I’ve told stories for a living. I can help you tell yours.
The Early Business Years
I began my career as a financial analyst at American Airlines. I had many assignments over the course of my fourteen years there, but two in particular shaped my thinking and approach.
Committing to Leadership was a special training program that I helped design and deliver to 17,000 managers and frontline employees. We worked with a range of outside consultants to build the curriculum, an exercise that turned out to be a master class in how to lead.
I took what I learned and applied it in my next assignment as general manager of Boston's Logan Airport, a famously difficult station, both in terms of employee relations and the operation. In two years, I achieved measurable improvements in productivity, spending, local freight and mail revenue, and service levels. My success story was featured in The Southwest Way by Jody Hoffer Gittell (McGraw-Hill) and It’s Not What You Say, It’s What You Do by Laurence Houghton (Doubleday).
After American, I took a job as the VP of Human Resources for a small engineering firm in Seattle. I built an HR department where there had been none in anticipation of a major acquisition, and ultimately added CFO to my title. As CFO, I renegotiated financial covenants, renewed an expiring credit agreement, and secured a $3 million CAPEX bridge loan, all of which gave the company time to find a buyer.
Then things took a turn.
The Literary Years
The company relocated, but I decided to stay in Seattle . . . to write mystery novels. Some called it bold (me). Some called it harebrained and reckless (Mom). They say write what you know. I knew airlines, so the setting for my first thriller was Logan Airport and my protagonist was the general manager turned sleuth. I'd always had the ability to write, but I'd never written a word of fiction, so I took classes, worked hard, and did many, many rewrites. Writing a mystery was the biggest challenge of my life, but I finished a manuscript and it landed me an agent and a two-book deal with an imprint of Penguin Putnam. We also sold it to major publishing houses in the UK and Italy. My second book was named one of the most notable thrillers of the year by Publishers Weekly. I went on to write two more books in the series, which were published internationally by Simon & Shuster.
Back to Business
As I was launching my career as an author, I was also launching my consulting practice. Working with a New York consulting firm that specialized in financial services, I unraveled and documented a complex anti-money laundering process for a global correspondent bank and salvaged a difficult HR system implementation for a prestigious investment firm. I also provided performance analysis and copywriting services to the investment industry.
One of my favorite software clients, Curaspan, lured me back to full time work as their Director of Communications. I spent four years helping that organization grow and thrive. After the company was acquired, I returned to consulting full time, this time to help small and growing businesses use communication to drive engagement and accelerate performance.
I received a BBA with a concentration in finance from the Southern Methodist University Edwin L. Cox School of Business, and an MBA, also from SMU.
If you’re looking for my publishing website, it’s here.
I built an HR department where there had been none in anticipation of a major acquisition, and ultimately added CFO to my title.
After the company was acquired, I returned to consulting full time, this time to help small and growing businesses use communication to drive engagement and accelerate performance.