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Ayanna Anderson

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging combines three areas of my professional expertise: public relations, community engagement, and ethnic studies.

8 things we always wanted to ask Ayanna

Dip into DIBs with our very own head of diversity, inclusion and belonging. And dance like it's 1999!

Tell us about yourself.

I come to this work having had the lived experience of spending a significant part of my career in the tech/healthcare PR agency sector before making the tough decision to leave it behind as an act of self-preservation; I didn’t feel that I had the requisite support system to truly thrive. As such, I feel uniquely qualified to support our diverse staff while also fortifying our talent pipeline and industry partnerships.

What are your focus areas?

I am focusing on recruitment with an emphasis on Black and LatinX hires; strong retention and career advancement opportunities for diverse staff; and evangelizing our DIBs journey–both internally and externally.

What’s your notable work experience prior to coming to Highwire?

Prior to joining Highwire, I spent a decade in the field of donation and transplantation. I led strategic initiatives to drive awareness and promote advocacy for increasing the number of organ and tissue donors throughout the Bay Area. It was, by far, one of the most transformative professional experiences that I ever had..I never tired of the mission.

What got you into this business in the first place?

My love of storytelling, writing, and creative ideation.

What was your finest moment, the thing you’re most proud of?

Launching the first national industry-led conversation about strategies for engaging African Americans about the need for more organ and tissue donors in the BLM era.

What was your most embarrassing moment in this business?

During my first month as a newly-minted AE, I mispronounced Reuters as Route-ers, and my peer trainer gave me SUPER side eye before correcting me. Lesson learned! Thankfully, I went on to secure some pretty sweet Reuters media coverage years later.


 

What was growing up like for you?

I grew up in the most idyllic neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. Our family has been there for more than three generations, and I loved everything about it: the architecture, the warm/friendly Midwest vibes, the eclectic shops, and, of course: the food! Good times.

What do you do for a good time when you’re not working?

I’m a reformed party animal, however, these days it involves lots of Bay Area adventures with my hubby/two sons as well as girlfriends. Though we have been slowed down a bit by COVID, we have managed to enjoy: lots of hikes, road trips, backyard bbqs, garden/landscaping projects, impromptu 90’s dance parties, baking, and lots of ZOOMs and video calls with our extended family members. For 2021, I’m trying to add a new hobby into the mix: crocheting. I see lots of scarves and potholders in my future.


 

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Thinkers and doers

We pride ourselves on having a unique combination of drive, creativity and trusted relationships that result from decades of success in strategic communications.

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Emily Call Borders

Principal
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Carol Carrubba

Principal
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Kathleen Gratehouse

Principal
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Kim Paone

General Manager, New York
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Ayanna Anderson

Head of DIBs
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Andrew Robinson

Head of People
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JBC

EVP, Digital
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James Holland

EVP, Digital
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Carolina Noguera

Executive Vice President
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Christine Elswick

SVP, Security
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Joe Ferrary

SVP, Enterprise
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Bob Gohn

SVP, Creative
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Ross Levanto

Senior Vice President
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Allie MacPherson

SVP, Social Media
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Jayme Maniatis

SVP, Health
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Dylan Tweney

SVP, Editorial
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Mallory Cloutier

Vice President
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Misty Holbert

Vice President
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Joe Giumarra

Vice President
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Audrey Granger

Vice President
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Morgan Mathis

VP, Health
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Peter McCormack

Vice President
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Megan Phelan

VP, Security
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Melissa Roxas

Vice President
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Saige Smith

VP, Health
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Peter White

Vice President

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