Each Friday this summer, the Daniels Newsroom is telling the stories of the behind-the-scenes staff who empower students, faculty and the College at large.

The fly-fishing, crystal-collecting director of operations has spent nearly three decades at Daniels

In life and in work, Monica Humble’s experiences are vast, varied and ever-changing.

Outside of the office, she spends her free time fly fishing with homemade flies, collecting crystals and occasionally scuba diving. In her career, she’s parlayed work in the travel technology industry and commercial painting into a job at the Daniels College of Business, where she has garnered a long list of responsibilities.

“It’s been a journey,” Humble said with a smile.

Humble’s first career was in the travel industry, working on front- and back-office computer systems, as well as managing travel agency offices. For two decades, she devoted her life to travel and fondly remembers trips to England, France, Switzerland and Italy. An acquisition and office closure forced her to explore a new career, entering an entirely new, and slightly less global, endeavor.

Humble’s office on the top floor of the Daniels College of Business showcases her passions.

Humble opened a painting company, taking on small residential projects. A problem-solver at heart, Humble said she and a business partner took a leap and bid on a massive project at a Catholic school. When they won (Humble uses that term lightly) they were faced with painting 18 classrooms, six bathrooms and French-pane windows across three floors in just one month. That project crushed her and, ultimately, the business.

“We were way over our head and had no idea the amount of work over that short period of time,” she said. “It took my body a full year to recover.”

While some would be discouraged by a turbulent mid-career experience, embracing change is carved into Humble’s character. So, when a job appeared at the University of Denver as a project coordinator for the Center for Management Development (now known as Executive Education), she leapt at it.

Though she felt overqualified, Humble said the prestige of the University and opportunities for growth swayed her into applying. She submitted her application on a Friday, just 10 minutes before the deadline. She interviewed the following Monday, was hired on Tuesday and reported for her first day of work on Wednesday. Now, 26 years later, she’s rewarded that swift hiring process with more than two decades of loyalty to Daniels.

She has held roles working on the early iteration of the Daniels website, deploying technology for IT@DU and now in an operational capacity on campus. Humble does a bit of everything as the director of operations, coordinating building access, replacing computers, setting emergency preparedness procedures and much more.

“It’s not boring, it’s always changing,” she said. “Things get put on my plate when people aren’t sure where they go.”

“I have 217 direct reports in the building,” she said, jokingly referring to the faculty and staff at Daniels. “I am very focused on the faculty and staff, and if I can help you do your job, you’re going to be able to better help the students.”

Humble’s personal and professional worlds collide in her office on the top floor of Daniels; her operational checklists sit beside crystals and herbal supplements. A self-described problem solver at work, Humble engages her creative side at home. A pottery studio that once occupied her house has now been replaced by a full-fledged apothecary.

“I need a creative outlet. I will always have one,” she said.

Humble has a small apothecary she runs out of her office. She makes most of the products herself.

She’s also physically active, often hiking and fishing with her wife of 30 years, Justine, and their two Australian cattle dogs, Charlie and Luna. Humble was put on to fly fishing in 2016 by Casting for Recovery, a national nonprofit organization that provides outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer and in recovery.

Humble is 13 years on the other side of her own cancer treatment and is thankful to have been introduced to fly fishing, as it has given her another outlet to slow down an otherwise busy life.

“I love this sport. When I’m on the water, everything else goes away,” she said.

Between crystals, herbal treatments, fly fishing, scuba diving, her family and pets, it’s understandably hard to pin Humble’s passions down. She lives her life with passion, attaching herself completely to the things that light her up.

“It seems like when I grab onto something, I go 5,000%,” she said.