20 September 2016

New Beginnings

Anyone looking at this blog can see it hasn't been updated in quite some time.  This may be the last entry - at least the last of this iteration.

Next week I will begin my tenure as director of marketing and communications for UNC Children's Hospital.  I am thrilled to join a team whose primary mission is caring for the children and families of North Carolina, regardless of ability to pay.  The Department of Pediatrics at UNC School of Medicine boasts some of the best researchers and clinicians in the country, and it will be my job to help craft and share their amazing stories.

It's sort of a homecoming for me.  I began my career working for a Senate Committee on children's policy and then in the pediatrics department of a public hospital.  I learned so much in those positions and I'm very exited to continue learning.

Wescott Strategic Communications will still exist as an entity, but in a much smaller, quieter capacity.  The company has surpassed my wildest expectations, thanks to some outstanding clients.  I can't name them all but I will say I am especially grateful to Cynthia French and the team at Western Dairy Association, Ruth Borger and Ann Christiano at the University of Florida, and Linda Weiner at NCCC.  You all took a chance on an unknown startup and placed your faith in me.  I never truly understood how meaningful that is until I started my own business. That feeling is something I will carry for the rest of my career.

I'm also grateful to the people who worked with me from time to time - Ilina Ewen, Dr. Melanie Tannebaum, Lisa Frame, Julie Marsh, Kelly Wickham Hurst, and Jenna Zaloom.  Your professionalism, creativity, and smarts are top-notch.  I learned more from all of you than you did from me.  I'm sure our paths will cross again.

Of course I'm grateful for my family.  Most people don't know this, but Wescott Strategic Communications wasn't actually my original idea.  Leigh Ann Simmons thought of it first.  She remains the most brilliant, driven, and creative person I've ever met, and I love her very much.  Our son was a loyal "junior associate" who always took an interest in the work and loved to help - even if his little sister happened to be "sitting in" on more conference calls.  Leigh Ann's mom, Ginny Simmons, jumped right in to help me build systems and organization to start up smoothly and not drown in details.  They have all been steadfast in their support and I wouldn't be nearly as successful without them.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing with social media in the near future, but I am sure my online presence will come with the requisite disclaimers about opinions not necessarily reflecting those of UNC.  There won't be much in terms of politics or controversy - not that I do much of that publicly anymore anyway - but I hope what I do online will help parents get information they need to make the best possible healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.

I'm excited for what's next.