Membership Spotlight – Sarah Loeffler

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Sarah Loeffler, Content Manager at Tanner Corporate Services.

 

sarah-loeffler-headshotIABC: What is your background?

Sarah: I received my Bachelor of Arts in English, with a concentration in technical writing, and through that, was able to experience different types of jobs in communication. My background is in technical writing, editing, journalism, training, performance support, leadership development, content management, content strategy, and knowledge management consulting.

 

IABC: How did you get started in this business?

Sarah: Being an avid reader and writer, this profession came somewhat naturally to me. At a very basic level, working with words and crafting the perfect sentence or paragraph has continued to challenge and fascinate me throughout my life. The real starting point of my career was in college when I worked for a literacy agency to help them document and publish their internal training processes and materials. Moving into knowledge management and content management was a logical progression when I moved to Nashville shortly after graduation.

 

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

Sarah: My current position is Content Manager at Tanner Corporate Services. I have served in this role for a year, and have worked at Tanner for three years. I am our chief content coordinator and am responsible for the development and delivery of client materials. I manage our contracted authors and work directly with clients to evaluate, document, and improve their company’s content, for both print and digital formats.

 

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

Sarah: At Tanner, we work closely with our clients to capitalize on the valuable organizational knowledge their employees possess, an often overlooked asset. We provide practical communication strategies and solutions to support client business objectives. We capture, organize, and distribute organizational knowledge to the right people at the right time to help employees make better decisions and customers experience products and services as intended. We mine what client employees know and shape it for distribution to targeted groups of employees and customers. Managing organizational knowledge has never been more important than in this age of information. As consultants, we bring clear vision and fresh perspective to content dilemmas. As technical writers, we have the expertise and technology to strengthen and enhance content deliverables.

 

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

Sarah: Compassionate – Driven – Adventurous

 

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

Sarah: One of my passions is singing in choirs. I have traveled to Austria, Germany, Ireland, and Italy with various touring choirs, and most recently this past year, I performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

 

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

Sarah: Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned include the ability to blend creativity with conventionalism, keeping an open mind, knowing your audience, and not making assumptions. Effective communication is more than good copywriting, it’s about expanding and broadening the ways you communicate and the tools you use to communicate so that your messages arrive clearly, concisely, and conveniently.

 

IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?

Sarah: An effective communications leader needs to have a deep understanding of people and the ability to connect with people through the words and images they use to produce a desired outcome. An effective communicator is a problem solver. They understand the lessons and rules of the past and remain abreast of current trends to find the most suitable solution for the communication need.

 

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

Sarah: The greatest benefits of IABC are the networking and professional development aspects. The members are friendly and knowledgeable, and the guest speakers are inspiring and enlightening. The relationships I’ve built as a result of IABC have been invaluable to my career development. Also, being able to experience the current happenings of this growing, changing city through the lens of communications has equipped me to excel both professionally and personally.

 

IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?

Sarah: I was new to my career and new to the Nashville area, and wanted to gain some professional development opportunities beyond those available to me at the organization I work for. Being at a small company, it’s easy to get stuck in our little bubble, so I wanted to meet other professionals in similar fields. Beth Tanner, the owner and president of Tanner Corporate Services, spoke highly of IABC and suggested it to me, even took me to a few luncheons. I had attended meetings with several other networking groups in Nashville and felt the most “at home” with IABC. This year, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to help plan IABC Nashville’s re-launch of the Music City Gold Pen Awards event.

 

 

 

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Membership Spotlight – Nicole Miller

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Nicole Miller, senior manager of Public Relations at Asurion.

Nicole Headshot - smIABC: What is your background?

Miller: I’ve had a passion for news since I was young, serving as an editor of my high school newspaper and editor-in-chief of the year book. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!), where I majored in Journalism with an emphasis in news writing and public relations. My first job after college was working as a general assignment reporter for a community newspaper in Wisconsin. While there, I learned a lot about what makes a compelling news story and delivering the news under tight deadlines.

IABC: How did you get started in this business?

Miller: I started my PR career at a firm in Milwaukee that specializes in B2B marketing communications. When my main client merged with a national retailer, I was totally bit by the consumer bug and moved to Chicago, where I worked in the consumer PR for a variety of major agencies. I’m a rare PR egg in that I have gained strong experience and expertise in both consumer and B2B PR.

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

Miller: I currently serve as Senior Manager of Public Relations at Asurion, a global leader in technology protection and support, based in Nashville. My role has been evolving since I joined the company a little over a year ago, but ultimately I’ll be focusing on external corporate PR to help elevate awareness of Asurion’s leadership position within the industry and with national business media.

IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?

Miller: Asurion is the global leader in helping customers enhance their life through their technology through ongoing support and protection. Among our continuous innovation is that we’re hyper focused on disrupting the tech support category with world-class customer experience by providing instant access to tech experts to help solve any tech issue with an Asurion covered device. There’s no waiting on hold, no transfers and a near 100 percent resolution rate in one call or chat.

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

Miller: Strategic. Curious. Collaborative.

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

Miller: My husband and I moved to Nashville from Chicago to be closer to our hobby of caving. Tennessee has more than 10,000 caves, and the tri-state region of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia is a mecca for caving within the United States.

Caving offers a little bit of everything – the beauty and wonder of nature; great physical challenges and an intense teamwork structure. It’s quite common to put your life in your team members’ hands when caving, so trust and team dynamic are vital to the experience.

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

Miller:

  • The Communications function is most effective when it closely supports the organization’s key objectives.
  • Make your communications goals actionable and measurable.
  • Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. The usual marketing messages rarely resonate with earned media or within social media.
  • Become an expert in your organization’s (or clients’) industry.
  • Stay current on new communication channels and tactics

IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?

Miller:

  • Mastery of communications channels and tactics.
  • Being up-to-date on the issues, challenges and opportunities within your organization and greater industry.
  • Serving as a trusted advisor to your leadership and team.
  • Curiosity and openness to trying new things as the communications landscape continuous to evolve.

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

Miller: I know it’s been said before, but networking and professional development are some of the greatest benefits for me personally.

IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?

Miller: Being new to Nashville, I joined IABC to network and get immersed within the communications community locally. I heard that the Nashville IABC chapter was the most active group for local communications professionals.

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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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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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