Nancy grew up as one of six sisters in a working-class, Catholic family in Pittsburgh. She and her sisters sang barbershop together, which her classmates considered a very uncool hobby. That partially accounts for her independent streak – and why she is now largely immune to pressure to fit in with the “in crowd”!
“The worst job I ever had was the summer before starting college - (trying to) sell Time/Life Books over the phone. But I did eventually learn how to speak to people so they would not immediately hang up the phone on me. Hmm, maybe that prepared me for knocking on doors?”
She was the only one in her family to go to college after high school, and she credits her guidance counselor, Sister Marian, for setting her feet on the path of service through her degrees in Psychology/Theater and Social Work. She began working her way through college at age 17.
Nancy married and spent four years living on the Air Force base where her husband was assigned. This time gave Nancy an unforgettable insight into the sacrifices required from the families who serve our country in this way. 32 years ago she moved to Toledo with her husband when he took a job at SSOE.
Together, they raised two incredible kids who got a wonderful public school education. Her children were involved in extracurricular activities ranging from Model UN to theater, band, and track. As a mom, Nancy knows that all children deserve equal opportunities to find their talents and passions in a safe environment, the way her kids did.
Nancy worked for 12 years at Harbor Behavioral Healthcare and, in partnership with the Lucas County Probation Dept., counseled 80 convicted sex offenders a week. She was the sole therapist, and worked alongside the probation officers assigned to provide supervision for these folks on community control. Nancy developed the program to treat and rehabilitate them, and secured agreement to institute polygraph testing (with the cooperation and financial support of the judges). This allowed verification of statements made in weekly counseling groups. She, along with the Probation Officers, were responsible for rendering judgments to the Court to keep the community safe. The goal was to have justice for the victims, as well as restorative justice for the offenders.
Though Nancy saw the United Steelworkers Union in action when her younger sister worked in a steel mill in Pittsburgh., she had her first opportunity to vote for union representation while employed as a social worker for Harbor Behavioral Healthcare. Being a member of the UFCW enabled the women employees there to achieve parity in wages with the male workers - wage discrepancies that never would have been discovered without the work of the union. She remains an ardent supporter of labor.
While working with dialysis patients at Fresenius Medical Care, she was tapped to do lobbying on Capitol Hill on their behalf. She met with Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, as well as other lawmakers, to lobby for an increase in the Medicare payment for dialysis services. This experience cemented her belief that our piecemeal system of private and public insurance programs cannot meet the healthcare needs of all our citizens.
Nancy has also been a small-business owner, running her own private practice. Helping individuals and couples overcome their difficulties was highly rewarding, as was managing all the challenges of a successful small business. She learned to be a compassionate listener, and a problem solver. These skills are what now qualify Nancy to serve as a State Representative.
Though Nancy and her husband divorced 12 years ago, they stayed close and she remains involved in his care as his guardian. She loves singing with the Pride of Toledo Sweet Adeline Chorus. She stays healthy and involved in the community by doing yoga. It’s also a great way to maintain your balance during a busy campaign!