Community Member and Trauma Survivor
I am the oldest of 6 children in my natal family and was told early on that “if you want ‘anything in life you will have to go out and get it yourself’. My parents did not have the financial assets to send any of us to college. Being a joyful and adaptive spirit, I immediately began to work and engage in enterprising money and community opportunities as a young person i.e., babysitting, newspaper routes, co-creating a comic strip sold to classmates, working in a family restaurant and closing out the shift books etc. I found the work endeavors and adventures, fun, as I find learning, people and connecting people and opportunities together, to be a rewarding, engaging life action.
Additionally I was engaged in competitive sports early and throughout my life. The combination of a passion and curiosity for learning, joyful personality and active body has allowed me a lifelong environment to manifest learning experiences through discipline, research, planning and action, making mistakes, seeking answers and new avenues of perspective; so as to learn from my mistakes; resulting into a person who likes to produce, grow new perspectives, succeed and participate in community and make these opportunities happen for myself and others.
In 2008, our family incurred a tragic life experience that deeply affected our entire family. I’m deeply grateful to be alive following a tragic helicopter crash that resulted in 3 precious lives lost and me with significant life altering, disfiguring and disabling polytrauma injuries.
I experienced several near death experiences immediately following the tragic, 2008 Memorial Weekend helicopter crash on Catalina Island, California. My life altering injuries were sudden, disfiguring and disabling, resulting in 43 bone fractures, third degree burns over 40% of my body, partial foot amputation, significant left eye and facial reconstruction, along with serious traumatic brain injury and debilitating body compression issues.
A wheelchair was a grateful transportation tool for 3 years, though it was not known in those first post-crash years, whether I would permanently regain complete walking ability, see normally out of my left eye and regain high level executive brain functioning. The prognosis for me was bleak.
I succinctly understand what it means to reinvent myself and/or something, how to metaphorically and in actuality create some-thing out of no-thing. I am a blessed student of life. With a great team of medical professionals and self-discipline I’ve retrained the cell structure of my brain and body slowly, methodically with the same passionate discipline I approached early in life through athletics and pursuing my goals and dreams for life. I aim to see beyond the current challenges and envision the possibilities through the power of positivity and application of effort.
In 2012 I founded a 501c3 non-profit, called Artists for Trauma (AFT), creating a signature brand of empowering, interactive, adaptive art & entertainment venues based on my personal, healing through art recovery experience.
Today, I am a married 55-year-old woman, non-profit business Founder, CEO and Executive Director, mother of 2 daughters (29 years and 18 years old) and a first grandmother.
I have been blessed with a diverse range of personal and professional learning opportunities and lucky to be guided and mentored by many successful business people, some self-made, some highly educated, corporate executives, business owners and wonderful human beings.
I am the wife of a highly successful, commercial construction business owner of 41 years, a leader of men who has successfully built many iconic Los Angeles high rises, signature brand commercial offices, hospitals etc. I’ve also had the opportunity to experience work in difficult situations, with difficult individuals and results that were less than stellar. I am sure I can improve in all areas of business comprehension and applications i.e. policies and procedures in areas of cost and staffing efficiencies, risk management, clear communications, proactive conflict resolution with challenging personalities and complex situations, and professional management of people and assets that result in sustainability and profit while aiming for a valuable experience for all involved.