Editor’s Note: myBurbank will be highlighting the upcoming election in two areas, first candidate profiles to give you some background on each candidate, and second will be a series of questions on each issue. We will run a new profile each day and the question/answer part will run after the profiles are completed.
Where are you from originally?
While I have lived all of my life in Burbank, I was actually born in Fargo, North Dakota. My parents had moved to Burbank in the early 1950’s, where they both worked for Lockheed, but my father believed that it was important for my mother to be with her mother at the birth of her first child. My grandmother and great grandmother lived in a very small town in Minnesota, right across the river from Fargo. So, my parents traveled to that small town in Minnesota just before I was born, and they brought me home to Burbank at the age of 6 weeks.
What was the most memorable or character-building part of your upbringing?
When I was in elementary school, my parents were able to buy a home in Burbank, after years of apartment rental, by purchasing a small run down house near the airport with two small units in the back. The rent from the units helped to pay the mortgage. My father, who was raised on a farm in North Dakota, was very handy and committed to doing all work to fix up the property himself. While my parents spent evenings and weekends working on the property which was constantly in need of something, I took responsibility for cooking the evening meals and looking after my sister, who was six years younger than myself. During this time, I learned the importance of hard work, self sufficiency, and care for others.
How long have you been in Burbank?
I have lived in Burbank all of my life. I chose to commute to local schools for college, attending California State University, Northridge to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and attending the University of Southern California to earn my Doctorate in Pharmacy. After I graduated from Pharmacy School, I got married, settled in a house in Burbank, and raised my two daughters in this community, attending Burbank Schools.
What drew you to the City of Burbank?
Although I had no choice in where my parents chose to live and raise me, I chose to remain a resident of Burbank and raise my two daughters here. My parents remained in the home I was raised in until the day each of them died. My sister and her husband made the same choice to remain in Burbank and raise their two sons in the community of Burbank Schools. Currently my daughter and son-in-law live in Burbank and my grandson is in the first grade in a Burbank School. Home is where my family resides.
What are some of your interests/hobbies?
Since I spend most of my waking hours in my work as the Director of Outpatient Pharmacy Services at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where I provide Bedside Medication services to hospital discharge patients and Long Term Care Pharmacy Services to elderly and vulnerable patients, along with my work as a current member of the Burbank Board of Education, I have limited time for my hobbies; however, I have a long list of interests, starting with my grandsons. In my precious spare moments, I enjoy dabbling in photography, painting and re-purposing wood furniture, cooking, sewing and raising native plants.
What motivated you to run for office?
Originally I ran for the Board of Education as a natural progression of my leadership positions in parent/teacher and other parent booster organizations. I developed a passionate commitment to developing an inclusive and engaging environment for all of our parents and students. During this time I actively advocated for the English language learners in our Adult School, many of which were parents of our students, during a period when the program was struggling for many reasons. I also focused my efforts on the inclusion of our student and family members in the LGBTQ community through the founding of a Burbank Chapter of PFLAG, an organization which provides support, education, and advocacy for family and friends of the LGBTQ Community. While these issues are still important and ongoing concerns for me, I am currently also motivated because the economic and healthcare challenges in the State of California are presenting the need for experienced leadership. With more than a decade of experience in Board Governance and three decades experience in hospital pharmacy management and patient healthcare services, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to serve our students and community during this Pandemic.
Is there anything else you’d like Burbank residents to know about you?
I think your questions were pretty inclusive. Thank you for this opportunity to share my story.