As a child I loved to draw; I knew I wanted to be a professional artist someday. I was fortunate that my dreams came true and provided me with a rewarding career in the console and casual games industries. I began as an individual contributor painting backgrounds, designing user inferaces, and animating characters. Later I learned 3D modeling, character rigging, and texturing.
I was quickly promoted to a Lead Artist position where I managed multiple teams. The largest team was approximately 40 people onsite along with a sizable vendor studio overseas. Eventually I decided it was time for a change; I left the industry with countless fond memories and several lasting friendships. I shipped over 30 titles, including several for Nickelodeon, and earned a mention on IMDB.
My next pursuit was learning to be a developer. I was particularly interested in user interface design and crafting optimal website experiences. I fell in love with client-side development and dove into Responsive Web Design, which was new at the time. I thought it was incredible that you could design one website for a variety of browsers and devices.
I was and still am passionate about accessibility and providing an equal experience to all users. One of the most challenging and rewarding tasks I had was building an accessible Date Picker (calendar widget) for Expedia. At the time, there weren't any decent examples online so I created my own pattern which is still being used on Expedia's sites today. My Date Picker was also tested by a member of the National Federation of the Blind who praised it as easy to use and intuitive.
Throughout my years as an Art Lead, I acted as a Program Manager — I just didn't know it! I was planning quarterly roadmaps, coordinating with stakeholders, estimating and tracking tasks, and sharing out status updates. I've always been naturally organized and like to plan; I even use Trello to track my personal projects.
While working at Expedia I was offered an opportunity to take on a TPM role helping a new team get set up. I accepted the offer and have been a TPM ever since. Working as a TPM allows me to pull from both my art/design and engineering backgrounds, as well as leverage my organizational and communication skills. I enjoy helping people succeed and being a TPM allows me to do that on a daily basis.
When I'm not working, I can be found outside in the yard. Only the worst weather will force me to retreat indoors! I'm an avid gardener and a bit of an obsessive plant collector. Since I became a homeowner, I've landscaped my entire property and installed a pond (I had some help with the pond).
I've loved animals for as long as I can remember. As a child, I rescued every stray cat and dog that I came into contact with and rehabilitated a few injured songbirds. As an adult I continued animal rescue by volunteering at PAWS Wildlife Center, where I had the privilege of feeding baby squirrels, birds, and opossums. I was raised in Ohio and have fond memories of visiting my Aunt and Uncle's farm in the country. My family always had pets and I've continued that tradition: currently I have two cats and plan to adopt a senior dog in the future.
I recently discovered a joy for baking during the COVID-19 quarantine. I began with baking cookies but hope to level up to breads and cakes soon.