I believe that service to your community is an essential element of any successful society. Since I served in the military, I lived in various places all over the country and around the world, but I always found a way to volunteer my time to organizations and people in need. When I lived in Hawaii, I led an effort to organize the entire intelligence command center (at COMPACFLT) to spend time building a home with Habitat for Humanity. Similarly, while we were living in northern Vietnam, my husband and I raised more than $30,000 to help elderly residents suffering from the physical and emotional scars of leprosy.
In 2008 when we moved to Pacific Grove, I began attending City Council meetings. My interest in local government and community service led me to the Americans with Disabilities Act Advisory Board where I served as a member until the Board was dissolved. I then took up a position on the Traffic Safety Commission. After being elected to the Pacific Grove City Council, I served on the board of FORA, and as a liaison to the Library Advisory Board and Natural Resources Commission. I also serve as an alternate board member to TAMC, the ALUC, and the Monterey Peninsula Water Authority, and recently I was elected as the 2nd vice president to the Monterey Bay Division of the League of California Cities.
My husband and I also started a group called “VegHeads of Monterey Bay” in an effort to meet other vegetarians who live in the area. The on-line group started with just seven people having potluck dinners, and now we have over 100 members. We are vegetarians because we love animals and the environment, and as a result, my husband and I also founded a non-profit organization called “Kairos Coalition” which focuses on delivering humane education programs around the world. The goal is to reach out to children in developing countries to teach them the importance of being kind to animals, being good stewards of the environment, and learning compassionate problem-solving skills. The Kairos Coalition has also sponsored the first animal shelter in Vietnam.
I am a 2012 graduate of Leadership Monterey Peninsula and I participated in LMP’s candidate school and City Skills workshops. I have served on the Board of Directors for Jacob’s Heart, a regional non-profit that helps families who have children with cancer. Finally, I served on the Advisory Board of Pearl Buck International, an organization that owns and operates orphanages throughout the world. I was very active in volunteering in the orphanages in Vietnam when I lived there and I worked to equip several orphanages with playground equipment so the children would have a safe place to play.
I have been blessed with so many opportunities to become involved in important causes at all levels, from local boards and commissions to international organizations. This level of volunteerism has taught me that we all have something unique to contribute and the rewards are tremendous.