What is the best part of your job?
I am grateful to have a job that offers a lot of variety – from working with our local, state and Federal officials to meeting and telling the stories of the incredible men and women who work for Shell offshore and on across the Gulf of Mexico to helping to lead volunteer efforts to restore or coast or rebuild our communities – every day is different.
What is the hardest?
Making sure that we stay connected to each other and to our communities through the pandemic and now the storm which have both been so disruptive to gathering in person. Not being able to connect with people has been challenging not just professionally, but personally. I think a lot of people have struggled with feeling disconnected when we actually need each other the most – I know I have.
Shell has been active in recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida. Can you tell us about your personal experience?
I feel very blessed to work for a company that wants to make a difference not just today, but for the long haul. Colette Hirstius, our new Senior Vice President for the Gulf of Mexico, grew up in New Orleans, and has family from up and down the Bayou, so she’s been great about stepping up to fund our Bayou Region commitment to response and recovery, including a $1 million commitment to the Bayou Community Foundation. This donation to BCF will help the Bayou Region respond and recover from Ida with some specific programs and projects that are designed to help the Bayou be more resilient to future storms. I’ve also been able to volunteer directly for distribution days, and we’re planning plenty more volunteer activities in the weeks and months to come. Additionally, I have been working with the Fisheries Recovery Task Force to try and come up with new tools to help our commercial fishermen recover and get back out on the water.
What’s one leadership skill you feel everyone must learn?
Listen with empathy. It doesn’t cost you anything to be kind to people, and kindness comes from understanding where people are and what they are experiencing.
As a child, what did you see yourself doing as a career?
I wanted to be a scientist. I started college in engineering, but finished in Mass Communications and then have spent my career around scientists and engineers and communicating what they’re working on in a way that people can understand.
What was your very first job?
I worked at a gas station and tire shop in Labadieville in high school.
What time do you wake up and how do you start your day?
Somewhere between 5:30 and 6, and then get my girls to school and either head to the office, a meeting or back to work from home.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
I would very much like to live without my phone!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
This time of year, I love to be outside by a fire pit or watching some Colonel football!
I haven’t met a deep fried carb I didn’t love.
Favorite vacation spot:
Last year, I drove my girls 3,600 miles up the Mississippi River and back down. I LOVED this 100 year old cabin and lodge we stayed at in Bemidji, Minnesota. Honestly, any road trip will do, but that was definitely the best vacation we’ve taken.
How do you like your coffee?
Favorite is a Flat White No Sugar from Starbucks, but the strongest Dark Roast Community with a splash of cream is also pretty great.
Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?
Coffee ice cream.
Pen or pencil?
Pen. I like seeing my mistakes.
Early bird or night owl?
I’m a working single mom with twins… Both.