San Diego, CA
IABC Member Since:
“Playing it safe is the most popular way to fail” – Elliot Smith
When I’m not working, you could find me…
Watching football, playing hockey, and going to brunch with my lovely wife.
Three words that best describe me:
Talkative, Intuitive, and Tenacious
My Life in Communications
The biggest communications challenge I have faced…
I was hired to oversee the entire public relations department for one of the financial industry’s largest brokerage firms and was the first person ever brought in for such a role. It was a challenging situation as many key decision makers were very risk averse to communications with outside sources such as media. I was responsible for building a communications strategy from the ground up, while remaining sensitive to upper management’s questions and needs, educating them along the way. They became believers when it came to having a proactive public relations strategy. In the end, I was able to develop a strong and consultative relationship with senior management and earn the proverbial seat at the table.
My favorite communications memory is…
I started my career at a large PR agency in New York City. One of our larger clients at the time was Radio Shack. We developed a promotion called “The Extreme Fan Challenge” where baseball enthusiasts sent in letters, videos, etc. on why they should be awarded as the most “extreme” fan and win a chance to meet Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith from the St. Louis Cardinals. Two years out of college and still green around the ears, I was able to secure a prime slot with Jim Rome, the national syndicated sports talk host and actually convinced the show to broadcast the interview with the winner and Ozzy Smith out of our agency’s conference room! It was a riot.
The most important communications or professional lesson I’ve learned is…
In simple terms: tact. My first true mentor was my boss at my first job out of college. When I first started working in communications, he provided all sorts of constructive feedback on how to interact with clients regardless of the sensitivity of the subject. This was invaluable knowledge that is unattainable in a college course setting. The real world interaction with decision makers in your field. One great takeaway that I still take into account this day: It’s often the way or how you communicate a concept that is more important than the idea itself. Back to my first boss, we still keep in touch to this day and no share all kinds of ideas and stories with each other.
Resources that I really find useful and recommend to other communicators are…
Professional organizations, such as the IABC are indispensable when it comes to networking, interacting, and learning from other professionals across industry sectors. From an entrepreneurial standpoint, I really enjoy TED Talks. They have been an inspiration for trends in the communications market and for providing novel, effective leadership approaches. Additionally, I recommend reading the Wall Street Journal and New York Times on a daily basis to keep abreast of current events and allow for an open mind in all areas of life. It’s amazing of the wealth of new information you can learn on a daily basis.
The most valuable thing about my membership with IABC is…
The networking capability with like-minded professionals in all industries has been a huge asset of membership. Recommendations, tools, and webinars are all resources that I seek out and employ on a regular basis. Likewise, the mentor programs and professional development modules provided by IABC are extremely useful.
You should know this about me…
Initially, I wanted to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. I worked as the TV and radio commentator for the Buffalo State College women’s basketball team, the “Lady Bengals” while in college. It was a blast, yet somehow Sports Center didn’t give me a call at the time. I also did voice over work for several radio ads of art galleries in the New York area as well.
Vice President of Public Relations – LPL Financial 2007-2009
Account Supervisor/Consultant – SZPR Inc. 2006-2007
Media and Public Relations Manager – TD Ameritrade 2004-2006
Senior Account Executive – Brainerd Communicators Inc. 2002-2004
Account Executive – Stanton Crenshaw Communications 2000-2002
Founder and President at KCD PR