I was born in Indiana but at age three, my family moved our happy brood of six (which eventually became eight) to Chicago. I attended parochial schools for twelve years, and after graduation, I worked for Illinois Bell and attended Southeast Junior College. I traveled to London and worked there in 1972 as a secretary for over a year. While working in Chicago, I organized block club meetings and became part of the first neighborhood watch in my community. During that time, travels took me to Brazil, the South of France, the Caribbean and to Germany before I ultimately moved there in 1979.
In Germany, I was executive secretary to a partner at Price Waterhouse and continued that career for executives with Proctor & Gamble in Mainz, Germany. While in Germany, I met my late Italian husband, Luigino Franco. I studied Bookkeeping as well as many courses in the German language, eventually receiving a diploma in the German language.
I started Themeworks, my own events planning company, in Germany in 2001. I also worked as a contractor in Iraq and Kuwait from October 2006 through August 2007. My work as a department manager at the shopping exchanges for the Military and government contractors in the Middle East broadened my already extensive management experience and gave me the opportunity to work with and supervise a culturally diverse workforce of employees from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Romania, Ethiopia, Nepal, and the Philippines. Following my husband’s death, I returned to Chicago in 2007 and I am currently employed at the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago.
My main goal as a legislator will be to roll back the tax burden that is weighing down the residents of Illinois. We must increase the opportunity for businesses to open in this state. Illinois is a great state, and Chicago is one of the most exciting cities in this country, but taxes are steadily eroding the flexibility of companies to expand as well as undermining the motivation of solid citizens to earn and achieve more.
I have one adult son, Valentin Franco, who graduated this past May from Northern Illinois University. My passion is writing – I am currently working on two novels, with one ready for publication next year.