Vice President, Marketing and Philanthropy, Olmsted Medical Center and OMC Regional Foundation
Hometown: Rock Rapids, Iowa
Family: Husband, Rashid Kadir; daughter, Amanina
Rooted in Giving: My upbringing led me to consider a career in philanthropy. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She took me all over the place to do mission work and volunteer work. My dad was also a community leader. I think that’s where I got my sense of volunteerism and giving back. I grew up with it.
Global Perspective: After graduating from Augustana College, I worked for a year. But I wanted to travel and study someplace else. I got a scholarship to study international economics in Malaysia and enjoyed it a great deal. I got to see much of that part of the world and experience it firsthand. My husband and I met while I was there.
A Common Theme: I’ve done a lot of things, from managing a museum and art gallery to working in fundraising for higher education to my role at Olmsted Medical Center (OMC). But wherever I was, as I thought about my career, I knew I needed to be in a place where I could make a difference.
Heartfelt Connection: OMC is the workplace I’ve felt the most affinity for and where I’ve felt most connected. That’s mainly because they saved my daughter’s life when she was born. The people in obstetrics, the birth center and pediatrics did a phenomenal job. After I was discharged, I was writing thank you notes, and in the back of my head I thought, “I need to work there somehow.” I wanted to be able to serve this organization.
Best Part of Your Job? Every day is an interesting opportunity to touch somebody’s life in a different way.
Work Ethic: My parents taught me from a very early age not to be above any type of work. What might look to someone on the outside as a job that doesn’t have much importance may be very important. The details are significant because they matter to those we serve. For example, it matters that we get people’s names right in print. That type of work is noble because it is part of making sure people feel valued.
Focus on Women’s Health: We’re adding a hospital addition called the Women’s Health Pavilion. It will include a new birth center and clinic space for comprehensive women’s health services, as well as a new imaging area. I find this project particularly meaningful because that’s how I came to this organization. I’m excited that OMC is bringing a new level of service to others in that area.
Beyond the Office: The most important volunteer work I do involves my daughter’s activities. She’s in 4-H and has a horse that she shows. It’s a great life lesson. Things don’t always work perfectly. The animal doesn’t always cooperate. It’s not all glamorous, and at the shows I’m usually sweaty and dirty. But we love it.
On the side: I love to cook. We often eat Malaysian food at home. I learned to cook many of the dishes from a neighbor when I lived in Malaysia. I still have the handwritten recipes that she helped me put together many years ago.
Why Rochester? Our family is rich in the wide array of friends we have from different walks of life here. We value that a great deal. We probably wouldn’t find that in a smaller town, and we may not benefit from it as much in a larger city. There’s an element of diversity here for the size of the community that we truly appreciate.