Stephanie Grady Clay has been with Vantage for six years and was recently promoted to Director of HR, Learning and Development.
Q: What is the most important room in your home? A: Hands down, the Kitchen. Both my husband and I love to cook/bake, and we’re doing our best to cultivate that same love with our toddler, who will dance around the kitchen with us to Motown or Disney or CocoMelon. We make messes, have floor picnics, navigate constant requests for sheeeee (Cheese), but most of all, connect and enjoy our small family together. It’s not a big room, we’re constantly having to move each other to get things done, but it’s exactly what we need.
Q: What did you want to be when you were small? A: Oh goodness, let’s see. I definitely wanted to perform, be a singer or an actress. I love film, I come from a family of cinephiles. But I also love to bake, and I wanted to help people, so the dream for ever was to open a Drama/Baking studio, where we would teach both theater and cooking classes. Okay, that’s still the dream, but layer in helping kids with their emotional development. The intersection of theater and therapy continues to intrigue me, especially in our current climate.
Q: What is the best gift you have been given? A: The best gifts I have received were given exactly when I needed them, and unexpectedly. So it’s not so much the thing I was given as the connection I felt to the person who gave it, because I appreciated so much that they were seeing me at that point in time in my life. That has been true of my husband, my parents, friends…but okay here’s one great example. For my 30th birthday, my roommate put together an all-day scavenger hunt, and at the end surprised me with a ukelele, something I desperately wanted but could not afford at the time. It was really special.
Q: If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be? A: Here’s the thing – I’m a pretty big fan of time-travel, the multiverse, etc. So based on those theories and concepts, I hesitate to even consider what I would go back and change, historically or personally; something about having a baby has made me uninterested in alternate timelines…or perhaps, more afraid of the butterfly effect. (Watch the movie About Time; you’ll understand.)
Q: What’s your favorite family tradition? A: I’m in a weird part of life, the transition from what we used to always do, to what we do now. Loss and new life has a way of forcing change in tradition, and it’s not easy to let go and make new ones. But if I had one that I’ve kept and continued, it’s baking for the neighbors the weekend before Christmas. We go on a baking frenzy, and then deliver up and down our street. People don’t expect that kind of connection anymore, it’s like it’s been lost in the Pandemic. It feels good to check in and see how people are doing and share something bright in the middle of Winter.
Q: If you had a warning label, what would yours say? A: Hahahahah – “Will push her baked goods onto you (out of love)” or “May interrupt your important work conversation to show you the latest adorable picture of her toddler.”
Q: What’s the most fun you’ve had this week? A: Hmmm… one of three things: 1) Helping plan our firm’s Summer Retreat; 2) Playing my toddler’s favorite game, which is facing off against each other in the garage and running in circles; or 3) Watching a middle school actor convince an audience that he is being “attacked” by a ferocious, stuffed husky dog from IKEA. I certainly lead a strange and rewarding triple life right now.
Q: What’s the last movie you went to see? A: I’m honestly devastated to say, I do not remember the last film I saw in theaters. I can tell you last night we watched The Bourne Identity again on Netflix. But right now my life is mostly Frozen and Moana.
Q: What childhood activity do you wish you could still do now? A: Trampolines. The next door neighbors have one and those kids are having the time of their lives. At this age, all I see now is a way for me to break my arm. Or my back.
Q: Would you rather explore a new planet or the deepest parts of the ocean and why? A: Just reading this question made me squirm. Neither, thank you, I’m great right around sea level. (Why? Finding Nemo. Armageddon. And Gravity. And Apollo 13. And Arrival. And Passengers. And Wall-E. And Alien. And the third season of Agents of Shield. Please especially don’t ever ask me to go into space. Unless maybe Malcolm Reynolds is offering space on Serenity.)