How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as someone who never thought, in a million years, that I would be asked to describe myself to over 1,000 people. But in true Tournament fashion, here we are – outside of that comfort zone. I am a small-town girl who has lived most of her life in Southern California, but “Home” is Wisconsin (During the warm weather…). Optimism, tradition, family, and loyalty, listening to people. These are important to me; hearing people’s stories – everyone has a story worth hearing.
What Visions do you have for the New Year?
The 2023 theme celebrates our determined volunteers, committed staff members, float-building organizations, and all our other partners who take the world on this meticulous journey. “Turning the Corner” highlights our ability to rebound after an incredibly difficult time for our community, our country, and our world. Nothing we do is done alone. Teamwork, collaboration, and partnership are the keys to nearly everything we do in the Tournament, including turning the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards. Let’s enjoy this opportunity to bring the world a fresh start.
Any advice for those wrapping up their first year as they continue?
I applaud each of our members who have just begun this wonderful journey. The Tournament journey, with so many turns, has a way of taking us all out of our comfort zone. We have faced and overcome tough situations, but after January 1st, you smiled, took a deep breath, and said, “That was fun. Let’s do it again!” I want to thank you for helping us get back on track. It is our volunteers that we teach, and then trust to get everything around the corner. We stand at the top of the year – for the rest of the world to be inspired by the ultimate gift of volunteerism. What a beautiful responsibility!
Any advice for those long-standing members as they look to another year?
Take a moment to reflect on your journey with Tournament and think about one person that ignited the spark that you sometimes need to appreciate what we do. It is that type of leadership and influence that has enabled this organization to be around and relevant for over 133 years. This is the spirit that drives our rich legacy of tradition. That spirit lives in each of us. So, my charge to you is to be the spark. Lead with the intent to empower our volunteers and partners to see the leaders within themselves. Remind them of the valuable part they will play in ensuring this beautiful spectacle that we call the Rose Parade continues to turn the corner for many years to come. Thank you for making this happen.