My family moved to Whidbey Island when I was in elementary school and it’s been my home ever since. I attended South Whidbey Elementary, Langley Middle School – I even won the leadership award in the 8th grade, and South Whidbey High School. Growing up, I played soccer both competitively and for school, and I remember many nights riding the soccer bus home from away games while forming lasting friendships (especially with my lifetime best friend, Christine).

My family is rooted in service. Both of my grandfathers served in the South Pacific during WWII. My paternal grandfather immigrated from Nicaragua and fought in the Army to obtain U.S. citizenship, and my maternal grandfather was awarded a purple heart. This story of dedication and service is passed on throughout our family. My mom has spent her career in healthcare and my dad is a South Whidbey volunteer firefighter/EMT dedicating hundreds of hours to the safety and welling being of our community. My parents taught my brother and I to leave the world better than you found it.

The lesson of service carried me as I earned a BA from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. In law school, I was fortunate to intern in the on-campus Veterans Legal Clinic, a pro bono legal office servicing veterans who were fighting for discharge upgrades, VA appeals, and the occasional for-profit-education-system’s abuse of GI Bill funds. One of the highlights of that internship was the opportunity to speak on the record in an Orange County Courthouse for a case involving a college’s discrimination of a veteran with disabilities in pursuit of her art degree.

After graduating, I know I wanted a life outside of the traditional legal industry. I wanted to help build communities that would usher in a bright future for everyone. My first nonprofit job out of law school was working as a Development Director for a human services and homelessness agency in Everett. One of the projects I worked on, a collaborative between churches and support service agencies to provide safe parking for families living in their cars, garnered attention from the local Congressman – a relationship I hold dearly to this day.

After working for years in the nonprofit sector, I made the full-time return home to Whidbey when I accepted a role with the nation’s first-ever National Historical Reserve that sprawls much of Central Whidbey. Ebey’s Reserve is responsible for historic preservation, historic interpretation, and collaborative land use, and I am most proud of the work I’ve been involved with to improve the permit process for our local historic district in both Island County and Town of Coupeville jurisdictions. This intersectional work has allowed me to further develop my interests in regional issues such as farming advocacy, economic development, and local tourism.

I’m fortunate that I get to spend my free time with my life partner, Cody, a fifth-generation Whidbey Islander. Cody comes from a long line of builders creating gorgeous homes for residents of South Whidbey. Together, we’re passionate about having adventures with our dogs and horses. In spring we spend time preparing our garden, and every fall we are cheering for our favorite sports teams (Go Mariners!).