All posts by Brandon Mize

Member Spotlight – Lysa Rigo

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Lysa Rigo, Director, HR & Creative Services at Ingram Barge Company. Lysa and her team recently won their first Music City Gold Pen Award of Excellence for Internal Communications.

Lysa RigoIABC: What is your background? How did you get started in this business?

Rigo: After earning a master’s degree in English at Northern Illinois University, I taught Composition and Business Writing (that’s where I found my passion) for five years. Following that, I gained experience as a technical writer for a mathematical and engineering software firm, and used some of those years to start a small business writing for other businesses who couldn’t afford a writer on staff.

In the mid-1990s, my family moved to Brazil, so I used the opportunity to teach English as a foreign language. When we returned to the States in 2000, I found a job teaching English to students who came to the US solely to improve their English. That enriching experience gained me friends from all over the world, and that’s where I was on 9/11, helping a large group of frightened foreigners try to make sense of something none of us could wrap our minds around.

In the mid-2000s, we moved to Tennessee for my husband’s job. A series of situations led me into a career in human resources where I had to quickly learn how to hire, fire, do payroll and worker’s comp in a plant that was scheduled to shut its doors in nine months. On the last day, I stood alone with the plant manager in an empty building and was faced with the decision of accepting the HR job I was offered or the Communications Specialist role? Communications tugged at my heart, and here I am today.

IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have you been in this role?

Rigo: I came to Ingram Barge Company 10 years ago to build a Communications department. Today, I am Director, HR & Creative Services. My team does all Corporate Communications and all things creative: web, social, magazines, photos, videos, and many random projects.

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

Rigo: Barging is a silent industry so it doesn’t necessarily stand out, but Ingram does all things with excellence so we’re looked to as the standard on the inland river system; we’re the ones to imitate, the company to work for.

IABC: If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would they be?

Rigo: Empathetic, resilient, and instinctive

IABC: Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.

Rigo: Probably not surprising, but I became fluent in Portuguese while living in Brazil.

IABC: What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional? What makes an effective communications leader?

Rigo:

  • What I’ve been working on the past year is that it’s OK not to be perfect; none of us are. Details are critical in communications, but it’s so important to let go and let the message shine more loudly than the form.
  • When there are mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over them. Fix them, if needed, and walk proudly forward. So what if the whole organization sees your daily work? Most people will give you grace, so don’t listen to the few who find joy in the “got-yas.”
  • You need to learn from the younger professionals in the field. They may not know all there is in the politics, strategy or big picture, but they know what they want to hear so they will have good ideas for connecting with others like them.

IABC: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC? What prompted you to join IABC?

Rigo: After developing our Creative Services department, I spent a seven-year hiatus with a focus more on HR than communications, A few years ago, I got a new boss and a reshuffling of duties, and Creative Services became my major focus again. I needed to connect with communications professionals, and Google led me to IABC. I walked into my first meeting and knew I was in the right place. These people get me, and I get them. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

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Member Spotlight – Paul Lindsley

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Paul Lindsley, ABC, director of public relations at Phase 3 Marketing and Communications in Nashville. Paul currently serves as a vice president-at-large for IABC Nashville and serves on the IABC’s Southern Regional Board of Directors as their vice president of chapter relations.

Paul Lindsley head shotIABC: What is your background?

LINDSLEY: After earning a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, I began my career in TV news working as a photographer, reporter, producer and assignment manager at WAAY TV in Huntsville, Ala., and then assignment manager at Fox 13 in Memphis, Tenn.. After more than eight years in TV news, I decided to transition to public relations.

I started my PR career at Opryland Hotels/Gaylord Entertainment as their senior manager of communications promoting the Nashville property, as well as pre-opening PR efforts for Gaylord Hotels in Florida, Texas and Washington D.C. I then went on to Saint Thomas Hospital where I served as the director of communications for 10 years. In September 2011, I began working at HealthStream in Nashville as their communications manager, but after 14 months, I was recruited by Sullivan Branding to start a PR division in their Nashville agency office.

I received my Master of Arts in Corporate Communication from Austin Peay State University and have been an Adjunct Professor for Austin Peay State University since 2009.

IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have your been in this role?

LINDSLEY: Prior to being named director of public relations at Phase 3 Marketing & Communications in Nashville, I served as vice president of public relations at Sullivan Branding, a full service communications, branding, marketing and public relations agency in Nashville and Memphis for nearly three years. In September 2015, Phase 3 acquired Sullivan Branding Nashville.

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

LINDSLEY: With offices in Atlanta, Charleston, Charlotte, Dallas, and Nashville, Phase 3 Marketing & Communications is a leading provider of marketing services and solutions from IDEATION to EXECUTION to corporations throughout the United States. Instead of companies having multiple vendors for marketing, PR, social media, website development, branding and printing, we provide all of those services representing brands with integrated marketing solutions.

IABC:  If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would it be?

LINDSLEY:  Storyteller, Promoter, Experienced

IABC:  Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.

LINDSLEY:  As a reporter in Huntsville, Ala., I had the opportunity to interview the commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia while he was in space.

IABC:  What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional?

  • You don’t know everything, you never will.
  • Be a good listener, it’s essential to getting the whole picture.
  • While I was at Opryland Hotel, we had a service promise mantra which I still use today. When I reply to client’s requests, I state, “Consider it done.” There’s nothing more impactful than keeping a promise.
  • Be kind, always.

IABC:  What makes an effective communications leader?

LINDSLEY:  Someone who listens, helps determine messages and audiences. Leaders promote, protect and publicize other’s good works.

IABC:  What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC?

LINDSLEY:  There are many benefits, networking on an international level, education, learning from other’s good efforts, tools to advance your career and a professional standard to live by.

IABC:  What prompted you to join IABC?

LINDSLEY:  In every PR job I have ever had I have been responsible for internal, external, PR, media relations, community relations, reputation management and crisis communication. No other professional organization meets all of my needs as a communications professional. IABC members are often a one-man-band, and the variety of development and leadership opportunities across the communications career field are critical to success.

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IABC Nashville Wins Merit Chapter Management Award!

CongraCMAs1.JPGtulations to IABC Nashville for winning a Chapter Management Award of Merit in Communications at the 2016 Chapter Management Awards, held in conjunction with the IABC Leadership Institute, in Long, Beach, CA, Feb. 4-6.

Accepting the award was Past President Jennifer Fuqua and Vice Presidents of Awards, President Elect Tom Kenley. The award was based on the work the chapter did to rebrand in their local market following IABC’s new brand launch at the World Conference in 2015.

image2The Brand Committee included: Jennifer Fuqua (chair), Phil Matisak, President, Gene Boulware, Vice President of Membership, Tom Kenley and Gayle Gallager (member).

Learn more about IABC’s brand here.

For a complete list of winners visit the Leader Centre on the IABC website.

 

 

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Member Spotlight – Misty Moore

On 2014_Misty_Moore_2a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Misty Moore, communications specialist at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).


IABC: How did you get started in this business?

MOORE: My first big role after college was with a national trade publication in a field completely foreign to me—fabricating and metalworking.  As an assistant editor, I learned about the products we featured by traveling to open houses and trade shows throughout the country. Now that I look back, I was fortunate to have such a great first job!

IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have your been in this role?

MOORE: I’m a communications specialist with HCA. I support a department called Ambulatory EHR or Electronic Health Record. My team implements and supports EHR technology in HCA’s ambulatory practices throughout the country. My role is to keep lines of communication open between our corporate office, field support teams and physician practices. Since joining the team in 2014, I’ve learned so much about EHR technology and the tremendous impact clinical informatics and big data will have on our lives in just a few short years.

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

MOORE: HCA is the nation’s largest for-profit operator of healthcare facilities. One of the cool things about HCA is it’s truly committed to the communities it serves. As one of the company’s 200,000 associates, I have the opportunity to participate in 24 hours of paid volunteer activities through our Caring for the Community Campaign each year.

Our collective efforts make a significant difference in our local communities. To put it in perspective, HCA employees pledged about $3.5 million to local agencies and volunteered 33,790 hours through the 2014 Caring for Community Campaign.

IABC: If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would it be?

MOORE: This is tough. Maybe driven, active and kind.

Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.

MOORE: I love motor sports of all kinds—on the water and land. I’ve ridden or owned ATVs, dirt bikes, street bikes, snowmobiles and jet skis. This year, I had the opportunity to fly a plane. I had a blast!

IABC: What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better

communications professional?

MOORE: 

  1. Read. Every day. You’ll not only learn about new things in your industry and elsewhere, you’ll also build your vocabulary.
  2. Don’t get comfortable. Keep learning new techniques, tactics and technology, and apply those in your job. Also, a good supervisor once told me, “When you’re in a role where you’re no longer learning, it’s time to make a change.”
  3. Put the bottom line up front and remember readers want to know “What’s in it for me?” I keep this in mind each time I sit down to write. In today’s digitally-fueled world, individuals are stretched for time and our role is to get our messages across as clearly and concisely as possible.

IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?

MOORE: Ask the right questions and listen more than you talk. Work to understand your subject matter and how it impacts your readers. Plan your message. Measure success. If none, then change your strategy.

IABC: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC?

MOORE: Networking. I enjoy meeting new people each month and connecting with familiar faces and former colleagues. It’s also a great place to learn about new opportunities.

IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?

MOORE: A former supervisor. I’ve attended meetings in three states and formed relationships with professionals I’m still connected with today. Because IABC is international, your membership and valuable relationships travel with you.

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Member Spotlight – Javier Solano

javiersolanoOn a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Javier Solano, vice president at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations in Nashville.

IABC: What is your background?

SOLANO: OK, so there’s the professional and there’s the personal. Professionally, before I started working at McNeely Pigott & Fox, I was a sports reporter for about 10 years, most of that with the Orlando Sentinel. I made the switch to the “dark side” about 15 years ago and haven’t looked back. Well, maybe once or twice.

Personally, I’m a first-generation citizen of the U.S. but also a citizen of Colombia, where I was born. My family moved here when I was very young. I grew up in the D.C. area. I moved to Tennessee because my wife got a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt Law. ‘Nuff said.

IABC: How did you get started in this business?

SOLANO: Oh I don’t know. If you want to go back to the very beginning, it was learning how to read and write. Underrated skills, even (or maybe especially) in this digital age. I grew up on the Washington Post and Odd Couple reruns, so all I ever wanted to be was a sports reporter. I did that for 10 years. It was a blast. But the schedule is nuts, the pay is awful and the bottom was about to drop from the entire industry just before I got out in 2000. I still miss it from time to time, but I was very fortunate to leverage those editorial skills into a job at a PR agency. I’ve never taken a communications class in my life. I can write. And I’ve learned a lot of other things, too, on the fly. Fortunately, there’s more to this job than smiling and being good with people. Otherwise, I’d be in big trouble.

IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have your been in this role?

SOLANO: I am a vice president at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations (www.mpf.com) in Nashville. I’ve been with the firm for 15 years. This is the only marketing/communications job I’ve ever had, unless you count being a reporter. Here at MP&F, I manage a few of our client teams, mostly in the areas of education and energy. Probably my most interesting client at the moment is Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. He’s a fascinating man, not very well understood or appreciated in my opinion. My niche at the firm is probably these areas: media relations, Latino outreach and writing in general.

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

SOLANO: This is probably going to seem a bit simplistic, but I think it’s true: We work hard, we like what we do and we like each other. This line of work is probably not a perfect match with my skill set, but the reason I’ve been in it so long and with the same people for the past 15 years is that I like them. They’re good people. They care about the city. They take on the right projects. They’re not perfect; no one is. But their hearts are in the right place, and they’ve definitely played a role in the city’s rise, especially if you focus on downtown.

IABC: If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would it be?

SOLANO: Ha, I’m so bad at stuff like this. My wife could probably knock it out in two seconds, though it may not be altogether flattering. OK, how about detached, artistic and goofy? I’m a Gemini if that helps.

Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.

SOLANO: My grandfather played on the first Colombian national soccer team. … And how’s this for symmetry: born in Colombia, grew up outside the District of Columbia, went to college at Columbia University. But I’ve never been to Columbia, Tenn. It’s on my list (actually, no it’s not).

IABC: What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better

communications professional?

SOLANO: Hmm, a couple of things, not necessarily related to each other:

  1. Being good to your client/boss sometimes means disagreeing with your client/boss.
  2. Celebrate success, not creativity. There will be times that you can do both. But one is more important than the other.
  3. Be first. Once you’re chasing a conversation, argument or story, it’s difficult to catch up.
  4. Say please and thank you. They’re just nice things to do.

IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?

SOLANO: Talk less, listen more. And don’t be a jerk.

IABC: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC?

SOLANO: Can I give you two? Professional development and networking. I also happen to like the Nashville chapter very much. Very nice people. Probably closer to my age and interests than an organization like PRSA.

IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?

SOLANO: I was looking for professional development and networking opportunities. IABC offers that, along with an international network of chapters. I also wanted to get smarter about our awards process, and IABC has definitely helped with that.

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