My parents came to the United States from The Netherlands on a steamship. Eleven long rocking and rolling days on a boat without stabilizers! Yes, you got it, not a pleasant trip. They landed in New York, and then hopped on a train to Denver, Colorado where their sponsors awaited to welcome them to a new life.

Their journey makes me a first generation American, with immigrant parents who did not know the first thing about the “American way” of life. I think this shaped who I am today, as I had to “just figure it out” or “make my own way” as I grew up.

Thankfully, I had enough of the “make my own way” drive to get me to college and career focused. Career-wise, I have an extensive background  in financial services, primarily insurance, mortgage, and technology. Most recently, I was the Director of Customer Relations for PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, where I was responsible for national account management and overall customer satisfaction. I have also led customer-facing teams in product development and operations, plus I have extensive sales background. It really comes down to I like engaging with customers, and being able to contribute to the enhancement of products and services. Because of this, I am currently looking for a managerial role in Customer Success, working for a SaaS company, as those roles require skills comparable to my experience. With this in mind, for this blog, the topics that most interest me are developing engaged customers and/or communities, customer success, leadership, positive corporate cultures, and building neighborhood communities.

Turning to the personal side of things, there are many things beyond my upbringing that influenced my life, but also make me passionate about certain topics outside of business.

First, I love where I live – Oakland, CA. The city tends to get a bad rap, but it is amazing. I Hella Love OaklandWe have it all – culture, diversity, great weather, proximity to so many places, and nature. What more can you ask for? As they say, “I Hella Love Oakland!” I recently took on the role of President of my neighborhood association (~2,000 homes), which was at risk of folding after 72 years of existence, so I am excited to be able to use my experience, marketing and branding skills to help this organization and contribute to my community.

Save-Our-Water logoSecond, I try my best to be conservative when it comes to natural resources. My husband and I were in Hurricane Wilma while on vacation in Playa del Carmen in 2005. Talk about learning about the value of having a survival kit, and more importantly water, which is coming in handy given the California drought. Yep, we are house with the rain barrel on the front porch to store water that would have otherwise gone down the drain!

scoliosis xray

Lastly, I have scoliosis (or had, if you consider it was corrected by surgery), so taking care of my health and back influences many of my decisions. Therefore, fitness related posts may sneak into my blog as well.

So there you have it, a little bit about me. I am looking forward to connecting with you and I hope you enjoy my blog! For more information, please check out my LinkedIn profile or follow me on Twitter.