Tell us about your business: I was born and raised in Winston Salem, NC, home of Texas Pete, Krispy Kreme, and the Dixie Classic Fair! I received my undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University in 1998, and completed my Master of Arts in 2000 from Appalachian State as well— GO APP STATE! I have worked with children and adults (ages 1 -101) with various speech, language and swallowing/feeding disorders, but my passion is working with the pediatric population. My motivation to start my own speech therapy private practice was simply that I wanted more flexibility. I wanted to make it easier to juggle my family and work, and not be married to strict schedules. I put in many, many hours to get the business where it is today, and had no idea what I was getting into when I started. If someone had told me, or even given me a blueprint, I would have been paralyzed with fear, and never even attempted business ownership. Doing this blindly was the best thing for me!
Describe yourself in 3 words: Motivated, committed, and supportive
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? I love being a speech therapist, but I believe my greatest professional achievement has been co-founding and operating our non-profit, The Speech Bus. A colleague/close friend of mine decided to co-found this organization to help meet the language/literacy needs of underserved preschool aged children in our community. We are able to provide this service because of generous donations from the community (100%). We run the entire operation with no compensation, and take hours and days off of work to make it happen, but what we get in return can't be measured in dollars and cents! Although, we are certainly open to funding /grants to allow us to do more!
What are your professional goals for the next six months? Over the next 6 months my goal is to continue to strengthen the therapy business, and to grow and expand The Speech Bus.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I can think of many things I would want to do involving kids, but if I take them out of the equation, I think I would love to be a lawn care specialist! I know nothing about grass, and want nothing to do with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or insecticides, but I LOVE being outside, love the smell of fresh cut grass, and it's great exercise (self-propelled mower, of course!)
How do you maintain a work/life balance? This is an ongoing process... maintaining that balance is like a never ending science project! When something doesn't work, I shift and try something else!
What websites do you visit every day? Almost every day, I visit CNN, Clinic Source (for online documentation), and medicaidprograms.org... wow... didn't realize how boring I am!
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city? I love walking at Reynolda Gardens, favorite place to eat is Senor Bravo, and right now my favorite destination is wherever my kids are! We spend lots of time/weekends playing YMCA sports-- always fun!
What is your goal for retirement? My goal for retirement is to be able to do so! Seriously, I think I will work/volunteer until I can't. I want to relax and smell the roses, but I also feel like I should serve as long as I am able to. I also hope to be financially able to have fun with future grandkids, enjoy my family, and spend lots of time in the mountains and the beach!
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company? A wise friend once told me, "Too much analysis causes paralysis...". I would say, lace your Nike's up and JUST DO IT!
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