Degree(s): BJ '91
What do you do?
I am the Southwest District office director for U.S. Senator Christopher S. “Kit” Bond. I oversee a staff of three, listen to phone calls and answer questions for constituents, make travel arrangements for the Senator, and attend various meetings on his behalf. I also maintain a working relationship with media markets in Joplin and Springfield and write press releases and talking points for the Senator. I work closely with the Washington D.C. staff, especially on issues involving the media. I do all of these tasks and many others for the 24 counties in the southwestern portion of the state.
How did you get your current job?
A little bit of luck and a lot of hard work! After graduating in December of 1991 I spent eight years working in different jobs, developing my skills. I primarily worked in public relations and marketing around the Branson, Mo. area for different companies and a non-profit organization. After the last company I worked for downsized and took jobs out of state, I decided to take time off and see what I really wanted. Growing up in Jefferson City I have always had an interest in politics, so when a neighbor told me about the opening with the Senator’s office I applied. I have been with the Senator since November 1999 and have no intentions of leaving.
Best professional lesson learned at the J-School?
The best professional lesson I learned at the J-School was the hard work ethic and research skills.
What would be your best advice to current students?
I would tell current students to always remain true to the basic tenants of practical journalism. Always remember these three words – factual, fair and accurate. Never let personal endeavors cloud your work.
What are you working on currently?
With Congress wrapping up, I am finalizing strategic investments for the state in regard to support that has been received from the efforts of the Senator. I am also continuing ongoing outreach on behalf of the Senator to show he is concerned and remains active and interested in issues facing Southwest Missouri.
What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement/honor?
This is tough, but my greatest achievement/honor is the opportunity to work with the White House regarding presidential visits to Southwest Missouri. Granted, I am only a piece of the puzzle, but these experiences are a great learning experience, and working on the Senator’s behalf is always a remarkable experience.
What did you want to be as a kid?
Since high school, I have always wanted to work in journalism, primarily public relations. After transferring to Mizzou after my freshman year at Drury, I jumped into advertising and took the only two public relations classes offered, which at that time were taught by a lady working at University Hospital. After 10 years, I finally accomplished my dream.
Updated: November 3, 2011