Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
In 2 words: Type A
At Empathos: Forges collaborations to drive things forward
Career: 25 years in strategic communications
Education: Bachelors in chemistry
Sideline: Kayaking ace
Learned the hard way: Bring a flashlight and a charged cell phone when you go for a walk in the woods at diusk
A little more about me
Leaving a career in chemistry to pursue communications wasn’t a hard decision for Denise, who wanted to major in journalism but somehow got “sidetracked” into the sciences. Her first writing assignment as a freelance journalist was a cover story for the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Sunday Magazine on the city’s homeless families. Quite the departure from her former six years spent in a lab analyzing plastics and pharmaceutical products.
Work with the Plain Dealer spurred Denise to delve deeper into communications, and she transitioned to the marcom agency side of the business. One of her best client assignments? Handling all public relations for the NFL Green Bay Packers organization on their 1997-1998 stock sale. The effort raised more than $24 million in just 18 days, plus Denise got to accompany the team to San Diego for Super Bowl XXXII.
Denise’s work with clients in the B2B, service and CPG sectors took a turn when she lost a family member to suicide. The U.S. National Strategy for Suicide Prevention was released a year later, in 2001, and Denise became engaged in leveraging strategic communications to bridge the knowledge gap between science and service. She became managing editor of Preventing Suicide: The National Journal, published by SAMHSA, publisher of Advancing Suicide Prevention® magazine, and senior editor for the Well Aware program.
At Empathos Denise consolidates all planning, positioning, segmentation and strategic alliances, driven through multi-channel and multi-constituency communications projects, to ensure they are spot on. “I can’t not do this work,” she says of the public health communications that is fueled by personal experience and her passion for prevention.