It was obvious from an early age that Kathleen Quirk had a
business mind. The future president and chief financial officer
of US copper producer Freeport-McMoRan demonstrated an
entrepreneurial approach as a child, as her family still jokes,
when she sold lemonade and candy from a stall she set up in
front of their home.
"My family teases me that I used to have sales from a stand
in their yard. My dad’s favorite story is I would
walk down to the drugstore where he had a house account to load
up on things to sell, bring them home, set up my stand and sell
them," she told Metal Market Magazine. "It was all 100% profit
for me!" she laughed.
Quirk was born in Oklahoma but spent her childhood in New
Orleans. Her father was an engineer for oil and gas company
Conoco, and the family moved around when Quirk was younger.
"Several of my siblings were born in different places but my
parents, originally from New Orleans, moved back when I was
around two years old, and I grew up there," she said.
She was the fourth of six children, comprising five
daughters and a son. Quirk was the youngest for some time until
her sisters, 11 and 15 years younger respectively, were born.
It was, she says, a happy childhood. "We have a close family
still today, with lots of the children having grown up in the
same house. I was the youngest for so long I developed a thick
skin from all the teasing," she added.
Quirk attended Catholic schools throughout elementary and
high school, where she was very active in team sports,
including swimming, softball, volleyball and basketball. "I
really feel it helped me in growing and in my career in terms
of working with people in a team. I wasn’t the
best athlete on the team, but I really enjoyed the teamwork and
interaction," she said.
"I learned about compassion for others from my mother. This
has carried through in my life and during my career," she
added. She was also involved in student council activities
throughout school, which taught her leadership skills.
It is clear that Quirk, a gregarious and outgoing student,
enjoyed having fun. "I was a good student, not the best. I
enjoyed the full program of activities at school, not just
academics, but everything it had to offer," she added.
When the time for university came, her father –
then the chief executive officer of an engineering firm in New
Orleans – gave her some advice: pursue accounting. "He
was an engineer, which I never considered as a career. My dad
encouraged me to look at accounting; he felt it would provide a
good base level of education that would allow me to do other
things beyond accounting," she recalled.
"I said, 'I don’t think I really want to be an
accountant my whole life,’ but he encouraged me to
do it because there was always a job opportunity for an
accountant. He wanted to make sure that whatever I graduated
in, there would be an employment opportunity afterwards," she
She attended Louisiana State University (LSU), about an hour
away from New Orleans in Baton Rouge, the flagship college in
the state. It was a much larger educational venue than she was
used to – her high school graduating class was just 93
students – and brought her into contact with people
from all over Louisiana as well as the country.
"I loved LSU. I had several friends from New Orleans but one
of the neat things was I made a lot of new friends that are
lifelong to this day," Quirk noted.
Many of those friends were members of her Delta, Delta,
Delta sorority, which was, she said, not just a social
experience but a development opportunity in leadership. "I got
involved in the organization and leadership of the sorority and
really learned about working with people, challenges and
budgets," she said.
With limited fellow accounting students in her sorority,
Quirk also established strong friendships with others in the
accounting program with whom she studied several times a week.
"They were incredible in terms of their knowledge of
accounting; it was really good discipline for me and really
helped," she added.
When her graduation came around, Quirk started to
think about her future career – and was not sure which
path to take. Half of her core group of 20 or so friends
decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia; the other half, including
Quirk, upped sticks and moved to Dallas, Texas. She did not
have a job, but there were numerous local opportunities,
particularly in the oil and gas sector.
After interviewing with Mobil Oil, she started working in
the tax department at the company’s Dallas
accounting center, located in a downtown high-rise. It was
1985, the year before a surplus of crude oil caused by falling
demand sent oil prices from $27 a barrel to below $10.
"I can recall being a little bit shell-shocked at Mobil
because it was very structured. None of my friends worked in
that environment," she recalled. "We had two coffee breaks a
day, in the morning and afternoon. Someone would push a coffee
cart to the elevator lobby, and they’d ring a
cowbell," she said. "People could be on a call with someone,
but it didn’t matter – the bell would
ring, and they would say, 'oh it’s break,
I’ll call you back!’" she
It was interesting work; Quirk got exposure to the natural
resources industry, particularly Mobil’s
international projects. But after a few years, and missing New
Orleans, she began to look for a role in a corporate
headquarters, with the intention of better understanding a
company’s overall strategy.
She started to put feelers out to see if there was a job in
New Orleans, which did not have many large corporations
headquartered there at the time. But it did have one: Freeport,
which had deep roots with the local community, and was "flying
high" at the time, Quirk said.
After trying for a while to get her foot in the door, Quirk
was offered a role in Freeport’s tax
It was 1989, the year after Freeport-McMoRan – a
mining company with its roots in sulfur and with significant
oil and gas operations in the US – had discovered the
Grasberg copper and gold deposit in Indonesia, a game-changing
asset for the company and soon to be one of the
industry’s greatest mines.
The company could not have been more different from Mobil,
with a very entrepreneurial style that she instantly enjoyed,
Quirk said. The role was demanding, but fun, and at an active
time for the company, which owned a number of publicly traded
companies, including sulfur, fertilizers, gold and oil and gas,
as well as a publicly listed holding company.
It also had two master limited partnerships, which Quirk
said were popular in the 1980s and required a lot of
administration, which meant working closely with the investor
relations group. By contrast, the mining business was
relatively small, as Grasberg had just been discovered, and
included a small gold property in Nevada.
Coincidentally, in the same year current chairman and CEO
Richard Adkerson joined Freeport, along with Chip Goodyear, the
future head of BHP Billiton. "Richard and Chip initially
didn’t have specific well-defined roles, but they
were creating a lot of energy and velocity in restructuring the
company. I thought at the time I needed to try to get into
their group," Quirk recalled.
There was an opening in investor relations, dealing with its
interface with the tax department; Quirk moved into the role
and ran the group. It was here that her interest in the
institutional aspect of the business blossomed, she said.
From there, she had an opportunity to move into finance and
business development for Freeport’s fertilizer
business, run by Goodyear; Adkerson was in charge of oil and
gas, plus the development of Grasberg. Their team worked
together, with plenty of interaction. Richard and Chip were
true partners and close personal friends, she said. It was a
"I worked directly for Chip for several years.
I’ve been so fortunate to have worked with people
who are so good at what they do. I was a sponge, learning as
much as I could from these great people," Quirk told Metal
It was a young group that worked hard but had fun too, Quirk
said. "It wasn’t uncommon in the middle of the day
for the group to decide to start playing football in the hall,
or there would be a contest of who would roll the tennis ball
to land in someone’s corner office," she
The role was also wide-ranging, including financial
analysis, modeling, and the evaluation of projects,
investments, innovative financings and mergers and
acquisitions. It was her favorite role to that point.
Then in 1992, Goodyear became chief development officer of
Freeport while Adkerson became its CFO. The mining business was
developing the Gresik smelter in Indonesia, an "enormous
negotiation," as well as forming strategic partnerships to
raise capital to fund Grasberg. Rio Tinto made an investment
and became a partner in Grasberg in 1995.
In the mid-1990s, Freeport spun-off its copper business as
well as its oil and gas unit, leaving the agricultural minerals
business with the parent. Adkerson moved with the former, and
Goodyear became CFO of the latter, which was ultimately merged
into what is now Mosaic in a transaction that Quirk worked
After Goodyear’s departure from Freeport, Quirk
moved into the Treasury group and started working more closely
with Adkerson in a partnership that flourished. By the time she
became Treasurer in 2000, Freeport’s focus was on
mining at Grasberg, with a small oil and gas company.
The late 1990s was a tumultuous time for Indonesia, with the
three-decades-long President Suharto having stepped down a
couple of years earlier and the contagion of the Asian
financial crisis had spread, she recalled. At their low, copper
prices dropped close to 60 cents per pound.
"Raising capital for Indonesia isn’t like it is
today, it was much more challenging – nobody argued
that we did not have a great asset in Grasberg, but the
associated political risk didn’t make capital
raising easy," she said.
"Suharto stepped down, Indonesia’s credit
rating dropped below investment grade, and the rating agencies
adopted a policy that even though we had strong cash flows, our
rating couldn’t be higher than the sovereign
rating," she added. Stuck with a very low credit rating despite
strong financial metrics, Freeport’s stock was
trading at a discount. It led to some challenging negotiations
with its financing banks, Quirk said.
"We had a bank credit facility that was maturing in 2002,
but it wasn’t like the current facility where we
have an enormous facility that we don’t have
borrowings under. It was a facility we used, and Richard and I
had to renegotiate with 30 or more banks to get an extension to
it, and also to negotiate covenants," she noted.
Quirk said those challenging experiences taught her some
important lessons, including finding common ground with other
stakeholders. "What gave us comfort when negotiating was that
we might have ups and downs, but we had good, long-term assets,
and we always had the ability to pay off debt, even if not all
at once," she added.
Phelps Dodge deal
It was a difficult couple of years, but by 2003, things started
to improve, particularly as China emerged as a major developing
economy. Copper prices started to move higher, gaining over 30
cents per lb through the year.
At year-end, Adkerson became CEO and Quirk stepped into the
CFO role. The two of them started thinking strategically about
the future of the company. "We’d been through the
bank facility issues and we were starting to see the green
shoots of the China growth story. We thought during that time
that one of the larger miners would buy us, given the Grasberg
asset and the simplified company structure, which had been
cleaned up," she told Metal Market Magazine.
The natural bidder seemed to be Rio Tinto, a shareholder in
Freeport. But Rio Tinto made a strategic decision to sell its
shareholding in Freeport, which it had acquired in the
mid-1990s. Freeport raised money in an innovative financing to
buy back the stock owned by Rio Tinto in 2004; Rio Tinto
maintained its joint venture in Grasberg.
"There were many times Rio Tinto could have acquired Freeport
at very low prices, but it didn’t. So, at that
point we decided to buy the shares owned by Rio Tinto, and
I’m glad we did," Quirk said.
Adkerson and Quirk thought the future of Freeport still
seemed to lie in a sale. "We still thought someone would come
and buy Freeport. There was always talk about one of the larger
diversified miners, as we felt Grasberg would be valued more
highly in a diversified portfolio," Quirk added.
Grasberg’s value was roughly two-thirds copper,
and the rest was gold, so it didn’t naturally fit
with other mining or pure gold companies. Freeport actively
considered splitting the copper and gold business, Quirk
recalled, and had some advanced conversations with various
companies, including US copper producer Phelps Dodge, to
contractually split the cash-flow streams.
"We considered a number of things, but nothing panned out,
so we started thinking strategically about Freeport as a
continuing standalone company," she said.
In an ironic twist of fate, Phelps Dodge came under pressure
from its largest shareholder, an activist hedge fund investor,
Atticus Capital. Phelps Dodge’s response
– a complex three-way transaction in which it would
acquire Inco and Falconbridge – failed, with Vale and
Xstrata, respectively, pre-empting those deals. Atticus started
pushing hard for a Phelps Dodge sale.
While this coincided with a decision by Freeport to focus on
copper, neither Quirk nor the Freeport team were expecting what
happened next, she said. "Phelps Dodge faced the activist
challenge. Nobody called Freeport to see if we’d
be interested in a deal; nobody thought Freeport could do it,"
she added, recalling that Phelps Dodge was an industry major at
the time and substantially larger than up-start Freeport.
That is, until Freeport’s bankers, JP Morgan and
Merrill Lynch, separately approached Freeport and proposed the
acquisition of Phelps Dodge. "The banks that just a couple of
years earlier had their workout people negotiating our credit
facility, were now saying they could provide us an $18 billion
commitment to buy Phelps Dodge," she said.
After getting the green light from the
company’s board, Adkerson started having
conversations about an acquisition with Phelps Dodge CEO Steve
Whistler, who he had developed a positive relationship with
over the preceding 10 years. It was the largest deal ever done
in mining at that point and one that Quirk said transformed
Freeport into a more globally diversified company.
Freeport’s credit rating was also upgraded,
despite the debt.
From the outset, there was a focus on integrating the very
different corporate cultures of the two companies.
Operationally, the companies had the same focus on safety and
operational efficiencies. But the corporate offices were very
different, Quirk said, which was something she and Adkerson
recognized needed to be fixed.
"You read so much about how M&A can destroy value when the
cultures aren’t cohesive," she noted. "We thought
a lot about how we could mold the two company cultures together
in a way that brought out the best in both organizations and so
people would learn from each other. We wanted to bring across
Freeport’s non-bureaucratic, team approach to
management," she added.
Ultimately, the cultures came together "extraordinarily
well," Quirk said, to the extent that she does not think of
people as having come from Phelps Dodge because the group is
now so unified.
After the euphoria of the Phelps Dodge transaction, Freeport
set about paying down debt. With the commodities bull market
well under way, high copper prices helped; having initially
planned to pay off $10 billion of debt in four years, it did so
in nine months. It also planned expansions at Cerro Verde in
Peru, Morenci in the United States and Tenke Fungurume in the
Democratic Republic of Congo. "We wanted to have a more
aggressive approach around developing the assets and felt there
was a lot of opportunity within the expanded portfolio that had
not been pursued," Quirk said.
And then along came the global financial crisis of 2008.
Copper prices collapsed, plunging from $4 per lb to $1.20 per
lb by the end of the year. Quirk said that looking back, it was
a really timely test of the organization.
"We had to make really hard decisions and develop business
plans allowing us to cut costs and capital that all the teams
would embrace. We’ve had to do it on a couple more
occasions since then, and while they have been a little
different each time, the theme is the same in that people came
together, rolled up their sleeves and figured out what to do,"
The company worked to cut costs, improve productivity, and
reduce output, operating its mines in the United States and
South America at break-even and using the cash flows from
Indonesia to fund debt servicing and its corporate
By 2011 Freeport was debt free, copper prices were at record
highs, and the company’s share price was riding
high. But things changed when Freeport started to run into
contract issues in Indonesia and an ill-fated investment in oil
and gas the following year, which created significant
In a move that surprised investors, at the end of 2012 Freeport
acquired Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production
Company, as well as McMoRan Exploration Company, for $20
billion. The acquisition, driven by the board at the time and
not by management, was designed to create diversification in
the group’s portfolio.
Quirk said that unlike the merger with Phelps Dodge, the
cultural integration of the oil and gas team was "really
tough," with the new business operating under different rules
to the mining division.
Things took a turn for the worse when the price of oil,
followed by copper, collapsed beginning in 2014. A
restructuring was under way when activist shareholder Carl
Icahn took an 8.5% stake in Freeport, accelerating changes at
the board level which opened the path for
Freeport’s mining group to again take control of
"It was tough – not a fun period. We had to really
make some hard decisions," she said. That included the sale of
Tenke Fungurume to China Molybdenum and the sale of an
incremental interest in its North American flagship mine,
Morenci, which Freeport would not have done otherwise, Quirk
The oil and gas deal also coincided with the beginnings of a
bumpy ride in the company’s negotiations with
Indonesia, which had established a new mining law in 2009 and
commenced an effort to apply it to Freeport in 2011. Initially,
the company was told its contract with the government of
Indonesia was unchanged, but then, Quirk said, the
government’s position changed.
"We didn’t have clarity – we always
felt that the mining law changes would not apply, as we had a
contract with the government that had the force of law, but
that became uncertain," she recalled, adding: "Then Indonesia
started restricting exports. That was a major challenge."
Negotiations led by Adkerson continued over the next several
years, with a resolution coming tantalizingly close on several
occasions. It was, Quirk said, a question of trying to find
common ground. She began her personal direct engagement in the
Jakarta negotiations in 2017, working with Adkerson in meetings
with senior government ministers.
"What I’ve learned in my career at Freeport is
that finding common ground with whomever you’re
dealing with is very important. We needed to defend our rights
and contract but listening and thinking about the long-term was
also important. Everybody needed to come to the table and
figure it out," she said.
That included Rio Tinto, which still owned a 40% joint
venture stake in Grasberg. The diversified miner proved to be a
lynchpin in resolving the protracted situation when it
announced its desire to sell its interest. "Rio Tinto was
always very supportive, but once it decided to be a willing
seller, it opened up the whole opportunity for us," Quirk said.
"We immediately started working cooperatively to get Rio Tinto
and the state-owned company in Indonesia – which took
a very professional approach to the transaction – to
reach agreement," she added.
Freeport had already agreed to meet the
government’s aspirations to own a 51% stake in
Grasberg and said that it would build a smelter the government
wanted; in return the company would be granted an extension of
its operations through 2041 with legal and fiscal certainty,
with any divestments to be at fair market value, and with
Freeport continuing to manage the operations.
The icing on the cake was Rio Tinto’s stake
sale, which meant Freeport would sell a far smaller stake than
initially envisaged. "It’s sort of a blur, with
all hands on deck 24-7, but we finally came to a framework
understanding in 2017, reached terms on the divestment in
September 2018 and completed the deal by the end of December,"
"We had said to Indonesian President Joko Widodo and the
other parties, 'let’s find a
win-win,’ and that meant each party would not get
everything they wanted. Each had to give up a bit and be
uncomfortable a bit. The bigger picture was that it set up a
structure where everybody can win in the future," she
The negotiations gave Quirk an opportunity to spend more
time in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, as well as at the
Grasberg site on the island of New Guinea, where she said the
team is more like a family than colleagues. "Grasberg is like
nothing else in the world – it’s such a
gratifying experience to be there and see it," she said.
It had already started to transition to underground from open
pit, part of a long-term plan dating back to the 1990s and
investments beginning in 2003. The project is now producing
significant amounts of copper and gold.
"By 2018, we’d already invested billions of
dollars in Grasberg. Richard always says, making the multi-year
investment to develop the underground before settling the
contract issue was the biggest risk he has undertaken as CEO.
If we hadn’t gotten the right structure with the
government, the consequences would have been negative for all
stakeholders," she said.
"But it’s all worked out really well;
it’s a great asset for Freeport, the Indonesian
government, the workers, the communities and the industry too,"
Highs and lows
Securing the Indonesian agreement was, Quirk said, one of her
career highs to date. "If you had seen the exhausted Freeport
team on the way home to the United States after we signed the
deal with the Indonesian government in December 2018, right
before Christmas… It was a really jubilant time," she
Other highs include the Phelps Dodge transaction, and now
rebuilding the company to its current position. "We have an
exciting effort around culture, innovation, artificial
intelligence, embracing an agile way of working across the
organization in a cross-functional, interactive way, and
challenging the status quo. We talk about aiming high and so
right now, the energy around what we’re doing as a
company is great," she added.
Admitting she enjoys a challenge because "everyone gets in,
rolls up their sleeves and it’s fun to solve
problems," Quirk said the oil and gas situation was more
difficult because all the stakeholders were not aligned, making
it a low point in her career.
She said the hardest times, however, have come around staff
fatalities or serious worker accidents. "We spend so much time
and investment trying to protect people and to have fatalities
really gives you a lot of soul searching. These incidents are
really hard on everybody," she added.
Quirk is, she said, typically restrained when situations
seem to be going well. Now is one of those times: copper prices
have been soaring, supply-demand fundamentals point to a
continued bullish outlook, plus the company and its operations
are operating efficiently across the board, she said.
"I’m always the cautious one thinking, 'When
things are like this, what is going to go wrong?’
So maybe I don’t enjoy the good times as much as I
should, but right now, things are really good," she said.
Mining companies are coming under increasing pressure to
provide details about how they plan to meet the goals of the
Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted in 2015. This
includes a commitment by governments to reduce greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050, and a push to produce more
To Quirk, sustainability is something Freeport has been doing
at all its locations for many years. "In mining, if you
aren’t producing responsibly and sustainably, you
don’t have a business. There are always
improvements made along the way but the focus on communities,
on environmental management, on safety practices, has always
been there," she said. "Now we have to be more transparent
about it and disclose things in different ways," she added.
But Quirk said the heightened attention on climate is new.
"Over the years, we’ve constantly had initiatives
under way to reduce energy costs. From my perspective, it was
less about climate and more about, can we be more efficient,
develop projects that generate a rate of return, and, by the
way, improve the climate," she told Metal Market Magazine.
"Now it’s more driven by climate, and we must
find economic solutions to achieving the goals of carbon
reduction," she added. For its part, Freeport has a goal of
net-zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2050 or sooner in line
with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Copper benefits from
having limited Scope 3 emissions.
Copper is key to decarbonization, Quirk noted, given its use in
electric vehicles and their charging stations, along with
But according to Quirk, the flipside to the drive to
decarbonize is that copper supply growth will become more
difficult to achieve. "If you’re having to bring
down your footprint, the question arises of how you think about
growing at the same time. The resources required for climate
issues are significant – there’s going to
be significant cost," she said. "Those expenditures take away
from what is available to build for growth. That’s
a challenge, and one I know we’ll figure out how
to navigate," she added.
This could even mean that climate targets become harder to
achieve because mining companies cannot produce the copper
needed for renewables or electrification, she said. "It begs
the question of whether the regulatory framework is set up
appropriately to incentivize production, or at least not
disincentivize production through all the permitting that is
required," Quirk noted.
At the same time, the mining industry needs to work harder
to ensure it meets all ESG standards and demonstrates its
reputation as being a critical component for the energy
transition, she added.
Mentors and mining
Quirk has had several mentors throughout her career, including
senior executives like Goodyear, former Freeport Chairman Jim
Bob Moffett, as well as Adkerson, whose leadership style,
energy, commitment to team and partnership, and an incredible
ability to manage stress and solve complex issues, have been
critical in her development, she said.
At the same time, she has learned much from colleagues in
the teams she has worked alongside over the years, including
"I learn not just from people I worked for, but also from
the people I work with. Everybody is really talented –
I really try to listen to what people have to say, because
it’s really hard to make decisions unless you put
yourself in other people’s shoes," Quirk said.
"I’m probably biased, but I believe the culture we
have at Freeport and the way people respect each other, work
together for the common good of each other, families,
stakeholders, is really gratifying," she noted.
Quirk noted that after being driven by the technical side
for so long, non-technical skills have become critical in the
mining sector. But attracting young blood to mining can be
difficult because prior perceptions are slow to change, she
"When I was growing up, I don’t think I even
knew what mining was. I don’t think people have
the appreciation for the types of disciplines that add value in
our industry – it’s such a broad-ranging
sector," she said. "We need to do a better job to educate
people, so they don’t think they need to get into
a large haulage truck to do their job at Freeport.
That’s an important part of what we do, of course,
but we have a lot of different roles that cover a whole gambit
of opportunities, so education around that is going to give us
a broader pool of people," she added.
For Quirk, this includes creating a more inclusive industry,
she said, adding: "Having an inclusive environment where people
have a voice and can contribute, to me that goes a long
While Adkerson – now Chairman and CEO –
has said he has no plans to retire, Quirk’s name
inevitably arises in discussions among industry participants of
who might one day take his place. "That will be something the
board decides. I’m really very happy – I
love the company and my role, so I don’t worry
about what’s next," she said. "I am personally
focused on doing a really good job. Our board will have the
opportunity to consider succession at the right time –
Richard is very engaged and enthusiastic about the prospects
for our company. We complement each other and enjoy working
together," she told Metal Market Magazine.
"But we know one day there will be management progression
and succession, that’s normal, and we are prepared
for it. Richard has done a great job in building a world-class
and sustainable board of directors for our
company’s future," she added.
In March next year, Maree Robertson will become senior vice
president and CFO of Freeport-McMoRan, reporting to Quirk, who
was appointed president in February 2021 in addition to her
present role as CFO. Robertson served as CFO, Energy and
Minerals of Rio Tinto Group since 2019.
Hobbies & interests
Quirk was one of 25 or so people that made the initial move to
Phoenix, Arizona, when Freeport acquired Phelps Dodge. It was a
step change from New Orleans, and a relatively unknown state to
her at that time.
"It was an adjustment! But I was so excited about the
opportunity and the transaction, that I didn’t
really dwell on the move. I stayed in a hotel for a while
because we were so busy, I didn’t have time to
look for places to live," she said. "I found one, and now I
love Phoenix and the outdoor opportunities we have here. The
summers are difficult due to the heat, but October through
spring is beautiful weather. I live in an area with lots of
exercise opportunities, and when I can I go biking and
walking." She laughed that she is not a golfer even though she
lives right beside a golf course!
With her parents and siblings still living in New Orleans,
Quirk visits as much as possible, although far less recently
due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I didn’t realize how much fun New Orleans was
until I got older and started going to other places!
It’s a unique city, a wonderful place with a rich
culture – very community and family oriented.
It’s hard to get people who grew up in New Orleans
to leave," she said. "I love going back there –
I’m close to my family and have multiple nieces
and nephews there too. I love being around family and friends
every opportunity I get. And I love the copper business, and
its people," she added.
Her roots in New Orleans make her an avid music lover,
especially when it’s live. "Our holiday parties
always include music with karaoke opportunities –
I’m the instigator, not the performer, so I try to
get people up on stage and have a lot of fun with it!" she
The pandemic has meant coming up with a different kind of
holiday party. Freeport arranged a drive-in where people parked
cars and listened to a 'yacht rock band’
– "old songs from my college days," she said.
"We have a lot of fun together – I love the people
I work with. We have enough challenges, so we try to keep a
sense of humor and laugh about ourselves and the habits we
have," she added.