What is your elevator pitch when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”

I do strategic communications for mission driven organizations. The basic idea is to help them reach their audiences and achieve their goals. Right now I am the chief communications officer for San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. That includes strategy, policy, media relations, community relations, internal communications, crisis communications, events, publications, coaching and a drop of social media. In an elevator, I would shorten that to spokeswoman.

Describe the path that led you to this career.

I worked for newspapers in New York, New Jersey and California. My background in journalism really helps me to be effective in many areas of communications work – writing, interviews, fact-finding, analysis, media relations and strategy. I covered health care, which gave me expertise that has helped me to represent several health care organizations. I also covered education and immigration, which gave me experience working with diverse groups on complex social, economic and policy issues. I have found that I use this mix of skills over and over again, enriching them along the way as each new job or project adds its own lessons that can be taken forward to the next challenge.

What are the elements of a successful workplace?

It’s all about the people. A diverse team of smart, curious, funny people who are good at what they do will make anything possible. Also, windows.

What is the one piece of technology you cannot live without?

My glasses.

What are you reading?

Yes I Can, the Sammy Davis Jr story. Just finished The War Against Miss Winter, by Kathryn Miller Haines, a period mystery set in WWII New York about an actress who stumbles onto a case. Also, The Darling by Russell Banks and The Good House by Ann Leary.

If you could, what advice would you give your 20-something self?

Get more sleep. Don’t make every quip, save something for the ride home.

If you could do anything and know you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

Write thrillers.

At Double Forte’s San Francisco office, the conference rooms are named Rock and Roll, Motown, Hip Hop, Mambo, Jazz and Disco. Which name best describes you and why?

Hip Hop, in a desperate attempt to pander to my 14-year-old son.

What’s in your Netflix queue?

Nurse Jackie, House of Cards, The Newsroom (hate-watching) and “No,” a great Chilean film about PR and politics.

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