Yesterday, Dawn announced she’d be moving on from Outspoken Media. It was hard to see in print, but Dawn stuck with us through an incredibly exhausting year and earned a spot in this family regardless of where her career takes her. We thank her for everything she brought to Outspoken, all the long hours and the work ethic that never ceased to impress. She’ll be missed.
With Dawn’s departure there were questions raised, especially since her announcement follows on the heels of Rae stepping down as CEO. Over the past two years Outspoken Media has experienced a tremendous amount of growth. That growth came in many shapes and sizes, and with the hard work and trust of many individuals. It has been exhausting, difficult, scary and, at times, absolutely insane. It’s also been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to date.
As the company grew on performance reports and ledgers, Lisa and I have grown as individuals. Did we do it without any bumps along the way? No. Did we do it without any help? No. But did we do it with a fire in our bellies to keep Outspoken Media our number one priority no matter how often our significant others, family and friends asked us to please shut the computer down? Yes. Business isn’t always fun, but the challenges make us better professionals and, I would like to think, people.
I am proud of what Outspoken Media has accomplished as a brand, a business and a service provider. It’s our baby and to the answer your questions – yes, we’re here to stay. We may not have the same names as when we began, but like any new business, if we cannot overcome inevitable obstacles gracefully and quickly, we didn’t have much going for us to begin with.
We’ve built something special and we will continue to grow this business in the New Year with the help of our team and clients. Now also seems like an appropriate time to welcome in two new faces to Outspoken Media. Well, at least new to you. They’ve actually been part of our family for a while now. They’re two women who joined our team and showed us how important team is to business. They complete us and in 2011 will be the other half of Outspoken Media.
Sabre serves as one of our Internet marketing specialists and came to Outspoken with a strong background in traditional marketing. She’s worked in promotions, broadcast advertising and print marketing, also delving into freelance web design/development and social media consulting. She has the core belief that every person should print the definition of “honest” to their mirror, not only to remind them of its varied meanings, but to inject it into their everyday lives. She believes a good marketing approach will always include passion, personality and honesty.
Clients will love her because she attacks their projects with passion, creativity and a unique voice. We love her because she’s a tough Italian, outspoken, and has no shame when it comes to the amount of frosting one requires to assemble a gingerbread house [still a sore subject around the office]. She’s also slowly working to increase Lisa’s pop culture knowledge, which we all really appreciate. Her knowledge, her fire and her spunk make her a perfect complement to Outspoken.
After serving time in both the United States Air Force as a cryptologic linguist (no, seriously) and Corporate America, Michelle serendipitously fell into Web writing, and hasn’t looked back since. For more than 20 years, Michelle parlayed her love of language into successful writing and editing pursuits. A self-described word nerd, she loves reading and books, and thinks grammar and etymology are fun. She speaks Spanish and Russian conversationally, and could probably get around Paris and Berlin without too much trouble. Since September 2008, she’s been honing her skills as a Web writer and editor, and learning the art and science of SEO, and Internet marketing.
Clients will love Michelle because her uncompromising personal expectations, honest writing, and versatile style and voice. We love Michelle for her excitement, her desire to dig in and get her hands dirty, and for occasionally sending emails so amazing they make us giggle and/or cry. Michelle currently resides in South Carolina so, sadly, she’s not in the office with Lisa, Sabre and myself. But that doesn’t stop us from bugging her via video Skype chats.
Just like any new company, this past year has been a lesson in smart hiring as we opened up our new Troy, NY office. However, with the addition of Michelle and Sabre, we’re confident we got it right.
To date we’ve been mostly a virtual shop with Lisa and myself working out of our apartments for the better part of the past two years (wee, no pants Friday!). It worked well when it was just us, but as the team grew we saw the effect that working virtually had on morale. As a result, we’ll only be considering candidates in upstate New York for (most) future positions. Yes, Michelle telecommutes, but she’s an exception due to her level of awesomeness and how well she vibes with the team. There’s something to be said for working in an office together with group coffee runs, late night client deadlines and maps for industry domination in 2011.
With that, we hope you’ll join us in welcoming Michelle and Sabre to the team. We think you’ll agree, they live up to the Outspoken Media legacy. We also want to thank the community for their support. The messages Lisa and I have received over the past few weeks have been nothing short of amazing. Thank you.
Photo credit: Dana Lookadoo