My life started somewhere in the middle of the 1970′s in middle California as a middle child. I was raised on a rural almond ranch in Oakdale, California, a small town in Central California at the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills known mostly for the Hershey factory (which sadly has recently closed). I was the 2nd of three girls, raised by my loving, exceptional parents that taught me the importance of a strong work ethic, responsibility, helping others, and an overall appreciation for life.
I graduated high school near the top of my class in 1993, after which I attended Modesto Jr. College for one year and then transferred to a four-year university. I moved to Fresno in 1994 to attend California State University, Fresno, where I studied English literature and studied abroad in London, England for a semester. I received my Bachelor of Arts in English in 1996.
After college I worked for a short time in the retail business before beginning my career at Children’s Hospital. I began my work at Children’s working briefly in the Foundation, work that I love and feel passionately about, before a position was offered to me in the Information Technology Department on the ITS Help Desk.
After a year on the Help Desk, I was given the opportunity to manage the project of moving our corporate website into a content management system and expanding the functionality. After the success of that project, I was next tasked to implement the same content management system internally to build the company Intranet, including a document library, integration with existing systems, and a suite of additional applications ranging from communications tools to reporting and analysis. The Intranet has been a national award winner since 2001 and continues to expand and improve.
My 10 years at Children’s was a career of constant growth and change, filled with exciting projects. I worked in both development and integration environments, design and programming, project management and as a task-oriented team member. The most rewarding projects I worked on were the development from the ground up of our corporate Intranet and the development of a custom performance appraisal system for management and staff-level employees that integrates with legacy systems and numerous databases. My last project, the implementation of Microsoft SharePoint for the corporate website, was completed the summer of 2008.
In 2005 my husband and I started our family and now I also enjoy the rewards and challenges of being a mother to two little girls. Balancing full-time work away from home with parenting and maintaining a household started to weigh on me. I worried that I wasn’t giving either work or my family my best effort and decided a change was needed. So, in 2008, I resigned from Children’s Hospital so that I could start a more flexible career as a real estate appraiser. I had worked for years with my husband doing appraising and other real estate ventures, and since it afforded more time at home, it seemed like the perfect time to change careers.
From 2007-2012 I managed my own appraisal business, Appraisal Branch, and working closely with my husband, David Lane, on various appraising and real estate projects. And while unfortunate economic factors have weighed heavily on the real estate market, we were able to continue our respective thriving businesses. We are both state-certified and FHA-approved. Most of our work has been centered around refinancing and real estate purchases along with occasional market assessments and appraisal review services as well.
In 2010 we made a huge leap of faith and relocated our family to Rocklin, a wonderful family-centered suburb of Sacramento. Since settling here, we have been wholly impressed by the inviting community, top-notch schools, and boundless business opportunities. We have really enjoyed making a forever home with our children and watching them develop lifetime friendships with classmates and neighbors. My husband has continued a very successful real estate career in our new community while I have worked part-time to support him. I have been so fortunate to spend the last few years with my primary focus on our children and home, volunteering at their school, helping with homework, shuttling to and from various sports, and fully enjoying family life.
Apart from professional and home duties, I enjoy running with my club, The Rocklin Road Runners. We run distances from 5 kilometers to half-marathons, up to our loftiest achievement….our 200 mile Ragnar Relay that takes us from San Francisco to Calistoga. I am also very active in the Sunset Ranch Elementary Parent Teacher Club where I have supported the fundraising events with marketing, graphic arts, website, social media, and print support.
In 2013 both children have entered the realm of “full-day school” and I found myself at yet another crossroad yearning for change and fulfillment.
After looking for opportunities to start my own business, I realized my passion was still in technology and using it to communicate with people. When I found an opportunity to build mobile apps, I realized apps would be a fantastic way to improve communications between our PTC, parents, and our school. Having helped establish my own PTC’s sponsorship program, I immediately thought that having sponsors exchange high-exposure placement in the app in exchange for payment of the app, would really make this idea take off. And fortunately it’s been a successful model!
The schools using School Apptitude apps have seen an increase in parent participation and parents have reported feeling more connected to their schools. I love making apps for schools and community-based groups. Being a part of solving the communication gap and making school information more accessible is extremely rewarding. I care very much for all of my clients and am committed to their success.