A Conversation with Kelli Gingras | See previous interviews

Kelli Gingras
Administrative Analyst

Kelli Gingras

Happy Holidays, Kelli! Is 2014 ending on a high note for you? What good news will you share with your family and friends?

2014 is ending on a high note, as I am able to say that I am taking on a new role in the DHM. I've accepted a new position supporting Bob Wachter and Brad Sharpe on Cloud Nine, as I've learned it is called, and I am very excited about that. I have also just submitted my application to grad school, to Cal State East Bay, doing an online Healthcare Administration Masters Degree, scheduled to start next fall pending, of course, my acceptance.

Where were you born and raised? Would you please tell me about your family?

I was born in Greenbrae at Marin General. My parents split when I was five and I lived in both homes all around the Bay Area, including but not limited to: San Rafael, Novato, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Dublin, Danville, Blackhawk Pleasanton, Benicia, and Vallejo. When I went to school, I lived in Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove, Sacramento, and then moved to San Francisco. I went to about eight different schools growing up and have family in North Bay, Marin and Sonoma Counties and the Peninsula. I am close to my parents, my stepmom, and I have a huge extended Italian family. Gingras was my grandmother's husband's last name; hers was Roselli and she is from Northern Italy. She still owns, with her sister, their parents' home in the Italian Alps. My spirit of independence was very much encouraged by my mother but both parents gave me space to foster that and I think that they now both appreciate it.

Other than your obvious sense of style, how do you express your creativity?

My personal style is probably the easiest and most visible expression but my home is, too; it's warm, welcoming, colorful, and organized. I am a vocalist and have sung since I was 5; I had lessons and sang in choirs from when I was 10. I sang in choir in grade school, high school, and college, and I love multiple genres of music: classical, jazz, R&B, gospel, and soul. Music is my passion and I still sing but not with a group. I have eclectic tastes and my inclination for vocals runs to jazz, R&B, folk, a softer kind of sound—but don’t get me wrong, I can belt out a power ballad! I write mostly for myself; I am terrible at poetry but I do write down what is on my mind and often come back and expound on those thoughts. I love to dance and get out regularly with friends.

Who is someone you tremendously admire for their approach to life and how do you emulate them?

It may be cliché but I would have to say my mother. She is incredibly accomplished, smart, intelligent, and well-spoken. She is not somebody who walks into a room and commands a presence but she quietly leads and is well-respected. My mom got her Bachelors and Masters Degrees with two small kids, my brother and me, under five; I went to preschool at Sonoma State where she went to school. She is someone who, when she sets her mind to something, she accomplishes it.

When is it time to do things differently? How do you identify that and once you make up your mind, do you carefully plan or intuitively charge ahead?

A few years ago, I went through somewhat of a transformation and decided that what I was doing wasn't working. I began to just try everything and experience everything I could because I wanted to learn if there were things that I could do differently that worked better. I do that with everything so, if I find that I am doing something the same way and it’s not working, I just completely change my process in order to get a different result. I think it's silly to expect a different result if you just do the same thing over and over again—that's the definition of insanity. I do plan things out. I am fairly methodical but I allow wiggle room for how I achieve things, how I get to my desired results.

Where do you go when you need to regenerate, refresh and be reinvigorated?

Being a Bay Area baby, I love the water, the ocean. I love the Marin Headlands and Lands End, where I love to go to sit and be alone with the fog; it is beautiful and peaceful. I love Bodega Bay and my favorite beach is Wrights Beach, in a cove that is protected by the wind, with some amazing tide pools and not many tourists.

What is your favorite indulgence? Is it a guilty pleasure, a reward or just something to which you are entitled?

I might have to say red wine. It is a guilty pleasure to which I am entitled! I love Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Sirah, a good Shiraz, and a bold red Zinfandel. I like big bold wine.

Do growing things thrive for you? If you have a yard now or would like someday to have a garden, what would you particularly like to grow?

Growing things tend to die under my thumb. I give them too much love and water them too often but I am trying to get better about this. I’ve been taking care of the plants in the Palliative Care office in Kara's absence. I have some seeds to start sowing in the spring and, while I don't have a garden, I do have a bit of rooftop outside my window where there are some planters. I do keep orchids alive but I would really like to grow a giant bougainvillea; I already have the giant pot and just need to find a plant that's already partially grown to give it a head start.

Do you carry a good luck charm or some treasured memento that makes you feel better just for having?

Not carried in the way of a physical space but my tattoos are significant to me. I love orchids but didn't realize their significance until they were completed; my grandfather loved orchids and had a sunroom that I still remember. I have doves, which I love, and musical notes, the first couple of bars to a Herb Alpert song that I used to listen to when I was little, laying on the floor with my head near the speakers. The song is called Rise and is symbolic to me with my doves; I love the big brassy sound of Herb Alpert. So my tattoos are my mementos.

So many good things have happened to you in 2014. Have you a good wish or goal for 2015 to which you aspire?

Something I began this year that I'd like to continue into 2015 is adapting a healthier lifestyle, working on being a healthier version of myself.

Thank you, Kelli, and have a wonderful 2015!

- by Oralia Schatzman

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