Marin County Director for California Assembly Levine Wins North Bay Forty Under 40 Award
Responsibilities with your business: As District Director, I manage the district offices of Assembly members in Marin and Sonoma counties.
I represent the assembly member at meetings, events and functions with constituents and community groups. I work with staff to plan district events and town halls, as well as outreach and education opportunities to discuss legislation.
I also work closely with elected officials, community leaders and businesses.
In 25 words or less, how do you embody the spirit of being one of the Top 40 professionals under 40?
I have worked in the public service for over 13 years and am still passionate and determined to serve my community.
Years with the company: 5
Duration of current position: 5
Number of employees company-wide: ten
Number that brings you back: 4
The greatest professional achievement: A former intern once told me that she was so inspired and grateful to have me, a young woman of color, as a mentor.
She had never worked with a woman or person of color as a supervisor and was therefore encouraged to see someone like her in this position, especially in an industry historically dominated by men.
She hoped that one day she too could inspire and mentor young students like I was for her. During those six months that we worked together, I was just doing my job, but for her, I was a source of hope. I didn’t realize I had this effect on others, but what she shared helped me become a better and more thoughtful colleague, mentor, and leader.
The biggest professional challenge: Having to adapt and adapt to the pandemic overnight was certainly part of it. Trying to find a balance between work and home under one roof was particularly difficult.
Best Advice Received: You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.
Most important event of your professional life during the last 12 months: Balance remote work from home and raise a two year old at the same time. In a perfectly imperfect way, I did well for myself.
What’s the biggest change that COVID-19, restrictions and economic impact has had on your work and your personal life?
It was difficult at first to concentrate on work without getting distracted by the things that needed to be done at home.
For me, the biggest change was finally recognizing the fact that I couldn’t do it all, didn’t have to do it all, and certainly couldn’t do it alone.
Also telling myself that it was okay to lean on others more often than I normally would was a change, in a good way.
And what is the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
It comes down to finding that balance. It took time and patience, but I managed to get through the last 12 months with a healthy family at home and a stronger team in the (virtual) office.
What steps is your business taking to support your organization and morale in today’s economy?
My colleagues and I share a call to public service and our commitment to service is what keeps us going. Regular communications to voters remind them that even though our doors are physically closed, our virtual office remains open to assist residents of North Bay.
This is especially important at a time when many of those we are helping feel that they have no other place to turn.
Next professional goal: Bring more women and people of color into leadership positions in government.
Education: University of San Francisco, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
Hometown: Dededo, Guam
Community / non-profit activities: I sit on the Sonoma County Maternal, Child and Youth Health Advisory Council; member of the board of directors of AIM, the Agricultural Institute of Marin; and Youth Mentor for the Asia-Pacific Youth Leadership Project
Admired mentor / businessman: My mother. She managed to start her small business from scratch in her 30s, while raising three young children and being actively involved in our PTA school.
What’s your most hated industry buzzword?
Plus a sentence, “This is how it’s always done.”
Typical day at the office: The work may vary from day to day. The assembly district stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge in downtown Santa Rosa, and the Marin Coast to Dillon Beach and east of Sonoma City, so there are plenty of areas to cover.
One day I can drive through the district to attend a number of community events and meetings, and another day I will be in the office sending emails and making phone calls between visits to the constituency office.
From a business standpoint, what is most important about being under 40? and then what is the worst?
At under 40, I’m proving that you don’t need decades of training and experience to be successful in your field, just as other members of this network have shown.
The downside is that my expertise is discredited because I am young and people would rather “talk to the responsible person”. Well guess what, you’re already talking to him.
Best place to work outside of your office: I like places that have good coffee and seats that have a view for people watching. But the best part about life in North Bay is that any outdoor space you find will be a great place to work.
Hobby: Hiking, reading, crossword puzzles, cooking and baking. Thanks to the pandemic, I was able to try new recipes and make dishes from my collection of cookbooks.
What you wanted to be growing up: A chef
The most important thing you want to accomplish before the age of 40: Own a house
First job: Worked for Cold Stone Creamery when it opened in Guam
The social networks you use the most: Instagram
Favourite book: I have so many favorites, but the one I read recently and liked is “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle.
Favorite movie: “Moana” because representation matters!
Preferred application: NYT crossword
Favorite after work drink: A glass of pinot noir
Last holidays: Family road trip in San Diego
What does your mom or dad boast about the most?
My dad used to talk a lot about the work I do for the state of California, but these days he only talks about my son, his first grandchild. “