Owner/Director of Melody Pines Day Camp; State Representative – Assistant Floor Leader, Committee: Children and Family Law
Birthplace: Concord, Mass.
Family: Husband, Steve; three children, Colin (age 15, grade 10), Jackie (age 13, grade 7), Scott (age 10, grade 5); two dogs, Roxy and Gracie
High school: Goffstown Area High School
College/post grad degrees: Honors Graduate: Penn State University, B.S. Secondary Education, Minors in History and Geography
What is the best career advice you ever received?
The best advice I ever received was from a man I was running against for public office. Although we were on opposite sides politically, we were having a great discussion about why people run for office and what we were trying to accomplish by doing so. His advice was to remember that we all want the same results, whether it be a safe community, a strong economy, or a strong educational system; we just have different ideas about how to achieve those results.
Why did you choose your profession?
Camp owner/director: I began working at Melody Pines, as a counselor in training, at the age of 14, and never left. Camp is a family business and as the owner and director, I am able to work and spend time with my husband and children every day. I have the ability to organize, manage, and continuously improve upon a facility and program I love; a place where children can be outdoors, try new things, gain independence, and create lasting friendships and memories.
Local political office: I ran for local political office because I wanted to support children, families, and individuals in my community and because I thought I could make a difference.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
In my job as a state representative, I have the opportunity to work with people across Manchester and New Hampshire. I am able to help individuals navigate our complex government systems, find the resources they need, and make a difference in their lives through my actions. I see the impact that my work has on their lives and know that what I am doing matters.
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
Young professionals look for strong communities in which to raise their families. New Hampshire could become the most attractive state for young professionals if we were to make education and early learning our number one priority. Today, there is too much uncertainty in education across New Hampshire and there is too great a reliance on local property taxes and property values for long term success in funding education. An investment in early education will bring a high financial and societal return on investment with reductions in costly interventions, an increase in job opportunities and solid employment, and a decrease in crime levels and incarcerations.
What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?
Forty is not all that far off. When I turn 40, I would like to be doing just what I am doing now: developing and improving camp, working to create a better Manchester and New Hampshire through our state legislature, and supporting my children in school, sports, and all of their endeavors!
Volunteer activities: State Child Care Advisory Committee, The Division for Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Board, Parent Teacher Association, Crystal Lake Preservation Association, Coach – Youth Sports, DS Heads of Enrollment Outreach Committee, Ragged Mountain Ski Team.
Last major achievement: Appointed Assistant Floor Leader, New Hampshire House of Representatives.