighbors working and keep Virginia business strong!
Please contact me if you have any wellness questions. If I don't know the answer...I will find out!
1862 Parkersburg Turnpike
Swoope, VA 24479