I’m from a micro-town of 986 people called King City, Missouri, where I graduated in a class of 15 people. Still, I ended up landing in New York City and started a brokerage firm at the age of 26. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew how to treat people, and people always liked me. Since my background is hospitality, and that’s what I studied—then practiced—at the University of Missouri, I knew I wanted my brokerage firm to be highly service-oriented.

Growing up, I learned people are people. My father was a two-star general, but my parents forced us to interact with people from all walks of life, from senators and generals to dairy farmers and preachers. Having a diverse background has helped shape how I lead today, whether it’s when I’m leading the National Association of Women in Insurance & Financial Services, or in my office.

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