June 29, 2021
Where were you born and raised, and which field of study did you pursue?
I was born in Norcross, Georgia, outside of Atlanta, and have lived in the Atlanta area all my life. This is my home, and I have made friendships that have lasted for most of my life.
I went to Georgia Tech to study international affairs and Japanese. I graduated in 2011, but the job market was really not great at the time. I interned for a time at the Japan-America Society of Georgia, and then started doing technology consulting at a startup firm that was eventually acquired by Ernst & Young.
How did you come to join UL?
Following that acquisition my position didn’t work out, so I attended a Georgia Tech career fair — UL had a stand there, talking about transaction security and offering on the job training. I’ve been a student all my life and was really interested in this issue. So, that’s how I joined UL, starting in the UL Transaction Security group, which eventually became IMS. I’ve been in what is now IMS for five years.
In terms of the role trust plays in UL’s mission, how would you say you help ensure that UL lives up to this trust, and how has UL earned your trust in it as a company and employer?
In terms of trust, whenever we interact with clients we want to put our best foot forward. I always try to give as much knowledge and insight as I can, or reach out and loop in colleagues when I have less understanding or experience in specific issues.
Our work environment is so supportive and cooperative — this leads to more rewards, more professional fulfilment and less stress.
When we talk about the idea of Pride Month, what does that idea mean to you?
Pride Month means in part being able to be your authentic self — no hiding who you love, who you are. Also, it reminds us of the sacrifices and struggles of those who couldn’t be here. It’s a time to remind yourself to live authentically, without shame. We need to appreciate our elders for having fought so hard.
I wish people would be proud of themselves and learn to love and respect who they are and their fellow human beings, especially when you consider that everyone is struggling with something.
In the U.S., several businesses have endorsed the Equality Act that would extend workplace fairness principles to LGTBQ employees (if enacted by Congress). What does it mean to you that UL has officially endorsed this proposed legislation?
In terms of the Equality Act, it’s terrific that UL supports this. It’s not something people think about a lot — things are better than they were 20 or 30 years ago, but we’re really not all the way there yet. The end goal is equality for others. I’m relieved to know that UL would abide by this legislation, and we have already added similar policies into our everyday structure.