Since graduating from Whitworth University in 2008, communications and leadership have been themes in my career path. I’ve worked in university development, public relations, and venue management, plus a brief turn in retail leadership. Below are a few notes on my career so far. Please contact me with any additional questions or to obtain references.
Whitworth University: August 2008-August 2011
What I did: As a part of the university’s small but scrappy Annual Giving team, I oversaw the phonathon program (yep–that’s where a student at your alma mater calls you and asks for a donation to the school). I hired, trained and managed more than 20 students each semester, wrote copy for all materials including direct mail and web campaigns, frequently served as an editor for my colleagues and contributed ideas and writing to larger advancement campaigns, as well as sitting on the school’s Student Retention Committee.
Why it was great: I loved working with students, and thrived on the challenge of telling their stories to a targeted audience–primarily alumni–with the goal of advancing a school I believed in.
Why I left: This decision was mostly logistical. In response to a family medical crisis, I uprooted my life and moved from Spokane to Seattle to be near my family.
What I take with me: The ability to communicate to specific audiences (alumni, parents and current students) and write concisely in the voice of my employer, and strong leadership/management skills.
Restoration Hardware: October 2011-February 2012
What I did: I was an assistant store leader, supervising and motivating the retail team and overseeing daily operations.
Why it was great: Restoration Hardware was in the midst of a fascinating re-brand during my time there, and was working to go public. It was exciting to not only work with a brand that was redefining itself and gather insights from customers on a daily basis, but to work with awesome people committed to the interior design craft.
Why I left: I had been accepted into an internship program at a prominent PR firm, starting a few months later (see below), and felt the need to prioritize my family in the interim.
What I take with me: A love of design, a deeper understanding of the retail sphere, and a commitment to client satisfaction.
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide: June 2012-October 2013
What I did: Following a three month internship, during which I supported a variety of agency teams, I was hired full-time to the Microsoft Windows account team, specifically focusing on the Internet Explorer and Outlook.com businesses. I worked with Microsoft’s marketing team to develop cohesive plans spanning marketing and PR, and executed on those plans, driving announcements which saw extensive pickup in tech and consumer tech media. I worked with both in-house designers and third party design firms to develop graphics to support Outlook.com’s news, overseeing copy and design decisions.
Why it was great: Waggener Edstrom is a world-class company, and a phenomenal employer. I loved working with Microsoft to tell stories with global impact, learning the media landscape, and honing my communication skills and point of view.
Why I left: While I loved much about my time at Waggener Edstrom, public relations was not a long-term fit for me, and I decided to seek work that better suited my skills and passions.
What I take with me: An understanding of media, strong project management skills and commitment to delivering results on a deadline, copywriting and editing abilities, and experience acting as a consultant to major clients.
415 Westlake: August 2014-Present
What I do: The event venue at 415 Westlake is one of three branches of a nonprofit organization which operate out of a single building. My role is to oversee all aspects of the venue, from sales and billing to staffing and scheduling. I work closely with my clients to bring their event visions to life, ensure sales goals are met, and manage a staff of 20+ event hosts, AV technicians, and bartenders. I’ve recently been busy spearheading the development of a brand new bartending service, serving as project manager for that venture and personally creating many of the systems and communications related to its rollout.
Why it’s great: I absolutely love getting to know my clients, and walking with them as they plan what are, in many cases, very significant moments in their lives (wedding receptions, holiday gatherings, memorial services, long-rehearsed performances). I also love that my role keeps me creatively engaged while exercising my organizational, left-brained side. I thoroughly believe in the mission of the organization I work for, and it is deeply fun and rewarding for me to serve as a guardian of this business that meets the needs of so many in our community.
Why I left: I didn’t! Still going strong, loving working with my wonderful clients and team.
What I take with me: Experience at the helm of a small business and leading a team of employees, ability to juggle and track many details in a sometimes chaotic environment, passion for creating a sense of community and connectedness among people.