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About

I call myself a “technology translator” and “content masseuse.” Here’s why.

Technology Translator

I believe my calling is “putting the geekspeak into English.” I enjoy making IT concepts more understandable and accessible for the not-so-geeky. Since people can’t take advantage of what they don’t understand, sharing tips about technology is how I try to help out in my little corner of the world.

eyesContent Masseuse

I’m also zealous about doing digital communications well. I love crafting better brands and stronger content by carefully “massaging” the messages…and tailoring them to the platform. Good content can (and should!) be repurposed, but needs to be customized for the medium first. That way, it can work across many channels, including social media, the Web, print—and beyond. I also believe brands are made stronger when their digital marketing is coordinated and cohesive.

Communicating in the online space and particularly in the context of nonprofit organizations is my true passion.

Backstory

Writer. As a youngster, I fancied myself a future author. I kept several journals, wrote my first novella at 17, and more than my fair share of angsty teen poetry. I loved the arts and planned to write even more seriously in college.

Accidental geek. As a communications major at Wake Forest University and a journalist for the campus paper, plus a member of a student a cappella group, I kept busy. Then I volunteered to take on developing a website for our singing group, although I didn’t know the first thing about HTML. One free class at the library got me started, and hundreds of hours of dabbling later, I had to admit that I was completely hooked (and also far geekier than I’d ever realized).

Calling, found. Then, a couple of summer internships at small charities made me realize that skills in both communications and technology could be a real asset in cash-strapped nonprofit organizations. I loved doing good work for those doing good in the world. I had found my life’s calling at age 20.

Next logical step. So, after graduating, I began a master’s degree with a focus in nonprofit management at Johns Hopkins University (and kept doing web design, writing, and editing on the side to defray costs).

PR agency experience. After grad school, I moved to Washington, DC, where I worked for 2 years at PR firms that specialized in strategic communications for nonprofits. Our clients included large national charities such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, as well as many smaller ones. I conducted live virtual trainings and helped with press conferences, media outreach, and website content.

Higher ed experience. Then my husband and I moved to Charlottesville, VA, and I began doing PR & marketing for the IT department at the University of Virginia. My work was at the intersection of communications and technology, and I assisted with web development, graphic design, and special event planning. I also literally got to build our organization’s social media presence from the ground up.

Working from home. Although we moved away just 3 years later, I was blessed to continue working in my U.Va. role for another 6 years, telecommuting from our home in Greensboro, NC, and making only occasional trips back to Charlottesville.

leaving uvaNonprofit experience. I joined the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) as Digital & Social Content Manager in late 2015. CCL provides customized leadership development programs to Fortune 500 companies and has a “Leadership Beyond Boundaries” initiative to offer its training to nonprofits and individuals who otherwise might not have access to it.

On a More Personal Note…

I’m also a board member, volunteer, sometime social media evangelist, and fan of the excellent Bel Canto Company, the premier vocal group in the NC Triad area.

Hiking with daughters

Hiking with the girls.

I live with my husband and 2 daughters, and until recently, my very talented figure-skating choreographer sister.

My true obsession is, and always has been, Italy—the most fabulous place on earth.

Lauren in Venice

In Venice.

See also About this blog  or Contact.

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