Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.
With a background in social work, coffee making and community building, Amelea Pegman’s work has always circled around creating opportunities for people to connect with one another in new and meaningful ways.
After spending five years leading community engagement for ArtPrize, Pegman recently shifted into the role of managing director, overseeing initiatives in social equity, sustainability and long-term systems of support and engagement for staff and volunteers.
Biggest career break?
Getting the job at ArtPrize! After taking an internship the first year, they created a new position for me leading efforts in community engagement. It has been challenging and rewarding and honestly, the most fun I’ve had at work since working at summer camp!
Every day, watching my daughter grow into the spunky bundle of joy that she is.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
It isn’t really advice, but more worlds to live by that I love. Roald Dahl said it: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
How did you make your first dollar?
I’m sure it was babysitting or selling cookies or cleaning my grandmother’s house. All things I loved to do!
I have really been appreciating my grandmother’s old cuckoo clock. She had it in her basement where I spent so much time growing up. I love remembering how her home felt and being a kid there.
Am I allowed to say it is the job I have now? I suppose if I wasn’t here, I would want to be leading trips for National Geographic Expeditions!
Last book you’ve read?
“All The Light We Can Not See” by Anthony Doerr for my book club. I listened to it on Audible. It was such a beautiful story to hear read out loud.
Last thing you Googled?
The poem “The Journey” by David Whyte. I wanted to send it to a friend who is going through a tough time. It's a really beautiful and hopeful poem about letting life change you, as it will.
Your worst habit?
To unwind, I like to . . . ?
Go for a walk with a coffee and a friend or curl up with a little glass of wine on my porch swing.
I’ve been dreaming about a trip to the Greek Islands. Santorini has been on my bucket list forever. Maybe a cruise on the Mediterranean, that sounds about right for a worthwhile getaway!
French fries and Snickers ice cream pie, best in that order
Person you most admire?
My grandmother, Lorajean. She had so much grace and class. She showed me from a very young age about the kind of woman I want to be: adventurous, generous, forgiving, hopeful. She loved grand things, but simple things too, and she never lost the sparkle in her eyes. Life delighted her.