1. Please list your current employer/occupation, your class year, the name of your class project and your role in making the project happen.
I am currently the Executive Director of the Open Hearts Foundation, a non-profit Co-Founded by award winning actress and philanthropist, Jane Seymour. The Foundation fulfills its mission by providing grants to emerging charities serving women and children and engaging volunteers to find purpose in alignment with the Open Hearts Philosophy.
I am a proud member of LB13 and grateful to The Walt Disney Company, who sponsored my participation. Our class project was “31 Violins,” where we raised funds to provide violins and music stands to elementary music programs in two of Burbank Unified School District’s elementary schools. My role was on the Finance team of the class project and I may have also jumped in to help sell more raffle tickets during our fundraising event at the Flappers Comedy Club. 🙂 Our collective fundraising efforts were so successful that we were able to deliver the 31 violins and donate more than $10,000 to a third elementary school and help them begin their music program. It was a team effort!
2. What has been your career path since completing LB? Special or noteworthy accomplishments?
In 2012, I was a new Director of Development at Burbank Arts for All Foundation (now Burbank Arts and Education Foundation), where I had the honor of serving their mission for over eight years. In 2014, I was promoted to Executive Director of the Foundation and, together, with the Board, my small staff, the school district, and an incredible community of donors and volunteers, we supported Burbank Unified’s Arts for All plan that impacted thousands of children each school year. I also had the honor of being recognized as a Woman Achiever in 2015 by Business Life Magazine and named Citizen of the Year in 2016 by the Burbank Association of Realtors. In 2019, Burbank Arts for All Foundation was recognized in Sacramento as the 43rd Assembly District’s 2019 Nonprofit of the Year by State Assemblymember, Laura Friedman and received the Partners in Education Award from the Association of California School Administrators Region XV.
3. How has LB helped in other areas of your life?
Leadership Burbank was a critical step in my career and professional development. I gained invaluable friends and colleagues that continue today. I am very grateful for those relationships. Believe it or not, I still look at my core values and beliefs, as well as my 10 year plan. One of my goals that I wrote in 2013 was to “celebrate 50 with style.” I turn 50 this year, so I guess I better define what I meant by “style.” 🙂
4. Was there anything you picked up in LB that might have helped you in dealing with the pandemic?
The pandemic tested every community worldwide. Leadership Burbank helped me understand the community of Burbank and the collaboration of its local government, residents, businesses, schools, and the Burbank non-profit community. That collaboration and intentional purpose of building great communities as leaders has helped me stay proactive and positive during the chaos of the pandemic. We are all in this together.
5. What are your hopes for future classes of LB and how they may continue to impact the community?
I hope future classes and the alumni of Leadership Burbank find inspiration to get involved in their community through service. Leadership matters every day, but in times of great challenge, it becomes paramount. I hope everyone involved with LB takes advantage of the leadership training and activates what makes sense for their life. Whether it is volunteering at a place of worship, jumping in to help a local nonprofit, or serving as a member on a City commission, as leaders, all of us can do something to help the greater good.