California (Rancho Penasquitos)
IABC Member Since:
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I’m not working, you could find me…
Spending time with my family. In the winter you can find us snowboarding in the mountains (we frequently make the drive to Mammoth) and in the summer we love wakeboarding and hiking. I also love reading, running, yoga and meditating. I took a mindfulness meditation class in early 2012. For someone like me, who loves to talk and is very outgoing, the practice of sitting still and just being quiet has been a whole new world.
Three words that best describe me:
Outgoing, enthusiastic, and committed.
My Life in Communications
The biggest communications challenge I have faced…
I’ve worked on several crisis communications projects. It is a difficult process to be under pressure, sitting around a large conference table with the entire senior executive team and outside counsel watching you, and be expected to quickly craft a perfect message. Crisis situations always involve tricky messaging, which also adds to the stress. Throw in a time-sensitive demand to handle version control and ensure consistent messaging across multiple documents and it can feel like a crisis just to be on the project! I think the second time I was called in to work on that type of communication, I noticed something interesting. In those high-pressure situations, sometimes we have an opportunity to really shine. It is the perfect opportunity to show how all of our skills in messaging, audience knowledge, critical analysis and writing impactful words can come together quickly and result in a great communication, even under very stressful circumstances.
My favorite communications memory is…
I was working with a new corporate functional team to improve their email messages. The first time I sat down with them, they had a two page email message that was one solid paragraph. The message and instructions were clear, but nobody was ever going to read through the whole email to find the relevant information; a common problem in our age of digital communications. I spent time showing them how formatting could help – breaking up the text into smaller paragraphs, using bold selectively to make things stand out and improve scanability, and then finally bulleting some of the information points so it was easier to read. They were ecstatic. It was the same message, the same content, just presented in a way that they could now see was easy to read and understand as an email. I felt like I taught them all a skill that they could use on every message going forward – one that would greatly benefit the employees reading the message – and that was very rewarding.
The most important communications or professional lesson I’ve learned is…
Be humble. We are working in a time when communications is changing rapidly. We are still learning how the web, email, social media and new communications tools can be best utilized. Always be willing to learn new skills and expect that what works today will probably change in the next five years.
Resources that I really find useful and recommend to other communicators are…
A fellow communicator recently recommended a news website to me – Skimm.com. They send a short, daily email with a summary of world-wide news, but with a fresh editorial tone. It’s a great way to stay on top of current events, and laugh at some pretty witty pop-culture references, all at the same time.
The most valuable thing about my membership with IABC is…
I worked for many years in a large company with many communications professionals. I always had a resource network I could reach out to for advice. I’m now in a much smaller company, and while I’m very happy with the change in company size, I don’t have other communicators that I work with regularly. The IABC has given me a chance to meet other local communicators and build my own community of people and colleagues I can reach out to when I need to brainstorm. I value the events and opportunities to talk with other communicators.
You should know this about me…
I enjoy meaningful symbols. I have a small replica of the Rosetta Stone sitting on my desk. It reminds me that even the simplest message can easily be “lost in translation”. Just because something is clear to one group (your senior leadership team, for example) doesn’t mean all audiences will understand it in the same way.
Director, Corporate Communications
AMN Healthcare, San Diego, CA. April 2015 – Present
As Director of Corporate Communications for AMN Healthcare I am responsible for all internal and external corporate communications initiatives. My responsibilities include managing internal company communications, the company intranet, partnering with executives and senior leaders for critical messaging and communications, driving thought leadership, overseeing and driving public relations activities and developing a comprehensive corporate media relations strategy.
Director, Corporate Communications and Employee Experience
Provide Commerce, San Diego, CA, October 2012 – April 2015
Communications Director, Assistant Vice President
SAIC, Health, Energy and Civil Solutions Group, 2008-2012
Deputy Director, E-Communications
SAIC, Corporate Communications, 2006-2008
Intranet Operations Manager
SAIC, Corporate Web Team, 2004-2006
Web Content Team Supervisor
SAIC, Corporate Web Team, 2002 – 2004
Content Editor/Project Manager
SAIC, Corporate Web Team, 1999-2002