Family: Husband, Clint; son, Calvin (3); and daughter, Charlee (almost 2). We live on the family farm in Assumption.
Current position/responsibilities: I have worked for FirsTech Inc. (a subsidiary of Busey Bank) for the past five years. I am currently the assistant vice president of client relations and project management. I am responsible for developing and engaging new business opportunities, identifying partners for our payment processing and technology solutions, as well as portfolio management of FirsTech’s current client base. I work with developing client service strategies, contract negotiations, and managing the execution of internal and external projects. I serve as the daily point of contact for FirsTech’s clients, leading initiatives and strategies through to implementation and offering solutions for the scope of the projects as well as ensuring client satisfaction.
What do you like best about what you do? The people, both internally and externally. I have the opportunity to work with many different industries, clients, departments and groups. Every day brings a different challenge and I enjoy working through each and every one of them and growing personally and professionally with my clients and co-workers. Everyone here has a huge heart for the company and wants the best for our clients. We have an engaging, hard-working atmosphere that pushes me to be a better person every day.
What do you like best about working or living in the community? Decatur has a very loyal community which they should be extremely proud of. We need to continue embracing and growing the community we live in for the generations following us. Decatur has done a lot over the past five years to provide more activities, as well as many renovations. Just look at how great downtown looks. Decatur is home to many entrepreneurs who continue to keep the money here and re-invest in the community. The pride of living in this loyal community is something we should all embrace.
What should the community be doing to attract more young people to live and work in the Decatur area? Youth and family engagement. I do believe Decatur, as a whole, has worked very hard over the past several years to expand and grow activities within our community. Creating an outreach strategy, which includes developing a home base for young generations, will be key to attracting and keeping people here. Get involved in your community, give these groups that have worked so hard more ideas and volunteer. Everyone needs a sense of ownership and a cause to fight for.
Who is the person who has had the biggest influence on you and why? My mother. She has always been my rock, the one that encourages me through every step. She unconditionally believes in me. We all need someone that pushes us out of our comfort zone and makes us believe we can do anything we set our minds to. She taught me what hard work, commitment and loyalty is. She is absolutely my biggest fan as I am hers. She believes in the good of this world, she finds the greatness in everyone she meets, and she loves hard. Life is too short. We need more of her genuine soul in this world! She is selfless and loves bringing joy to those around her.
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My “I’d rather be …” bumper sticker would read: “I’d rather be on the lake!” Lake life is seriously the best. You get to relax, spend time with great people and no one cares what you wear! We are lucky to have Lake Decatur and all of the improvements and additions they are building around it.
What is your favorite stress reliever? I have three favorites! My first is sitting on the back porch watching our two kiddos ride in their John Deere gator together all over the farm. It’s a riot and makes me realize the simple pleasures in life. My second is taking the Guns, Glutes, and Guts class at the Decatur Athletic Club with friends! They have sp many classes to offer, I absolutely love that place and have met so many great people in the process of getting a great workout. Lastly, being on the lake as much as we can,. It’s absolutely relaxing and I love seeing the serenity it brings to everyone.
What is your favorite movie? My Grandpa’s favorite flick was “Gone With The Wind.” I promised him I would watch it, so after he passed I decided to first read the book and then watch the movie. It is truly a classic and a must read/see!
What is your favorite phone app? Snapchat! Seriously, I can’t help myself . Again, it’s the little things in life that bring a good laugh and smile to our days. And this app is so much fun for all ages.
Quote to live by: The serenity Prayer; “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
“Stay positive and happy. Work hard and don’t give up hope. Be open to criticism and keep learning. Surround yourself with warm, genuine people.” – Tena Desae
If you were a fictional character, which one would you be? Why? Samantha from “Bewitched!” Wouldn’t it be great to know what people are REALLY thinking? We might get to the end result a lot more efficiently.