Why did you get into this industry?
I love the power of messaging, words and art. That, by itself, is incredibly powerful in bringing people and communities together.
What other careers did you consider?
Advertising was a career change for me, as I started out as a lawyer. I worked for a few years in corporate law and then thought to myself, “It might be early enough in my career to try something completely new.” Enter advertising.
When did you know you were in the right place?
When I felt respected, heard and encouraged to try new things. I love being part of a team and company that wants to drive innovation and disrupt the marketplace. Failure is always an option — but it’s a welcome one.
Tell us about your pandemic experience.
I’m the only person in my family based in the L.A. area, so I took the opportunity to work on the East Coast nearer to my family. I also got to watch how cities have transitioned during a really challenging time. A number of different insights have come out of the way individuals are working, and that is going to change the paradigm of the 9-to-5 schedule.
What is your major takeaway from the pandemic?
That has to be the importance of mental health. You have to be able to give yourself a break when needed without this feeling of guilt and obligation to others.
What are the three most essential things on your desk?
My iPad, my laptop and a bouquet of flowers. I need to feel inspired.
What are three activities you do on a typical day?
I plan my day out the night before — so the first thing I do is look at my top three priorities or tasks, and make sure I’ve gone head-down on those. Second, I open my email after I’ve gotten at least one major activity done; I don’t start the day with email. And third, I make a point to check in with one person on my team.
What is something about you that your professional colleagues don’t know?
I wrote a book, though I haven’t published it yet. It’s fiction but thinly veiled. I interviewed about 35 women of color to hear their personal stories and I leveraged many of my own. The idea is to help unlock their independent thoughts and help them feel comfortable with their decisions.
What is something about working at GSW that outsiders don’t know?
We all love impact. If you go into the healthcare vertical and focus on journeys or brand work or creative, the one thing across disciplines that holds us together is this desire to truly make a positive impact in the world. We know we’re accomplishing something beyond just traditional marketing.
What is your favorite movie, and why?
The Godfather. It’s incredibly universal and incredibly specific to Italian culture at the same time. That’s what the best work does — it’s universal but nuanced.
When you retire, what are you most looking forward to doing?
I’m actually trying to never retire. I want to have a life where I’m living and accomplishing goals at every moment. I try to be very present. One thing I can see starting a little later is a nonprofit for children in war zones. There’s a lot of good you can do by bringing stability to unstable places.