1. What is your professional background?
I’ve spent my career as an educator and entrepreneur. I have taught Entrepreneurship and Leadership classes at The University of Alabama and I adore the students. My husband and I have owned and sold several businesses in Tuscaloosa. The business most people recognize is VeloCity Pro Cycle, a bicycle shop. While we owned that business, I founded and grew the Tour de Tuscaloosa, which is a great, two day bicycle race. That is how I originally became involved with the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission.
2. What is your coolest on the job moment?
Taking everyone at TTSC out to volunteer for United Way at Hospice of West Alabama. We helped with the landscaping on a super-hot day. We were sweaty and dirty but we were a team working together to give back to the community that is so good to us. That’s easily my coolest moment on the job at TTSC so far but I’m looking forward to many more!
3. What do you love about Tuscaloosa?
That it is a big, small town. There are plenty of activities to keep me and my family busy as well as great restaurants to enjoy. However, the small town Southern hospitality culture is very prevalent. Tuscaloosa is a fun place with super nice people.
4. What are you most looking forward to doing while working at TTSC?
Developing Tuscaloosa as a great tourist destination that is attractive to visitors year round. We all know that football season here is legendary, but as a longtime resident, I know how cool Tuscaloosa is year round. I’m anxious to develop an aggressive marketing plan to get that word out!
5. What is a unique fact about you?
I once saw a whale in Mobile Bay! Not really, but this is a great story. At around the age of 4 or 5, I went on a road trip to Mobile, AL with my dad. This was the first time I ever saw salt water. As we were crossing the Bay I saw a shadow and was convinced it was a whale. I went nuts screaming about seeing a whale! I love that my Dad never corrected me. I can remember his chuckle now when I said it! (I was quite a Daddy’s girl!)
6. Do you play sports? If so, which ones?
Not as much as I used to. Prior to motherhood, I was a triathlete and runner. Now I spend most of my time chasing our 6 year old daughter, Della. I rarely catch her!
7. Do you have any favorite hobbies?
In the summer, I’m on my stand up paddle board as much as possible at either Lake Nicol or in Lake Tuscaloosa. In the winter, I love to mountain bike at Lake Lurleen and Sokol. Also, I really enjoy being in the kitchen. I’m quite a foodie!
8. What is your favorite tourist attraction in Tuscaloosa?
That’s a hard one! I love so many things in Tuscaloosa that it is impossible to pick a favorite!
9. What does a perfect weekend look like for you?
I want to be outdoors so a perfect weekend would include my family, the farmers market, my kitchen and any type of outdoors event that draws tons of people to Tuscaloosa. The weekend of the Druid City Arts Festival (DCAF) is a great example. It started with a visit to the Farmer’s Market at the Rivermarket to choose some great ingredients for dinner on Sunday night. Next, I headed to DCAF, which is a blast! Downtown Tuscaloosa was overrun on a Saturday with people enjoying the festival, restaurants, attractions, and shops. I was able to enjoy the day with my husband and daughter so it never felt like work. The smiles on everyone’s faces were priceless! It would be perfect to end the night with a great dinner at a local restaurant and a concert at The Amphitheater. On Sunday, I would spend the morning in the gorgeous Tuscaloosa outdoors on either my paddle board or mountain bike followed by brunch downtown. In the afternoon, I’d let our dog play at the Will May dog park. Then I would finish the day in my kitchen cooking my finds from the Farmer’s Market. I’m making myself hungry!