I come from a town of 700 people just east of St. Louis. True middle America. Picture the cornfields of southern Illinois: a hardworking, blue collar town—those are my roots. I come from a retired military family, barely making ends meet, often on welfare, but always—always—committed to doing whatever it took to help others.
I am the first in my family to go to college, and finished a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at the University of Illinois in only 3 years. As an undergrad, I was fortunate to be both a teaching assistant in the biochemistry labs and a research assistant in a lab focused on studying multiple sclerosis. Both of those experiences led me to the biotechnology industry, a place where I could continue working in a lab environment, continue learning new things and help change people’s lives for the better.
I’ve been in the industry ever since. When Amy asked me to help build this company, I couldn’t wait to join the team. I knew I was about to be a part of something special. This was an opportunity to build a unique company with a unique mission: to change how people take medicine.
At Lyndra, everyone is necessary. Everyone is expected to work hard, to step outside their comfort zones, and ultimately, to make a difference. Building a team where people from different backgrounds can come together to do what they do best—that’s not just corporate-speak at Lyndra. It’s critical to what we do.
For instance, coming from a career where I was often the only woman at the table, it’s wonderful to be in a community that is mostly female. Everyone can bring their best self to work every day without being asked to change. Lyndra is the first team I have been a part of where being your authentic self is 100% expected. In fact, it’s the only way to succeed.
I am fortunate to have had a life and career full of hardship, success, change, diversity, mentorship, empowerment and advocacy. I believe it’s with focus, grit, determination and the appreciation we have for each other we will succeed in our mission to provide better medicine.