Owner and Director, Giggles Daycare; Age 33
Education: Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst (BA)
What did you want to be when you grew up? I have always had a passion for caring for young children, and I can remember the days when I was finally old enough to start babysitting. I took the babysitting course at the YMCA and walked around my neighborhood begging my neighbors to let me babysit their children.
Who has been your best mentor, and why? Karin Pilgrim, the owner of All About Children Daycare Center in Easthampton. Ten years back, she took a chance and hired me with no experience in the daycare setting. I had done a lot of babysitting, but working in a daycare is not babysitting, despite what some people may think. She took me under her wing and provided the perfect model for what it takes to be a strong but caring director who is able to run a daycare where children learn and have fun, and parents know their children are in capable hands. Karin continues to be a great mentor to this day.
Whom do you look up to, and why? My family. My mother for showing me what it means to be a mother and for always supporting, comforting, and believing in me. My father for always being there for me and encouraging me to dream big and work hard. My brother, Chicken, a fellow business owner who always has my back. My sister, Brenna, an amazing mother and role model (and 40 Under Forty alum) who has shown me the balance between being a loving, caring mother and strong, confident, and career-driven woman. And, of course, my husband, Steve. He never stops believing in me. He has a way of making the best out of any situation. He embraces the good times with me and helps me overcome the challenging moments of being a business owner. He’s my best friend and biggest supporter.
What fictional character do you relate to most, and why? Lorelei Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. Although I have always been very proud of and happy with my childhood upbringing, I feel like I can relate to her in other ways. She is a working mother who has a perfect balance between her daughter and her career. I would love to continue to have a friendship and bond like that with my daughters, Piper and Tate, as they grow up. Lorelei is also a successful business owner who is motivated, enthusiastic, and caring with her employees and clients. She has a good relationship with the people she works with, yet they know how to take her seriously.
Photography by Leah Martin Photography