What’s your focus area?
I am the head of the security practice and work across a variety of disruptive security accounts, ranging from start-ups (Shape Security, Synack, Dtex, Bay Dynamics and Bluebox Security) to mid-size companies (Trustwave and Veracode) and industry organizations such as OWASP to ensure that we are developing strategic programs designed to cut through the noise in a very crowded market.
What are you most passionate about?
Security is the name of my game—I love everything about it from learning about new types of vulnerabilities to meeting new security researchers and following the latest breaking news; the adrenaline rush you get when managing a crisis is what I live for!
What’s your notable work experience prior to coming to Highwire?
I’ve been working in security PR for over a decade. Prior to Highwire, I worked on the agency side where I led the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Group rapid response team, managing large-scale privacy, security and reliability incidents. This is where I really learned the ropes on how to navigate high-profile incidents including Stuxnet, Flame, Duqu and Conficker.
Any professional awards and accolades you’d like to share?
I have helped grow Highwire’s security practice tenfold since I joined three years ago.
What led you to PR as a career?
When I started out in tech PR ten years ago, I never would have guessed that security would become my area of expertise but in looking back over my life as a competitive athlete it all makes sense. I played soccer my entire life and was on the varsity rowing team in college—I was highly competitive and lived for the adrenaline rush of a heated soccer match or regatta. Crisis communications work really does bring out similar emotions—navigating the initial discovery while staying calm and composed to maintain a clear head to perform, strategizing what your opponent’s course of action might be and considering all of the outside factors before making your move in the hopes that you come out ahead.
What work here at Highwire are you most proud of?
My favorite part about coming into work every day is the people. Our Highwire team is exceptional. I love working closely with our teams to offer help or show them new ways to solve a problem. I think it’s important to encourage people to take risks—put themselves out there and try something new. In the same vein, I always make a point to tell my people that no matter what happens, I’ll always have their back as sometimes taking risks doesn’t always turn out the way we’d planned…
If you weren’t working in PR, what would you be doing instead?
Living in Maui, working on my surfing skills and opening up a SoulCycle gym.
What are you spending your time on when you’re not at work?
When I’m not working, I spend most of my free time with my husband Kevin, our four-year-old cockapoo Francis and our soon-to-be baby girl (due on Dec. 31, 2015). Beyond that, I love drinking wine, eating salami and cheese and watching football. The football rivalry at the Elswick house runs deep, as I am a 49ers fan and my husband is a die-hard Seahawks fan. His friends and family couldn’t believe he could possibly date (let alone marry!) a Niner fan.
My new found passion is boating. We have spent a lot of time over the last year discovering the beautiful Pacific Northwest via our Boston Whaler—boat camping on various islands, tubing, crabbing and cruising around with our friends and family taking in the scenery. I also travel back and forth for business between the place I call home now (Seattle) and my real home in the Bay Area so I am fortunate to see my family regularly.