Throughout my life, I have been the person others reach out to when they need to be heard or gain perspective. Because of this, I have been a dedicated study of people's behaviors and actions in an attempt to better understand my own journey. This passion to understand and help others has been the driving force behind the founding of UPSTREAM.
As a North Dakota native and a Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate with a degree in mass communications, I have a life-long view to the needs and opportunities for growth across our community and the larger region of North and South Dakota and Minnesota. After graduating from MSUM, I pursued a career in advertising and marketing, eventually starting my own advertising agency, which grew over the course of more than 13 years.
During my career, I have had the pleasure of working with local, national, and international clients in all areas of business, as well as the non-profit arena. I enjoyed every aspect of a busy professional life, but what remained constant throughout my career was my passion for helping others. In my experience as an employee and a business leader, I encountered organizations and individuals with self-defeating practices in their quest to find success and happiness. And I knew I had the ability to make a difference. Through Upstream, I now have the vehicle to effectuate that change.
Because I grew up in a home of emotional and physical domestic violence, as an adult I was faced with the choice of being controlled by the violence, or thriving in spite of it. I decided the latter and have spent many hours of personal time pursuing the information, tools and relationships to positively inform my roles as partner, parent and leader. Over the last 25 years, I have consulted with many professionals in the areas of domestic violence, anxiety and depression, as they often go hand in hand, and have been invited by various organizations to speak on these topics.
I worked with Council on Abused Women Services of ND to provide domestic violence prevention training to area first-responders to provide them with a deeper understanding of victim perceptions and needs in times of crisis. I was involved with the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center through the "Summit to Prevent Domestic Violence" and the "Walk a Mile In Her Shoes" events. I joined with Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota as an author of "Authentic Voices" and eventually as a board member, and was featured in "On the Minds of Moms", which highlighted my personal story of thriving beyond domestic violence in order to reach those in the community with similar experiences and give them hope.
Armed with experience as a business owner, an executive director of a non-profit, and a of domestic violence and abuse, I decided to fully serve my passion by becoming certified as a Personal Empowerment Facilitator and Coach. This in-depth training provided focus on scientifically proven methods that are utilized to create life-long, permanent and positive change in our personal, professional and community lives. Through UPSTREAM, our goal is to go to the source of what causes us to react with negative behaviors; identify the cause of those reactions; connect with the most effective tools; and shift outcomes from negative to positive. Through the facilitation process, we will provide individuals with specific skills they can employ in their personal and family lives, their workplaces and schools, thereby creating a more successful, vibrant community.