Who's NED?

Founders of the San Francisco Tech Council celebrating its launch. I'm proud to have played a role (and am third from left, back row.)

Founders of the San Francisco Tech Council celebrating its launch. I'm proud to have played a role (and am third from left, back row.)

Measurable impact can't be achieved if nobody knows what you're trying to do or what you're selling. I’ve helped leaders and innovators in Chicago and across the U.S. understand their market, articulate their value proposition and communications strategy, and achieve the results they envision. My work continues to be all about powerful content, sharp strategy and measurable results.

Throughout my adventure (career) in communications I've gotten to know the ins and outs of raising audience awareness, getting them to engage and stirring them to act. As communications director I've rolled up my sleeves and developed content, helped executives position themselves as thought leaders, and built high-achieving communications teams and modern technological infrastructure. I've led key communications and public relations efforts within major foundations, supporting top executives, and advanced impact-oriented portfolios. As a consultant I've worked with entities of every size, helping their leaders advance as thought leaders, increase their audiences and gain results across channels.  

I began my career working at organizations that serve youth and immigrants, and leading key elements of communications and development within two large foundations. I managed the MacArthur Foundation environment program communications before moving to California, where I helped establish the co-founder of Intel's business-oriented foundation. At the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation I supported Bay Area executive communications, including serving as PR assistant to the former Mayor of San Francisco, and served as lead writer and developer for an extensive San Francisco Bay Area portfolio.

As a consultant I traveled the nation helping leaders and teams develop communications and business strategies. While finishing my masters, I joined a consulting team out of Seattle and became one of the pioneers developing business and communications approaches for nonprofits. For six years I traveled the nation helping leaders and teams develop communications and business strategies. An award-winning solo consultancy came next and its hallmark was a six-part model for achieving effective communications and long-term financial viability.

Creative writing and management training is the cornerstone of all my work. My undergraduate creative writing degree from Knox College has proved way more valuable than I could ever have imaged and has meant that I've been the resident writer at all my jobs. It is complimented by a master's from the University of San Francisco School of Management. Rounding it all out, I studied photojournalism at Columbia College Chicago and stand-up at Second City.

I am an active member of communications associations and community organizations. Three of them are the Public Relations Society of America, the Professional Speechwriters Association, and Rotary International. I have also served on a number of boards and committees, including as board director and president of the San Francisco organization Art with Elders, as a founding advisory committee member for the California State University Institute for Palliative Care, and as a board member and chair of Oakland-based LeaderSpring.

Living in the San Francisco Bay Area was a thrill, but I'll always be a prairie boy. I was born in Chicago and when my investigative journalist dad became a press secretary, he moved our family to Springfield. Growing up in the Land of Lincoln and going to Jane Addams Elementary School made me a life-long fan of both Abe and Jane. A job took me to the San Francisco Bay Area, but my husband and I moved back to Chicagoland when our son headed to college. Nobody in California could believe we were moving back to the cold of Chicago, but there's no place I'd rather be than the Midwest. We love Chicago, with it's wonderful down-to-earth people, vibrant arts and culinary scenes, and its powerful sense of community. It's true that the hikes are different on the prairie than in California, but they're just as pleasant, especially with our new Labrador pup, Lincoln.