I was born in central Virginia, grew up near Washington DC, and went to college at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While in college, I sang with several of the collegiate a cappella ensembles that were so trendy at the time (the Pitch Perfect movies, horribly enough, are documentary). After college, I spent time in Minnesota and Rhode Island before settling in the Boston area. I tried out several Boston suburbs and neighborhoods (Braintree, Dorchester, and Fort Point), before settling in Somerville – just north of Cambridge and a 15 minute bike ride from MIT and Harvard. I like Somerville a lot – enough so that I’ve gotten active in city government. I serve as co-chair of the city’s Urban Forestry Committee, work on traffic safety issues with Somerville’s Alliance for Safe Streets, advocate for the environment as an advisor to Green and Open Somerville, and agitate as a citizen journalist and gadfly under the Twitter handle @somershade1.
I’m an amateur gardener. I grow exotics like passion vines and voodoo lilies – and also tomatoes and peppers for eating and preserving. I once convinced a jasmine plant to produce fruit (yes, in Massachusetts) and then grew new jasmine plants from the seeds. I love to cook and preserve food, and I’m fascinated by fermentation. I make great pickles, good beer, and passable wine. I love to use old recipes, including some that I found in my great, great grandfather’s kitchen notebook.
I hold a black belt in Karate, and I have practiced Judo for more than a decade. The high points of my judo career were the times that olympic medalists and members of the Canadian and Russian national teams used me as a crash-test dummy / rag-doll during warmups. I find that those experiences prepared me well for executive leadership roles. These days, I satisfy my thrill-seeking urges as a bicycle commuter.
I’m also an amateur cellist, working my way through recording the Bach Suites.
I am passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion. I’m aware that it took a combination of privilege, luck, and hard work to get where I am today. I hope to do my part to make the world just a bit better and fairer for the next generation.