20 under 40 • 2019

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I always feel like… somebody’s watchin’ me. In another fun twist of events, I was named 2019’s 20 Under 40 People to Watch in Bakersfield Life.

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It’s such an honor to have been nominated, let alone selected, for such a title.

For anyone wanting to know how it goes to receive such a name, here’s what happens behind the scenes. First, you get a call - make sure you answer it. I missed it… two times while running between meetings. Next, you get interviewed + filmed answering some on the fly questions. Then, you wait. All is hush hush. Then, you celebrate with others chosen. THEN YOU SHARE IT. Then you get a lot of calls asking if you want the article in a plaque (it’s free for 30 days!) — that’s beside the point. Back to the story.

I’m humbled to receive this recognition. Seeing yourself in a magazine might be par for the course for a lot of people — and even our projects — but it’s is a rarity that it’s focused on me.

We all have a story we bring to the here and now. A past filled with highs and lows, interesting things and the mundane. My past has been full of twists + turns leading me to call Bakersfield home. Like the article says, I used to come to Bakersfield to play club soccer. I stayed in the hotel that my now Mother-In-Law works at. I wanted to leave as quickly as I got settled, but with a really great guy + a job, we were set, at least for a while. 10 years later, I really can’t imagine it any other way.

The article mentions my previous career in somewhat of a true light, but I’d like to cast a bit more clarity into it. I’ve not gone into detail much about why I left, but it’s true — the passion was lacking. From early on, I’ve always needed to have a higher purpose in how I spent my time. I spent 7 years learning from insanely talented people. I studied at the footsteps (err, e-mails) of incredible problem solving creative minds in all areas of business. I got to travel. I got to see how to build a creative services team structure. I learned how to press check, lead a meeting, design packaging, manage insane trade shows + work in dynamic teams across the nation.

I also learned the value of building people up to their highest potential, and what it was like to have the opposite. I wanted to go climb the latter and elevate my responsibility and knowledge. I felt I was ready. Yet, I was continually told I wasn’t good enough, left out of meetings I set up and — quite literally — kicked out of cars going to the place I was at one point invited to. I was told I had to work an extra 3 hours to make up for the 1 hour I left early to pick up my son. That being just the TIP of the iceberg would kill anyone’s passion. I loved the product, and lots of coworkers, but at the end of the day, I was miserable because I knew I was made for more. My past isn’t as dramatic as others, and thankfully it wasn’t filled with anything more hurtful than reneged promotions and vile words. There also is the caveat that I grew up tremendously through those 7 years. Immaturity and figuring life out is part of all our journeys. Still, I left the job with my head held high and my sights on helping businesses transform to brands proud to share themselves in a clear + creative way.

Two years later, I sit in my bedroom writing this after a full day of pitching + winning new business, planning an event I thought would never be possible, building a business and team, designing brands and having the hardest/best day of my career. Every day is like that now.

I say all of this to speak a bit into one line of a larger article while also sharing what can happen if you take a risk. You can get away from the status-quo of where you’re treated poorly and you desire more. There are so many things to be grateful for in this community and an array of problems needing the solutions found in us creative problem solvers. I love this town, the opportunity it has afforded me and even the connections I have from my past. It’ll always be a small community at it’s core. I really believe what was quoted at the end of the article…

It’d be boring if it was easy.

Thank you for the nomination. Thank you for the acknowledgment. Thank you, Bakersfield, for welcoming me. I’m excited to see what comes next.

Read the article here.