Genevieve Collins: Captain of her ship
Genevieve Collins is a native Dallasite running for United States Congress in Congressional District 32. A few weeks ago, she faced off against four other men in the primary election—Genevieve came out victoriously with 22,500 votes, securing the nomination without a runoff election. But that isn’t the most impressive part: Genevieve is a first-time candidate running for public office (or any leadership position for that matter). She crunched her own data, wrote her own policy, and mapped her own path to victory. It is Genevieve’s priority to run her campaign like a business, with independence and authenticity. She compares herself to the captain of a ship, saying “if you are the captain of the ship, you are going to wade into turbulent waters if you don’t know where to go.” Genevieve is the captain of her victory.
Genevieve was born and raised in the Highland Park neighborhood, a wealthy community in North Dallas. Knowing that Highland Park lacked in diversity during Genevieve’s childhood, her parents actively exposed she and her sister to the diversity of surrounding communities. She vividly remembers politics being a dinnertime conversation, discussing the viewpoints of people from all walks of life. Specifically, Genevieve credits her father—her first role model, hero, and confidant—for exposing her to politics. Her father was heavily involved in local and state politics, even helping Genevieve’s great uncle Congressman Jim Collins campaign for congress in 1967. Genevieve’s father was not the only relative that inspired Genevieve’s journey into politics. In 1957, Genevieve’s grandmother Calvert K. Collins was the first woman elected to Dallas City Council. Now, over sixty years later, Genevieve is following in her grandmother’s footsteps.
When Genevieve was fifteen, she trained as a competitive shooter. After watching a rowing competition in the movie The Skulls, a 1990s thriller flick, Genevieve had a change of heart and pursued rowing. She quickly jumped into action, finding a coach, teammates, equipment, seed funding, and rental space to build the rowing program at her alma mater Highland Park High School. What began as a simple desire transformed into a full-blown passion for Genevieve--leading her to collegiate rowing, a division one scholarship, and three NCAA championships. Genevieve compared her drive to build the rowing program to her passion for politics: both were unbreakable.
In 2008, Genevieve graduated from the University of Tennessee and returned to Dallas, Texas. Because of the stock market crash and ensuing nationwide recession, Genevieve had a difficult time beginning her career in sales and finance. Fortunately, she was offered a position with her family’s company I-Station, an education-technology company that partners with school districts to provide personalized learning plans. Now, with a team of 300 employees, I-Station serves over five million students across the country.
Over the course of her career, Genevieve worked her way up to the position she currently holds as Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy. While at I-Station, Genevieve worked on multiple education policies in partnership with local school districts. When deciding which policies to promote, Genevieve would ask herself two questions: what policy is best for the kids and does this policy reduce the teacher workload? With these two guiding-values in hand, Genevieve became heavily invested in education policy.
Last June, while hiking through Havasu Falls, AZ, Genevieve decided to run for office. Being in nature provides her clarity and space to think. She did not come to the decision to run office lightly; her decision was backed by weeks of dedicate thought and research—she even travelled to D.C. to learn more about the political nuances in the district. Her three priority campaign issues are centered around expanding economic opportunity for all, preparing every child with a world-class education and increasing national security, specifically through cybersecurity measures.
When asked about the “campaign-life” balance, Genevieve bluntly said, “there is no balance.” She wants to be upfront with future candidates, giving them a realistic understanding of what they may face in a campaign. Genevieve says, “the goal is to serve 1.1 million people so I need to be 100% fully committed.” But she recognizes that candidates can still aspire to achieve balance, taking time for themselves and finding a meaningful team of like-minded individuals. Genevieve’s rowing background is all about teamwork so she surrounds herself with experienced campaign staff who are equally hungry to achieve a common goal.
Genevieve had no idea what this campaign would have looked like last summer, but she believes it is one of the most positive experiences of her life. She described politics as “turbulent, divisive, and acidic at times, ”yet chooses to lean into the positive moments where she can empower others in the community. Specifically, Genevieve has formed a bond with fellow Republican candidates running for office in the North Texas area—relying on them for support and camaraderie. She remembers being told by a former candidate that running for office can be the “most lonely journey.” Genevieve decided that she will not allow her journey to be lonely. She said, “we can choose our own paths where we can lift up and empower others in that process. Now is the time to expand the tent to create positivity, excitement and momentum. That is a journey I’m on and want more people to be on too.”
To learn more about Genevieve Collins’s campaign for CD-32, visit her website atwww.gcforcongress.com.