Director of Strategic Communications, City of Beloit, WI
So far, what’s your proudest accomplishment in 2019?
Do I have to pick one? I certainly am proud of our new website refresh. We didn’t have the budget for a major website project, but we were in drastic need of a cleaner website with the ability to become more creative with our content. The stats show that for the first month, our unique visitors to the site increased 19% year over year and the total number of sessions increased by 23% year over year. This change will really set the stage for improved communications and engagement with residents.
Valentines Day is in February. What do you “love” about your job
I am just over one year in, so I love that I am now connected to the community, connected to my coworkers, and starting to build positive interactions between the community and the city. We’ve turned around negative comments about snow plowing during Wisconsin winters to having dozens of comments singing our praises by being more engaging with the public vs. just putting out snow emergency information.
(Complete the sentence) Before I die I want to…
…go to India.
10 Year Challenge! What were you doing in 2009? How did it help you reach your current position?
I was a broke reporter living off of ramen noodles and mac and cheese. Not only am I able to empathize with individuals who are struggling financially, I spent the earliest parts of my career dedicated to writing about local issues facing communities. I had the chance to see first-hand what people were doing well, where they could improve, and then years later apply that experience to my own time in local government. I would say that my integrity as a reporter created opportunities where people trusted me to be fair and accurate in telling stories about the government, and that earned the respect of my peers. Also, I was covering the appeals process of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey as featured in Netflix’s Making a Murderer, which made me watch the documentary in a different light than others since I had spoken with a significant number of individuals captured in the documentary. And yes, I got the heebie-jeebies every time I drove past the salvage yard.
(Complete the sentence) The first time I heard about ELGL was…
…through my peers at 3CMA. I’ll be honest, I was first in it for the Traeger, but I am finding so much value in the ELGL membership and content.
What question should we have asked?
hat has been your favorite ELGL podcast and why? I liked the one on employee engagement because even though we won’t always give the answer someone wants to hear, having engaged employees can create a more positive reaction with the public.