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Trillitye Paullin, 2020 Women of the Year

Quality Assurance Manager / Founder & CEO

Darigold / Free to Feed


Trillitye Paullin, 2020 Women of the Year honoree.

It’s 4:30 a.m. and Trillitye Paullin and her family are starting the day.

Paullin will work at Darigold from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., where she manages two parts of the facility, the quality and sanitation departments.

Around 3 p.m., she switches gears to run her business Free To Feed, which helps mothers breastfeeding children who have been diagnosed with allergies.

Paullin will also check on the veteran volunteer organization she leads, The Mission Continues.

If there are no meetings for either, she and her husband will meet at the gym at 4. Afterward, she usually goes home and “does the family thing.” Once the children are “down for the night” she’ll likely do more work with her business and volunteerism, then go to bed.

“This doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Paullin said. “I have so much help, predominantly from my husband, who is my biggest cheerleader.”

This life was made largely through Paullin’s services in the military. At 17, she enlisted. At 19, she deployed to Iraq.

“Coming back from overseas, I was so struck by how incredibly lucky I was to have the opportunities that I did as a woman in the United States,” Paullin said.

Not taking advantage of these opportunities would be a waste of that gift, she believes. Back in the U.S., Paullin was able to pursue her interest in cellular biology.

As an undergraduate student, Paullin was given a position to research leukemia.

“I was just captured,” Paullin said.

She went on to research ovarian cancer, a matter close to her heart. Paullin’s mother is a survivor.

Paullin got her Ph.D in ovarian cancer research thanks to the Pat Tillman Foundation. To be around her military family, Paullin joined The Mission Continues.

She worked on several projects in Florida, such as renovating a house to become a women’s shelter. Her husband and baby often joined her at the project site.

Paullin was one of the team leads, said Nadja Cockrell, who volunteered alongside Paullin at the time. Paullin helped with many of the logistics such as designing the spaces and purchasing supplies.

“Each team leader would have a task and usually she would get on task and completely complete her task way beforehand and jump on somebody else’s task,” said Cockrell. “She’s always giving 150%.”

Click on the cover to view the digital edition of the 2020 Women of the Year publication.

Paullin’s goal was to move to Boise, to be near family, and she wanted to continue volunteering with The Mission Continues. She was made a platoon leader for the organization in Boise, which focuses on school service projects.

“She is such a natural-born leader, and she’s just so easygoing,” Cockrell said. “She’s high-energy, so she makes things exciting and fun, even in the worst conditions.”

Local projects Paullin has helped lead include creating a community garden, classroom construction and supporting other local organizations.

“I really feel like youth education has such a huge impact beyond just the individual students that are at the school,” Paullin said.

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