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Resume

2020-present

Writer, Editor, Communicator & Content Creator  Provide writing, editing, strategic communications and media relations consulting and creative direction services for clients. Also provide media training and staff development services.

2017-2020

New York State Bar Association   Albany, NY 

Senior Director of Communications Directed external communications, proactive and reactive media relations and design and content of association publications. Served as managing editor of weekly e-publication, monthly Journal and thrice-yearly State Bar News. Had extensive interaction with and provide support for executive director and volunteer leadership of the 70,000-member association, which has a $23 million annual budget. Conceived, wrote and edited content for publications, website, speeches, talking points, videos and advocacy and marketing materials. Developed and implemented protocols for creating and disseminating written, audio and video content. Managed external communications and marketing resources. Provided extensive communications, marketing and planning support for annual meeting with 5,000 attendees, as well as other events throughout the year. Additional responsibilities included participation in government relations and membership development activities. Managed six-member professional staff.

2015-2017

Strategic Communications Consultant Provided strategic communications and media relations consulting, creative direction, editing and writing as well as training and staff development services. Clients and projects included Congressional and local campaigns, non-profit advocacy group campaigns to influence state action on education funding and Medicaid-related issues, and a locally-based organic food producer.

2012-2015        

New York State Thruway Authority & Canal Corporation   Albany, NY

Director of Media Relations & Communications Directed external and internal communications and marketing activities as well as all interactions with news media and social media for $2 billion state authority that includes 570-mile superhighway system and 524-mile canal network serving recreational and commercial users. Provided extensive creative, strategic and managerial support for public outreach efforts related to the $3.9 billion New NY Bridge project to replace the Tappan Zee, one of the largest highway transportation infrastructure projects in North America. Conceived, wrote and edited materials including presentations, opinion articles, informational pieces and briefing materials. Provided oversight and developed content for websites. Analyzed and developed improvements to existing customer communications protocols. Provided support and information for seven-member board of directors. Implemented media and communications strategies and directives from Governor’s office. Managed professional and support staff.

2010-2012

Patricia Lynch Associates   Albany, NY  

Managing Director, PLA/Communications Provided a wide range of communications and media-related services for corporate and non-profit clients and issue-focused campaigns at one of Albany’s top government relations and communications firms. Directed planning, proactive and reactive strategies, media contact, event management and skills development. On an as-needed basis, provided media-related services for lobbying clients. Met with potential clients and developed proposals for new business. Interacted frequently with media throughout New York State. Managed in-house communications support including website and weekly newsletter.

2007-2010

New York State Assembly    Albany, NY  

Press Secretary to the Speaker  Directed all operations of Speaker Sheldon Silver’s press office including strategic planning, critical incident response, response to media inquiries, planning and direction of media events and management of media relationships. Communicated daily with Capitol-based media as well as print, broadcast and web-based journalists throughout New York State and beyond. Provided advice and support for Speaker and top aides at government events and impromptu news conferences. Interacted extensively with 107 other elected members of Assembly Majority and their senior staff members. Supervised press office professional and support staff.

2003-2007

New York State Office of the State Comptroller   Albany, NY 

Deputy Press Secretary Responded to media inquiries, planned and managed media events, wrote materials, managed media relationships and spearheaded press office strategy for release of audits of state agencies and outreach to specialty media. Communicated daily with Capitol-based media as well as print and broadcast journalists throughout New York State. Interacted regularly with Comptroller including travel, coordination of one-on-one media interviews and media availabilities and participation in editorial board meetings. Worked closely with deputy and assistant comptrollers and staff throughout agency. Assisted in supervision of press office staff.

1999-2003

New York State Assembly   Albany, NY  

Assistant Press Secretary, Speaker’s Press Office Responded to media inquiries, planned and managed media events, wrote materials, managed media relationships and performed other duties related to media and communications in Albany, New York City and other locations. Interacted  regularly with Speaker and other Assembly members, as well as senior aides and other staff.

Communications Director, Office of the Majority Leader Directed all aspects of media relations and communications in the office of second-ranking leader of the State Assembly. Developed and composed news releases and opinion pieces. Planned and executed media interviews, news conferences and other media-related events. Developed and wrote speeches and other remarks for public appearances, as well as selected letters and other communications materials.

1996-1999

Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth   Canaan, NY  

Director of Public Affairs Directed all aspects of communications and media relations for century-old private non-profit organization providing residential treatment and community-based services throughout New York State for troubled children and their families. Reporting to executive director, acted as media spokesperson and conceived and executed proactive print and broadcast media coverage around the state.  Developed, wrote, edited, produced and directed design of all agency publications including annual report, newsletter to donors and other contacts, and program descriptions. Managed brand identity of organization including use of logo and design of all branded materials and items. Developed and instituted media-related policies. Served as speechwriter for executive director and prepared materials for submission to board of directors. Facilitated tours for visitors including judges and elected and other government officials. Provided communications support to regional directors, district supervisors and staff at offices around the state.

1994-1995

The Lindesmith Center / Open Society Institute   New York, NY  

Deputy Director for Communications Directed communications, media relations and special events for newly-established non-profit research institute on drug policy reform, now known as the Drug Policy Alliance.  Reporting to center director, developed, planned, produced and directed media strategies and events designed to gain attention for a range of drug policy-related issues and stimulate debate on current U.S. drug policies.  Acted as liaison between academic community and other experts and media in the U.S. and abroad. Conceived, wrote and edited center publications. Also served as chief deputy to director, assisting in evaluation of programs and grant applications, consulting on government relations and managing staff supervision and hiring, accounting and interoffice relations.

1991-1994

New York City Department of Juvenile Justice   New York, NY  

Director of Public Affairs  Directed all aspects of communications and public relations for innovative city agency that provided detention, prevention, aftercare and diversion programs for children who have been arrested and charged with offenses.  Reporting directly to agency commissioner and working with direction from Mayor’s press secretary, acted as media spokesperson and conceived and executed proactive media coverage.  Developed, wrote, edited and produced all agency publications including annual report, in-house newsletters and program descriptions.  Served as speechwriter for commissioner and other senior agency executives. Coordinated outreach efforts to general public and arranged tours of agency facilities.  Managed agency reference library and procurement of materials as well as all other services for public affairs unit.

COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

2011-2020    Town of Kinderhook Planning Board

Member, appointed by town supervisor and town board members

2010-2016 Tufts Admissions Network

Volunteer interviewer

2002-2010 Tufts University Communication and Media Studies Program

Member, Alumni Advisory Board

2005-2007        PS/21 Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, Chatham, NY

Member, board of directors

2003-2005        Village of Chatham Planning Board

Chair; previously board member

1999-2002        Chatham Last Nite, Inc.      

President, board of directors; previously board member and volunteer

2001                 Candidate, Chatham Town Board

1994-1996         AIDS and Adolescents Network of New York

Member, board of directors

1990-1991         Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, New York, NY

Volunteer

1989-1990         Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), New York, NY [now known as Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders]

Marketing committee, volunteer consultant

1987-1989         Momentum weekly dinner program for people with AIDS, New York, NY

Volunteer

EDUCATION 

B.A., cum laude, Tufts University, 1981

Honors:  Dean’s List, Seniors’ Award recipient

Major Field:  French

Related Fields:  Writing, Drama, Psychology

Foreign Study:  Tufts-in-Paris Program, 1979-1980

Editor-in-Chief of student newspaper, The Tufts Observer

 

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