Jefferson County High School • Boulder, Montana
Concordia College • Moorhead, Minnesota

Vital stats: Okay ... I'm in my 30s (but just barely!). I'm 5'4" tall and weigh 101 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. I don't have any big secrets ... no tattoos or body piercings. I'm right-handed, and I wear glasses or contacts. I drive a Chrysler Town and Country van when I'm in Mommy mode, and a Porsche Cayman when my alter-ego kicks in. I eat a mostly raw foods diet and enjoy working out.

I grew up in the small Montana mountain town of Clancy, located in the Elkhorn Mountains, about an hour south of Helena. Even though it was remote -- my high school was about an hour away from where I lived -- I had a wonderful life as a kid. I have a lot of happy memories of rock climbing, shooting my .22 rifle, riding horses, and wading in Prickly Pear Creek.

When I graduated from high school, I enrolled at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, with the intention of eventually becoming a medical doctor. My plans changed as a sophomore, when I met my future husband, Mike Stevens. Even though there was a bit of an age difference between us, we hit it off right away, and as crazy as it sounds, we both knew on our first date that someday we'd end up married.

Mike and I have been together now for 17 years, and we have two wonderful daughters named Paige and Sunday. We live in a quiet neighborhood in Fargo, North Dakota. Ours is a nice but very average house. We tried the "yuppie mansion" once, but grew tired of the high taxes, upkeep, and maintenance. We try to live a simple, uncomplicated life, that focuses on spending a lot of quality time together as a family. We don't use cell phones. We eat organic foods, home school, don't use credit cards, and don't read the newspaper or watch television. It's not a perfect life, but we are a very happy family, and the neighborhood kids all seem to congregate at our home. We shop at Target, go to church every Sunday, and like country music.

I've been working in the printing industry for over 15 years. I started working as a project manager at our printing firm, Express Press, in 1999. After a few years, I became the customer service manager and was very involved in estimating and order entry. I personally entered over 30,000 jobs during my career at Express Press. In 2006, we decided to accept a competitor's offer to buy out our printing business. Since then, we've focused all of our efforts on the sales and marketing solutions we provide the printing industry.

In 2007, Mike asked if I'd become the CEO of our company so he could devote more of his time to working on creative projects. It seemed like a logical thing to do, since I'd been running the company for quite a few years anyway -- he just didn't know it (so don't tell him).

My career has allowed me to help thousands of printers improve their marketing efforts and "tell their story" to the businesses in their community. When things began to get more economically difficult for the printing industry, and I began to see a lot of friends and acquaintances struggling, my "wonderful job" became much more than just a job. It became my mission to do everything I can to provide help -- and hope -- to our hurting industry. We lived that mission daily, until 2013 when Mike and I sold our company to begin our "encore careers."

It is an awesome responsibility and an incredible privilege to lead with a focus dedicated to helping others.

How I Met Mike

One of my jobs, as a struggling college student, was as a waitress at the popular Treetop Restaurant. It was a gathering place for the lunch-time business crowd. This is where I met Mike when he came in for lunch one day. He ordered a hamburger and I forgot to bring the ketchup. When he called me the next day to ask me out on a date, I didn't know which one of the businessmen he was. He said, "I was the one that you forgot the ketchup for." Now I always keep an extra full bottle in my kitchen cupboard.

The Most Beautiful Place

I'll never forget what it was like walking into Express Press for the first time. It was the most well-kept and organized business I'd ever visited. It was so bright, colorful, and very cheery. Later, when I made outside sales calls on behalf of our company, I never made a sales call on a business that looked more together. For me, our printing firm was the epitome of good design and hard work co-existing.

The Smell of Ink

There's something about the smell of ink that makes me feel optimistic. Helping someone create a new sales brochure or product catalog is full of hope for future success.

Paper is My Fabric

I don't have time to sew as much as I'd like to, and maybe that's why I enjoy paper so much. To me, paper is like a beautiful fabric. There are so many colors and textures to choose. Finding the perfect paper is such a welcome challenge because it can completely make or break the project. Paper provides the power to create the extraordinary.

I Miss You, Jerry

For eleven years, I had the immense privilege of working every single day with my father-in-law, Jerry Stevens. He was so much fun, and such a hard worker. Everybody -- I mean everybody -- loved him. He was the most selfless person I ever knew. His sudden departure left a huge hole in many lives. I find comfort in the hope that I'll get to see him again. I miss you, Jerry.