How DEQ's clean fuels program manager unwinds.
What I am reading
I am notorious for starting a book and then not finishing it, which means that the stack of books on my nightstand is quite high. Right now, the pile includes Bel Canto, The Geography of Bliss, Crazy Rich Asians, A Wrinkle in Time and Hamilton — in the order of how much I’ve actually read.
What I am watching
My favorite of all time is Star Trek: The Next Generation, which, luckily for me, runs over and over and over on cable TV. I also discovered The Big Bang Theory during COVID, and my house hasn’t been the same since. And of course, there’s the reruns of Glee, Blue Bloods and The West Wing.
What I am listening to
Hawaiian 105 KINE … makes me feel like I’m back home.
My Spam musubi maker. You can take the girl out of Hawaii, but you can’t take the Hawaii out of the girl. Pretty much every outdoor event includes Spam musubis — Fourth of July celebrations, baseball tournaments, whitewater-rafting trips, hikes to waterfalls.
What I do outside of work
In my free time I am a Girl Scout volunteer. I’ve led my daughter’s troops and sold a ton of cookies. These days I co-manage a summer day camp at Mountaindale near North Plains. It’s an absolutely gorgeous 30 acres, where we teach 200 girls to love the outdoors. Having to cancel camp last year was one of the many challenging parts of COVID for our family.
When I was growing up, I used to watch Quincy, M.E. with my grandmother, and I always told her that I would grow up to be a medical examiner. I’m not sure how that turned into bioengineering, but I’m glad that it did.
Good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it must include good friends and good conversation. Fresh seafood and wild mushrooms are a must. I spend a ton of money at the farmers’ market.
What motivates me to come to work
Knowing that I make a difference. Sometimes it’s one little step at a time, and other times it’s a great giant leap forward. Being able to work to protect Oregon’s air for the past 28 years has been a labor of love and a blessing.
Professional role model
There isn’t just one; many individuals have shaped my career. DEQ is an absolutely wonderful place where smart, passionate, thoughtful professionals gather to make the world a better place. They are diverse in background, education, skill, personality and perspective. Here’s a special shoutout to Marianne, Dick, Linda, Sarah, Jill, Rachel, Sue, Aida, Elizabeth and Morgan for making me what I am today.
Leading Oregon’s transformation to cleaner fuels is a path that I did not originally plan on pursuing, but I am proud of the legacy it has become. After this, I think I might turn to other things on my bucket list, like perfecting my dumpling-making skills or foraging for wild mushrooms.
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