Where are you from? Who/what were key influences in your life related to the work you’re doing now? Why did you become an attorney?
I am originally from Sandusky, which is a small town in the thumb of Michigan, not to be confused with the home of Cedar Point. To put it in perspective, my graduating class had roughly 83 students. Thereafter, I lived in Orange County, California for two years. Additionally, I have lived in Rochester, East Lansing, and Auburn Hills. This is an often asked question for any profession, but I cannot honestly say what the key influences were in my life that drove me to become an attorney. Growing up, my family spent a lot of time watching CourtTV and I can specifically remember watching the OJ trial as a child. From that point forward, I knew I would be an attorney. I cannot think of any other profession that I would rather do, and I am not sure there was ever another profession that I wanted to do, outside of working with baby animals as a child. For some reason or another, being an attorney has always been my passion and dream. I am lucky to be performing this service today.
What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work and the contribution you can make? What is most rewarding about your job/what makes it worthwhile?
I am passionate about assisting people with issues they need help resolving. I think about each case as its own puzzle. I am passionate about putting the puzzle together and helping people see the complete picture. It excites me that Michigan No-Fault attorneys are working in a field that the people of Michigan are unsatisfied with at this time. If you ask anyone in Michigan about car insurance, you are most likely not going to get a very happy response. I think we, and I am speaking about all attorneys, can assist in the overall satisfaction with No-Fault insurance by identifying and working out the nuances. As an attorney, I always believed our jobs are not done until we are no longer needed.
Do you have advice to offer people who are aspiring to be as successful as you?
Assuming success is measured by setting goals and accomplishing said goals, my advice would be to seek out what you love. If you do not have that internal drive, the overall work product will never be as profound as it could be if you love what you do every day. Further, you need a strong circle of friends and family that are going to allow you to become successful by giving you the time and support you need to accomplish your goals. A great deal of things in life can be accomplished through hard work and drive, but those will always be absent if one does not love what they do.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
People are usually surprised to learn that at the age of 18 I packed up my car and drove out to California to live in Orange County for a couple of years. I was 3,500 miles away from all of my family and safety nets. I had to obtain two jobs and worked an incredible amount of hours in a week.
What volunteer activities do you engage in?
Prior to moving to the suburbs of Detroit and starting my professional career with Hewson & Van Hellemont, I volunteered and assisted with MSU Safe Place. This is a program at Michigan State University that provides free and confidential services to survivors of relationship violence and stalking. At this time, I foster cats from a local no kill shelter.
What do you wish others knew about volunteering?
I wish people knew that even a little bit goes a long way. There are so many volunteer opportunities, some of which take up less time than others. However, there is always something that can be offered, be it to a survivor of violence or helping a homeless animal. This world is full of opportunities to help out others, many of which take very little effort.