Inside NAPW: Employee Spotlight

NAPW Admin Feature Story, Member Connections Newsletter 3 Comments

 

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside NAPW? Here’s your chance to meet the team!

In honor of National Employee Appreciation Day on March 4, 2016, we want to shine a spotlight on our employees for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

To kick off Women’s History Month, here’s an inside look at the professional women who make a difference at NAPW every single day:

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Kim Brown
National Director, Editorial & Communications
NAPW and PDN

 

NAPW: Tell us about your role at NAPW.

Kim:  I am the National Director of Editorial and Communications. In this role, I am responsible for supervision of all written copy for NAPW’s communications platforms – website, social media, newsletter, marketing pieces, emails etc. Basically, all copy that our writers produce has to be reviewed and approved by me before it is posted, shared or disseminated with the public. Additionally, I work directly with NAPW President Star Jones to create talking points and write speeches for her public appearances. I also lead the marketing efforts at our Garden City, NY headquarters and work collaboratively with PDN’s marketing team in Chicago to ensure that our brand messaging is aligned with our mission.

 

NAPW: What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Kim:  After I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism, I couldn’t find a job as a sportswriter so I returned to my parents’ home in Fayetteville, NC. The fair came to nearby Fort Bragg (I’m an Army brat) so I got a job as a game barker. I loudly encouraged fair-goers to play my dart game. “Pop a balloon, win a prize!” The prize was a Pepsi bottle that had been heated and stretched into weird shapes and then filled with blue-tinted water. Yeah . . . that’s definitely worth a dollar.

 

NAPW: If you could have a drink with anyone, (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous) who would it be?

Kim:  My maternal grandmother, Annie Lue Williams. She died from an aortic tumor the day after Christmas when I was just nine years old. We had a cute little relationship and I really miss seeing how it would have developed as I grew into a woman. I’d love to have a drink with her and get some grandmotherly advice.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Kim:  Energetic. Funny. Optimistic.

 

NAPW: How do you network?

Kim:  I network in a number of ways. I attend NAPW events, participate in college alumni association events and activities and strike up conversations with strangers wherever I am—at the grocery store, on a plane, bus or train, at the doctor’s office and shopping. Every in-person encounter is a chance to meet someone new, tell them about NAPW and find out how we can mutually benefit one another personally or professionally.

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Dana Angel
Graphic Designer and Digital Media Manager, NAPW

 

NAPW: Tell us about your role at NAPW.

Dana:  I am the Graphic Designer and Digital Media Manager. I create graphics for the NAPW website, eChapter, newsletter, flyers, business cards and emails. I also manage, post, create graphics and content for social media.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Dana:  I love being creative and pushing myself to be more creative. If my work helps a company succeed or helps an individual grow their business, then I have succeeded as well. Being able to make people happy is very rewarding for me.

 

NAPW: How do you define success?

Dana:  Success is doing something that makes you happy, having work-life balance and enjoying life.

 

NAPW: What motivates you to succeed?

Dana:  My son. Everything I do is for him. If I work hard enough and show him that if I can do it, he can do it too, then I have succeeded in teaching him about never giving up on his dreams—whether it be in his career or his life.

 

NAPW: What is your most treasured possession?

Dana: Family photos and my artwork.

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Lisa Mancuso
Writer, NAPW

 

NAPW: Tell us about your role at NAPW.

Lisa:  My title is Writer, so that’s what I do . . . I write. From member and Local Chapter press releases to feature stories for our online newsletter to email campaigns and other marketing products, my goal is to tell compelling stories and provide creative content wherever it’s needed.

 

NAPW: What or who led you to your career path?

Lisa: Although I was always creative, I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer. After college, I worked in an office for a number of years while trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. I actually got fired from that job, which turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me professionally. I soon found a job as an administrative assistant in the marketing department of a major women’s magazine. It was my dream job! I was young and eager and wanted to learn everything I could. I offered to help write what we called promotional letters to advertisers and I was able to be really creative with my words. People noticed, especially a new manager who had just started. She encouraged me to write more, gave me other projects to work on, and eventually, I was offered a copywriting job. When she left to head up another magazine, she took me along with her. That woman was truly my mentor.

 

NAPW: What are some of the books we would find on your bookshelf?

Lisa: It’s more like what books wouldn’t you find on my bookshelf! I love to read books, talk about books, collect books . . . I even decorate with books. You’ll find a lot of the classics, books from my childhood and books that hold a special place in my heart such as To Kill a Mockingbird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

 

NAPW: Share your favorite quote or favorite line from a movie?

Lisa: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” –Atticus Finch to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.

 

NAPW: Who is one of your biggest heroes?

Lisa: My father . . . always.

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Mary Grace Donaldson
Editorial Intern, NAPW

 

NAPW: Tell us about your role at NAPW.

Mary Grace:  I am an Intern for the Editorial Department. When I first started at NAPW, my duties were limited to writing, importing and publishing member press releases, and corresponding with members on a limited basis. I’ve since taken on additional responsibilities which include organizing the Member Spotlight section of the newsletter, editing VIP Member Marketplace and the Author’s Page, and writing blog posts.

 

NAPW: Are you active in any clubs and / or organizations?

Mary Grace:  Theatre is my first love, so to keep that love alive I am active in two community theatre organizations where I perform and work on the production staff. One company operates exclusively during the summer and I have a second job as the House Manager and Print Promotions Specialist at the other company on a year-round basis. I am also a member of my local Rotary Club and have taken on the role of Social Media Manager. Additionally, I am the youngest member of the Board of Directors at my local chamber of commerce and I am active in my church community as a member of the parish choir, a lector and a paid leader of song.

 

NAPW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Mary Grace: Prior to working at NAPW, I had a career in the insurance business for a number of years and worked while completing my Master’s degree in Public Communications. During the summer of 2013, I was working 35 hours per week and studying to earn my first insurance license. I was taking two graduate courses, producing one show and performing in another, and singing at church on a weekly basis. I earned A’s in both courses and passed the licensing exam on the first try—all within a three-month period.

 

NAPW:  What are three things still on your bucket list?

Mary Grace:  I am quite the Disney fanatic. I’ve visited Walt Disney World about 20 times and even worked there briefly. As a matter of Bucket List Priority, I want to visit every Disney Park and resort across the globe. Secondly, since I sometimes have a tendency to hit the gas pedal too hard, I would love the chance to drive a racecar or drive on the Autobahn in Germany. Lastly, I want to hold a small form of public office and have the opportunity to truly make a change in my community.

 

NAPW: Who is one of your biggest heroes?

Mary Grace:  My dad. He was dealt a poor hand of cards as a child and grew determined to make a better life for himself and to build a great life for me. His hard work and sheer will paid off, as he owns a car and equipment leasing business with clients across the country, including the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York as well as a number of FedEx independent contractors. His career in his field spans over 30 years and his reputation as an honest businessman precedes him in every client and customer service interaction.


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Samantha Curra
Copywriter, NAPW

 

NAPW: Tell us about your role at NAPW.

Samantha:  As the lead copywriter at NAPW, my role is to represent the organization’s “voice” throughout all communications. I work closely with a creative team to raise brand awareness and create content for editorial materials including our Member Connections newsletter, blog posts, email campaigns, event marketing, digital and print advertising and more.

 

NAPW: What or who led you to your career path?

Samantha: I had no idea what to major in when I started college. I knew I loved to write and felt pressured to pick something, so I chose Journalism. I ended up dropping out after one semester because I knew right away that it wasn’t a fit for me. I didn’t feel the spark. After working full-time at dead-end jobs for a few years, I found myself bored and underwhelmed with my life. I decided to enroll back in school and majored in English. I landed an internship at a small marketing firm writing blogs and learning about marketing strategy. I loved it. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a copywriter.

 

NAPW: What are some of the ways you overcome writer’s block hurdles?

Samantha:  Whether you’re a new writer or a seasoned in your craft, it’s almost impossible to avoid writer’s block. That doesn’t mean you should succumb to defeat. I take breaks and I work on something else unrelated to what I’m doing. Being a multitasker definitely helps to break the block. When it comes to the writing process, Don Draper says it best . . . “Just think about it. Deeply. Then forget it. And an idea will ‘jump up in your face.’”

 

NAPW: How do you define success?

Samantha:  It’s all about self-acceptance. Success shouldn’t be something you need to prove. For me, success is about being confident in my own skin and being happy with the decisions I make. I think it’s important to be inspired—not threatened—by the success of others.

 

NAPW: What is the best career advice you ever received?

Samantha:  Like everyone, I have faced challenges as a professional. Whatever it is, I always remind myself that it’s not the end of the world. Every problem has a solution. You should never be afraid to ask for help. The best advice I ever received was to be a sponge. Whatever stage of life you’re in, you can learn from each experience, so embrace it for all it’s worth.

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Chelsea Mulligan

Editorial Intern, NAPW

NAPW: Tell us about your role at NAPW.

Chelsea:  I am currently an Editorial Intern at NAPW. I work closely with VIP Members and the marketing department. I contact members on a daily basis and / or research online to obtain additional professional information to create their professional press release. Using NAPW’s style guide, I review photos as well as proof and edit press releases, the Legacy Book and Member Spotlight entries for adherence to our style and ensure there are no grammatical errors.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Chelsea: Working hands-on with VIP Members is truly a great experience. It’s extremely fulfilling to write about the diverse group of women who are NAPW members. I am constantly learning about new people and careers. Whether it is a woman who works in a “mom-and-pop” store in a small town or a brain surgeon, all of the women are so incredible and I feel honored to learn about them on a personal and professional level!

 

NAPW: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Chelsea: As a child and even into my beginning years as a college student, I wanted to be a high school English teacher. I’ve always had a passion for reading and writing, and I wanted to help children expand their knowledge in English literature. After my freshman year of college, I realized that not everyone is as passionate as I am about literature, and that’s okay! After thinking about it for weeks, I decided to remove myself from the secondary education major and just focus on obtaining a degree in English. I now want to be an Editor, surrounded by people who love reading and writing just as much as I do, rather than having to force students to read a chapter or write a mandatory paper.

 

NAPW: Who is your role model and inspiration?

Chelsea:  My mother is my biggest inspiration and the perfect role model for me. She has an outstanding work ethic and is detail-oriented in everything she does. Calling her a perfectionist would even be an understatement because she will try and try again until something cannot be fixed anymore. She has always worked full-time but never missed an event – not even one! She was my elementary school’s PTA President for years and never missed a talent show, school play or dance. With three girls, a full-time job in a Manhattan law firm and actively involved with our school, she went to night school and received her master’s degree and always squeezed in an amazing dinner! My mother is nothing short of amazing and if I am half the woman she is, I will be extremely proud of myself.


NAPW:
 What are three things still on your bucket list?

Chelsea: 

  1. I would love to go to all seven continents! (If Antarctica continues to be tricky to visit, I will make up for it with Alaska).
  2. I need to own an English bulldog at some point in my life! I’m completely obsessed with them!
  3. I hope to one day be Editor-In-Chief for a popular magazine!

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Katie Maloney

Director of Sales, NAPW

NAPW: Tell us about your role at NAPW.

Katie: As the Director of Sales, I establish training curricula and programs for all members of the sales team, including sales support, sales leadership and sales representatives. I also establish organizational goals revolving around sales methodology, sales strategy and implementation of best practices.

 

NAPW: What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Katie: I am driven every day by the opportunity to evolve and watch others succeed. That is what makes NAPW such a great place to work.

 

NAPW: Describe yourself in three words.

Katie:  Generous, intuitive and self-aware.

 

NAPW: How important is having a sense of humor to your daily professional life?

Katie: Incredibly important. Laughing every day gives me a sense of perspective because if we can’t laugh at ourselves or find humor in our differences, we can’t exist as productive individuals. My father always told me, “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.”

 

NAPW: What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

Katie:  I love to cook – mostly because I love to eat! There is nothing better than spending a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen with close friends and family.

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