Sunshine and Snow
“We want to have work that is meaningful and makes a difference. We want to be present in our kids’ lives.”
Monique Visintainer picks up her 8th-grade daughter and 3rd-grade son from school, and there’s just enough winter daylight left to get a glimpse of Mt. Spokane. Driving past their new north Spokane home to the crest of the hill, Monique points out the fresh dusting of snow glowing in the afternoon sun.
“That’s how close we are to skiing,” she says, to the kids’ delight.
Along with husband David, Monique and the kids recently relocated to Spokane from Kirkland, Washington, where Monique had flourished in a fast-paced Executive Communications career at Microsoft and SAP Concur. In recent years, they started feeling the need to change.
“David and I got to a place where our priorities shifted,” she says. “We want to have work that is meaningful and makes a difference. We want to be present in our kids’ lives. We don’t need traffic and high stress. We want sunshine — a detail as small as this sunset, even if it’s cold outside, really matters. We’re done with gray all the time.”
Spokane wasn’t completely unfamiliar to the couple. Originally from the Bay Area, Monique played soccer for Whitworth University as an undergrad, and while pursuing a career that took her from California to D.C. to Seattle, she earned a Gonzaga Masters in Organizational Leadership, primarily online. David grew up in Spokane, but hasn’t lived here in decades.
In a roundabout way, Spokane came calling at a monastery in southern California. “At a reunion with my Gonzaga cohort, that’s when we really started thinking about life change, about simplifying.”
Timing was good. Their Kirkland home had doubled in value, and they were able to pay in full for their Spokane home, saying goodbye to a mortgage. Both sides of the extended family are here, with Monique’s mother and stepfather having followed to be close to their beloved grandkids. The kids arrived just in time to start at their new school — which has been a great fit.
“There’s a lot to love about this city,” says Monique. “They’ve really invested in improving downtown, and we love the lakes, the weather. And we can’t wait to explore nearby areas in Canada and Montana.”
After getting the kids settled in, Monique is beginning work as a self-employed consultant and has entered Gonzaga’s Leadership Studies PhD program. Speaking with her today, it’s easy to tell that a weight has been lifted from her shoulders.
“We’re so happy with how everything is falling into place. It was the right move at the right time for us.”