Current job title: Director of sales, Courtyard Marriott Bowling Green.
Hometown: Bowling Green.
Family: Husband, Jeremy. Fluffy 8-year-old tuxedo kitty, Big Luna Tuna. We live across the road from my parents, Clint and Tish, and granddaddy, Buddy. Grandpa Lou moved to town recently, so we’re all here together for the first time in more than 30 years.
The one thing no one knows about me is ... I keep a bag of jump ropes in the trunk of my car. I was on the Natcher Elementary School Jumpin’ Jaguars team more than 20 years ago. That comes up in conversation more often than you’d think. You never know when you’ll need to prove you still have the moves!
My dream job is ... turning my love for travel and history into a business maybe travel blogging or writing for National Geographic. My roots are in journalism and storytelling, while my passion is history. Finding a way to tell stories about the places I love and discovering new experiences is on my list.
My first job was ... communications and marketing intern at Lost River Cave. After graduating from Western Kentucky University, I spent a season interning at one of Bowling Green’s oldest attractions, helping establish its inaugural Scarecrow Trail event that’s now a huge fall favorite. Being a cavewoman, I was introduced to the worlds of tourism and hospitality.
I soon discovered they were amazing industries to be part of – showing people a good time and telling stories about my hometown? Ideal!
The best advice I ever got was ... from a magnet on my parents’ fridge at home. It’s a photo from “The Andy Griffith Show,” with Andy, Barney and Gomer, that says not to take life too seriously. It was never a quote from the TV show or a particular person, but I grew up watching its taped reruns, plus “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Monkees,” “Gunsmoke” and other classic shows. Most of my real-life conversations with Dad are only Andy Griffith quotes and applying them in context – we’re hard for people to follow sometimes. Laugh whenever you can. It’s easier that way.
My hero (and why) is ... my Aunt Brenda. She passed away from a seven-year battle with colon cancer nearly a decade ago. An eternal optimist, she inspired my love of vinyl, the occasional sass, had no fear and always told me when my Gemini alter ego was showing and needed to calm down. For my 16th birthday, she gifted me a gold peace sign pendant. I never take it off. It’s been around my neck for nearly 14 years. After she passed, my Uncle Lou gave me the diamond from her engagement ring. It now hangs with the pendant. She always used to say “Little niece, find you a job that pays to be a tourist.” Maybe that’ll be my next gig.
If I could do it all over again, I would ... relish the moments and take notes. In the past 10 years, I’ve lost three of the four major women in my life. Aunt Brenda, Nana and Grandma Liz all left this Earth within the same five years. Mom and I are still here, doing our best to breathe in and appreciate our time together. Everyone says not to take things for granted, but we don’t always listen. It’s not going to be around forever. Enjoy it while you’re here. Keep records of stories to tell. My grandpas, Buddy Butler and Lou Vassie, are a treasure at my house on holidays. Just try not to laugh at stories about riding a mule no one would buy down an unpaved Cemetery Road and ending up on an Army base in Hawaii. They don’t make them the way they used to.
The part of my job I could do without is ... when technology goes wrong. There’s a never-ending apocalyptic battle between required apps working on Mozilla versus Internet Explorer (I know, right). Isn’t the computer supposed to make our lives smarter instead of harder?
The one thing I always carry with me is ... my phone. Maybe I should rethink this one.
Best meal I ever had was ... this is a tie. Maybe not “the best,” but definitely the two of the most memorable. First, a basic Irish meal of soup and brown bread was had at the King’s Head in Galway, not the kind of place you find in the U.S. The King’s Head was established in 1649 and was supposedly payment the executioner received after he axed Britain’s King Charles I. Second, I dined at Fraunces Tavern in New York City, the place that served as George Washington’s headquarters during the American Revolution. Dark and dimly lit with family-style seating, it felt like we were strategizing the colonial defense.
At the top of my bucket list is ... a long vacation to anywhere in the Caribbean with a floating bungalow. Maybe that’ll inspire me to put my phone on silent.