Photography by Haley Webster
I value my relationships more than anything and forming empathy for others has always been something I strive to do. It is my personal mission, and the mission of Dearduck, to empower everyone to building meaningful, authentic relationships with the people in their lives.
What was the defining moment in your past that set you on the career path you ended up following?
From my early childhood days to my career as an IT consultant, there are so many things that have magically come together and led me to create Dearduck.
But actually getting started was another thing entirely. In June of 2015, I had the courage to ask a woman I admired, Marcie Zlotnik, to coffee for business advice. She mentored me and saw me fail many times before getting to where I am today with Dearduck. She never stopped believing in me and continues to push me to be better everyday. I am forever thankful to her.
What makes you unique in your industry?
Dearduck is a software company, but it actually has a handful of features that were modeled after things I did as a child.
For example, when I was four, I would give tours of my grandmother’s garden and charge $1. I would observe each person and scribble their favorite flowers in my notebook. Throughout the year, I would charge $1 for anyone who needed to know my mom or my aunts’ favorite flowers.
I would also play games with friends to see how well we could choose things for each other. We would open a magazine and have to guess what the other person would pick to read or buy. It was always a little nerve wracking because everyone really wanted to get it right…it was a difficult guessing game.
What is one way you hope to impact your community in the future, either personally or professionally?
Dearduck is the most challenging thing I have ever done. But, I absolutely love what I do. Even with the hardships, it gives me so much happiness.
I want to be able to share this with as many people as possible. I am working to build a large company that does not just give people in the community financial stability, but a company with a culture that promotes happiness, creativity, and enriches people’s everyday lives.
If you could sit down with any woman in the world–either from history or who is currently living–who would that be and what would you discuss with her?
Hands down, Maya Angelou. I would love to hear the many stories filled with her resilient optimism. Especially the ones that would have left most people feeling defeated, but instead gave her a good laugh and motivated her to rise up higher than before. Oh, and Ellen Degeneres…no explanation needed.