What is your hometown?
I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to Lexington in 2008.
You have worked for Valvoline since 2003. What did your career progression look like?
My undergrad degree was in finance and economics, so my career started on the financial side of the business with a local engineering company. After graduating with my MBA from Gatton, I quickly got a new opportunity with Ashland (former parent company of Valvoline) as an internal auditor. I learned about all the business units in Ashland including Valvoline.
Tell us more about your position in the audit sector.
While with audit, I got the opportunity to travel all over the world learning about different business functions and strategies. I was able to see different positions and types of businesses within our company and evaluate which ones caught my interest. It was a great first position with a company like Valvoline.
Where did you go from there?
That led to my next career change when I joined the pricing team - after conducting several audits with the Installer Channel group. My prior pricing analyst role gave me the opportunity to get really deep into our Installer Channel customers, business strategies, and product lines. It increased my desire for more customer-facing roles, and here I am now in sales, partnering with our customers to help them succeed in an ever-changing environment. This role became my stepping stone to Regional Sales Director where I now lead a team of eight sales managers across the U.S.
Tell us what makes Valvoline unique, and why you enjoy working there.
The culture at Valvoline is like nowhere else. Our building is full of people that care about every individual they pass in the hallway. We like to have fun while working hard to bring the best products and services to our customers.
What are some things you learned early on in your career that helped you get where you are today?
Collaboration is key. I have always felt strongly that communicating with cross-functional teams brings success to the whole organization.
What has the Gatton College and University of Kentucky meant to you?
I met lifelong friends while attending Gatton College that are still dear to me. I also learned a lot about myself while pushing myself to the limits. I attended three nights a week for two years while working full time. To say I learned time management would be an understatement!
Thinking about your time at Gatton, what are some of your favorite memories?
Walking into the new building years after graduation to host a table at the career fair and being crazy jealous of the new facilities!
Do you have any advice for young female professionals regarding bridging the gender gap at work?
The best way to advocate for women in the workplace is to lead by example and encourage all members of the team equally. Always take a seat at the table. Your opinions and experience are important to the team so make sure you are heard and are collaborating with your colleagues.
Is there anyone who has mentored you in your career, and if so, what impact have they had?
I have had many great managers and mentors within Valvoline. I would say this is one category that Valvoline excels at is creating a culture where career progression is valued and consistently discussed. By having mentors outside of my department, I was able to get engaged with more responsibilities outside of my core role which opened up more opportunities for advancement.
What is your favorite travel memory?
My favorite trips are spontaneous ones with no plans - just adventure. One time as a teenager, our weekend sports tournament was canceled as we pulled up to the field. So instead of going home, we used my mom’s standby passes to fly to San Francisco to spend the day with a friend!
Do you have any pets?
No pets, just kids! But we do live in a place surrounded by farms so we enjoy visits with our neighbor’s horses and sheep.
What is your favorite place to eat in Lexington?
Carson’s is the favorite for our whole family. It’s like our own personal “Cheers!”