I grew up in Portland, OR in the era of acid rain, holes in the ozone layer, save the whales, drought and famine in Somalia, and the Clinton administration’s sexual harassment scandals. We recycled, trick or treated for UNICEF, and volunteered at soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity, and did environmental restoration works. In the summers, I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor, having developed a taste for telling other people what to do by bossing around my three younger siblings.
I stayed in Portland for college, learning Russian at Reed College (FAQs: No, I’m not Russian at all, nor is my family. I got into it because my mom decided I was reading too much junky sci-fi and grounded me until I finished Crime & Punishment, at which point I was convinced that I read a bad translation and needed to read it in the original. I discovered, years later, that it was not a bad translation after all.). I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, and between semesters, I traveled around Eastern Europe, visiting eleven countries in five weeks (only had to bribe my way out of one!). I resumed my studies at The University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA, trying my best to understand a culture that was closer to the xenophobia of Russia than to the culture of the Pacific Northwest I grew up in. I earned a master’s degree in Slavic Language and Literature. While I enjoyed teaching, research, and lively intellectual discussion, academia as an institution was not for me. So, I left and did what most people do with a master’s degree in an imminently practical field: retail management.
Working retail was both traumatic and enlightening: it taught me a lot about myself, as well as how to respond to difficult people and situations with humility, compassion, and grace. In 2017 I returned to Portland to a job in business operations, where I discovered I had an aptitude for forecasting, planning, and strategizing. I’d been half-heartedly job searching for five years when my dad suggested that I look at the financial industry for a career change since it combined aspects of things I loved about my two previous jobs: number crunching and strategizing, and teaching. I landed a job as a paraplanner at a financial advisory firm in Portland in 2018 and found it to be the perfect blend of complexity and common sense. Finally, it all came together: a return to my love of social activism/advocacy, investing with purpose, developing strategies that align money with meaning and the opportunity to teach money management skills.
I joined Lunaria Financial in January 2021 and never looked back. I have found my calling. I recently started a discussion group for newly minted financial advisors and am passionate about helping parents successfully transfer their wealth to the next generation without creating entitled or unproductive/destructive adult children.
How I’m expanding what’s possible with money
Education and financial literacy are deeply important to me, and my passion is helping people gain the skills and confidence they need to effectively manage their money. I care about helping them identify what’s most important to them, and how to nurture and support what they value through making impactful investments and charitable contributions.
Outside my work, my passions include
I like to knit, play music (mostly piano these days), watch historical documentaries, make art with friends, and see live music. I love to travel and taste-test all the local micro-brews and wine. In late August, you’ll find me critiquing art projects in a dust storm at Burning Man in the Nevada desert.