My Bio/Candidacy Press Release
The Past 25(ish) Years Compressed
So this is a place where most people accentuate the positive and de-emphasize the negative. I am not like most people, or so I’ve been told. As I consider my future and the future of Oak Ridge, I find it befitting to share both the challenges and successes of my life thus far. After all, they kind of go hand in hand, don’t you think?
I grew up the oldest of 6 children in a suburb of Dallas. After my parents divorced and throughout high school, I filled a parental role caring for my siblings and working in retail. Such obligations prohibited the pursuit of any extracurricular activities.
Upon graduating from what is now the second largest high school in the nation, I moved out on my own. For nearly 2 years, I shared a small house with roommates in one of the rougher neighborhoods of an area known as Oak Cliff. I was naive to just how dangerous it was until the day my roommate came home and told us that he’d found a dead body around the corner.
In 1992, I met my future husband through a mutual friend. I joke that we were engaged from the start because within hours of first meeting, we took each other’s class rings to ensure we’d see each other again. We married in early 1993 and by the middle of 1994, we were a family of 3 living on a military base in Karlsruhe, Germany. We spent the next 6 years living, working, going to school and travelling in Europe.
In 2000, Bret’s military obligation was complete and we had the choice of moving to anywhere in the U.S. Rather than return to the hectic Dallas lifestyle, we chose to come to Oak Ridge where my father and some of my siblings were. Though I had only visited here a few times, we were sold on Oak Ridge primarily because my father had described Oak Ridgers as having a “very strong, shared sense of community.”
Résumé protocol dictates that one leave off the earlier, less relevant jobs of one’s life. But as I reflect, those are the jobs I may actually be most proud of. To help support my family, at the age of 15, I took my first job with a Target retail store. Talk about ironic, huh? I worked there for 4 straight years, mostly until late at night and often up to 30 hours per week while going to school and helping at home.
When Bret and I first moved to Germany, my initial job prospects were very limited so I took what I could get and worked as a janitor for a German contractor. I cleaned, among other things, U.S. army facility bathrooms. I suppose that explains why I’ve never been remotely interested in the show Dirty Jobs. I held that job for about 5 months until I met a manager in one of the offices I cleaned who helped me get my first federal job.
Over the next five years, I progressed quickly up the civil service ladder while pursuing my degree from the University of Maryland. By the last year, I was going to school double-time while working as the program manager of one of the largest American volunteer forces in the world.
Since arriving in Oak Ridge, I’ve worked primarily in the small business realm. I am very proud of the fact that Bret and I have survived simultaneous periods of unemployment not once, but twice. Between jobs and throughout the last ten years, I’ve performed light consulting work for small companies as well as individuals. One of my first employers was an I.T. recruiting firm. There, I gained a full appreciation for the phrase “eat what you kill” when I went into a 100% commission sales role. My direct contributions towards the company’s gross profit totaled over $227,000. The company, at that time, was made up of just three of us.
More recently, I spent the last 5 years working in project management for a medical software company. Though my job description did not involve sales, I parlayed my passion for efficiency and process refinement into a significant, sustainable source of profit. My contribution to the company’s bottom line totaled nearly $500,000 by the time I left and was projected to hit the million dollar mark within one more year.
Bret is my best friend. He’s always got my back. There simply aren’t enough words to express my absolute adoration for him. I am completely undeserving but 1000% grateful for the love and dedication he has shown me for nearly 20 years.
We have two children. Our eldest is a recent graduate of Oak Ridge High School whose work ethic already dwarfs that of his parents. He is currently attending school full time while working at both a full time job as well as a part time job. Our youngest is a 40 year old savant hiding in the body of a 5 year old.
Life isn’t always peachy, but we love and laugh more often than not. We are at a good place in life. The Lord has blessed us beyond what we could have planned for ourselves and we treasure each and every moment.
Trina Baughn Announces Bid for City Council
Trina Baughn has announced her plans to run for Oak Ridge City Council in both the August 2nd as well as the November 6th elections.
Baughn is a communications professional whose business experience spans over 15 years in both the private and public sectors and is comprised of roles in project management, business to business sales, employee and volunteer recruitment, event coordination, marketing and process analysis.
She is best known for her frequent guest columns and public appearances in which she advocates for fiscal transparency, accountability and efficiency. Her analysis and recommendations have influenced the decisions of both City Council and the Board of Education (BOE). For the last five budget cycles, she has provided the BOE with specific alternative solutions that enabled the retention of mission critical positions and programs which had previously been slated for cuts by the administration.
From 2007 – 2009, Baughn led the charge to improve the safety of children during their commutes to and from school. Her efforts included working with local and state officials, increasing public awareness through her research and reporting and voluntarily serving as an unofficial crossing guard at one of the most dangerous intersections in town. The results of her endeavors ultimately contributed to significant changes in motorist behavior, the hiring of additional crossing guards, improved state legislation and the restoration of full bus service to all Oak Ridge students.
Baughn’s record of service also includes working for the American Red Cross, coordinating the 2007 ORHS Cross Country Team’s annual banquet and serving as a foster parent and child advocate. She currently serves on the City of Oak Ridge Personnel Advisory Board, the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors and the Bike and Pedestrian Working Committee.
She graduated from the University of Maryland University College in Germany, where she lived with her husband while he served in the U.S. Army. She holds both a Bachelor of Science in Communications and an Associate of Arts Degree in Management Studies. She and Bret have been married for 19 years and have two children, Savannah and Collin.