“I would describe myself as a person who is gifted at creating things that don’t exist”
On how she made her way to TerraPower:
Before coming to TerraPower I was doing nonprofit work in Memphis, Tennessee. I became familiar with TerraPower through a hiring manager who was introduced to me through a mutual contact. I am originally from the Seattle area and had recently moved back from Memphis. At that time, the company was still housed under Intellectual Ventures (IV) as their nuclear program. The program was set to become a spin-out and needed someone to take it from a garage-type space and make it into an office with everything that was necessary to operate a business. That is kind of my gift, to take what doesn’t exist and create it.
I ended up joining the company because I believed in, and wanted to be a part of, what the organization was aiming to do. I didn’t want to look down the road five years and read about what TerraPower was doing and say, “I could have been a part of that.” I was actually the sixth employee to join.
On her role at TerraPower:
I have kind of morphed my role into taking on whatever needs to be done. When we first looked for our own office in 2012, I worked to find space that would help foster collaboration. You know, problems are often resolved when our staff meets each other in the hallway and have casual conversations. So, our original intent and design of the current space was to allow for these conversations that tend to end up progressing TerraPower’s work. We started out with 16,000 square feet and one building and now we’re just under 45,000 square
feet in an office park with three different buildings.
My current everyday roles and responsibilities vary from managing our administrative staff, handling our travel program for the company, facility management to safety planning for our employees in our offices. The first thing I do when I get into the office in the morning is check-in with our Senior Executive Assistant who works with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT). I then check in with our administrative staff and resolve any time-sensitive issues that have come about, putting out “fires” that have popped up overnight. No two days are the same, that is for sure. I truly enjoy that about the role.
On successful leadership of her team:
I believe in people. That’s number one. I believe that every single person’s role is important. There is part of me that can’t help but want to stretch a person past their own perceived limits. I want to help someone discover talents beyond where they are and work them into their role. There’s an internal coach in me that helps push people beyond where they think they may be in their capabilities.
I like to have open communication and I always do my best to help people succeed. I believe in teamwork. No one is more important than the other, and we all bring our own gifts to the table. Recognizing that even the smallest tasks are mission-critical to the overall outcome of the company is key.
On advice that she would give to someone interested in a similar role at TerraPower:
I mean, just look historically at those who entered in administrative roles here at TerraPower. A high percentage of them are all still here contributing to our company in a variety of new roles.
There are opportunities here. When you come in, keep your eyes open and know that there is real potential for advancement here. My aim is to help grow people whether their skills are used here at TerraPower or somewhere else. The time they spend working with the administrative/facilities team will pack their suitcase with experience that they can utilize in their
On company culture at TerraPower:
I think the thing that is so prevalent at the company, and why we are so successful, is the idea that everyone should work hard but also have fun in the process. We go out and recruit the smartest and most capable people, but there are few egos here. Coming to TerraPower is kind of like coming home. We are all here trying to do something that is going to make the world a better place. Even as the company continues grow, it has maintained its unique personality. It’s a place where you want to come to work and your work is valued.