Director of Communications Operations at H. E. Butt Foundation
Best career advice you ever got?
Stay focused, set priorities, build systems to protect good habits, and never be afraid to do the task that needs to be done or to serve the person in front of you.
Favorite thing about your job?
Find great stories and sharing them with others.
If you weren’t doing this, what job would you have?
Teaching students how to find and share great stories.
What’s something work-related that keeps you up at night?
On my best days? I’m so excited about a presentation or a story in progress that I keep turning it over and over in my mind. On other days? I worry about interactions with people that could have gone differently, and I think about how I can make it right again.
Most memorable Communications Network experience?
I’m new to the network, but so far I think it was a moment before one of the keynote sessions. On my left was a former editor of a newspaper that I love. On my right was a former employee of a theater that I love. I could have talked to both of them for hours, and I hope to connect with both of them again through the network.
Your most overused word or phrase?
Just–it’s a word we should just kill.
Best thing you’ve read/watched/listened to recently?
I went to see Sweat in San Francisco. Nothing beats live theater.
A glass of wine on the couch with my dogs while I read a good book.
How do you define success?
When the joy I get from the work is equal to the joy of the people the work serves.
Most important thing you’ve learned in the last five years?
Never stop reinventing myself.
What are you most interested in learning from your colleagues in The Network — and what could folks learn from you?
I’d like to know their names to start, then I’d like to talk with people about what they love and why they love it and what they are doing to sustain or grow or improve or protect what they love. As for me, I love processes and structures that help teams grow. So maybe over a cup of coffee, we could talk about how my team has adapted agile processes (and scrum in particular) to communications work. Or I could share one of my favorite poems with you. (Like Whitmans’ Mystic Trumpeter or Komunyakaa’s Blackberries or Bishop’s Filling Station or Hopkins or Espada or Berry or…)
How has The Network been helpful to your work/your career? And why?
The focus of The Network is incredibly refreshing. I know the people here are wrestling with the same challenges I am. So I’m learning practical things about how communications can help my organization accomplish its mission, but more importantly, it means I’m surrounded by people who believe communication matters.