“I always like to say I was born to be a college football fan, having been born in South Bend (home of Notre Dame) and growing up in Columbus, in the shadows of Ohio Stadium (Go Bucks!). I am the oldest of seven children and feel like I was so lucky to grow up with such a big and close family. I am grateful every day for the messy, challenging, loving, and amazing family I have.
For me, Pride is about being able to be me. It is about being confident in myself and allowing myself to be vulnerable at the same time. It is about creating space for others to come out with less pain, less struggle, and more support. It is about remembering that coming out is not a one-time event. I have done it thousands of times throughout my lifetime, but I still find myself getting the catch in my throat when I share it in spaces that I am not as comfortable.
In college, I had a great boss who saw something in me that he was willing to invest in and develop. I progressed as an operations leader, moving from Indiana to Missouri and then landed in Chicago. I spent the next 10 years in functional support roles, moving from regional marketing to sales to communications to HR, which gave me a broad perspective on our industry. To say that joining Compass after more than 20 years with my former company was scary and intimidating is an understatement, but it was the best leap of faith I have taken in my career.
I am a storyteller by nature, so I am often sharing elements of my story or stories that have stuck with me to others. That has ultimately given me the space to define my own. The journey to self-love and acceptance, while is getting easier, is still one that can be challenging for so many. I am incredibly fortunate to have a family that loves and supports me, a wife that challenges me and brings out the fun in me, and a company that embraces me as I am without the expectation that I show up differently at work than I do in life.
Pride is about being proud of who I am, and yet also finding the strength and courage to step into who I can be, too. It is about love. Loving myself, loving people for who they are, for being brave in the face of discomfort, and for always believing that in the end, love wins.”
June is Pride Month, and we are honored to offer our platforms to our team members as they share their journeys in their own unique voices.