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International Women's Day: Celebrating the Women of RMHC

March 07, 2022

We’re proud to be #WomenOfRMHC

For International Women’s Day 2022, we asked women who work at RMHC chapters across the globe to finish this sentence…

“One thing that surprises people about me is…”

The results were amazing. We had women from Mexico, the US, Puerto Rico, Ireland and of course, our very own United Kingdom, share what surprises people about them.

Scroll to read their responses.

#BreakTheBias.

Sarah Jefferies, House Assistant, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I’m a trained PADI Divemaster and dive with sharks!”

Nancy Damato, Read for RMHC of the Capital Region Program Coordinator, RMHC of the Capital Region

“One thing that surprised people about me is that I love to bake and used to create custom cakes of all shapes and sizes for my children when they were young.”

Karen Hooper, Executive Director, RMHCSC-Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House

“One thing that surprises people about me is… that I am a Marine. I served for 13 years in the Marine Corps Reserves.”

Grace Huang, Vice Chair, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities Board of Directors

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I leave work at work in order to spend quality time with family, friends and my volunteer activities.”

“One thing that would surprise people about me is… I practiced architectural interior design for 24 years before I got involved in non-profit work with children.”

Kristine Bickford, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities Burlington

Christine Marshall, Family Services Coordinator, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest

“One thing that surprises people about me is how adventurous I am. I am always looking for ways to experience new things and am the “yes” person for any crazy last minute plans.”

April Clark, Director of Family and Volunteer Services, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I was born in the Philippines. My family moved to the states when I was two years old.”

Julie Arias, Ronald McDonald Family Room and E.D.I. Program Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities Dayton

“People may be surprised to learn that I speak Spanish fluently and make the best Shrimp Ceviche my Ecuadorian husband has ever had.”

Jazz Hind, Marketing and Communications Executive, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I have a lot of tattoos.

“I think the world we are in now is incredibly more accepting than it ever has been.

“I like to think I change people’s views on tattoos, you can have art on your body and still be a caring, compassionate and lovely human being, it just means that you would very much like to adorn your body with animals and flowers (for me anyway 😉).”

Ansley Wetherington, Volunteer Services and Program Coordinator, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities

“One thing that surprises people about me is that in addition to my full-time role at Atlanta RMHC, I am also a full-time grad student pursuing my master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counselling. It is a lot to balance, but I love both so much and I know that the end goal will be worth it. Mental Health is something that I am very passionate about, and I would love to have my own private practice one day!”

Beth White, Director of Operations, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I like to white water raft!”

María Gabriela Gatica Laborde, Executive Director, Fundación Infantil Ronald McDonald México

“One thing that surprises people about me is I am a cancer survivor and have always thought that cancer was a great teacher who guided me to find my life purpose: To serve others at the Ronald McDonald House Charities”

Louise Quail, Corporate Relationship Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities Ireland

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I am fortunate to have walked the walk of many families who stay at The Ronald McDonald House and can truly understand their pain. I am a very proud and lucky Mammy to have a bright, healthy, charming little boy aged six who fought the fight of cancer and won!”

Beth Howell, President and CEO, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities

“I was a history major and thought I was going to be a high school history teacher.  I went into business immediately and never taught.”

Natasha Brame, Community Fundraiser, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I’m trained as a Sighted Guide for visually impaired people.”

“One thing that surprises people about me is… that from a young age I have had the commitment to help people. Many times they tell me that they did not expect that maturity.”

Sandraliz Montemayor, Volunteer, Ronald McDonald House Charities Puerto Rico

Alison Devlin, Content Specialist, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is that growing up, my family and I would train dogs as disabled assistance dogs. I’ve had over eight doggos in my life!”

Kimmy Venter, Director of Communications, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region

“One thing that surprises people about me is my seemingly endless appetite! I especially enjoy eating or drinking something delicious for a good cause (like the Shamrock Shake seen here).”

Jordan Gadd, House Assistant, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is… I’m stronger than I look as I’ve had open heart surgery twice.”

Lisa VanZandt, Family Room Manager, Ronald McDonald House Alabama

“One thing that surprises people about me is… I have come full circle with Ronald McDonald House Charities, starting as guest family 27 years ago when my daughter was in the NICU at UAB. Sixteen years later I became a volunteer, then, a part time employee, then a full time employee, and currently I am the Family Room Manager at UAB NICU, Ronald McDonald House Family Room. There is no other place I would want to work!”

Măriuca Radu, Fundraising and Communications Manager, Fundația pentru Copii Ronald McDonald

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I am a single mom.”

Maureen, Housekeeper, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is… I like listening to Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Four tops and The Temptations.”

Jamesse Webb, Family Room Coordinator, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities

“One thing that surprises people about me is I am an Aircraft Structural Mechanic.”

Sharon Keogh, Operations Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities Ireland

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I am a proud mammy to four beautiful children, including twin girls Emily and Heidi, who blazed into this world in June 2010 at 29+6 weeks weighing 2.5lbs each.

“Heidi battled ferociously for three months in ICU and is now a very happy and healthy 11-year-old. Her sister, Emily, sadly passed away shortly after she was born.

“Experiencing childhood illness, infant loss and the emotional rollercoaster this plunged our whole family into, really helps me understand and relate to the amazing families we care for at The Ronald McDonald House.”

Carrie Bowden, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities

“There will always be naysayers. Believe in yourself and keep moving forward.”

“One thing that surprises people about me is… that I once was a synchronised swimmer.”

Mariela Jorge, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities Puerto Rico

Xenia Andrei, House Security at Bucharest Ronald McDonald House, Fundația pentru Copii Ronald McDonald (Ronald McDonald House Romania)

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I used to be a House guest here before I became part of the team!”

Chelsi McDonald, Director of Development and Communications, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I am a person who is sober (and that I think sobriety is magical).”

Sara Rubio Alonso, Deputy House Manger, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is… My ability to adapt to each situation.”

Vere Wong, Organizational Leader, Ronald McDonald House Charities Fiji 

“One thing that surprises people about me is I’ve been with McDonald’s/Ronald McDonald House Charities for over half my life and still lovin’ it!”

Daniela Cătăneț, House Manager at Timișoara Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald House Romania

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I left everything behind at the expense to help people.”

Bri Seoane, Chief Mission Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I’m a domestic violence survivor.”

Alexandra Tettey, Housekeeper, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“I am always impressed how strong the mothers in the House are with their children, they smile and persevere. It makes me feel empowered by them and that you can get through anything no matter how challenging it is.”

Sharon Randall, Controller, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region

“One thing that surprises people about me is I am a Reiki Master/Teacher and passionate about the healing power from within.”

Tracey McCoy, House Assistant, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“People would be surprised to know that I’m incredibly shy, unless I know you and then truly make up for it.

“I try to go out of my comfort zone and force myself to interact and break the ice as I know it’ll benefit me and others greatly.”

Cindy Antoniello, Director of Operations, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I was a bowling champion in my youth.”

Libby Aston, House Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I that I have tattoos and my taste in music includes heavy metal.”

Sherma Brooks, Evening Manager, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I spent a month volunteering overseas in Jamaica at an orphanage for pre-teens and teens.

“This was my first time volunteering overseas…and to my surprise, was told upon my arrival, that I would be the ONLY volunteer overseeing 25 youth!

“It was definitely challenging thinking of creative activities to do with the youth. Yet, it was the most fulfilling and memorable experience and one that I would never forget!”

Christina Britton, Communication Coordinator, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest

“One thing that surprises people about me is although my main hobby is collecting purses and fashion, I also help my husband with processing deer/elk meat and practice taxidermy along his side. Some of the many layers that make me – ME!”

Pam Cornforth, President and CEO, Ronald McDonald House of Delaware

“I spent eight years as a child and teen living in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuela is such a beautiful country with wonderful people, it is so sad to see its current state.”

Christine Theophel, Development Associate, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I have been a kickboxing teacher for the past three years!”

Amy Velez, Marketing Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida

“One thing that surprises people about me is that a group of my middle school classmates and I created a Holocaust exhibit called “Out of the Ashes” that eventually transformed into a museum and educational centre in Naples, FL! They just celebrated their 20th anniversary. Their programmes reach over 15,000 students each year, and the Museum hosts more than 5,000 visitors annually. I am so proud to be a part of such an incredible legacy that ensures we will never forget!”

“One thing that surprises people about me is my approach to motivating others.”

Kourtni Land, Development Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama

Deborah Ross, House Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capitol Region

“One thing that surprises people about me is…that I have been the Resident House Director for 41 years!”

Sue Nigra, Director of Development, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I love to sing…and did quite a bit of theatre back in the day!”

Lauren Gotlieb, Head of Marketing and Communications, Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

“One thing that surprises people about me is… I’ve passed all eight grades in piano!”

Jennifer Fleming, Family and Volunteer Services Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities Newfoundland and Labrador

“One thing that surprises people about me is that I started beekeeping last year and absolutely love it!”

Julia Geisel, House Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region

“One thing that surprises people about me is I’ve been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Albany since I was in the 3rd grade, and now I am the House Manager!”

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