Director, Museum Stores
Public Programs and Education
My career in retail began with my first job in high school, when I spent a long hot summer working in what was then known as a dime store. As I was finishing up my degree in political science at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, I was looking for something to pay the bills while I waited to start graduate school in social work. It was rather an odd time to find a job, but I felt that I had good selling skills, so I applied for a lucrative job selling cemetary plots, and was summarily turned down. In retrospect, I can't imagine anyone hiring a 22 year old for that position, but at the time I was really shocked by the rejection. My next interview was for an office position in a fabric store, and I went in with personality blazing and got the job. Six months later I was promoted to Assistant Manager and six months after that I became the youngest manager in a chain of 34 stores. So much for social work, although I do think that my continuing volunteer work in crisis counseling, suicide provention, and later in hospice training, helped shape my success in the world of retail. I came to the Field Museum in October, 2003, after having been the retail director for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 9 years. As my friends and family will tell you, I am a morning person, and I eagerly arrive at the Museum early every morning, where I greet Sue and the famous Field Museum elephants, and say a little thanks to the totem poles and the four muses who stand watch over us all in Stanley Field Hall. I consider myself very lucky to be here at the Field Museum, and am thrilled to work with an amazing group of people both from the stores and from other departments.