Where are you from originally?
I grew up on a small family-owned farm just outside Wooster, Ohio. My parents grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. So it was pretty much like being on Green Acres. We raised pigs, a few head of beef cattle, showed Appaloosa horses and bailed a ton of hay. I worked hard. And I paid for my entire first year of college with all of the money I raised through 4-H.
With that said, I grew up going to Lincoln Day dinners, foreign-policy debates and Farmer’s Union Rallies. I competed on speech and debate team, but I wasn’t really good at debate because I always had trouble defending a position. The family “discussions” about politics, however, helped me hone my listening skills.
How did your life’s journey bring you to Racine?
I met my ex-husband in Wooster. He got a job offer in Racine at Danfoss Fluid Power in 1993. His parents lived in Kenosha. At the time I was still in college and I transferred from a satellite branch of the University of Akron to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which is where I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism.
What do you like best about Racine?
You can take the farm girl off the farm, but not the farm out of the girl. Initially, I was pretty unsure about moving here, but that feeling didn’t last.
“What’s in Wisconsin besides more cows?” I asked.
“Well,” he said. “There’s beer, fabulous fish fry and the best view of Lake Michigan you’ll ever see.”
He had me at beer. But I loved the fact that I could go see a play in Chicago, go fishing or enjoy a good county fair with a strong 4-H club. I also love the people and the history: The story around the gadgets we have made and continue to make. I love how we figure things out. We are dreamers, risk-takers and problem solvers.
Please give some examples of how your business has made a positive impact on the community.
The Racine County Eye is about solutions-based journalism. We have done investigative journalism projects around the health impact of the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant, mental health access and we are currently working on a series around barriers to employment.
We have focused our attention on city development, business openings and closings, crime, and we even have parenting columns.
The site brings people together around topics that are relevant to the community. We also provide resource pages to help the community navigate those issues. So that means when we write about barriers to employment, we are also highlighting topics like: Where to get your GED and how to write a resume.
What’s the least understood aspect about your business?
Have you ever heard the term fake news?
To address this, our stories are well sourced. We are transparent about where our information comes from. So if we are aggregating stories from another news source, we tell you. If we reference a public document, we upload it and link to it. We seek the truth and we’re not shy about that.
What would you like to accomplish during the next 6 months? 12 months?
As construction projects take root all over Racine County, this is going to be a very busy spring and it’s not going to let up for years. So we’ll have new people coming to town. We’re working on resource guides, highlighting events around town and keeping up on how the community is adapting to all of the change taking place.
What’s the best way to contact you?
My phone number is (262) 504-9570 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.