A lifelong business owner, I started in business on a riding lawn mower at age 12, maintaining neighborhood lawns. I purchased the Dairy Queen in my hometown of Prineville at age 19. Later, I started a construction business, which led me to a 25-year career in real estate sales. My interest in community building began after winning a battle with leukemia, when I closed my real estate offices and accepted the position of Executive Director of the La Pine Chamber of Commerce. I consider myself a key community driver in La Pine, serving on the La Pine Economic Development Board and as Chair of the Urban Renewal Agency. I am a Ford Institute Leadership Program graduate and Community Ambassador Team member. I helped spearhead the community engagement and implementation of the Economic Vitality Roadmap in La Pine. Contact me to find out how RDI can partner with your rural community to develop strategies to improve your town’s economic vitality.