Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in public administration.

Favorite volunteer/community activity:

The occasional acting role at one of our awesome community theaters.

Professional background:

Presently, I’m the president of the Jefferson City Arts Foundation, formerly known as the Cultural Arts Foundation. In the past, I’ve been the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Missouri, the MO Coalition to Alternatives to Imprisonment, the Governor’s Crime Commission, and the Attorney General’s Council on Crime Prevention. I’ve also owned Penney Lane, a franchised personal development school for JC Penney stores. I was also a founding board member of Capitol City Cinema and chairperson for Capital Arts.

A favorite recent project:

Planning for the first free splash park in Jeff City.

Why I’m passionate about what I do:

I can’t think of any more rewarding way to spend my time than making our city a more interesting place to live. (Added perk: I get to do it with like-minded, stimulating people!)

If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would: 

…love to be a working stand-up comic or President of The United States — could be one and the same, huh?

What people should know about what I do:

If there’s a chance of overdoing something, I will.

What’s next?

I wrote a short play for Scene One that will be presented soon (unless they come to their senses and reconsider), and I will be hitting the road with “Whim Manor,” a 1979 Tag-a-Long “Canned Ham” camper we just finished restoring.

How I would like to impact the Jefferson City community:

Make my Girl Scout leader proud. She told us to leave a place better than you found it — that includes the bathroom!

What I do for fun:

Sing while watering flowers, daydream with friends, write unpublishable children’s books, and, of course, avoid exercising.


Two children, a son-in-law, a husband, a brother, a mother, and three dogs that rule my life.

Favorite place in Jefferson City:

Sitting in my backyard with Duncan, my husband, with a really good glass of wine.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of:

Becoming friends with my adult children (I think).

Most people don’t know that I:

Make unsellable clay objects, or that my only friends for the first six years of my life were pigs, or that my husband and I introduced McGruff the Crime Dog to Missouri, or that I spent three months in a federal prison (for non-incarcerated reasons) when I was 21, or that I co-wrote a resolution that was passed at the 1980 United Nations International Symposium on Criminal Justice in Caracas, Venezuela — it guaranteed equal treatment for incarcerated females throughout the world (not sure that’s really worked out yet).

Last book you read:

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

Favorite TV show:


Favorite comfort food:

Canned smoked oysters with Ritz crackers.

Ideal vacation:

Waves, warmth, wine, and wilderness.

Sources of inspiration:

Capital City Christian Church and people who love children just as they are. This gives them the best opportunity to grow into the healthiest of people.

Tell us about your pets:

Three dogs — Ludacris (also known as Luda), from my son, is part Clifford and part Brian Griffin; Pearl, from my mom; and La Te Da, from the angry puppy gods. They require three kinds of food and six medications. One is a snorer, one is the size of a small pony, and the other is missing three teeth and her tongue hangs out. All, unluckily, missed their chances to be rescued by the likes of Miranda Lambert or George Clooney (see the newspaper’s Parade magazine on stars who rescue). Our apologies…

Tell us about your current “look”:

I’m building on 2017’s look — layered black, French-looking clothes and red lipstick (didn’t happen). 2018’s look adds white with an emphasis on “keeping the mystery alive.” That includes hidden knees and upper arms covered to the elbow. A toned-down, Kim Kardashian-like nude lip will be integrated.

Favorite app:

Not sure if that means appetizer. If so — edamame dip with no dairy and lots of lime. If it means app like one you download on a smart device, well, no brainer: the “Portals of History” app we kids on the JC Arts Foundation are creating for a narrated, citywide walking tour of Jefferson City. It will be an app for smart devices that will allow Jefferson City’s deep history to be experienced through an artistic approach or maybe . . . dots?

Who is your design inspiration?

For interior design, it’s Kelly Wearstler for her fabric and wallpaper and Brian J. McCarthy for his luscious design aesthetic. For architectural design, it’s Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize. (Google her work — it’s so, so mindblowing.) For fashion design, it’s Coco Chanel, who once said, “You live but once; you might as well be amusing.” For landscape design, it’s James Corner’s High Line, in New York, which is built on a mile-long stretch of elevated rail line that had lain derelict for years. That project was hugely ambitious, but what really gets me going is how he approached a piece of disused land in a way no one else would think of. It features so many of the things I like in gardens, too, including the element of surprise.

Who are your favorite artists of the moment?

Genevieve Gaignard, a self-photographer, captures her own many alter egos while using contemporary themes as backdrops. It’s fascinating. Rob Gonsalves is a watercolorist who does magic realism at its best. Paul Smith creates on–off sculptures that are simple, telling, amusing and beautiful. His naïve style of folk art has an ocean of wisdom lying beneath its deceptive simplicity.