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Mentorship Details

My First Job Was

Other than babysitting (LOTS of babysitting), my first job with a real paycheck was as a Senate Page for 3 months during my Freshman year of high school. I tended to be a little too social, so I was relocated (banished?) to the basement of the General Assembly building where I collated and organized the daily bills.

Best Advice I’ve Received

My mentors in the Richmond retail community – and there are many (Bobby & Jim Ukrop, Jack Kreuter, Pat Patrick) – are and were good stewards of our community. Giving back was in their DNA. I think being a partner with the community that supports you is the difference between being a good retail store and a great retail experience.

Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned

Don’t hit ‘send’ while you’re angry. Write the email (or letter or message); wait an hour or a day; reread your response and edit it. I also like to think “how would the customer explain my reply to a friend?” Word choice and tone of voice are very important, as is empathy, and ALL relationships are valuable.

Top Strengths

Accounting & Finance, Human Resources, Management, Marketing, Operations, Sales, Starting Up, Technology

Passionate About

Creating a pro forma budget, understanding your financial statements, understanding/improving your profit margins, how to create a marketing budget (and what constitutes ‘marketing’)

Hobbies & Interests

I’m a big geneaology buff and can fill hours tracking down family mysteries on Also love to travel – favorites are Greece, pretty much anywhere in Europe, and small towns and/or downtown areas with great local shops to visit.