A history of elevating employee experiences at work.

As a storyteller specializing in strategic executive and internal communications, I enjoy creating workplace cultures that inspire people to do the best work of their career
I strive to foster a confidence of belonging for employees with every leadership message, team event, or informational presentation I create. It’s with the human recipient in mind that I navigate ambiguity to communicate what matters most with clarity and empathy
With that same sense of humanity and emotional intelligence, I provide excellent thought partnership. I love working with senior leaders, cross-functional stakeholders, and teammates to shape strategies and design connective experiences for people at work. 
Throughout my long career, I’ve helped VPs, senior directors, and people managers use the persuasive attributes of storytelling to effectively communicates big ideas, unify teams, and achieve needed buy-in. 
My guidance and hands-on collaboration measurably elevates communication experiences – especially in the early stages of creative development when a team’s ideas are nebulous and their vision is out of focus. I thrive at bringing clarity to teams by challenging conventional thinking, identifying root opportunities, and articulating major goals.
I’m fortunate to be the one who leaders call on to help them tell the right story, to the right people, at the right time, and in the right way.
Profile Summary
Cross-functional internal communications professional energized by diving deep into culture and business challenges to uncover human truths and shape employee experiences that help people do their best work. People-centric storyteller with deep employee engagement experience working in “Best Places” award-winning cultures. Exceptional communicator (writing, speaking, presenting) highly skilled at direct collaboration with executive leaders to clearly convey important information and empathetically connect people to a shared vision.
Key Areas Of Expertise 
Corporate Communications  •  Strategic Communications  •  Executive Communications  •  Leadership Consulting  •  Communications Planning  •  Project Management  •  Presentation Development  •  Brand & Product Design  •  Process Improvement
Daredream, Los Angeles, CA,  08/2022 – Present
Communications Strategy & Brand Storytelling Consultant (Remote)
Lead narrative development for email campaigns launching new products. Develop communication plans. Consult founder on development of new products and experiences. Facilitate brainstorming sessions.
• Co-developed a premium, cohort-based experience, increasing product and membership inquiries by 40%.
• Wrote a series of 16 authentic and emotional storytelling emails which helped drive brand engagement and membership growth during a four week campaign. 

Capital One Financial Corp., Washington, DC,  04/2019 – 07/2022
Senior Storyteller, Internal Communications (Remote)
Developed, wrote, edited, and visually designed compelling stories in collaboration with senior leaders. Informed and inspired 800+ designers and partners. Designed presentation materials. Consulted senior leaders, chiefs of staff, and project leads. Clarified and simplified internal communication strategies and experiences.
• Collaboratively humanized senior leaders, people managers, and team members with new story segments  fostering interpersonal connections and a deeper sense of belonging.
• Co-developed a themed series of four all-team events inspiring 200+ designers to be “Bold” in their presence, interactions, and work during the pandemic.
• Led the strategic development, design, and production of a company-first, 40-page Experience Report featuring eight, data-rich stories exploring the value and impact of experience design. (Produced as a print magazine, digital magazine, and a socially engaging intranet experience.)
• Developed numerous human-connecting experiences that contributed to company being voted to “100 Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune, “Best Places to Work” by Glassdoor, and one of the top three “Best Places to Work in Money Management” by Pensions & Investments among other culture awards. 

Thinkory, Washington, DC 06/2016 – 12/2019
Brand Strategist (Remote)
Developed agency’s brand strategy practice. Built relationships within the social enterprise community. Consulted startup founders. Acquired new clients. Hired and mentored design talent. Developed workshops. 
• Facilitated workshops teaching the fundamentals of brand development to social enterprise entrepreneurs in partnership with organizations like Impact Hub and the Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program.
• Donated $15k in brand strategy and design services to social enterprises around the world.
• Awarded American Graphic Design Award numerous years by Graphic Design USA magazine for outstanding brand design.

The Creative Group, Robert Half, Washington, DC,  05/2013 – 12/2016
Product Designer (Hybrid)
Various contract roles. Designed UX and UI for government agency intranets. Advised on employee engagement experiences. Designed internal promotional materials and event logos. Advocated for the user’s experience. Presented and proposed UX concepts to C-suite leadership. 
• Led the intranet redesign project at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), office of the CIO – providing strategic direction, research design & facilitation, and hands-on UX design to develop a viable, new experience that rallied employees around a vision for what their intranet should be.
(Case study: ralstonvaz.com/ntsb-intranet-ux-design)
• Designed the UX for prototype intranet mockups to propose employee engagement enhancements in partnership with portfolio leads at the US Department of Labor.
• Collaborated with Creative Director to define a tech company’s UX design process, achieving executive-level buy-in.

AT&T, Atlanta, GA,  10/2005 – 06/2012
Internal Communications Manager (Remote)
Developed communication strategies. Wrote employee stories. Designed intranet sites and experiences. Advised the CEO of YP. Facilitated empathy interviews. Developed “Day One” communication plan for YP divestiture.
• Transformed an avoided intranet into a highly coveted online destination for 10k employees – increasing readership by 150% in less than two years through redesign, storytelling, and the introduction of groundbreaking video and interactive experiences.
• Signed NDA and worked closely with YP executive leadership to develop informative and reassuring communications around company divestiture resulting in an overwhelmingly positive “Day One”.
• Produced audio, video, written, and interactive experiences to get concerned employees of divested company quick and clear answers to important questions.

View additional experiences and greater detail on my LinkedIn profile.
Creative Volunteerism
Adobe Creative Advisors Community, Boston, MA,  06/2018 – 05/2022
Brand Communications Advisor (Remote)
Reviewed marketing strategies. Provided feedback on future products and marketing messages. Suggest improvements to user experiences. Conduct polls and facilitate topical discussions with a community of 300 creatives. 
• Filmed a 2.5 minute customer insight video to help Adobe researchers kick off strategic meeting with product leads by addressing things Adobe should start, continue, and stop doing. (View video)

The Good Story, Lynchburg, VA,  05/2015 – 11/2020
Ambassador, Brand Design
Equipped cross cultural missionaries with visually excellent communication tools to aid in the effective and compelling telling of their story. (Learn more about non-profit The Good Story at thegoodstory.com)
American Graphic Design Awards - Identity Design
Repeat Graphic Design Award Winner - 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2021
Featured in Graphic Design USA magazine's annual design issue for brand identity design work.
Gibbs College, Providence, RI,  2001
Visual Communications & Graphic Design Certification
Dean's List
Professional Development
Investigative Journalism, Bob Woodward, MasterClass
Film Directing, Ron Howard, MasterClass
Design Better Presentations, Lara Mccormick, CreativeLive
Why Trust Matters: Increasing Creativity and Innovation at Work, Nilofer Merchant, Skillshare
Powerful Storytelling Today: Strategies for Crafting Great Content, Soledad O'Brien, Skillshare
NLI Include: The Neuroscience of Smarter Teams, NeuroLeadership Institute

Favorite Books:
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - Greg Mckeown
Master of One: Find and Focus on the Work You Were Created to Do - Jordan Raynor
Scramble: How agile strategy can build epic brands in record time - Marty Neumeier
Technical Competencies
Slack; Google Workspace (Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets); Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Audition, Media Encoder, Acrobat, Bridge, etc.); Procreate; Figma; Mural; MindNode; Airtable; Trello; InVision; Keynote; Pages; Final Draft 12; Scrivener; Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook); Google Meet; Zoom; Loom
Key Soft Skills
Key Technical Skills
Employee Engagement
Thought Partnership
Brand Strategy & Design