I grew up in Johnson City attending Stratton and Fairmont Elementary Schools, North Junior High and Science Hill High School where I graduated in 1967. I received a great education that prepared me well for higher education and the world of work.
I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from the University of Tennessee in 1972. I taught at the elementary and high school level for two years in Kentucky, being both a classroom teacher and Athletic Director and Coach. During the recession of the mid-1970s I lived in Florida where getting a teaching position was impossible. But as luck would have it, I was offered a job with the Division of Blind Services as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. This experience humbled me to understand that when we have been given abilities, don't waste them!
Returning to the classroom myself, I received my Master of Arts degree from East Tennessee State University in 1982 in Physical Education with a specialty in Exercise Physiology. Upon completion, I became a faculty member of the department where I taught in the Exercise Science division as I worked on my PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Tennessee.
I developed the first “Wellness Center” at ETSU which in 1989 led me to a job offer from Texas Instruments to develop their Corporate Health Promotion Program in Dallas, TX. While I was disappointed I did not complete my dissertation for my doctorate, the challenge of the corporate world was exciting.
Nortel Networks came calling in 1992 giving me the opportunity to develop their wellness program which became a model throughout the company. Accepting additional responsibilities for Environment, Health and Safety for Central and Western U. S. Operations, I developed an understanding of these essential elements in a global corporation. This led me to an assignment in Southeast Asia which took my husband Michael and me to Singapore for two years. Travels to China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia
and eight other legal jurisdictions where we were doing business gave me an understanding of the importance of relationships in getting business done. My work in Southeast Asia won me the coveted “Spirit of Nortel” award which was the company's highest honor for excellence in leadership.
Upon returning to Dallas in 1996, I moved into Human Resources with Nortel where I supported multiple business divisions. Understanding workforce development solidified my belief that in any organization, people are its greatest asset.
This brings me to 2001 when my husband Michael and I made the wonderful decision to “come home” to retire. Family is here. Our daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Todd and granddaughters Tess, Tate and new grandson Rocky are close by. My mom and dad Virginia and Lonnie still live in the house where I was raised. We now have my mother-in-law Betty settled in as she moved from Port Angeles, WA to make Johnson City her home. My sisters Cecilia, Beverly, Dianne and Melita round out the family that makes family gatherings around thirty people for special events! Michael and I are members of First Christian Church where we are communion preparers.
Since returning to Johnson City in 2001, I have tried to involve myself in the community to make it better. I have served on the Johnson City Board of Education from 2007 – 2012, Chairman of the Johnson City Power Board and the Washington County Community Board at Mountain States Health Alliance. I was a key developer of the UP & AT ‘EM initiative which spawned the “Turkey Trot” and our summer kid's camp “Fit to Play”. In 2006, I obtained my golf instructors credentials from the United States Golf Teaching Federation and am a Head Coach in The First Tee program working with youth ages 7 – 17 yrs. Our life in Johnson City is full and exciting.
These broad experiences in addition to my thirty year work career have prepared me for the challenges to serve on the Johnson City Commission. I believe I will be sitting in one of the commission chairs only because 60,000 chairs won't fit around the table. I will be a commissioner who represents YOU.