Opportunity Knocks by EmpowHer Purpose

E101: The Power of Relationships with Jennifer Acree

May 09, 2024 Michelle Valenzuela Wolf Episode 101
E101: The Power of Relationships with Jennifer Acree
Opportunity Knocks by EmpowHer Purpose
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Opportunity Knocks by EmpowHer Purpose
E101: The Power of Relationships with Jennifer Acree
May 09, 2024 Episode 101
Michelle Valenzuela Wolf

Communication and relationships are KEY for Episode 101 of Opportunity Knocks! I’m thrilled to chat with POWERHOUSE Communications exec Jennifer Acree, Founder and CEO of JSA+partners.

You know I always tout that connection is 🔑 and my first introduction to Jen at the bar 😂 of the Los Angeles B2B Women’s Awards, where she was being honored (and I didn’t know) I knew I had to have her on Opportunity Knocks and share it with you. Our connection was an immediate connection and you'll hear her wisdom is endless. Of course we then found out we had so many common connections. Win=Win. Life or mine for sure.😂🥰

Jen and her team work with high-profile clients like Yahoo! and The Sphere in the technology space to develop communications programs tailored to get results based on clear business objectives. She is also on the USC Annenberg School of Communications Board of Advisors. 

A key piece of her success over the years has been keeping relationships at the forefront of all she does. Even our meeting and this episode prove that you never know who you’re going to meet and what that relationship might bring into your life.

Our chat dives into:
✨ How she started her business after one door closed
✨ Why relationships are the most important part of business and life
✨ How communication can either make or break your business
✨ Balance as an entrepreneur

And so much more! I loved this chat with my FUN fellow Trojan, female entrepreneur, mom and relationship junkie. We are all wired for connection, in and outside of the boardroom. 

Show Notes Transcript

Communication and relationships are KEY for Episode 101 of Opportunity Knocks! I’m thrilled to chat with POWERHOUSE Communications exec Jennifer Acree, Founder and CEO of JSA+partners.

You know I always tout that connection is 🔑 and my first introduction to Jen at the bar 😂 of the Los Angeles B2B Women’s Awards, where she was being honored (and I didn’t know) I knew I had to have her on Opportunity Knocks and share it with you. Our connection was an immediate connection and you'll hear her wisdom is endless. Of course we then found out we had so many common connections. Win=Win. Life or mine for sure.😂🥰

Jen and her team work with high-profile clients like Yahoo! and The Sphere in the technology space to develop communications programs tailored to get results based on clear business objectives. She is also on the USC Annenberg School of Communications Board of Advisors. 

A key piece of her success over the years has been keeping relationships at the forefront of all she does. Even our meeting and this episode prove that you never know who you’re going to meet and what that relationship might bring into your life.

Our chat dives into:
✨ How she started her business after one door closed
✨ Why relationships are the most important part of business and life
✨ How communication can either make or break your business
✨ Balance as an entrepreneur

And so much more! I loved this chat with my FUN fellow Trojan, female entrepreneur, mom and relationship junkie. We are all wired for connection, in and outside of the boardroom. 

Hey, Jen, how are you? Hi, how are you? I'm good. I'm so happy to be on the call with you. You too. And, you know, I feel like serendipitous connections happen with me all the time.  And, you know, I don't really think of it as serendipity anymore. I just always think of it as like, how blessed am I that Random people come into my life all the time  and I think we have like one common value Probably a lot more than one common value in in general, but  our one common value for the night.

We met was fun.  

Yes  Yes, for sure. Yeah, 

it was here. We were at what was the name of that women's thing? The la times women of inspiration Inspirational awards or something. Yeah. 

And you were actually a nominee. 


And here we were standing at the bar. 

Yeah, of course. It's the wrong bar. 

It's the wrong bar.

It's not the alcohol we wanted. Yeah, 


And we met and it was such a great, immediate connection  and somebody that, I mean, we ended up having so many people in common, but really more than that, it was like, Hey, this girl's cool.  And we understood each other 

for sure. Like right away. 

Yeah. It was really kind of cool in the way of like, cause I think both of us are like, Oh yeah, we're at this award ceremony while I didn't actually know that you were a nominee. 

Yeah. Come on. That's a big deal.  It's a big deal.  Don't undervalue it. 

It was very, it was very fun. I, I, I remember leaving it and I was like, well, this was worth it just because I met you. So and super fun. And I felt the same way, just like a, just a instant connection. 

Totally. Well, 


we get too far into our love fest, I'd like to introduce Jen Acri.

You can call her Jennifer if you're not her friend, but I'm her friend, so I call her Jennifer.  And she is the founder and CEO of JSA Partners, which is a digital strategic media communications company. And it's located right here in Los Angeles, and she handles several very large companies that are in the tech,  gaming, and digital media industry.

And It's interesting going back to our first interactions with one another. You're just really humble, just like how you're just sort of saying, Oh, no big deal that I was nominated. It was a little bit like when we were having our conversation at the table that night of the award ceremony. And. 

I was like, Oh, well, like, who do you work with? You're a PR agency or a digital communications agency. Who are you working with?  And you just sort of like  slightly said a couple of the companies as if it was no big deal. And I was like, wait, you work for this fear. I want to go to you too. Let's talk about this.


no, I mean, you know, I feel really lucky. We've gotten to work with some amazing companies over the years. We're actually celebrating our 15th anniversary and I was just sort of been reflecting on,  you know, where I was then and, you know, where the company is now. And, you know, it's, it's been an amazing journey.

I mean, I've certainly made my fair share of mistakes, but you know, I feel  We're in a super strong position and we're working with some amazing brands and it's been great, 

but how did you get started? Cause here's the thing,  one of even coming out of the visioning workshop last night,  so many women have ideas.

Even once their business is launched and then you might have to pivot a little bit, or you might have to open a new category, but you think you're not an expert, right? 


When did you go from being working with somebody for starting to starting your own thing? And it's kind of cool that you were going through this reflection process and congratulations on 15 years.


thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I know. It's hard to believe that I'm really this old at this point, but trying to soak it all in and be appreciative of everything, but no, I mean, honestly, I did not have any big grand vision when I started, I'd, I'd been at I'd been in Yahoo for about eight years and had a very successful career there and  You know, we were the company as, I mean, it's on an amazing path now.

They're actually a client of mine. But at the time there had been a lot of turmoil and, you know, a lot of things happening and there was a reorg happening and I was part of that. Reorg and I had also had my daughter. So I had left Yahoo and  by then it was like January 09. It was, if anyone remembers December 08, it was not a great time in the world with the market crash and bank collapse.

So not a wonderful economy to be launching your own company.  And we are.  Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And,  and I'd been, I mean, I, I'd had, I mean, I think what really helped was just the longstanding relationships I've had throughout my career. Like all the people I met at Yahoo and my previous companies  putting out feelers.

I, I was, I actually just got a new year's card from him, but there was a The CEO of a company that had that I was with called overture that was based in here in Los Angeles that got bought by Yahoo. That's how I got to Yahoo in the first place. But the CEO of overture, he was a friend and he came to me in January and, and said, you know, Oh, I have, I'm where I'm on the board of this company, this VC firm I'm affiliated with, you know, could you help them?

I really, you're like the perfect person to help them with their messaging. And I was like,  Well, that's just crazy, Ted, because I just literally opened my shingle. I I'm I've left Yahoo and, and I can help. And he's like, well, that's the best news I've ever heard. So through him, I got my first client and then I just literally just started.

telling people that I was a communications consultant and I just started, you know, building business. I, I worked by myself for a while, then I worked with some contractors. And then just over the year, like I had, I had like three people for a couple of years and then I think the last like four or five years have really expanded.

So now we have about 10. Yeah. And it's, you know, I mean, not easy. I always feel like it's kind of like a season. Nothing on earth is easy. 

That's sort of the numbers that a lot of people think, well, I'm not going to get started because, you know, it's going to be hard. And they're looking for like a,  a straight line.

I mean, parenting is not a straight line. No. Yes. So when you said that you, that you really think that it's your relationships with people that helped you  get to this level, but in addition to that, like, do you feel, how do you feel like you go about developing relationships and connection?  I mean, cause like our relationship was built upon a predicated connection, right?

Correct. Correct. So what skill do you think that is?  

Well, I think being for like as a baseline being like a good person being honest and genuine is is kind of like the foundational level. And then, I mean, a lot of it is just, you know,  I didn't think about it at the time. I was just, you know, you know, working and doing what I was hoping to do the best job I could do.

And I just, you know, with all the people I met at Yahoo and, and in previous jobs, like they, we just had, you know, a good working relationship and they knew that I. You know, was, you know, hopefully a good communications person and wanted to hire me later. Pardon me? 

Would you say it's because you have a strong work ethic that people,  like, 

trusted you? 

I think so. I think that  And just my judgment because I'd been in, you know, I'd been in the trench, you know, communications is, is a very relationship driven industry. And when I worked with, you know, executives at Yahoo or other companies, you know, I, you know, you're a confidant, you know, you're a therapist you're You know, you just, you build your reputation through interactions with people.

You know, I've been dealing with a couple of crises for different clients this week. Like you're in the trenches with people, you, you know, they understand that they can count on you in like, in these like kind of tense moments. And then that kind of extends beyond that.  

So  it sounds like what you're talking about is also problem solving.

So  as a business owner, And also as a business owner, that's in a service based industry. How do you stop yourself from being a people pleaser  and also a yes person?  

That is a great question. It's, I feel like I learned skill from just doing this over and over. And I really try to instill that with my team here that we aren't yes, people for clients.

I think it starts with you know, when I started the company, we were named JSA strategies because it's my initials. And honestly, I just like, didn't really give it a lot of thought because I didn't think I was going to use it. What's the S?  My maiden name, which is Stevens. Okay. Which is how like most of the people in most of my career sort of knew me as Jennifer Stevens.

So it made sense. But you know, a couple of years ago, we changed the name to JSA and Partners. And the reason why we did that was we partner with each other, meaning that it doesn't matter if it's an intern.  Or a coordinator or a VP, like we all ideas when, you know, not, not the people themselves also on the client side you know, really partnering with them and knowing sort of from the beginning that they are the right people for us to work with.

We are pretty picky about who we want to work with because we want people who are going to take our counsel and aren't just going to be like, Oh, I want that this announcement in. You know, in the New York Times, you know, and having a discussion about things and seeking our counsel for the strategic approach, as opposed to like, this is what I want.

Now you need to go do it.  And I think just over time, I've, we've just sort of learned how to do that. And, you know, it's, you know, you don't want to just say, well, no, that's a dumb idea, even though sometimes you're thinking that in your head. I think it's about, you know, really saying to a client. I understand this is your goal.

But this is how we think the best from our experience. This is how the best approach to get there. And, you 

know, reframing it, reframing it and having them. To 

perhaps see a different approach. Exactly. Exactly. And just being,  you know, after making a lot of mistakes for 15 years, like what are the right clients for us?

And we can, you can kind of tell at the very beginning if a client is going to be sort of that, right. 

That's like an intuition thing. Cause it's kind of the same thing with relationships, right? It's like, you kind of know whether or not it's a good fit or not. 

Yeah,  exactly. And you just kind of can tell by the questions somebody asking in a new business meeting or their approach or their body language or whatever it is, you can kind of tell if they're going to be receptive to counsel  as opposed to like a ticket taker.

Yeah, I see what you're saying. Yeah. So when you're talking about a lot of this stuff, and I love the way that you're thinking about your team as being partners. Yeah. And that each person has a voice because  that shows great leadership and capability to see beyond themselves, right? That's why you call them JSA and partners. 

Do you think that most leaders that you are around take that same approach?  I 

would hope so. I would hope so that the people that I would associate myself with would, would take that approach. But you know, I think it's, it comes with like wisdom and just You know, having a lot of bad bosses and a lot of bad work environments, you kind of can learn what you want to create when you're creating something for yourself. 

So if you were to say like, I'm going to build my ideal team and work environment. Right. And I, I find that again, this is not just a business discussion. This is a discussion like it for life. Right. What would be like the ideal person or team to like, kind of put together? If you could say like, as you grow here, you are 15 years and you're reflecting on like, Oh my gosh, like I, it's hard for me to believe it's six years, this year, and I'm like.

Wow. I had it six years ago, but I can still remember it like year two.  So my question for you is, is that as you start to look for growth, like how do you see the team expanding?  Yeah, I mean, I think growth, maybe it's actually staying and honing.  

I think, I think we, we don't aspire just to be big for big sake.

I think I think it's about growing in a smart way that. Allows our team to grow. So my preference is always to bring people in at the ground floor and grow them. You know, sometimes we've we have definitely hired senior people also in in certain areas that we needed that help. But like, You know, we have people that were interns that are now full time staff that have already been promoted, like we have people that have, you know, been here and grown, you know, for five, six years and you know, that's always sort of, I just, I just always try to find people that are like intellectually curious that are self motivated and cause I don't know that you can really teach that.

I think you kind of have that or you don't. And. You know, just that we all are kind of like in it together to accomplish whatever goal we have at that point. 

Yeah. Like, is there like a dream client? Like that you're like, Oh my God,  I don't know. I'm just going to throw something out. It's like, it's like, Oh, if, if I could be on Oprah's coaching team, like that would be amazing.

Like, you know, or right. Right. Right. I 

don't know if there's like a dream client. I mean, honestly, we work with some amazing clients right now that I. Absolutely love and, you know, love partnering with to help kind of reach, not even just their communications goals or business goals. What I like about it is just really that variety, right?

So, you know, we work with a startup where, you know, they don't have comms people where we work with, you know, fortune 500 companies where they have, you know, 50 or 60 comms people, you know, in their organization. So. I just love sort of that variety. So I would say like our goal was always to sort of have that variety and I just love learning new things or new industries and kind of like digging into like what a company's business objectives are and then how do, how can comms really support that? 

So when, so when we say digital communications,  What does that include? 

Yeah, it's really just more corporate. I would say, like, corporate communications, like, digital media is kind of 1 of the areas of focus of kind of companies that we would work with. So, like, we work with Yahoo, for example. So they are a media company.

They're digitally based. So that would kind of fall under that category. So for, I mean, I think there's a lot of mis, like misnomers about even what PR is and what communications is. Actually because 

PR has changed so much. Exactly. You know, and it's a, it's a huge, like for those people out there, I think talking about how important PR now is and your marketing mix is essential.

Yeah. Because it didn't used to be that. It used to be like your afterthought, but now it's like a forefront, yeah, forethought. For sure. Yeah. So can you tell 

Yeah, I think like, I mean, you know, just  one recent example of, you know, something most people probably heard of this last year was the, you know, Silicon Valley bank decline and implosion or however you want to say it.

And I think a lot of that, you know, could have been prevented if they communicated correctly on how they were you know, going to be raising money. I mean, that they completely. Watch that by just not really explaining what they were doing. People got spooked and kind of sparked that whole demise of the bank.

And to me, there's been, you know, numerous examples of that. I have a newsletter that we write every month that kind of highlight some of those things as we see them. But, you know, I think, Communications is, is, is not just, it's a lot of things, but it's, in our case, it's reputation management. So, you know making sure that if there's an issue that's going to come out, like there's a lot of those in gaming, there's just a lot in digital media, things that just sort of come out of the woodwork and just having, you know, the right approach for that.

How do you put together like a statement for the media? What's the media strategy to kind of make sure that you are. Continuing to maintain the the reputation of, of whatever company you're working with. 

Yeah. And there's also that thorough thread, right? That it's like, messaging is the same wherever you go that people then are clear, right?


Like people want to know, like, what is this? What is that? You know, and having that clear messaging,  You know, is is super important. It's sort of fundamental to everything. And also kind of with the lens that it's not Mark. It's not marketing. So you can't go in and tell a reporter. Oh, we're the biggest blah, blah, blah, you know, whatever, like, you know, you can't really do that.

They're all going, they're going to roll their eyes at you. You know, you have to do something that's credible, that's differentiated, and it's can be substantiated, you know, because you're not just putting out marketing copy. You're not buying an ad in the Wall Street Journal.  So, and then the other things that we work on is, you know, media relations.

So if you have companies have announcements, you know, how do you strategically position that? What's the what is the approach? Like, is it better to go to an exclusive to 1 member of the media? Are you, are you going to try to get it to a lot of outlets? And then we do a lot of thought leadership. So building reputations of individual executives in certain topics.

How do you, you know, triangulate, you know, sort of what's happening in the world with a topic with how do you insert like your client or your executive into those conversations? Like, for example, AI is a huge topic right now, but what's the unique perspective of that? Of that So it's okay. 

Anyway and then I would say for thought leadership also like events and awards and like having people at conferences and speaking at those and things like that, that kind of build the reputation of the client and the individual. 

So how, when we're talking about all of these different. Facets and areas within communications Do you have a favorite?

That is a great question. You know what? I, I have always loved this. I love working on a, with a journalist about like a framing of a company with like a launch or like launching the company or something that's really kind of,  you know, innovative, I guess is the right word. So I love,  Kind of framing what that story is, like figuring out what are the levers, like what I was saying about what's the industry context.

And then I love working with the client and the journalist to tell that story. And it's so satisfying to see an article come out that you know, that, that I had a hand in of kind of seeing like what that looks like. 

Well, it's also a positioning thing, 

right? Yeah. 

Yeah. There's nothing better than seeing the way you position something be received. 

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. What are the biggest challenges being an entrepreneur for you?  

I think just the balance. I mean, I think it just can be very overwhelming because there's always something to do. I, you know, personally love client work and I love being involved with clients and working with them to help, you know, think through an issue or.

provide strategic counsel or that type of thing and building those relationships, you know, I'm less, you know I guess interested in sort of like the,  the  mechanics of, you know, running a company. So of like, you know, billing and. 

So then how do you, cause I mean, it's essential, right? How do you balance that? 

How do you balance the things you don't want to do with the things that you do want to do? 

Yeah, it's a great question. I mean i've outsourced A lot of things or have people help me more with the things that i'm not as great at or as strong at and which frees up my time to do the stuff that I do want to do But you have to do some of it.

I mean and you learn that way. I mean, it's definitely  I mean, I'm sure you feel the same way. It's just not, you know, it's not my core competency. So I but I, you know, I, I try I do my best. 

Yes, exactly. You know, as you kind of look into since this is the beginning of the year and everything. Like, what are some of your personal goals?

Like, what do you do when we're talking about balance? Like, how do you bring, you know, we, we met based on fun, right. But it was serendipitous. It was, you know, it was a workout  and yes, we attract those things cause we're fun, but how do you, how do you actually attract like what you want for the year?  

Hmm.  I think a lot of it is.

You know, first of all, I always think about like our current clients and things like that first. So, you know, if, you know, my whole thing is like, you don't need to do a bunch of new business all the time. If you are just keeping your clients happy and growing those businesses and if they're the right clients for us, then, you know, I want to make sure that we're servicing those.

So that's sort of what we're in the middle of right now. I think Personally, you know, it's been a goal of mine to join a board for the, for in the next couple of years. I would like to do that. It doesn't have to be a public board. So I've been exploring that. I sometimes have put those things on hold when I am busy with other things.

And then I think, you know, you know, personally, just always making more time for my family and friends and enjoying myself and you know, making sure that  always. Kind of meeting new people and getting out there doing new things. 

What is enjoyment look like for you? Like, just curiously, like as a CEO and a founder, and how do you like de stress?

How do you actually give yourself space? Cause like you need some space, right? 

Yeah. Well, I mean, like you, I'm an early morning workout person. So I I try to do that most every day and get up and, and get, I find it very helpful, like if I, I am so much more tired, even if I got less sleep, if I get up and work out And just getting my mind moving and my body moving and feeling good and, you know, making sure that I, but I have to do it in the beginning of the day.

Otherwise it doesn't happen. 


exactly.  Especially when it's dark out. I'm like, forget it. I'm getting my pajamas on. But I, I would say, yeah, enjoyment is. exercising in a lot of ways. I think spending time with my family, even though my daughter's 15. So I, you know, as you know, not always 

like spend time with you.

Oh, dying,  dying to spend time with me. Yeah. If I can give her a ride somewhere. Yes.  Yeah, exactly. And then I would 

have public board, like, which 1 is it public or private? 

I would be, I think private would be fine. I think it'd be in an industry that I that I'm in that I work in, which I think would would help me kind of like, be able to add more value in terms of industry perspective.

And then I think, like, maybe 1 that has some communications challenges that I could be helpful with. 

Let me ask you a question with USC. So you talked a little bit about being involved with organizations, but also. Having credibility, right? Like, yeah, integrity in what you do. How did you get involved at USC and what sparked that?

Were you a communications major there at Annenberg or what, how did that come about?  

Yeah, I actually wasn't, I was in Jordan's life too. I was, it wasn't called that, I guess when we were there, but I was, I it was called. No, I don't even know either. I was in, I was a political science major with a business minor.

But it was, it kind of went back to the relationships piece. So Fred Cook, who runs the center for PR board for Willow Bay, who's the Dean of Annenberg and I have known each other for a very long time, he and I just were having a conversation and he knew I was an alum. And I had friends that were on the board, you know, we, I, he just, we had a conversation and I joined a couple years ago and it's been, you know, it's, it's the.

I find it just really interesting to connect with other  communications leaders across agencies and across big public companies or private companies, and just really connecting. We, we do only do it twice a year, but like going around the room to talk about what each person is really working on or focused on is incredibly valuable.

And just to hear people's different perspectives from that. And then I also, we, we get a lot of our interns and things like that from the communications program, because Anna Burke's such an amazing person. I 

should probably ask you about that, because I I tend to tap into the sororities, but  it's sometimes nicer to get them directly from the schools.

So Yeah, 

yeah, and I and now we have a pipeline where, you know, we have a good one, a good intern and then we ask that person for recommendations kind of thing. You know, and it's been it's been a nice pipeline. 


I'm sure you're  

always looking for a little additional support. So I want to tune into this topic around community around not just communication, but relationships. 

So what do you think are the essential things in developing key connections or relationships?  

Well, I think, I think it's, you know,  using every interaction as an opportunity to make those connections. And when you're, I think it starts with being authentic, right? Like you have to be, Who you are, you have to be, you know, honest and straightforward and kind of attract other people that are of that mind.

And I, I, I think the one thing that I've done a fairly good job in working the last 25 years is just really keeping in contact with people. You know I have friends at LinkedIn who came and spoke at our company offsite.  This last year and she's sort of the LinkedIn career expert and she sort of she echoed that same sentiment It's you know, you don't have to you know It's not it's not when you're what one need to ask for something that you get in contact with someone that you worked with 15 years Ago, it's you know, it could be a quick LinkedIn message or a quick you know, a quick text, you know that just says like, hi, just thinking about you or you know, it doesn't have to be some long lunch or, you know, whatever.

It could be like a quick hello or text or zoom catch up for 10 minutes or. Whatever. And I have found me speaking 


you, right? I mean, 

something not for.  

Yeah, exactly. I got a text from a friend who works at a VC. It was in December, but I don't know how she read my mind. But she was like, she's like, I'm just thinking of you.

And I just want to tell you, you got this today. And, and I needed to hear that that day. It was, it, it was, You know, and, you know, I need to actually tell her that because it was just, you know, it was just a fortuitous thing, but she was thinking about me and reached out just to say hi. And I really, and, and that, you know, a little word of encouragement and it was super helpful.

Yeah. And, and honestly, that's what we need is just, sometimes it's just a little pick me up because we all need that support. Right. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So I know time is of essence. I did want to make sure that I also touched on for me values are what guide me and guide my fulfillment and it actually guides all people's choices and fulfillment as well.

So I'd love to know a little bit more about what your top five core values are and how you use them to guide you every day.  

Yeah, it's a great question. Well, I think, you know, a lot of the things we've been talking about, like authenticity and I think, you know, just being a,  I don't know what the, what's the word for being a good person?

Like I didn't just like yeah, exactly. Exactly. I think I value hard work, right? You know, nothing comes easy and You know, having that kind of, I think my, my dad instilled that in me, you know, at a very early age when all my friends were going to the beach and I had a job working at a deli and, you know, I think like just having that.

That ethos of, you know, I, I, I want to, I want to accomplish this and I know that it's gonna take hard work to do it. Yeah.  And I think compassion  would be another one.  Yeah, like just having empathy for people and. Realizing that you know, everyone has different things going on in their lives and having that, you know, safe space to be able to communicate other things that are going on with them that may be affecting how they're showing up. 

Yeah. I mean, I think and that says a lot again about your leadership style. Cause not a lot of leaders come with compassion  in people's personal situations necessarily.  So that is. That's a beautiful thing. Do you think your father taught you how to be a leader?  

I think in a lot of ways, my both my parents just in different ways, like my dad was a attorney and very strong, but came from very humble beginnings.

And I think he definitely taught me the, the work ethic piece of it. And then I think my mom probably taught me more like the softer skills, you know, of just relationship building and You know, having that kind of rapport with people. And I feel like she, you know, she was sort of better than that.

So I better than that than probably my dad. So I think both of them, I kind of took away different things from each of them. I would 

say,  you know, you grew up in LA, you went to college in LA.  Did you ever want to move away? Did you ever think that I did? 

I moved to Washington, DC after After I graduated from SC and I'd, I'd had an internship for a semester in DC and the, you know, talking about hard work and relationships, they said, you know, if you want to move back here after graduation, I was a junior at the time we'll help you find a job. 

So I, you know, leveraged those relationships and and got it and got a job. That's like a Google Chrome extension or something. And I bet it. But the, but some of them are off, you know, I, I,  I, so I did move away and I worked on, on Capitol Hill for about five years and then, but I always knew I wanted to come back here.

Yeah. Well, I think you, you're a California girl at heart, right? Yes. Yeah. 

Yeah. All my family and friends. So 

before we get off the call, I want to know if there's anything that you feel that you need to impart from a communications perspective to our collective community across the world that you feel that would be important to deliver as a message for us going forward? 

I would say just really value your communication style and your, and, and, and understanding how you show up in the world, whether that's You know, in media or in your general interactions and just being like, very cognizant of, you know, your own reputation and how that builds upon itself year over year.

And, you know, I would say. You know, next time you're watching the news or reading a newspaper, kind of like think through like, Oh, I wonder how, I wonder how this came about, like and, and kind of like thinking through the process of, you know, the communications process. I always find it interesting from my perspective, but I might, for people that aren't in communications, that might be a good place to start of just thinking about.

Like, how did that, how is that person speaking and answering those questions on that news program, whether it be a politician or a, you know, a CEO? And then when you're reading, you know, a news article, kind of like thinking through what that might, how that might've come about or what like, what was the, what was the way that happened?

Yeah. Like, I mean, I think what you're asking people to do is Get curious, like get educated, like don't just form an opinion just out of nowhere, but really try to get curious and  communications is the vehicle for all outward communication about what's happening in our world. Right.  What a great, what a great suggestion.

So anyways, thank you so much for your time today. Thank you. 

Thank you. And let's see each 

other on IRL soon. Yes, we will. We will see exactly IRL totally. And can you please leave people with where they can get ahold of you? Your LinkedIn, your Instagram, and your, like anything specific that might be going on besides your 15 year anniversary.

Yeah. Yeah, I think LinkedIn is probably the best spot. I'm just like Jennifer Stevens Akery. Okay. 

I mean, from there. Perfect. Well, thank you so much. Thanks so much. And let's keep doing the show. for the opportunity, sister. Sounds great.