Which core value do you identify with most? Why?
I definitely identify with our Linked by Empathy core value the most, as I've always been an empathetic person. When you feel empathetic to a person, you have a better understanding of how things can affect them. I try to lead with empathy because it helps me to handle situations better. If a person calls in and is incredibly frustrated because their benefits are messed up, I take a second and put myself in their shoes, think of how I would want the person on the other end of the line to help, and then try to do that to the best of my ability. I think it is easy to become jaded when dealing with people as a main point of our jobs, so trying to understand where they might be coming from or how a situation might be an issue for them, can only help us build better relationships, whether professionally or personally.
You have a reputation at ProLink for being a bit of a “go-getter,” mostly because you’re always raising your hand for new, sometimes off-the-wall, projects. What’s the driving force behind that behavior?
There are two pieces to what drives me: the first is a bit selfish, but it is that I still feel I haven't scratched the surface regarding, "figuring out what I want to do with my life." I take on new projects so that I can be constantly learning and growing, to better understand where I excel and, what doesn't "fit." The second piece behind what drives my energy is that I love seeing the impact that the work I am doing can make. I get excited to see something I've done benefit someone in our company that I might not have otherwise had a chance to interact with. Also, my top "love language" is Words of Affirmation, so I thrive off knowing that the work I did on a project was needed and appreciated.
What is your favorite movie genre to see in a theater, specifically?
Action, hands down!
Tell us about your main reason for loving all forms of art, but particularly musicals.
I've always been theatrical, so naturally I was drawn to the arts. I grew up in a pretty low-income family in Piketon (fun fact: this is a very small town in southern Ohio, more recently known for the Rhoden family murders). I always felt a little out of place and the arts became an escape for me. I started doing musical theatre in high school and found my "home" in a sense. I loved being on stage and getting to live in a reality that I created. I've also always loved watching people doing what they love. Seeing the passion they put into their work, especially when it comes to the arts. I was fortunate enough to see Hamilton when the tour came to Cleveland and being able to watch people performing something I love so much with such fervor, literally brought tears to my eyes (for those of you wondering, yes, I ugly cried in public).
Best concert you’ve ever seen, why? Worst concert, why?
Best concert? Ooh, that’s hard. I LOVED Bonnaroo. It’s a full weekend of live music, what more do I need to say?! Only downfall: camping in 90-degree weather in the plains of Tennessee.
Worst? Honestly, I’ve never met a concert I didn’t like. My least favorite “types” of concerts, though, are at large stadiums or arenas. I think you lose a lot of what makes a concert great when the intimacy is taken away from it.
You moved to Columbus in 2015. What brought and what’s kept you there?
I always felt a little out of place in small town America. During my senior year of college, I studied abroad in Spain for a semester and lived in a small city, Castellon de la Plana. I loved being able to walk or take public transportation everywhere. This is what sparked my desire to live in a city. When I returned from my trip, a few of my friends had graduated and moved to Columbus, so I would spend every other (if not every) weekend in Columbus, taking in the city. You can always find a live band playing, a show going on, or just a bar that's packed for some sporting event. I loved that there was always something going on and knew I wanted to live here. I’ve gained an incredible community of friends since I’ve lived here, and that is why I stay!
Tell us about your involvement in the Alzheimer’s Association. How did you get involved and what do you do to help that organization?
I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association the summer after I moved to Columbus, because this girl randomly messaged me asking if I would be interested in playing in RivALZ Columbus, a flag football game that raises money and awareness for Alzheimer’s. I figured it would be a good way to give back and have been involved since. I still play in RivALZ Columbus each year, and I also serve on the young professional’s board, the Junior Committee, as the VP of Advocacy. In this role, I work with our elected officials to drive an awareness about legislation that could benefit people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and to ultimately gain their support/co-sponsorship on these pieces of legislation. I love being a part of this organization, because though my family isn’t directly affected by the disease, I know a TON of people who have been. I’ve heard their stories about how their grandpa was found three states away, confused in a restaurant, when he was just driving around the corner to the hardware store; how their mother passed away, and because Medicare doesn’t cover most of the expenses associated with the disease, they are paying off debt from hospice as newlyweds in their early thirties; how their grandma woke up every morning and didn’t know where she was, so she tried to run away from the home she had lived in for the past 40 years. I stay involved so I can create change in this space, for these people, and for the millions of other people who are affected by Alzheimer’s.
Tell us a story from when you were a kid. It can be funny, stupid, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
Let me preface this story by saying that since I can remember, I've always been a bit theatrical and loved to sing and dance. So, one day when I was around 3 (or 4, not sure), I was spending the day with my grandparents and cousin. My grandma tells the story like this: I rush into the dining room yelling to my grandparents "Mamaw, Papaw, come with me! Toowy (how I said Torie as a 3-year-old) and I want to sing you a song!" As they get seated on the couch, I tell them, "I taught Toowy how to sing in Fwench (aka, French)!" Being the super supportive grandparents, they are, they said, "Oh yeah? We can't wait to hear!" Then, Torie and I proceeded to sing, "Fwench, Fwench, Fwench, Fwench," over and over, while dancing as we had "rehearsed." My grandma still laughs ferociously every time she gets to tell someone this story.
Check out what Brittany had to say about workplace flexibility in a recent article published by the Columbus Business First!