I am a storyteller, content creator, and strategic thinker based in New York.
My own story begins in Nashville, where I was born to musical parents. While growing up near Cincinnati, I was active in music and theater and occasionally musical theater. The performing arts high school I attended didn’t have a film program, so I took classes after school at my local public access television station. There I handled a video camera and editing program for the first time and fell in love with producing content. In 2003, I graduated near the top of my high school class with a degree in dramatic performance.
At Manhattanville College, I majored in Communications with concentrations in journalism and film. When not attending class or writing songs, I helped research the book Hello, Everybody! The Dawn of American Radio by Anthony Rudel, held internships at Artemis Records and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and hosted my own morning radio show. As a senior I studied abroad at FAMU International, the famed Czech film school in Prague, and directed a short 16MM film that later premiered on PBS. By the time I graduated in 2007, I was working as a News Desk Assistant at WOR Radio in New York.
After a stint in my alma mater’s communications office, where my responsibilities spanned content creation and PR, I realized that I wanted to focus on digital. So I joined a film startup called Massify as their Community Manager. In a loft office in Cooper Square, we partnered with After Dark Films to create the very first crowd-sourced horror film.
I was twenty-five by this point, with a few “real” jobs and a handful of original yet unproduced feature-length screenplays under my belt, and it was time to travel again. After spending a month backpacking through India, I signed up to teach English in South Korea for a year. In an effort to encourage my sixth-grade students to use English in a safe yet realistic environment, I created a closed social network that connected them with sixth-graders in the United States, a project that earned Sangmo Elementary a special mention within their district.
Upon my return to the States, I joined VaynerMedia, a social-first advertising agency expanding at a rapid pace. The year was 2012. For context, Facebook brand pages had recently launched. Instagram had just become available on Android. I began as a Community Manager on the Quaker Chewy account, and spent many long nights creating food art and other situations in which to photograph Quaker Chewy Bars. Before moving to the official creative team, I was instrumental in helping VaynerMedia win the national Quaker account.
By the time I joined the creative team as a project manager, the company was pumping out hundreds of social posts per week. The brains behind those posts were people called Content Producers, and I quickly decided that I wanted to be one of them. I was promoted within a few months, and assigned to the Tropicana and Pure Leaf Iced Tea accounts. As owner of the content calendars, I was both copywriter and art director, and oversaw community managers and designers. On Tropicana, I continued the existing strategy of food art made from oranges, the creation of which involved an X-Acto knife and goggles. Pure Leaf presented an opportunity to elevate its social presence, and in the process my team changed the look and feel of their social content. On Playskool, we took a cue from mommy blogs to create a dynamic, supportive environment on social, and our efforts were rewarded with a mention in Digiday.
After a few years at VaynerMedia, I took a break to write a young adult novel inspired by my experience in social media, particularly high school kids who would tweet with Quaker Chewy as though the brand were a friend, as well as the news cycle, which was dominated at that time by terrifying stories of cyberbullying. You can read the final draft online.
After my novel was complete, I joined Cake Group New York as a copywriter. The content studio was part of Havas Media and located in the Havas Village, but Cake itself was nimble and close-knit. I began by writing copy for Pinnacle food brands like Wish-Bone salad dressing, Vlasic pickles, and Birds Eye vegetables, as well as Ardbeg whisky and Keurig coffee. The corporate attitude toward social media was different than at VaynerMedia. Because Havas was an established media agency, the view toward social was more holistic but could also be dismissive. Ideas required more of a fight. Adapting to a traditional agency environment was a learning opportunity in itself.
Due in part to my past experience, I also contributed to strategy, including the creation of playbooks that outlined a brand’s content plan as well as its look and feel. We also wrote and produced a newsletter called The Chatter, a weekly roundup of the latest news in digital culture. I worked closely with the creative team on the many ad hoc projects that floated in from the Havas village, switching voices from upscale to accessible, technical to emotive, feminine to masculine, on a daily basis.
When Cake merged with experiential agency Ignition in early 2017 to become Havas Sports and Entertainment (HSE), I moved into a creative strategist role, working with agency leadership and a brilliant creative team to determine overall content approaches and find solutions to business problems. HSE focused more on media partnerships and experiential activations than social media, and I met this challenge with enthusiasm. I was instrumental in earning new business for the agency, including brand new client TNT with an innovative podcast takeover, and a long-shot piece of experiential business from Hennessy. I led village and client brainstorms for luxury clients like Glenmorangie and Moët & Chandon, and worked with teams across multiple offices on new business opportunities.
Colleagues describe me as that rare breed of creative thinker who sees the big picture without losing sight of the details. I have written hundreds of paid social ads, and also complex proposals. I have gathered insights from social analytics and focus groups to influence content, and also provide out-of-the box ideas. I am able to think conceptually and articulate those concepts clearly, while understanding that each piece of creative—whether a social post, native media partnership, or in person experience—must stand on its own, have clear goals, and track back to client objectives.
When not working on client or personal projects, hobbies include taking overpriced fitness classes, traveling, and mastering the domestic arts. Ask me about the last good book I read or movie I saw at your peril, because the answer will probably involve in-depth analysis. I reside in Brooklyn with my husband and two small dogs.