The New Faces of Outspoken Media


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 Angelique Sarnataro
Internet Marketing Specialist

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.

Michelle Lowery
Senior Content Manager

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

Your Comments

  • Teresa Basich

    So much change and growth for you all, but it’s been nothing short of spectacular watching Outspoken Media develop. Welcome to your newest team members, congratulations on a great year, and cheers to 2011!

    • Lisa Barone

      Thanks, Teresa. Definitely a lot of change packed into a short amount of time. But I think that’s somewhat expected for a new company. We’re really excited about 2011 and a new year. Cheers to you, as well. And congrats again on the new digs. ;)

  • Kristin

    Welcome!!! Can’t wait to see more from these two as the new year starts! :)

  • Nick Norris

    Woohoo, this is exciting for you guys! Good luck in 2011.

  • Joe Hall

    I am glad OSM is finally doing things right and hiring someone in SC! :P Michelle, I have a feeling that I am right down the road from you…..Next time I feel like bothering someone at OSM, I might do it in person!

    Oh, and nice to meet you as well Sabre!

  • Michelle Lowery

    Thank you so much for the wonderful welcome! I couldn’t be happier to be part of such an awesome team. Ready to kick ass in 2011 and beyond! :-)

  • Alan Bleiweiss

    Awesome news Rhea!

    It’s great to get confirmation about Outspoken’s ability to weather the winter storm, as we all intellectually knew already. :-)

    Sabre, from that description of your beliefs, you’re gonna fit in perfectly with the values Rhea and The Lisa excel at.

    And Michelle? Very cool to see you join OM as well! I knew there was a reason you’ve already long been in my twitter circle. :-)

    Now – the only question remaining for 2011 as I see it – how do we get you all to make Jack-Jack the official Outspoken mascot?

  • Dr. Pete

    Congratulations on surviving 2010! Every year you make it as a start-up is a victory, IMO. I was with a company from 2 employees (the owner + me) to 16, and change is inevitable. People come and go, the industry evolves, there are fights and friendships, and the best you can do is learn along the way and try to do it better.

    • Rhea Drysdale

      Couldn’t agree more with the little victories of start-ups and we need that reminder. It’s always motivating to hear from other business owners, like yourself, who grew their companies and as individuals, embracing change along the way. Thank you.

  • David Mihm

    I am envious/impressed/amazed/etc that you guys continue to thrive as a small firm. Every business expert I’ve talked to says that the first employee is the hardest & that it only gets easier from there. I still can’t bring myself to take the leap into the agency mode and it’s just great to see that you guys are continuing to expand even with all the internal shakeups. Prediction for 2011: Great things from OSM :D

    • Rhea Drysdale

      I’m going to give you the biggest hug ever the next time we see each other. I don’t really like human contact, so that’s a pretty big deal, too! I’d never heard that statistic before, but having lived it, it’s true. Defining yourself, the company, client expectations, employee expectations, etc, is hard work. We don’t pretend to have it all figured out, but we’re trying and two years in, we’ve learned enough to get it right more often than not. Hopefully we can keep that trend up. When/if you decide to make the agency jump you’re going to be phenomenal at it, you’ve already shown you tackle anything and make it awesome. Thank you and can’t wait to give you that hug.

  • Jim Rudnick

    yup, thanks Rhea for this post….seems to me, that the OSM “new” team is in fine shape….and like the others above, I’ll watch for new SEO developments from same, eh!

    so…happy new year to OSM!



  • Sabre Sarnataro

    Thank you for the amazing introduction! I couldn’t be more excited to be here and look forward to the future!

    I also can’t wait until the next gingerbread house building event because I am going to completely cover my house in icing! Muahahahaha!

  • Wil Reynolds

    I had one of my most senior people leave once, leaving me wondering how the heck was I going to move on. I didn’t find a “replacement” instead someone else stepped up and in a short time did such ann amazing job, it left me realizng that not only were we going to be fine, but that in a couple ways we were better off. This new person had something to prove, and big shoes to fill. Today it has been over a year and the company is feeling zero effects, even though at the time I thought we’d be devastated. The only thing that can defeat you is YOU! Great to see you keeping on Rhea and team. Wish you the best guys!

    • Rhea Drysdale

      I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to life lessons. I always have to make the mistake for myself. You’re one of the people I’ve met in life who I don’t just respect, but really listen to. Thanks for always giving so much of YOU, it’s appreciated and inspiring. So happy to see that in your situation things didn’t just work out, they were better off. We still have a lot of growing to do, always will, but I have faith in us, especially when folks like you do, too. :)

  • Jon Henshaw

    Congrats on your new hires and I hope Outspoken Media has a kick ass 2011!

  • Josh

    Looks like two solid additions to an already stellar team. Congrats to everyone!

  • Steve G

    Congrats on the progress and the new hire(s). I only have one real comment about the post though. Please, don’t do this

    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.

    very often. As an old guy that has been where you are several times, in the end it can cost you far more than you can see at this point. I won’t go in for the sappy work v family sayings, just be sure to find balance. And best of luck in 2011.

    • Rhea Drysdale

      Hi Steve, thanks for the important reminder, especially paired with this great post from Chris Brogan today:

      It’s something I do need to be reminded of, especially as I sit on the couch with a nasty cold. After several intense weeks my body said it was time to take a break, so today I’m trying to do just that and this Christmas I chose to shut everything down for the weekend and focus on the reason I’m working so hard. I may have been a little distracted, but I was in the moment with the people I love and that’s invaluable.

      Come back and visit with us more, sounds like we could all use the reminder more often and Happy New Year. :)

  • Jen Sable Lopez

    Congrats to the whole team! I’m really excited for all of you. :) Will we get to meet these lovely ladies at any conferences this year?

    • Rhea Drysdale

      Mid-January our two-year anniversary post will get published and questions like that will be answered. The short version, we certainly hope so! Depends on the conference, the schedule and the person, but there should be some definite opportunities to meet more of the crew.

  • Monica Wright

    I am deeply impressed by how you all have handled such changes in the past year, and couldn’t be more pleased to see how things are turning out. Excellent news, all around, congratulations!

  • Karen

    I look forward to even new and better thought-provoking articles from you ladies. Bravo — you must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt would have loved you gals! Karen :-)

  • Pam

    Looks like there is lots to be said for women-driven businesses. I love the fresh, crisp writing style on these blog posts and also love to see the amazing support that you folks have so clearly garnered. Best wishes for the new year!

  • Dev Basu

    I know a lot of people don’t like change but the fact is it not only good, but also necessary in many instances. I’m sure you ladies will crush it in 2011!