Tell us some fun facts about yourself
I have a cat that I adore named Luna. Breakfast food is the best food - pancakes, Eggs Benedict or more recently chilaquiles are my go-to dishes when I'm out for breakfast. My goal this year is to start taking Spanish classes to become conversational. Current travel wish list spots: New Orleans, Cuba, Alaska, Guatemala and Amsterdam. I enjoy planning trips just as much as I enjoy going on a trip. I've been an Area Director in two states- Minnesota and California.
Tell us what you do in your job as an Area Director.
I support host families and professional au pairs in their matches. More specifically, I answer compliance questions, provide best practices to set host families and professional au pairs up for success, help find solutions to conflicts, and help professional au pairs get to know the area and each other by planning monthly events.
What is unique about your city?
Diversity. I'm new to the Bay Area and what struck me the most about the area is how diverse the community is. One-third of Silicon Valley residents are immigrants. There are people from all over the world that call the Bay Area home, and it makes for such a unique experience and allows people living here the opportunity to meet people, taste food and hear languages from all over the world.
What fun events do you do with your professional au pairs?
We've brunched, hiked to get stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and kayaked in the Bay.
(Professional au pairs at Nola brunch spot in Palo Alto, CA. From left to right, top to bottom: Row 1: Katja, Lixiang, Theresa. Row 2: Greta, Area Director Emily, Benita. Row 3: Jorina, Regional Director Steven Courtney, Lisa)
What types of courses can professional au pairs take in your area?
English, photography, painting and citizenship courses are the popular options among the local professional au pairs.
What advice do you have for host families to ensure a successful au pair year?
Set-up a routine time each week for both parents and the professional au pair to have a family meeting. It doesn't have to be long- 20 minutes is sufficient. It sets an expectation of professionalism and provides a structured time for any issues to be brought up.
Why do you love being an Area Director?
Cultural exchange. I find great enjoyment from getting to know the professional au pairs on a personal level and understanding how life is similar and different in the U.S. to their life in Germany or Austria.