Who I Am:
A loving, creative, interesting, spiritual being, mother, wife, daughter, sibling, friend, colleague, and leader. I happen to know a thing or two about creating social change and helping people by meeting them where they are at. I'm obsessed with diversity and culture and all of its gifts - food, music, style, traditions, landscapes, mores, and history.
The way to my heart can easily be navigated through books, food (especially cheese), live music, and connection. My husband, Matt, and I were married in May 2018. He's the handsome guy in the photo to the right. We were blessed to bring our child, Luke, into the world in April 2019. I am a doting dog mom to Sammy, our English Setter.
What I Do:
Most people know me as a social justice and nonprofit leader. My leadership style is strengths-based, rooted in compassion, collaboration, vulnerability, and empowerment. I'm a social worker specializing in trauma, mental health counseling, substance use disorders, community health policy, multi-level advocacy, and nonprofit leadership. I teach, train and guide individuals, families, organizations, and communities. I learn from all of my clients and colleagues, which is often the most important aspect of my work. With a background in integrated marketing communications, I spent the first seven years of my career in internet advertising. I'm all about using data to inform my practice, but I believe creativity and individuality are critical to creating change.
Why I Do It:
I care at a monumental level about people and the way we treat one another and ourselves. Since I was a little girl, my innate sensitivity and empathy championed ideas and concepts I was told would never be solvable. Then at 23, my little brother, Alex, died from a polysubstance overdose, shattering everything I've ever known about life and love. I quit my job in advertising to start a nonprofit organization - Live4Lali - with my parents to bring awareness and solutions to the opioid epidemic and overdose crisis. Since 2009 we have helped thousands of families seek solace, support, and solutions when dealing with a substance use crisis.
As the co-founder of Lake County Opioid Initiative, we have proven that community-based solutions to a growing public health crisis can be achieved through partnering up, using data to drive solutions, and refusing to accept "no" as an answer. We've achieved unimaginable results but we have a long way to go. I won't be alive to see the long-term fruits of our labor, and that's OK with me. I'm a lifer. From failure to success and everything in between, dedicating my life to a cause, far bigger than myself, has created a perspective and humility I never thought I'd be blessed to have. It has also conjured a fire in my belly to teach other people how to create change; a skill I and many other "change agents" learned from trial and error.
What I Strive To Do:
Provide consultation, guidance, and support for community organizers, nonprofits, business owners, public agencies, and leaders.
Champion and coach advocates, visionaries, and dreamers on their unique leadership journeys.
Come alongside individuals who are facing challenges or working towards goals with clinical and supportive approaches.
Continue learning, growing, and training.
Laugh more than I sulk. Let vulnerability and compassion guide me in all things. Love others. Be a present, proactive citizen. Spread compassion like wildfire.