Executive Director, Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care
Planner or procrastinator:
Favorite kind of music?
Any kind of pop
Age and current hometown:
Briefly describe your organization: Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care is a nonprofit organization committed to enriching the quality of life of individuals and their families in need of end-of-life care. Heartlinks was founded in 1978 by a group of five courageous volunteers.
Their perseverance and commitment to care for those in the community facing a life-threatening illness made Heartlinks one of the first hospices in the United States.
Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care is licensed to serve Benton County and Yakima County. Heartlinks provides compassionate and comprehensive medical and emotional care for children and adults who are facing life-threatening illnesses.
How long have you worked at Heartlinks? 4 years
Education: The University of Montana, bachelor of arts in political science, high honors, minor in nonprofit administration and communication studies; University of Montana, master of public administration, nonprofit administration specialization; Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential.
My husband and I have been married for three years and we have a French bulldog, Oakley, who loves to soak up the sunshine.
How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 5 years
What brought you to the Tri-Cities?
My husband and I grew up in Enumclaw, Washington, where we graduated from high school together. After leaving Enumclaw, we moved to Missoula, Montana, where I could pursue my bachelor’s degree in political science and he could pursue his technical training to become an electrician.
After I graduated from the University of Montana, I was given the opportunity to raise money for a large nonprofit organization here in the Tri-Cities. My husband grew up visiting the Tri-Cities, and he had always dreamed about moving here one day.
After I was offered a job here, we had packed up and moved within just a couple of weeks. It was easily the best decision we have ever made. We could not dream about living anywhere else. We love the heat, we love the sunshine and we love the people.
Favorite book? Movie?
Favorite book: All “Harry Potter” books. Favorite movie: Any romantic comedy.
Favorite sports team?
Favorite thing to do in the Tri-Cities?
Eat, drink and listen to live music at 3 Eyed Fish.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I am a major bookworm, and my favorite books are about U.S. presidents.
Describe your job and how you got into it: I am the executive director for Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care, and as the director, I am responsible for establishing and implementing goals and setting the comprehensive strategy for the programs and services we offer. I work with our organization’s board of directors to ensure the highest standard of quality in every aspect of care provided.
I am also responsible for the comprehensive strategy and planning of all fundraising efforts.
I started with Heartlinks in October 2016 as the development director and was promoted to executive director in April 2019.
My first job in the nonprofit sector was as a development assistant for a very small nonprofit organization in Missoula, Montana. It was there that I met a mentor that would change the course of my career forever.
The development director at a small nonprofit organization made it a point to teach me everything that she knew, and she inspired me to earn my master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit administration.
She continues to be my support and mentor to this day, and she is the one that helped me discover that my passions revolve around health care philanthropy.
Toughest career decision?
The toughest career decision I had to make was when I started with Heartlinks as the executive director. Hospice care is about being a team and working together as a team.
When I was the development director, I was that team member that people relied on for emotional support, whether in life, work, and/or relationships.
When I was offered the opportunity to be executive director, I had to be OK with the fact that I was not able to maintain the same relationship with some of the people I worked with anymore.
I had to realize that I am responsible for the future and the longevity of an organization that is bigger than myself. I had to do whatever it takes to make sure that Heartlinks can provide care to those in their most desperate time of need.
How did you earn your first dollar?
My first dollar came from being the farmhand at an Alpaca farm in Ravensdale, Washington, where my family still lives. I worked long hours cleaning up the farm and would reward myself at the end of the day by cuddling the baby alpacas.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
I achieve work-life balance by maintaining good habits and protecting my general lifestyle.
I complete some sort of workout at least four times a week, pump my body full of good nutrients, and make sure to work a set schedule every day.
Also, the best thing I ever did for myself was to hire a personal coach/mentor. She has helped me stabilize my life while also growing my career.
Community involvement and service:
– Board member for Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities (2018 – Current)
– Recruitment advisor for the Beta Phi chapter of Alpha Phi at Whitman College (Current)
– Member of Prosser Rotary Club (Current)
– Wish Grantor for Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington (2016-18)