I was born in St. Louis Missouri and raised in a politically active, Democratic household. My uncle was the head of the local Labors’ Union and my cousin was our City Councilman (Alderman). Together, our relatives helped elect Congressman Dick Gephardt to Congress (D). As such I often volunteered in the campaign office as a teenager.

However, when Ronald Reagan hit the political world with his optimistic attitude about “America’s shining city on a hill”, it so inspired me. It was a game changer in my political thinking as Ronald Reagan’s message still resonates with me today.


And it seems like yesterday, but it was 1989 when I left my family in St. Louis and drove out into the Western Sun. Upon graduating from the University of Missouri with a degree in Education, I packed up my little Ford Escort with my most important belongings – running shoes, bicycle, and swim suit to head off to the golden state of California to pursue my dream of being a professional triathlete.

I knew many obstacles lie ahead – like having no place to live or a job – but what I did possess was a strong core belief that I could do anything I set my mind to and do it well.

Hard work paid off. Within a few years, I began travelling the world and competing in Iron-man Triathlons and other endurance events, gaining sponsorship's and winning prize money. And for good measure, I also entered the MBA program at the University of San Diego while also substitute teaching.

As my life transitioned several years later with marriage and the birth of my first daughter, we moved to Palm Desert in 1996. Going from living a carefree, world traveler-athlete lifestyle to being a mother was truly life altering. People have often asked me, “How did you manage raising 5 children in 7 years?” And I respond, “The biggest transition was going from zero to one child. After that raising 5 kids was just like training for an Iron-man – only easier.”.

Once my eldest child entered Sacred Heart School in Palm Desert, I began volunteering at the school in 2001. Over these last 15 years my role has grown into event planning and fundraising for the school and church. And the fundraising efforts have been shared throughout our community beyond our school and church to other people and organizations. Helping others and giving back to the community are values that I live by and cherish.


And community outreach is how I met and ultimately married my husband, former State Assemblyman Brian Nestande of 11 years. We met at a community fundraiser as we were both table guests of former Congresswoman Mary Bono. Being single parents and having a common interest in politics and community service, we had a lot in common and ultimately made a life together with our combined family of 7 kids.

Now, with my days of being the family taxi cab driver over and kids off to college, I have the time to direct my attention to the City of Palm Desert and am running for the open seat on the City Council.


*I still love to run and workout, just not for 9 hours and 45 minutes.

Education

University of Missouri – B.S. Education – 1988

University of San Diego – MBA program- 24 credits in the Master of Business Program – currently completing remaining coursework by Spring 2017 online

California Teaching Credential- license for Single Subject Social Sciences and license for Multiple Subjects

BUSINESS

  • Fundraiser/Event Planner – Sacred Heart Parish & School
  • Real Estate Broker Associative
  • California Credentialed Teacher

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Event Planning / Fundraising – Sacred Heart Church and School
  • The Annual Gala - Grosses 1 million plus with over 900 guests
    Proceeds benefit Catholic Education for a variety of schools in the area.
  • The Annual October Carnival – Open to the public – Grosses $70,000 Proceeds help offset the cost of tuition to help keep it more affordable as well as give us the ability to offer some financial aid. Over 1000 guests in attendance.
  • The Annual Christmas Luncheon, Boutique & Fashion Show – Open to the Public – Grosses about $50,000. Proceeds offset cost of tuition. Over 600 guests in attendance.
  • Substitute Teacher Desert Sands Unified School District
  • Independent Real Estate Broker

ORGANIZATIONS/COMMUNITY SERVICE

  • East Valley Republican Women Federated Associate Member
  • California Association of Realtors
  • YMCA basketball coach
  • Volunteer Xavier College Prep
  • Parent Board Sacred Heart School
  • Rotary Club of Palm Desert
  • Palm Desert Youth Soccer Coach
  • Volunteer Palm Desert High School
  • Chamber of Commerce Palm Desert
  • Delegate for State Republican Party
  • Volunteer Martha’s Kitchen
  • Rancho Mirage Republican Women Federated – Board of Directors
  • Galilee Center