Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?
I grew up on a farm in Kansas. From a very early age, I was helping out with the farm and learning about the value of hard work. I spent the majority of my time outside hiking around the farm and caring for my own herd of animals. I went to a very small school (graduating class of 30 students!), so there were many opportunities to participate in every club and sport. I participated in every sport at some point and most of the clubs! I took on leadership roles early including being president of my 4-H club and student council. I also helped found the FCCLA Kansas Peer Education teams.
What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?
I’ve always had a strong interest in service and non-profits and studied public relations in the school of journalism and communications at Kansas State University. I was very much interested in public service at a community level. Unfortunately circumstances didn’t allow for that dream just yet. After college, I started my career in inside sales in Chicago at CDW.
Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?
The biggest breakthroughs in my career came from being intentional and aligning with my personal mission. In the beginning of my career, I took opportunities that were interesting and moved me forward, but about a decade into my career I realized that I was successful, but I wasn’t fulfilled by my work. I hired a career coach and worked for a few years on my next steps. During that time, I was able to advance within my current company to a role that I found interesting and start to work on my long term plan. Interestingly enough, my long term plan was very much aligned with my original goal of working at a community level. It just looked a little different. With a background in care management, I saw the opportunity to modernize healthcare access in all communities, rural and urban, through technology to allow access to more people in need. Once I set my sights on digital health, I did research and gained new skills until I was ready to make the move at one of my targeted companies. I aligned with a role in health plan sales and Omada and was able to gain so much from the people there. My move to NuvoAir came unexpectedly, but the opportunity to continue my mission in digital health by launching the brand in the US, while building a team and working in a startup couldn’t be passed up.
What is your current role and responsibilities?
I am currently the Vice President of Health Plans at NuvoAir. NuvoAir is a person-first, relationship based virtual care platform that proactively monitors and manages members with chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD, asthma and cystic fibrosis to flag deterioration risk and improve care. I was brought on to launch our digital health program in the US. I am responsible for sales strategy and execution. I have a small team, which will continue to grow as we scale the business.
Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally? Was it always your goal to be in this position?
It depends on how far I look back! When I started my career, I couldn’t have imagined I would be here, but over the past decade I have definitely been working toward this place in my career. Particularly, I knew I wanted to be in a strategic sales leadership role in a company that helps provide care to those that might not otherwise have access. I have always been drawn to developing talent and expanding worthwhile causes.
For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?
I’d start with just that -- set goals. I can’t stress enough the value of setting clear and measurable goals that align with your personal mission. Don’t be tough on yourself around timelines and don’t be afraid to change your goals and your knowledge grows, but do hold yourself accountable for making incremental progress along the way. Reach out to others for help and advice. Most of us in these positions had help getting here and are more than happy to provide counsel. Also, don’t be afraid to hire a career coach! They are by far the best option to help you focus and, most importantly, to give you objective feedback and help you stay accountable to you.
What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?
Communication is key. It’s imperative to be able to provide a clear message around what needs to be done and more importantly why to both internal and external stakeholders. Keep in mind that communication is a two way street. To communicate expertly, you must first be a good listener. Also, don’t forget those soft skills -- show up on time, network in your industry, and be a team player!
What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work? What’s the most challenging?
I love the idea that I’m playing a part in a pivotal shift in US healthcare. Technology has opened so many doors for people to be able to obtain care and improve their health at home. Growing up in rural America, I saw all my neighbors skip out on healthcare due to two to three hour drives to specialist care. Now, living in downtown Atlanta, I see different issues around obtaining healthcare such as not being able to take off work or childcare. Some of these problems can certainly be assisted by remote care. The challenge lies in awareness and adoption from those very people, as well as getting buy-in from health plans and physicians for access.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
For me it’s not any large accolade or promotion along the way, but seeing those I’ve helped along the way. Whether that be someone I have mentored or led succeeding or a person that now has access to care due to my work.
Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?
I represent NuvoAir through organizations like the Digital Medicine Society and the Digital Therapeutics Alliance. I also stay active in community organizations such as Junior League of Atlanta.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I absolutely love trying out new things and having new experiences! It could be a new travel destination, restaurant, state park for a hike or taking a pottery class. I tend to be analytical at work, so love to stretch myself creatively in my personal time.
How do you manage stress?
I have spent a lot of time working on my meditation practice. My practice is easier some days than others, but it’s always there when needed. I consider it a superpower to be able to step away for 10 minutes, reset via meditation and go back to task.
How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?
Zero. I’m not a coffee person. I do, however, indulge in hot tea of all kinds throughout the day and will treat myself to a latte on the weekends.
Any book or podcast recommendations?
I listen to The Daily by the New York Times. I love the deeper dives into current topics and the rundown of the day’s news. I also listen to a mix of industry and health podcasts with a good mix of my personal favorites like Brene Brown.
What advice do you have for recent college graduates?
Don’t be afraid to fail or just start over. You’re not stuck in one path just because of your major. Find your passion and go for it.