The West Coast was never somewhere I thought I’d end up living when I was younger. Sure, like many kids growing up in Cincinnati, OH, I wanted to get out and explore other “more exciting” cities. But I didn’t have San Francisco in mind as the dream destination. My now husband and I first moved to California in 2011, just two weeks after I graduated from college, for no other reason than to experience life somewhere new and find what we thought would be better career opportunities. At that time, San Francisco was a perfect match and we fell in love with it right away.
I took a sales rep position at a major liquor/wine distribution company in Northern, CA. It wasn’t a very glamorous job day to day but I was able to travel through wine country, south to Monterey and Santa Cruz, and even to Puerto Rico to visit the Bacardi Rum Factory. With the abundance of sales jobs in Silicon Valley I could have taken, I’m glad I took that one. I had a ton of fun, and I learned a lot about what I wanted and didn’t want in my next position. I also learned what it took to thrive in sales, regardless of industry.
I found my first EA position at a Commercial Real Estate company in the heart of the financial district. Living and working in the city was perfect for a restless 24-year-old, and we enjoyed every single moment of life on the West Coast.
After five or so years, we realized how much we had been missing out on family celebrations like births, weddings, etc. We began to feel like our time in SF needed to come to an end, but I was nervous about coming back to the Midwest, and potentially a stale, traditional place of business. I wanted to have the luxury of being close to my family without giving up the start-up culture and creativity that San Francisco offered. Then I found Drive Capital via an article written by Partner Andy Jenks. It was exciting -- a group of investors from Silicon Valley who moved to Columbus with a belief that the Midwest is much more than just flyover country.
Since moving back to Ohio, my husband and I have welcomed our first baby, a daughter named Huyana. We’re able to enjoy quiet walks in our neighborhood without the hassle of crowds or public transportation. My daughter gets to grow up a lot like I did -- playing outside, spending time with her grandparents every weekend, visiting pumpkin patches in the Fall and sled riding in the Winter. We’re able to have and do all of this while being surrounded by some of the most creative, impressive, and driven companies in the world.
San Francisco will always be my favorite city, but Ohio is my home. The Midwest is changing and I’m excited to be with a company that sheds light on all the ideas and talent that live here.