When we moved to Petaluma from Illinois in 2008, it felt like starting over. After 19 years in the Chicago area, my contacts, references, and connections were all pretty local. The staffing firms I had worked with, the editors I knew, the business leaders I could call on — I left them behind with the Ikea couch that wasn’t worth space on the moving van.
I had to start somewhere, and the easiest starting point was the place where my 6-year-old son was spending all his time away from home: the elementary school. I threw my hand up often and threw myself into volunteering at the school for seven years, making great friends and building community along the way. I also got to build a local portfolio and client base, with the added benefit of doing good for the school. As my daughter graduated the elementary school in June, 2016, I turn my energies to the local Cinnabar Theater, where my kids are now spending all their spare time away from home. And when the PTSA at the junior high needs work, I still answer the call.