What do you do at Merritt Group?
I’m a senior account executive on the Security practice group at Merritt Group. My day-to-day can really change depending on clients' timelines and the 24/7 news cycle. In general, I serve as a point of contact for clients, execute on campaign deliverables (i.e. drafting collateral, media outreach, research and measurement) and support the overall account strategy. I also work on Merritt’s social media and editorial teams. Follow us on social!
What’s your greatest moment — whether in work, school or marketing/PR — so far?
My junior year of college, my 4x400m relay team was an underdog team for the national stage. Through a few trials that year, we not only managed to make it to the National Championship meet, but we came in second after being in 7th until the last lap. Our whole team achieved PRs (personal records) for our times. It still remains the school record, and is still one of my favorite memories.
What's your favorite piece of technology?
My smartphone. I can’t live without it. I use it for the majority of my photos, live by my calendar, book reservations, manage my flights, update my shared grocery list and check the news via email/Twitter.
What’s the one gadget you think needs to be invented?
As a runner, I’m constantly thinking about the safest ways to run around the area. One of my ideas is to create a safety app for runners or for any outdoor activity. There are similar things out there, but, ideally, you can share your location, anticipated route and timeframe for your exercise. For instance, I can share my plan for a six mile run on the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) trail, which will take approximately 50-60 minutes. If any of the variations of the plan change dramatically, the app can send you a message to make sure you’re safe, and will send an alert to emergency contacts if you don't respond in time. It would also be great for this app to track for speed, so that if a runner were to be traveling at a much faster speed than expected (such as car speeds) it sends alerts as well.
What’s your favorite thing about living in the Washington, D.C., area?
The options are truly limitless. As someone who is from a much smaller and more rural area, I love that the DMV offers incredible variety in such close proximity. You can adventure on hikes, visit museums, go to a comedy club, attend a concert, catch a Nats/Caps/Wizards/Mystics/United/Spirit/Redskins game, or choose virtually any type of cuisine for dinner. The area is also very convenient with public transit, so I can do many of these things and get around without having to drive.
What do you love to do when you are not working?
Honestly, I’m a homebody. I love spending weekends at home and grabbing dinner and a movie around the Reston Town Center. Ice skating is coming this winter, and I can’t wait to skate right next door!
What's the best book you've read recently?
Our security team recently read Joseph Menn’s Cult of the Dead Cow, a story on the oldest, most respected and most famous American hacking group. It was engaging, insightful, humorous and informative. As someone who is fairly new to the security industry, this book was a really great read for both entertainment and education.
What's your favorite Merritt Group memory?
This is tough because I’ve come to find so many good memories at Merritt in the last six months. But I would have to say it was my second day on the job. It just happened to be the annual company retreat where we have the “state of the union” meeting on the previous year and what’s to come. It was great to meet the whole team, including the California team, and learn about the agency accomplishments, culture and goals. Oh, and we went indoor skydiving and played Top Golf. Did I forget to mention that?
What's one thing you can't live without?
Definitely my GPS. I’m directionally challenged. Luckily, I know where my day-to-day locations are, but whenever I have to travel outside that radius, I’m 100 percent reliant on GPS.
What's the most interesting item on your desk?
Probably my Happy Cat. My cousin (and PR inspiration) brought it back from Hong Kong a few years ago. It’s supposed to bring good luck and prosperity. I’ve kept it in my dorm room and now my desk as a good luck charm. Apparently it’s a derivative of the Japanese Maneki-neko. The more you know.