Six years ago I stepped off the ledge of my Manhattan apartment on the Upper East Side and landed abruptly on the concrete sidewalk in Orlando, Florida. I might as well have jumped from the 12th floor because I was leaving the security of my home, my life and my career for the greater unknown. When one of the owners of Monster Media, John Payne, approached me on a visit to NYC and asked me to join his company in its infancy, I didn’t hesitate. In that moment I made up my mind and jumped in feet first feet just like I always do. Some say I am fearless but it might actually be carelessness disguised as foolishness, stubbornness and tenacity. My family and friends all offered the same advice (almost word for word) – “if it was anybody else we would tell you not to do it, but since it’s John….you should go for it.”
And I did…and we did…and oh the things we did and have done! We started out with five people in a tiny office in Lake Mary with one bathroom. I was the only female for quite awhile but my childhood with older brothers prepared me well for any challenges that would present. Our initial growth spurt was fast and furious and brought us to a staff of ten. In retrospect we probably had no idea what we were doing but we had passion and our leaders had vision. We were the underdog – the young street fighter no one had heard of – but we put up one hell of a fight. We outworked everyone around us and people started to take notice.
Our next big move was the transition to our current office building which was double the size of our Lake Mary office. It gave us room to breathe and room to grow…or so we thought. In less than eighteen months we doubled our space again and consumed the whole building and added a warehouse of equal size. All these years later we have expanded to a staff of over 70 employees spanning the globe.
…And I have borne witness to all of it. Every milestone, every accomplishment, every challenge, every success and every failure.
The heart of this company and the origin of its success are the people who bring it to life. It starts with the ownership – John Payne is the roots, he keeps us grounded; Chris Beauchamp is the branches, his vision keeps us growing. Those of us that made it through the lean years show our battle scars with pride and I think each of us would follow these men into the fight again and again. So you can imagine that it breaks my heart to leave a place that I love and cherish. And only love could bring me to part ways after six remarkable years at Monster Media.
About three years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) after experiencing some puzzling symptoms for six months. The diagnosis rocked my world but I was prepared to fight and cope with whatever came next. Through my own healing process I started to focus on healing others which is something that has interested me for over 20 years. I went back to school part-time so I could complete the necessary pre-requisite courses to apply for a Masters in Occupational Therapy. I was recently accepted at my Alma Mater, the University of Florida, and will begin the OT program this August.
I’m leaving the company and the people I love to pursue my dream of healing people. I will watch this company’s continued growth and success from afar but it will always be very close to my heart.