In addition to being an expert on all things CCA, data & assessment specialist Patti Bowes brings expertise of raising two daughters and maintaining a sense of humor throughout her life as a working mom. Get to know her better below!
What three traits define you?
Resourceful, Easygoing, Funny
What is your personal philosophy?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Life will throw all kinds of things your way over the years, so you need to roll with the punches and learn to be resilient.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
My family. I’m still adjusting to my new role as a mom to two amazing young adults. I saw a great quote about parenting that said being a parent is not a job – it’s a privilege. Cherish it – it goes by quickly!
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
Breast Cancer. I was diagnosed in 2020 during the pandemic. We were isolated due to COVID, and the only place I ventured out to were medical appointments. Vaccines weren’t available yet, so I couldn’t even hug my daughters until those came out in 2021. I’m grateful for the support from family, friends, CCA colleagues, and medical staff who helped me get through treatment.
What is the one thing you cannot resist?
Crème Brûlée – hands-down favorite dessert whenever it’s on the menu.
What is your greatest fear?
I can’t think of any phobias I have, but, if I had to pick something to fear, I guess I would say getting cancer again. I’d been fairly healthy my whole life until 2020 came along, but I try not to dwell on it and hope for the best.
Where is your favorite place to be?
Outside in nature – whether it’s on a beach, near water, in the woods, or on a hiking trail. I grew up a block from Lake Michigan in the Indiana Dunes and spent a lot of time at the beach, so I have a definite fondness for the Great Lakes.
What is your favorite thing to do?
Hanging out with my family. Whether we’re just sharing a good meal, watching a movie, or exploring someplace new, just being together makes me happy.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?
My favorite travel trip was a road trip our family took to the East Coast and Cape Cod. My daughters helped plan the trip, and we did so many fun things: visited Nantucket and several museums, went on a historic walking tour and Whale Watch Cruise in Boston, saw sea lions in their natural habitat greeting the fishing boats, ate incredible seafood, and even stopped by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house on the trip back home. Lots of great memories!
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Working for my dad’s steel fabricating company. I did everything from deliver construction blueprints, count rebar in the steel yard, paint the exterior of his building, and wrestle his large guard dogs to get them to go into the veterinary clinic. I never knew what tasks would be in store for me each day.
Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities?
A robot housekeeper! We purchased a robot vacuum last year, and it’s great. Now I just need a robot that can grocery shop, cook, and clean and I’ll be all set.
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
Something with design or in a creative field. I took art classes all through high school and even a few courses in college. I went the more practical route though, so I wouldn’t end up a starving artist.
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Never lose your sense of humor. It will help you get through some of the tougher parts of life.
What are your three words or phrases you overuse the most?
“No really”, “Geez-Louise”, and “I’m serious”.
What is the best book you have ever read?
I’ve read too many good books over the years to consider any one book the “best”. A book I enjoyed is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It’s a story about two families that get entangled in each other’s lives – one that seems to have it all, and the other a single mom and daughter, with plenty of plot twists to keep it interesting.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
With March Madness wrapping up, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention encountering two basketball legends. My girlfriends and I bumped into Michael Jordan twice in Chicago. The first time was at a bar – as he was leaving, he looked down at my friend and me and said, “Good night, ladies”. Another time was at a restaurant with my girlfriends, and he and his entourage stopped by our table and chatted with us briefly. I’ve also crossed paths with Larry Bird in the hallway at the school where I worked and that our kids both attended. I’m close to 5’9” and consider myself tall, but those guys are really TALL!