10 Qs with
Dee Grimm, RN, JD
President/CEO Tenebo Enterprises
Saint Hedwig, Texas
6. HAVE YOU READ A RECENT ARTICLE OR BOOK THAT INSPIRED YOU?
1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
I started as an emergency department nurse and manager and was asked to take over the emergency preparedness planning for the hospital. After 8 years as a healthcare Emergency Management Director, I branched out on my own to work as a consultant and trainer. I was tremendously fortunate to have people who trusted me and gave me a chance to succeed. If they didn't doubt me, how could I doubt myself?
Oh lots. The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley, 5 Days at Memorial, 102 Minutes, are all great "lessons learned" books for me
7. HOW DO YOU STAY ENGAGED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY?
Getting out and talking to people, attending conferences and other social opportunities gives me a chance to hear what people are thinking, what they are concerned about. I also do a lot of training and it is important to listen to what your attendees are saying, not just spew your wealth of knowledge at them.
2. WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I was very proud of being the Project Manager for the State of Nevada's Mass Care, Evacuation and Sheltering plans, and their statewide Mass Fatality plans. But I am also proud of my work for disability inclusion and health equity in disasters. I have served as the Project Manager for multiple projects to ensure inclusion of marginalized populations in disaster planning and response and I believe that to be the most relevant work I do.
8. WHAT’S A FUN FACT ABOUT YOU THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW?
In addition to running my consulting business I am also a Mayor and Municipal Court Judge, which I love. I love the diversity and the ability to intersect governance, law and emergency management.
3. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE A ROADBLOCK FOR WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?
9. ANY TIPS FOR WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
Old school mentalities and biases. The emergency management field has a proportionately higher level of testosterone and professional bias in it than other fields and women struggle to constantly prove their value and relevance.
Yes, have some! Pursue your passion, not your pension. I am so fortunate that my passion helps with my pension, but if it didn't, I wouldn't do it for one minute. Life is too short to look back and say "I wish I had" or realize you never enjoyed any of what you did. In my spare time (haha) I am an artist, and I don't give a hang if I am any good or not, it's my relaxing place.
4. SHARE A HOT TOPIC OR TREND IN YOUR FIELD!
10. SHARE YOUR BEST CAREER ADVICE.
Absolutely it is social and health equity for marginalized and underserved populations in disasters. While disasters don't discriminate, society does. It is critical that we utilize whole community concepts to ensure we are planning for every member of our society.
You meet the same people coming down the ladder of success that you meet going up, so be careful whose fingers you step on the way up. This is a small industry; it can be competitive, and I have never found backbiting to be successful. I believe in win-win. We all have ups and downs in our careers, and we should be mindful of the relationships we build along the way.
5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE GETTING THEIR START IN THE FIELD?
Don't be afraid to go for anything you want. You miss 100% of the shots you never take.