Global Vehicle Safety Engineer for GMC
BCM: If you could describe motherhood in one word, what would it be?
BCM: What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
TM: Knowing my children make good choices and act responsibly on their own accord, without direction from an adult. My oldest daughter won a sportsmanship award in sailing for dropping out of a race to help a teammate in trouble. It is important to me to know that my children are good people.
BCM: What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
TM: Work hard, make good choices, and always have a plan and a backup plan. The original plan rarely works.
BCM: We love GMC’s Rear Seat Reminder Feature and know you had a lot to do with the development of that. Tell us more about the feature and why you felt it was important for you to be one of the first car manufacturers to create a feature like this.
TM: Each year in the U.S. we see approximately 30-40 heat stroke deaths, and unfortunately in 2016 we have already surpassed the number of deaths from last year. About half of these deaths each year are attributed to children that have been forgotten in vehicles. My fellow GM engineers and I were motivated to introduce a feature in our vehicles that could remind drivers to check the rear seat under certain conditions, indicating that something may be there. We developed a simple reminder that could be implemented quickly on many of our vehicles while we continue to work toward a more advanced system. The feature does not directly detect objects in the rear seat. It is activated when you use the second row doors of the vehicle just before or during a trip. The use of the doors is used as an indication that there may be something in the rear seat of the vehicle. When the vehicle is subsequently turned off, the driver will hear five chimes and a message will appear in the Driver Information Center, located by the speedometer. The message will read “REAR SEAT REMINDER: LOOK IN REAR SEAT,” and that is all we want you to do. Take a quick look in the back seat to ensure your valuables, pets, or your most precious cargo, your children, are not left in the back seat. The Rear Seat Reminder is an industry-first feature that debuted on the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia.
BCM: What should families look for when shopping for a car?
TM: When I am personally looking for a family vehicle, I make sure that the vehicle fits the needs of my family. I need to ensure that it is large enough to comfortably transport several children, their child seats, and all the items they need to bring with them. As a safety engineer, crash performance ratings are very important to me, as well. I look for vehicles that have performed well in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) ratings. These ratings are available on the window sticker of new vehicles and can also be found online.
BCM: What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
TM: My advice would be to be strong in your convictions about your children. You know what is best for them, even if you may question yourself from time to time. Don’t be persuaded by what is cool or what everyone else is doing. Every child is different and you, deep down, know what your child needs. Be strong and support each other.
BCM: How do you tackle work/life balance?
TN: Carefully. Work/life balance is different for everyone and is a constant battle. As a working mother, it is important to define what your priorities are at work and at home. Sometimes they conflict and you need to be able to live with the choices you make. Sometimes the next project is more important than the volleyball game, sometimes it is not. I constantly remind myself of what is most important to me, that helps me remain focused on my personal balance.
BCM: If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
TM: I am proud to say that I have already handed that chore off! My husband takes care of all the dishes from the day. I love not having to do the dishes! I can cook whatever I want and not worry about the mess!
BCM: WHAT is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
TM: If it is sunny and there is a beach or a boat nearby, you will find me there with a book watching my kids play. I also like to spend time with my girlfriends sharing a glass of wine and I LOVE to shop.
BCM: WHAT IS THE BEST WHITE LIE THAT YOU’VE TOLD YOUR CHILD?
TM: My mother and I had my youngest convinced that ants would attack her if she left food on the table or dropped any on the floor. Needless to say she is a very clean eater and we don’t have ants!
BCM: What is your best parenting hack?
TM: I am obsessed with organization. On Sundays I ensure the lunches are prepped for the coming week and that all uniforms/clothing that may be needed for activities are folded and ready to go! I also make sure I have my work and play outfits for the week thought out and laid out. That way no matter how late we wake up, we can still be on time.
***MORE FUN FACTS***
FAVORITE BEAUTY PRODUCT:
Chanel CC Cream
FAVORITE FORM OF EXCERCISE:
FAVORITE KIDS STORE:
Lilly Pulitzer for their clothes and any small town book or toy store. I love the magic of childhood and to watch them pick out a beloved toy or book.
Powerschool. It is the app I use to constantly check my kids grades.
What is on your DVR?
NCIS. My older daughter loves that show and I love to make time to watch it with her.