I had the honor of being named one of the Four Under 40 winners by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. This annual award recognizes four young professionals in the community that demonstrate excellence in the following: Leadership in Community, Leadership in Business, Excellence in Career, and Balance in life.
Oh my, those categories are a lot to live up to! I would call myself a work in progress for all of them, but I do appreciate the leadership and business opportunities I’ve had through the Chamber over the years. I also really value the community that I’ve come to know through my chamber involvement. As I said in my acceptance speech, the other women business owners that I’ve met through the chamber have been a lifeline for me in shaping how I think about and run my own business. Many of them have become close friends whom I bounce ideas around with, trade advice back and forth, and share margaritas on days when we all need a well-deserved break.
It was a great event, all the more so to have people celebrating with me who knew me when I first moved here. I didn’t know anyone in Naperville, other than my then-boyfriend-now-husband Jeffrey when I moved from North Dakota. I had no job lined up, no contacts, nothing. Job hunting in an economy that had only recently dug out of the recession was slightly overwhelming.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me and given me inspiration along the way. Many of you were there during the event, and I’m grateful to have you on my side. Building a new community takes a lot of time and effort. Friends, colleagues, business contacts; they don’t grow overnight. I think the thing that surprised me a little, and also delighted me, is how I have grown into my community here in Naperville over the last 8 years. I’m honored to be recognized for what I’ve done up to this point, and I’m excited to see what will be coming my way in the future.