Where are you from, and how you identify with that place now?
Technically, Fresno, California, but my family moved to the Seattle area when I was four. That allows me to pass as a mossback—our term for a native Seattleite. My career took me to Los Angeles and Boston before I had the opportunity to come home to Seattle. Now, I can look out my office window and see the iconic Space Needle (or at least until Amazon builds another office tower and obstructs my view).
For our latest A Quick Word With…, we talk with Michael Hamill Remaley, senior vice president, public policy & communications, Philanthropy New York, who also created this series for the Communications Network.
What is an interesting communications project you are engaged in right now or a recent communications success you are particularly proud of?
In the first half of 2014, Philanthropy New York (and 16 other regional associations) will launch new organizational websites based on a common platform. But ours will have something no other RA will have: New York PhilanthoPOST. We will be presenting robust news aggregation, original news and provocative editorial content that focuses on the region’s immensely dynamic philanthropic community.
Where are you from, and how do you identify with that place now?
I was born in Montreal and raised in the suburbs of New York City. I can’t say that identify with either strongly, having been a city kid for the last two decades, so much so that I don’t realize how much of a New Yorker I am at heart until I leave this city. We New Yorkers tend to take a lot for granted until we leave the city and can’t get instant gratification—such as grabbing a slice of pizza after midnight.
When you were 13 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer. Novelist actually, but that wasn’t a word I’d have used back then. I’ve always been obsessed with stories and storytelling and when I discovered that someone actually got paid to write all the books I was reading, that was it for me. Of course, I eventually realized that “actually got paid” didn’t necessarily translate to “actually paying bills” but that’s beside the point.