Passionate about CRE tech and social media, I have been injecting storytelling into commercial real estate and financial services marketing for 22+ years. I tell all our Akrete clients that digital strategies are important for every business, and that one size never fits all—so while not everyone will be on Twitter, everyone needs to consider where their clients might be online. My experience includes working with prominent financial services institutions, economic development organizations, not-for-profits, commercial real estate firms and consultants on all forms of marketing and public relations. My writing has appeared in national media such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and The Travel Channel, as well as in many trade journals. In addition to being a woman founder of a small business, I serve as an Executive Committee member of the SomerCor Board of Directors, a Certified Development Corporation and authorized SBA 504 lender committed to the success of small businesses. A CoreNet Global, CREW and JLL Global Supplier Diversity Council member, I founded Akrete in 2011, and serve as Founder & CEO, and lead strategist.
What are three interesting facts about you?
I lived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia during my junior year of high school, and was a ‘foreign correspondent’ for my school magazine. My two favorite people on the planet are my adult daughters, who are also both writers. And my ancestors include a Canadian flapper and two U.S. Presidents.
What do you do with your spare time? Hobbies?
I’m an entrepreneur, so a lot of my spare time these days is spent becoming a better business owner and leader. I love to travel, and organized a family trip to New Zealand this year, where my daughter was working with the Auckland Writers Festival.
What is your favorite part of working in public relations?
Business and finance fascinate me; I enjoy digging deep into economic stories, and understanding all the facets of how an industry or a location moves and shifts. I started my career thinking I’d write about lifestyle and tourism—but quickly realized that I enjoy working with complex, intellectually challenging material. So whether it’s a script about new technologies or a ghost-written article about the global life science industry geopolitical shifts—sign me up for the hard stuff!
How long have you been working in public relations?
I didn’t find public relations until I’d already tried pharmaceuticals, commercial real estate development marketing and journalism. I joined my first public relations agency as a vice president in my 30’s, so my career path has been very different than many agency leaders. My Team Akrete teammate Jennifer Harris hired me for my first job in agency PR, so I thank her for taking the chance on me.
How would you describe working for a large public relations firm compared to one like Akrete?
There isn’t much difference in the work that we deliver; it’s how we deliver it that’s a big change. We work with larger agencies as our clients, and appreciate their value proposition—in fact, we’re happy to be a part of it. We enjoy being a specialized, focused team of professionals who work in places and on schedules that are organized around both personal and professional commitments. Our work benefits from that balance of work and life, and I’m proud of offering that value proposition to our team members.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to someone trying to enter the public relations industry?
Read, read, read. At every turn, read everything you can about your clients, your clients’ industries, their competitors, the journalists who cover them, and the journalists who should cover them. Read, read more, repeat.
What do you do when you are facing a creative block?
I take a break, or change what I’m working on and come back to the problematic piece of work. Sometimes under deadline, a break just means taking a few deep breaths or doing a few stretching exercises—but it’s amazing how much clarity can come from even a short break.
If you could drink with anyone from history who would it be?
I’d order Manhattans in Manhattan with Dora Duncan, my great, great grandmother. Dora was married to John Duncan, the architect of Grant’s Tomb in New York—and several others over the course of her long and eventful life. I’ve heard bits and pieces of her story, but much of the information about her has been lost to time. I’m left with a few pieces of jewelry, lots of contradictions—and quite possibly, a good murder mystery to write someday.