What is your job title?
I am the Assistant Public Information Officer at the Orange County Corrections Department (otherwise known as the jail). I am also the tours coordinator for our agency.
Tell us about your job.
My job primarily entails internal and external communications. I oversee the monthly publication of our newsletter, the Corrections Chronicle, and additionally I contribute articles to the Orange County employee newsletter, The Spiel. I am the web coordinator for the jail’s website (www.bestjail.com) and just recently we received the authorization to begin using social media to post interesting things as they take place within our department. Additionally, I give public record instruction to our employees as it pertains to our agency and Florida Statute 119 and occasionally I fill-in processing the daily media requests. As the tours coordinator I oversee the scheduling and deliver the opening presentations for our visitors from the outside. My clients would be mainly the employees and citizens of Orange County.
How long have you been in FPRA? Why did you join?
I originally joined FPRA a few years ago when I first received my promotion to my current position. At the time, Allen Moore was my supervisor, and he was a long-time active member. We truly enjoyed attending the monthly breakfast training sessions! When he retired it became difficult for me to maintain active in my membership as our agency was transitioning to my current supervisor, PIO Carrie Proudfit (formerly Hoeppner). After a short break in my membership I am pleased to be returning back to FPRA, this time with Carrie as a new member.
What’s your favorite FPRA event?
It was a workshop held on October 24, 2013 at Leu Gardens. There were numerous guest speakers who came to speak to us in different break-out sessions and towards the end a delicious lunch was served. I remember one gentleman in particular who was from UCF. The title of his presentation escapes me but it was very catchy and intriguing. During lunch the female presenter spoke to us about Pinterest, what it was and how to use it. It was the first time I had ever heard of Pinterest. Now, it has really taken off in popularity. The best part of the event was the opportunity to network. I met some wonderful professionals in the business who were delightful to talk to, and I normally wouldn’t have met them under any other circumstance with working at the jail.
Tell us an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
My biggest achievement has been through being a member of Toastmasters. In case you are unfamiliar, Toastmasters is a worldwide organization that helps people to develop or enhance their communication/public speaking and leadership skills. Since joining the club at work approximately eight years ago, I have completed over thirty speech projects and have volunteered my time in several different board officer positions. It is through my role as VP of Public Relations that I first became interested in the field. I have grown from a bashful, embarrassed speaker whose face would immediately turn red to one who demonstrates self-confidence without stammering for the next word to complete my thought. In addition, my experiences and skills helped me to become eligible for a promotion into my current position. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Toastmasters. I encourage your readers to try visiting a club nearby so they can experience for themselves the benefits and see their potential in becoming better speakers or presenters.
What was your very first job?
My first job was at 17 and only lasted for about a month or two. I worked at Dino’s Pizza taking phone orders and working in the dining area, a job my best friend introduced me to since she started to work there. Although I discovered I really liked the customer service aspect, I learned that I was terrible at being a waitress. I would forget who ordered what drinks or food, I would get distracted with other things and probably made the customers wait too long, or I would over compensate and check on them way too often. What I soon found out was that I didn’t like waiting on people for extended periods of time. I was always happy when I would get a tip but I saw my best friend made a mint as a delivery person. She was very cute and the guys loved us!
Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
I love to paint pictures on either canvas or wall murals. My favorite pictures are of landscapes but painting murals for children’s rooms are the most enjoyable. Although I have tried water colors, I find working with acrylics are more suitable for me and what it is I am looking to do (that desired effect!). However, I have recently become addicted to the old Bob Ross painting shows on PBS. After studying his techniques I am tempted to try oils now. I would also like to one day learn how to do portraits.
I hope I never see you at my job though! 🙂