Member Spotlight: Patti Beck

Name: Patti Beck Employer: Bi-State Development (BSD) Title: Director of Communications Favorite Quote: In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. −Abraham Lincoln How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? The monthly lunch meetings are great learning opportunities for me as well as my team members. Also, the CW magazine contains good information I can use to do my job better and I appreciate the online resources IABC offers. Why did you to enter the communications profession? I liked to write growing up and did a lot of public speaking through 4-H and church from the age of nine until I left for college. As a double major in mass communications/TV-radio and journalism, I thought I would end up in radio but fell in love with television news. I was hired at KTVI during my TV-radio internship and worked my way up to news producer. After a few years, I accepted a producing position at KMOV, where I ate, breathed and slept television news for nearly two decades until I was recruited by a national charity here in St. Louis to become its director of communications. In 2010, I was hired by BSD as the external communications manager and then promoted to director of communications in 2013. How would you describe your role at BSD? I am the spokesperson for the organization so a good portion of time is spent talking to the media. I am on call 24/7. I am responsible for leading internal, external, social media and community outreach communications. I am very...

Member Spotlight: Kim Pett

Name: Kim Pett Employer: Modern Litho Title: Account Executive How would you describe your role at Modern Litho? I’m a sales account manager, customer service rep and business developer. I’ve been in the printing industry sales now for more than 15 years, six of which were with Midtown Printing. When Midtown and Modern Litho Printing merged in 2013, the range of services we offered expanded. I focus the majority of my time on bringing in new business and managing existing business. What do you like – or find most challenging – about your job? I’ve developed lifelong friendships in this job. You never know who you’ll meet on any given day or how that person may affect your life. It’s quite exciting. As for challenges, the most challenging hurdle recently has been the economy. From downsizing to juggling staff, many companies have had to make drastic changes. Several of my clients today wear multiple hats, and as a result, they need more help figuring out the most profitable way to stretch marketing dollars and still achieve the desired results. Rather than just being a sales rep, we’ve actually become print consultants. What possessed you to enter the communications profession? I started my career as a graphic designer and moved to sales. I’m a real people person. Printing is a custom industry. I like the challenge of helping my clients find the right solution for their printing projects. How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? IABC membership has helped me build business. I’ve made some great business connections, as well as new clients through IABC networking...

Member Spotlight: Christopher Currington

Name: Christopher Currington Employer: Lumeris Title: Director of Public Relations and Communications How would you describe your role at your job? I am responsible for the company’s thought leadership and marketing communications to condition our market and generate leads. Once we have a solid prospect that meets our solution offering, I’m responsible for writing proposals and presentations that move the prospect along the sales pipeline. What do you like most about your job? The thing I enjoy the most is working with Lumeris’ subject matter experts and helping them with the development of marketing content for thought leadership. This includes messaging and content for editorial opportunities, blog posts, speaking engagements, LinkedIn profiles, and other social media outlets. These amazing people teach me more than I could ever imagine, and they make me a better communicator because of that. Why did you enter the field of communications as a profession? I entered communications because I like talking to people, and I like learning new things. I originally wanted to be a reporter because being on the “front lines” of communication was extremely exciting. However, life happens, and to be a reporter meant that I would likely have to leave the St. Louis region. I love St. Louis, so I stayed here and went into public relations and marketing communications instead of reporting. It’s probably one of the best decisions I made, because I have held positions in different non-profit and for-profit fields. Because of that, I’ve been able to learn many things about different subject matters, and I’ve been able to meet and work with some very talented people. Why...

Member Spotlight: Nichole Burgdorf

Name: Nichole (Niki) Burgdorf Employer: Mercy Title: Communications Supervisor Favorite quote: “Your own reasons to make art are enough. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, from her forthcoming book, Big Magic. How have you benefitted from being an IABC St. Louis member? IABC St. Louis has helped me in many ways. One of the biggest is networking with local communicators. It’s so nice to know you aren’t alone in your struggles and I love hearing about others’ victories and learnings, as well as sharing my own – we have to stick together, right? I’ve also benefited from the committee work I’ve done, both for the Bronze Quill Awards and social media, which has stretched my skills beyond what I practice day-to-day. What possessed you to enter the communications profession? I studied both international business and English as an undergrad. Because I was a double major, I needed one extra credit hour in my last semester to graduate. I could choose between art history and public relations. I took the public relations class and I’m so glad! I was hooked immediately. This was a class where I could use what I learned in both majors, and it had the added benefit of being all about shaping how people think. (I’ve always been bossy, so it was a perfect fit.) When I took my second (and current) job, I went back for my master’s degree in public relations, where I got the core of my training, and I’m still in love, nearly 15 years after that first class. How would you describe your role at Mercy? My...

Member Spotlight: Travis Snyder

Name: Travis Snyder Employer: Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Title: Senior Communications Specialist Favorite Quote: “Be who you are and say what you   feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss   Why did you join IABC St. Louis?  I joined IABC St. Louis in January this year for the opportunity to network and learn best practices from other business communicators in the St. Louis area. Though I’ve only been a member a few months, I have already gained valuable professional insight through my attendance at IABC professional development events. I’ve learned how to better manage my time, how to stay focused on the most important aspects of my job, and I’ve learned the real value of what we do as professional communicators. What possessed you to enter the communications profession?  I have a passion for meeting people and telling their stories, as well as taking complex subjects and writing about them in a way that’s easy for everyone to understand. My career in communications allows me to explore these passions on a daily basis. I’m from Indiana and I moved to St. Louis in July 2014 to advance my career. I’d previously worked as a news reporter for a local newspaper in my hometown of Vincennes, Ind. How would you describe your role at Mallinckrodt? As a communications specialist, I develop communications that support and reflect Mallinckrodt’s focus on improving lives in a variety of ways, including employee emails, news articles, blog posts, web and graphic design, photography and digital signage to name a few. What do you like most about your job? I...

Member Spotlight: Shera Dalin

Name: Shera Dalin Employer: U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (a division of U.S. Bank) Title: Media & Community Relations Manager Favorite quote: “Would you rather be right or happy?” — A Course in Miracles How did you enter the profession? In 2006, I quit my job as a business reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to become a freelance magazine journalist. (Note how freelancers are “journalists” and newspapers have “reporters.”) I quickly discovered that the freelance journalism field was overrun with writers and the competition was fierce. I added corporate and nonprofit copywriting and public relations to my skill sets as a matter of necessity. I attracted a variety of clients, many of whom are friends still today.  How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? I can’t praise enough the opportunities I’ve had to add to my professional development and share wonderful camaraderie with other members. Members have also been very open to sharing their expertise when I’ve asked, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount. How would you describe your role? Like so many communications professionals, I wear a lot of hats. I write and distribute press releases, work with media, keep an eye on reputation management issues, manage our government affairs efforts, write copy for trade advertising, write social media posts, and even create signage for our interior and exterior spaces. What do you like most about your job? I do work that I can believe in. Every day I get to share the good news about the affordable housing developments we invest in, the historic buildings we help preserve, the businesses we help...