What do you do professionally?
I wear several hats. My most recent responsibilities are around building our restaurant franchise group. We have one Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (FreddysUSA.com) we opened earlier this year in Fairfax, VA, and we're looking for locations to open more. My husband is my partner (though he also has a day job, so a lot of the leg-work is mine)-we evaluate locations, negotiate the lease, identify financing sources, hire the contractor, oversee the construction and get it to the point of open, at which time we have our operating partner run the business, and we move on to the next location and start the process all over again. In addition, I'm past-president of my undergrad Alumni Society Board of Directors, and serve on the University-Wide Alumni Council there.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
It's flexible, hands-on, and you can see the results of your work (especially when we get to the point of construction). Having been primary parent, up until now I've done freelance work here and there, and have stayed professionally active through volunteer leadership and pro-bono efforts, this is a chance to use those old MBA chops in a for-profit undertaking.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Keeping your heart beating as you sign your personal guaranty on every conceivable piece of paper.
What sorts of interesting places has your position taken you? Do you have a favorite?
My past life jobs took me all over the world, but this most recent iteration has me driving the roads of Northern and Central Virginia looking for optimal spots for the next restaurant.
What is the best professional advice you've received?
This one I keep coming back to-don't think any one ever said it to me, but I've found myself using it when I coach undergrads in their resume development and interview prep: Always leave some place better for your having been there. Essentially, always be a value-added element in any endeavor.
Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?
This is a pretty good gig, but it would be nice to have more available financing at hand (read: flush with cash!) so we can move faster, and take more chances.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I'm also primary parent for our almost-12yo-twins, so I do the PTA volunteer stuff, running the kids to their activities, and being happy-homemaker with delectable snacks lovingly prepared and readily available when the little cherubs arrive home from the school bus. Sorry-got carried away there. I do love my flexible schedule, though-it allows me to take extended summer road trips with my kids. We've been to 26 states already, as well as Canada.
What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?
The value of collaborating with people who are as smart (and smarter!) than you. They raise your game, and you operate at a much higher level yourself.
Who was your favorite professor?
Is that fair?! I appreciated how Bob Whaley challenged us in Finance, but would often punctuate his lectures with a pulse-check to make sure everyone was keeping up. He clearly was aware that he wasn't just spouting his knowledge, but informing the students, and if they weren't absorbing the material, then he wasn't doing his job.
What is your favorite Fuqua memory?
Friday Kegs—such a simple yet effective community builder! I loved that the profs would come and join us; it wasn't an "us and them" environment. And we all got a chance to touch base on the social events of the weekend-it helped cement our personal relationships that then made the academic work (we were always working in teams) even more effective.
What does Team Fuqua mean to you?
You can find your better self as part of a high-functioning team. I loved that Fuqua wasn't a weed-out school. If you were there, you deserved to be there, but you had to work hard to succeed in the academic rigor.