A Conversation with Mindy Gagné

jessica wade

Jessica Wade
Senior Account Executive

Oct 4, 2016

mindy gagne

Tell us about yourself.

I recently retired after a 20-year career with the Air National Guard. I have a background in photo illustration and videography, and so that was a big part of my job for the Guard: photographing and filming a variety of military exercises and events. I also worked in accounting and financial services. Though I was born and raised in South Dakota, I have lived all over: Ohio, England, North Dakota, Maryland. Nineteen years ago, I transferred to Spokane, and I have lived here ever since.

What brought you to DH?

I knew Searri (DH’s Accounting Director) because our daughters are both in Girl Scouts, and I took a part-time job helping her at DH. I like the creative environment here. My role is a good fit for my background in visual information and finance. I help with everything from assisting with accounting to supporting day-to-day operations. I also like how flexible DH is—as a parent, it allows me to be responsive to my kids’ schedules.

What do you do in your free time?

(Laughs.) I don’t have free time. I have three kids, and I’m usually shuttling them around. They’re involved in music, extra curricular activities, Boys and Girls Scouts, karate, cross-country. In the summer, we do a lot of camping and boating. And when I can, I still love taking photos of nature—especially my current obsession: mushrooms. This summer, I photographed every unusual mushroom I came across. It was interesting!

Now I’m going to ask you some silly questions. Who is your favorite superhero?

Spiderman. He kind of has it all: strength, agility, and he can practically fly.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done?

When I was in the Air National Guard, I got to take photos and video of tankers refueling other aircraft mid-air. The person refueling the plane lies on his stomach in the belly of the plane. There’s a large glass window that looks down so the person can see to attach the boom and refuel the other aircraft. I was able to lie down next to him and shoot video and photos. It was exhilarating … and a little scary. I was looking down from thousands of feet up.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My kids. They’re good kids. I don’t know if that’s because of me or if they’re naturally good people. They’re well-mannered and behaved. Polite. Smart. Considerate. They’re good listeners.

What cheers you up?

Being outside in nature. I completed my bachelor’s in biology from Eastern, and I was able to work for a summer as a biology intern at Priest Lake in 2001. We studied endangered species, so I spent a lot of time outdoors. I did things like walk the creek looking for harlequin ducks or set up stations with catnip to collect fur samples from lynxes for genetic analysis.

If you could learn one skill, what would it be?

Gardening. I want to grow my own fruits and veggies and know all the ins and outs of when to plant and fertilize and prune and harvest, etc. I’ve had some success but it was mostly due to hardy plants and dumb luck.

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet?

Can it be someone mythical? Then King Arthur. I love knights and ladies and chivalry—all those romantic, corny things. When I lived in England, I fell in love with all its castles and its history. I would love to live back in medieval times … except for the smell.

Learn more about Mindy
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