My first Story on medium
Do you know where we can find more women like you?
One recent morning, I came into the office and immediately a male colleague blurts out, “do you know where we can find more women like you?” Another day, another nudge.
Women in male-dominated industries and the roles we play have been weighing on my mind lately. It all started with the March on Madison where my friend challenged us ladies to keep the conversation going afterwards. I had no idea what I’d do, but a series of seemingly unique, yet somehow connected occurrences and conversations have transpired since. Random? Or did the march and our recent change in political climate somehow tune me into the world that’s always been around me?
Being a woman in male dominated industries has truly never been something I’ve pondered much. But I’ve been wondering lately, maybe I should. And where would I start? Read more here.
Pedal Love Interview
I recently was connected to Melissa Balmer for work and shortly thereafter she asked to interview me for her site www.PedalLove.org. How wild is that?! She is the Media Director for the California Bicycle Coalition as well as a writer, media relations specialist and active living advocate. Her mission is to share the power of artistry and personally engaging storytelling to inspire.
MB: You're the brand new City Bike Marketing Manager for Trek. How fun! How did this come about?
JVV: We moved to Madison, by choice, not necessity, nine years ago with my heart set on working at Trek one day. When the opportunity for this role presented itself via word-of-mouth, I put my all into making it a reality. I’m a big believer of putting your intentions out there for the world to know. Now I get to enjoy the payoff—the last three months have been a bit surreal and I’m incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to grow and learn with the Trek family. Read more here.
Exercising My Vocal-chords Again
If you watched my Ignite Chicago talk below, you know I have a love of singing that's followed me around from a very young age. My sister-in-law, Marisa, gave me a gift card to go to the Madison Music Foundry for some one-on-one voice lessons. This place is super cool. I'd been before when I was taking piano lessons, but its been years now! I've never done solo voice lessons before--only in a group. Sure, I was a little nervous at my first lesson, but nothing like I was when I first took the group lessons through UW-Madison. That was before I learned it's no big deal to miss a note or be subjected to strange vocal exercises. I'll only be going for two months, but its great to learn new skills, practice old ones and exercise your muscles! It challenges you, takes you out of your comfort zone, and empowers you in a way that effects every aspect of your life, whether you realize it or not.
UW Organ & Tissue Donation Organization
My husband, Ian, was born with a rare liver disease and received a transplant at eight years old. Being married to an amazing liver recipient will teach you a lot about perspective. I volunteer regularly with this great organization through outreach and speaking to drivers education classes about the importance of considering registration as an organ and tissue donor.
Madison Nonprofit Day - Nonprofits: Ignite
For the last two years I have emceed and volunteered my time to partner Ignite Madison with Madison Nonprofit Day, which was created to celebrate and promote awareness of the city's nonprofits, the work they do and the communities they serve. Each time, Nonprofit Day's organizer, Alnisa Allgood and I would select five speakers representing area nonprofits, but more importantly, their own, personal story. Naturally, their presentations would all be done "Ignite-style" in five minutes, with 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.
Speaking in Chicago: Discovering Ignite
Early in 2013, I had the chance to speak about my love of learning in an Ignite talk in Chicago. I had a blast and was so inspired by my experience that I knew I could use my passion for connecting with others, my skill set around producing and managing events and people all while finding a way to support my community.
Photography credited to Natalie Hinckley & Jen Lucas Photography.