Favorite Quote: “Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.” − Wilferd Peterson
How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member?
As a new member, I’m really looking forward to the monthly lunch meetings for the learning and development aspect. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of knowledge and best practices that can be learned from other members, so the networking potential is exciting. Any time a learning opportunity can be tied to a human connection, it makes it such a richer, more deliberate moment that is personalized and more memorable. The IABC offers that in multiple ways.
What motivated you to enter the communications profession?
For almost 20 years, each of my various roles has had a strong communications component. It wasn’t until the NBC sitcom, “30 Rock,” came on that I realized there was another person like me. I am Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon of corporate America. What attracts me to communications is the concept of bringing ideas to life, clarifying the bigger vision, and of course, making order out of chaos. My childhood dream of being a production manager and voice-over actor was overtaken by a stronger appreciation for translating ideas into actions that invoke change. Through training, marketing, motivational messaging, resistance management, and effective sponsorship and stakeholder strategy, I realized that I can influence and help shape people to become great storytellers. That is a powerful, exciting feeling. For almost nine years, Monsanto has enabled me to maintain my joy of lifelong learning and motivating others. It’s energizing knowing that each day will be different, no matter how well you plan.
How would you describe your role?
My role is a hybrid of both internal and external communications for our global vegetable seeds division. I am a member both of Monsanto’s corporate engagement team and the global vegetable team. While I lead our internal vegetable communications strategy, which entails tactics such as town halls, various engagement sessions, and digital communications, I also focus on external media/PR messaging and training efforts. I also participate in corporate engagement activities with key industry associations. I’m certified in Change Management and a Salesforce.com CRM subject matter expert, so I also have the great pleasure of working with teams to bring various projects and major initiatives to life. It is great to stay involved with multiple stakeholders, but what’s even greater are the 2,500 global vegetable employees that I get to connect with and learn from every day.
What do you like ‐ or find most challenging ‐ about your job?
My type-A love and passion for my job means that I need to make sure I maintain balance. The work is energizing, time-consuming, and endless. To ensure I take “me time” and hold myself accountable, I set calendar reminders for simple tasks: lunch, email time, pick-up the kids. If I don’t, I find that I’ll just keep working. I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity, work more efficiently, and also relax. That’s hard when you love your work.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in communications?
Everything is social, integrated, and evolving, so never stop learning. Embrace changes quickly. Always ask questions to clarify and gain understanding.