I want you to know the person you're hiring! The bio below is detailed because I want to give you a sense of me as a person. You'll also get to know me in the Blog and Resources area, so check that out, too.
I had the good fortune of being raised by parents who loved me and lived in ways that were consistent with their core values and beliefs. I often say they weren't perfect (and that's OK), but they were good (and I am grateful). In our large family–we call it the AnderFam–we learned how to laugh, celebrate, disagree, cultivate our beliefs, and support each other. We value being together, even though that's become more complicated as the extended family has grown (there are over 50 of us, and counting), and our parents are no longer with us.
My first nephew was born when I was in 8th grade, and that changed my life. Decades later, preparing to officiate his wedding, I realized that I was born to be an aunt. My 12 nieces and nephews, their spouses, and now their kids (there are 17) are as important to me as my own kids. Being an aunt and a great aunt has allowed me to get to know each of these people as individuals, find ways to celebrate their lives, affirm and encourage them, and hold space for them to be completely human. In many ways, these much-loved members of my family have been the first people I got to coach!
I married my wife, Kat, in 2015, and gained two wonderful kids (now 16 and 22). We live in the Phoenix metro, near Kat's parents. While not a blended family, per se, my adult no-kids, no-pets life changed a lot after moving into their home...our home. I love being a bonus mom (I approach it a lot like being an aunt, but with more day-to-day connections). I even love our two cats and little dog. Sometimes I say that being in Arizona is an acquired taste, and I'm still acquiring it. Truth be told, my love for life with my wife, kids, and our three quadrupeds was made easier by their quick welcome of me into their lives.
Looking back, I have been graced with dear friends throughout my life--people who help me see the world in new ways, who affirm the best in me, and have helped me understand myself and the world around me. There's nothing like being with friends who have known me for decades, and my friends are people who have shaped me in profound ways. Coming out, changing jobs, grieving the loss of my parents, making relationship decisions, sifting and sorting through what I believe and what I value...all of these things have been done with input from my friends. They have helped me value myself, taught me the importance of authentic questions, and modeled what it means to hold space for other people.
Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?
I am grateful for my life. All of it. Even the challenging stuff. After all, happy families and good friends don't save a person from hard things, and in my life they have taken many forms:
Anxiety and depression have been constants in my life since high school.
Losing my mom to ALS when I was 38 and my dad many years later to old age introduced me to grief and loss that lingers and impacts my life to this day.
Coming out to my family and friends as a gay woman (a truth I rejected for decades because of my understanding of evangelical faith), pushed me to lean into my fears, claim my identity, and welcome love. Together, we have chosen to value our relationships as a family first and foremost. We recognize that while we see gay marriage differently (an outgrowth of our individual faith commitments), this doesn't negate our respect or love for each other.
Not only did marriage usher in being a wife and a bonus mom, it also placed me in the sandwich generation–juggling the needs of my life, marriage, kids, and aging in-laws.
Moving from Minnesota to Arizona has necessitated developing friendships and connections within a new community. This may be the hardest part of relocating in mid-life.
In the midst of these challenges, I've initiated career changes, faced financial insecurity, sifted and sorted through my core beliefs, and ultimately reinvented myself personally and professionally. Recently, I've been savoring the opportunities I've had to walk with others through their challenges, diagnoses, transitions, and triumphs. I have been reminded that listening carefully to others as they share their own stories, asking authentic questions, and coming alongside with encouragement and ideas, is a source of deep joy. It is as natural to me as breathing, and it is a great delight.
These are the things that have shaped who I am and what I do. As a coach, I plan to bring all of this together in the service of clients who, like me, want to live fully realized lives.
Life Coach. Consultant. Speaker.
Early in my professional life, I thought I'd be a pastor. Then I found myself using my listening skills, to work closely with graduate students and faculty to help them thrive in the world of online education. Now I'm putting my care for people, my ability to listen carefully to others, and my authentic curiosity together as a life coach.
I absolutely believe that people have what they need to live into their best lives and achieve their goals. As a coach, I get to partner with others to clarify their longings, articulate goals, and identify strategies for moving forward. Together in the safety of a supportive coach-client relationship, we can see transformation happen!
Additionally, I have had many opportunities to consult with schools and speak to groups. As a speaker and workshop leader, I work to bring my interpersonal skills to bear on any presentation I make. It's important to me that people feel like we've had a great conversation...even if I was the speaker. ;-)
2019 - Present
Institute for Integrative Coach Training
Director of Online Education
Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies
Center City, MN
1997 - 2012
Director of InMinistry Distributed Learning
St. Paul, MN
Master of Divinity
St. Paul, MN