Infinitely curious + pleasantly persistent
In college I desperately wanted to study abroad. Unfortunately, the way my major was designed, if I missed a semester, I essentially lost a year. I tried to figure out how to make the semester up. Believe me, I tried. I called universities near my parents home so I could make it up over the summer. I specifically recall reaching out to Princeton to see if I could take a copywriting class. Princeton thought I meant a copyrighting class...in the law school. After my adviser laid it out, 'stay in the advertising/pr track or add an extra year,' which was not financially feasible, I finally let it go. Or, rather, let it go at least until I earned my B.A. in Communications with a Specialization in Advertising and Public Relations.
Dreams don't die. After graduation, it came as no surprise that I still wanted to live abroad. When my friends were looking for full-time jobs after graduation, I found a program called BUNAC, secured myself a passport and a six-month work visa and left for London to join BUNAC’s International Work Exchange Program.
In London, I found myself a job as an executive assistant at Law Business Research, an independent publisher. Before securing an office job, I tended bar (for a few weeks) and handed out flyers for a mobile phone company (for a few days). (It was late fall so it was getting cold outside, and clearly not my dream job.)
Upon my return to the US, I began my career in New York City in healthcare communications. I joined Shire Hall, later helping to rebrand the company as Shire Health, the newly launched US-based office of an established, and successful, European healthcare communications agency. In the New York office, I was one of two Americans, out of four full-time employees. The job came with international travel (my very first business trip was to Copenhagen!) and a boss with a British accent (which was a nice reminder of where I had just been). The work was fascinating, and because of our small size, I had access to assignments that I wouldn't have had in an entry-level role in a larger agency. I had found my professional home.
Just before joining Shire Health, I enrolled in evening continuing education classes at the School of Visual Arts where I earned continuing education certificates for Advertising Copywriting.
After a few years with Shire Health, and wanting to expand beyond healthcare and pharma, I found my way into a business development role at DDB, a Madison Avenue ad agency. The joke was on me. I learned that my pharma background was one of the reasons I was hired! When I joined DDB, the new biz team consisted of my boss (who had just assumed this new role) and myself. When I left, nearly five years later, our team had grown in size, and we had the most successful years of new business the agency had ever seen.
I left DDB for a marketing role at NBC. I changed my company but not my commute since 30 Rock was just a block away from DDB. At NBC I created and developed custom marketing campaigns to generate revenue beyond traditional ad sales for NBC programming, including the Olympics. There, I worked on national brands that you'd recognize in an instant to smaller, local brands specific to local markets.
After 10+ years in New York City, and plenty of passport stamps since living in London, the travel bug hit hard. I left a perfectly good job at NBC to take a sabbatical to fulfill a personal dream. I had been to Argentina a few years prior and simply fell in love with the country. I wanted more of South America, and I wanted to explore more than just a two-week vacation would offer. Once there, I traveled solo throughout Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
Upon my return to the US, I began freelancing with lifestyle technology companies. I partnered with a global SIM card startup, subscription box startup, digital marketing agency, on-demand translation services and a luxury vacation rental website, to name a few.
Later, I relocated to Atlanta to lead the marketing function at World 50, an invitation-only membership community for C-suite executives from the Global 1000 where I implemented marketing campaigns from development and design to launch.
Since leaving World 50, and Atlanta, I've contributed go-to-market strategies to refine product position, drive awareness and generate leads for Verizon, managed all public relations activities including strategy, media relations and executive visibility for several West Coast technology startups and worked on a mix of long-term assignments and for agencies, startups and established companies here in the US and abroad.
In 2018, I established elssus, llc. As Principal and Communications Consultant. I build and grow companies’ reputations to increase awareness, business results and credibility.
I do this through identifying and cultivating press opportunities and partnerships, crafting and editing content that includes marketing collateral, blogs, ghostwriting, social media and magazine articles.
Throughout my career I've created and executed global and hyper-local campaigns at multinationals and startups. I've dabbled in nearly every business vertical, and my writing has been published on the Huffington Post and the Muse, to name two. I have guest lectured at NYU.
If I don't know how to do it, I will figure it out. I am very good at Scrabble, and South America holds a soft spot in my heart. I have worked, lived and traveled abroad. I circle typos in take-out menus. I make to-do lists because I love crossing things off. My love of the outdoors coupled with a good sense of direction introduced me to orienteering. I am game to try most anything at least once, and so I have vowed never to hike 7+ hours on a glacier again, though it was simply spectacular.
I thrive in entrepreneurial, fast-paced environments and I'm passionate about travel, startups and change.
Looking to partner together? Want to know more? Let's chat!