How do you explain your profession to people outside of the industry? What do you find most exciting and/or rewarding about this work?

What are the core requirements of your job and how do you measure success?

The core requirements of my day-to-day are, in a nutshell, designing and maintaining the Wendy’s restaurant prototypes. This includes working with prototype architects to maintain drawings for all current and previous restaurant designs, managing FF&E specifications, design guides and schedules, and more. When the U.S. and International Designers on the team can take my prototype work and implement it quickly and efficiently into franchisees’ restaurant, that is when I can say I have done my job successfully.

What is one notable professional achievement you've made over the past year that you are most proud of?

I am most proud to win this award! It was a great experience to meet and network with my fellow nominees in Chicago, and an honor to be recognized alongside such a talented group.

What professional challenge or failure has stuck with you, and how did you embrace it?

I am an introvert with a splash of anxiety. This seriously affected me at the start of my career; I had difficulty speaking up or being spoken over. I struggled to engage with colleagues, I was assumed to be disengaged from my job and I often felt inferior or inadequate, amongst other things. It has taken me a long time to accept and embrace who I am. While I may never be the most outgoing person in the room, I am still a valuable individual with unique talents and contributions. Today, I can confidently say that surrounding myself with the right team has allowed me to find balance in the workplace and to flourish in my own way.

What trend or technology do you believe will have the most profound impact on your work (and the work of your peers) over the next year?

If you could say one thing to your younger self, what would it be?

Be confident. We’re all human.