Put your hands together for Marena Gammons, Curran’s newest team member! In addition to being our new office manager, Marena is a native Hoosier, a Ball State alumna, and a certified life coach. (Cool, right?) Read on to learn more about Marena, her love for people, and the power of embracing “the now.”
How did you find yourself at Curran?
During the pandemic, I decided I wanted to be certified as a life coach. I’ve always loved listening to people, hearing about their dreams and passions, and supporting them on their journeys. This felt like a more impactful way to do that. So, I quit my full-time job. I’ve been a life coach for about a year now, but I wanted something full-time as I built up that business. I emailed my resume to Shawn, and when I met him and Dave, I loved the energy I got from them. Curran treats everyone the same, and that really aligns with who I am.
What would you say your values are?
Unconditional love. Supporting others. Non-judgmental conversations. Being a safe space for someone, whoever they are, to talk.
Do you think those values come up when your family, friends, and colleagues describe you?
I think love comes up, and I think people can feel that from me. I’m non-judgmental. People talk to me about anything you can possibly imagine, and I love that. I’m a hugger, too. I haven’t done this yet, but I would love to stand on a corner someday with a sign that says, “Free hugs!”
You have a ton of consulting and nonprofit experience. How do you find the A/E/C industry?
I’m learning a lot! It’s interesting to learn more about the architectural process and what stage each of Curran’s projects is in. A lot of the day-to-day tasks, like account management, are things I’ve done before. But to do it through this lens, architecture, is really cool! Exciting, actually.
What else do you find exciting or rewarding about your job?
Honestly, I love creating the space people need to do what they love and enjoy. So, streamlining things and making things easier. It’s not about making “some sort of process,” but a process that actually makes sense to the people who use it. I also love finding ways to support my coworkers and celebrate them and make work fun. They already have an amazing culture at Curran and I’m excited to add to that.
What’s the greatest career advice you’ve ever received?
Set healthy boundaries and remember to take care of yourself. As much as you may want to give to others, you can’t do that when you’re depleted.
What about books or podcasts? Anything you’d recommend?
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It’s about how all we really have is now. We spend so much time worrying about what may happen and reflecting on what has happened in the past. If we stop and ask ourselves, “Do we have a problem right now?” the answer is, a lot of times, “no.” If we stop spending all that energy worrying about something that may never even happen, we open up the space for possibility.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I am a single mom and have two boys who are seven and nine. They have lots of energy. We love being outside, so when the weather is nice, we’re swimming, we’re at parks, we’re playing games, we’re in nature. Lots of activity! We actually just took a family vacation to Savannah before I started at Curran. While we were there, we went to a plant-based cafe, a crystal shop, took some beautiful walks, and of course spent time at the beach.
If we were to play Two Truths and a Lie, what would you say?
I have run two marathons. I once taught at a seminary in China. I lived in Washington State as a child.