Home: Near the Rockies, near the beach. Colorado and Florida. Age: Older than I look. Profession: Marketing, inside sales. Title: Chief Marketing Officer. Significant other: My partner in crime, Nick. Alma mater: Hope College (B.A.); Grand Valley State University (M.S.).
Current project: Growing the top-line, one effective program after another. Recent recognition: Voted best servant leader by my mom. Women Achiever cover story. Recent professional development: Shouldn’t everyone have an executive coach and personal therapist? Yes, I sure do! Latest accomplishment: Eliminating wasted marketing spend, building a team that is empowered, doubling the sales pipeline. What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Moving to Australia with no place to live and no job, just a plane ticket and loads of curiosity. Recent travel or adventure: Reeling in perch and blue gill on some lake in the Mitten state. Recently viewed and recommended: Hacks. The world needs more people like Debra Vance. Recent unique acquisition: A second chance with my mom, a breast cancer survivor. Filling up the memory bank and more.
Personality profile: Kind, direct, funny. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Achiever. Moral compass: The Golden Rule. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Mutual respect despite different points of view. What is your greatest joy? Good health, food and conversations. What word or phrase do you use far too often? Super. What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? Always finding a good deal at TJ Maxx (I married a Dutchman). How do you relieve stress? Eating guacamole.
What was your first paying job? Making Dairy Queen Dolly Bars. What movie have you repeatedly watched? TopGun. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? I saw that, love Karma. What’s the best advice you received growing up? Never wish away time, one day you’ll wish you had more (Grandma LeVan). What’s the best advice you received in your career? Forget being Alpha. Be your beautiful, professorial speaking, numbers driven self. What is your go-to source of news and information? Morning Brew. What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? My husband, the educator. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? The pandemic. Getting three elementary aged kids through remote learning; enough said.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?
Focus on the 20% that matters most in marketing, a.k.a, programs sourcing or influencing revenue.
What change would you like to see in the world? More agreeing to disagree when points of view are different. What widely held belief do you reject? That leaders are born, not made. What mega-trend most concerns you? Not taking enough time to look up (from our screens).
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? The Underdog. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Julia Roberts. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My grandparents, all four. Adding more stories to the memory bank. After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? Photos. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? On a beach with Nick and my kiddos, building the biggest sandcastle and watching a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Thanking God for all the wonderful experiences and memories. What advice would you give your younger self? Embrace every season and ask more questions. What day in your life would you choose to re-live? English class, high school junior year, when my teacher told me I wouldn’t get into university because I didn’t write a particular way. I’d tell her to take a hike and just watch me.
Personal mission: Life is made up of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash. Personal motto: Life is too short, take the shot. Favorite quote: “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another” (John C. Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership).