Legal Counsel for Gov. Chris Sununu
Birthplace: Rochester, Minn.
Family: Mother, Nancy Formella; father, John Formella; brother, Paul Formella; sister-in-law, Mary Formella
High school: Hanover High School
College/post grad degrees: B.A. in English Literature from Florida State University (2008); M.S. Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University (2009); J.D. from George Washington University Law School (2012)
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Find good mentors, learn from them, and do your best to emulate them.
Why did you choose your profession?
I wish I could say I had some great inspiration that led me to want to be a lawyer. When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer because I loved the show “Law and Order.” Through college my thinking matured a bit, and at the end of the day I think I was attracted to a legal career because it is, at its core, all about solving problems. Helping someone through a problem, whether it be in business or their personal life, is an extremely rewarding line of work.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I’ve been blessed with some incredible opportunities, and I feel both a desire and obligation to pay that good fortune forward. Aside from that, I would say friendship and fun. I have met some incredible people, and some of my best friends, through my various community service activities.
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
Don’t get too caught up in a long-term career plan. While it is important to have long-term goals, you have to keep your mind open to opportunities that may arise unexpectedly and that involve things you never thought you would do. Along those lines, I would also tell my 22-year-old self to never stop pursuing new challenges.
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
It seems that everyone agrees that more affordable housing is a key element to attracting young professionals. Beyond addressing specific issues, I think New Hampshire can better attract young professionals by making a more proactive effort to get young people involved in local boards and commissions. Giving young professionals an opportunity to shape their communities will allow them to create reasons for other young professionals to move here and stay here.
What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?
I honestly don’t know for sure. I do know that I want to continue to use my legal training and be involved in public service or public policy in some way. If I am not working in the public sector, I would like to have a job that gives me the flexibility to stay civically involved, even if it is only on a part-time basis.
Volunteer activities: Zoning Board of Adjustment member in Portsmouth; Board Member of McGregor Memorial EMS in Durham; Board Member of Rosie Riveters.