What got you into this business?
Originally, I went to school to be a journalist. I had a talent for writing and wanted to put those skills, and a desire to be out in the world learning new things daily, to use. After college, I quickly realized I had a knack for leveraging relationships and identifying holes in business’ marketing efforts. After a time, reaching out to media outlets for companies I was working for became an added part of my job and I loved it. Eventually, I made moves to transition into full time public relations. I still get to work with the media but I enjoy using those skills to help solve business problems on a daily basis. It’s the best of both worlds.
What makes the Gulf Coast stand out to you?
The culture down here is one of many stories and backgrounds but what I like about it the most is how we all seem to hold being personable to a higher standard. Relationships matter. Caring matters. Ensuring you can take time to enjoy the company of others matters here. From the food, to the music, the art and the scenery, everything is steeped in a history of gathering and coming together to relax and enjoy our corner of the world. Storytelling and a sense of commonality is at the Gulf Coast’s core and is what makes it such a magical place.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I’m an Army Brat so we moved around a great deal in my formative years. Born in Germany, I had stints in Oklahoma, northern and southern Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama, including time on Dauphin Island. From kindergarten through undergrad, I attended 13 different schools. Then I kept moving as a young adult with time spent in Scotland and New York. To be honest I learned to adapt quickly and get along with many different groups of people. It’s served me well working in PR, to say the least.
Who has been your biggest influence in your career?
I’ve had a winding path to where I am now which included working at tech start-ups and PR agencies, healthcare non-profits, art firms, private schools, and even formed my own company, twice. I’ve worked in marketing, media relations, event planning, development, alumni relations, social media management and even booked gigs in NYC bars and music halls. Those many varied positions have helped me get a good view of what work life is like in many different levels and settings. Now, those experiences all come together to help me daily as I manage our staff and help them grow while providing the best possible service to our clients. It’s about meeting people where they are and helping them to see how their talents and paths can move them forward.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
I’m an anglophile and have been to the UK four times. Scotland is my favorite place on earth. British Columbia in Canada is a close second. But honestly, anywhere that gets me out of the heat and into misty, tree-lined landscapes is where I’m always looking to visit.
If you weren’t in PR, what would you be doing?
There was a long period of time in my life where I wanted to work with marine life. Sadly, the Ellises are not a sea-faring people it turns out. I could never get my sea legs.