News & Views

The Secret Lives of DCI Staff

At DCI, we pride ourselves on living up to the five values of our agency, both in and out of the office. Every day, staff members are working to: be a knowledge sponge, keep promises, embrace a passion for places, share talents and — above all — pursue happiness. As coworkers who share open work spaces and frequently collaborate on client projects, we know staff members are always striving to do great work and uphold DCI values for clients and teammates. But recently, we started to wonder — How does our staff pursue these values outside the office? Whether part of our past or revealed only on the weekends, how many of us have “secret,” double lives?

Turns out, a lot.

Sierra Baldwin, Account Executive

“Before joining the DCI team, I lived overseas for more than three years, using a TEFL certificate as my ticket to finding work in several countries around the world. Most recently, I lived in Santiago de Chile for two years, where I worked full time as a freelance business English teacher and taught C-suite executives at major international corporations like LATAM Airlines, Nestle and Walmart. When I first arrived in Santiago, I burned through all of my savings and ate spaghetti a few days per week just to get by, but by the time I left, I was pulling in nearly four times the average income for women in Chile. What do I miss most about my past life? Being just a hop, skip and a jump from the most beautiful place in the world — Patagonia.”

Rachel Deloffre, Account Director

In addition to my passion for places, I have always had a passion for movement — in particular, gymnastics and dance. I dedicate a few hours a week to dance and gymnastics classes, where I try reliving childhood dreams with handstands, splits and pirouettes. On the weekends, I teach a fitness class at an adult gymnastics studio that was voted one of the best gyms in Denver.”

Hannah Dixon, Senior Account Executive

“When I graduated from college, I had my heart set on moving to Colorado for one reason: skiing. I originally planned to live in the mountains and be a ski bum before I found DCI and decided this kick-ass job was worth it to move to Denver and be a real person instead. However, I still pack up every Friday and head to the mountains for the weekend. Thankfully I have graduated from crashing on friends’ couches in Vail to renting a ski house each season with friends, and making trips to ski meccas like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Whistler, Canada. A few years ago, I started backcountry skiing — essentially, ditching the resorts and hiking up mountains to ski down them — and have since completed various courses to be certified in avalanche education, safety and wilderness rescue. One of my goals this spring is to ski one of Colorado’s 14ers. Who knew skiing uphill could be so fun?”

Aaron Jones, Account Executive

“In my past life (when the weather was warmer and beaches were abundant), I spent a summer teaching tourists how to paddle board and kayak around the Greek island of Ios.  A group of friends and I had a house overlooking the beach and we’d walk down the hill each day to start our ‘jobs’ around midday. While it sounds like a dream job, it was also probably the most physically demanding one I’ve ever had.”

Hannah Khan, Account Executive

“The start of my professional endeavors in travel marketing and digital content creation began when I was studying abroad in Brussels, Belgium, at 19 years old. I wanted to travel from place to place and would pitch hotels and hostels to either let me stay there or get an extra room in return for blogging and tweeting about them on or on their hotel blogs. (Broke student life!) I’ve been doing it ever since and have created work for outlets like Elite Daily, Daily Mail, HuffPost and many others, in addition to writing and creating content for other travel-related brands. This is a picture of me during a recent trip to Argentina, where I was working on a campaign for a start-up called Grabr.”

Kaitlin Lapka, Account Executive

“I’ve loved working for places for a long time, even before my career at DCI. In addition to holding a minor in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, I spearheaded the launch of a placemaking initiative for my hometown. Called Arts Night Out, this new monthly event series spanned four neighborhoods in two cities and supported more than 60 small businesses and artists. While the planning was intensive, my goal remained simple: create a project that combined urban space and creativity and encouraged residents to brush off the idea that “there’s nothing to do in Lansing, Michigan.”

Karleen Lewis, Senior Account Executive

“Before my career in digital marketing, I was a professional ice skater for several of my post-graduate years. I had a ton of fun traveling and skating for a living with most every major ice show production available, including a Royal Caribbean cruise ship; Disney on Ice’s High School Musical; Holiday on Ice in the Netherlands, Germany and France; SeaWorld Orlando; Busch Gardens Tampa; with my main squeeze Snoopy at the Carowinds theme park on the  border between North and South Carolina; and even a circus in Mexico!”

Kimberly Miller, Account Director

“Growing up in the South, my first exposure to ‘snow’ was a Louisiana ice storm (read: no snow). Fast forward 20-plus years, and I’m living in San Francisco, just a short drive from some epic winter experiences, and hit the slopes for the first time at age 27. It’s now my fourth ski season, and South Lake Tahoe is like a second home!”

Luther Mosher, Senior Graphic Designer

“I actually didn’t start out as a graphic designer. At the tender age of 4, I decided my life’s pursuit was to become a comic book artist. Fast-forward 15 years, and I went to the School of Visual Arts [in New York City] to major in cartooning. Fun fact: It was the first school, and is still one of the only schools, to offer that as a major. It’s still a passion of mine, and many of my nights and weekends are consumed with creating my long-gestating sci-fi adventure comic Mars Lightning.”

Lauren Murdock, Account Coordinator

“During the spring of my freshman year of college at the University of Vermont, my dad came up for a visit with the mission to teach me how to fly fish. It only took one morning on the water for me to be hooked (no pun intended). Throughout my years in Vermont, I often spent mornings wading through streams at 5 a.m. and departing with just enough time to make it back for class or work. It’s something I miss in NYC, so if you know any fly fishermen, send them my way!”

Hanna Porterfield, Account Manager

“Outside of DCI, part of my ‘double life’ is very much still public relations-focused. I’m the national chair of the New Professionals Section of the Public Relations Society of America. Our section is 1,200-plus members strong across the country who are within their first five years of their career. So what do I do outside of work for this? I’m making sure our section’s blog and online professional development programming are running consistently, as well as planning an annual in-person conference, engaging with members, leading our committee of 18, liaising with other chairs of the organization, and more.”

Brianna Ragland, Account Executive

“In college, I spent a semester in Orlando working for the Mouse at Disney World. I was a concierge at a few of the resorts. I learned a lot about the Disney brand of customer service, as well as the lengths Disney goes to protecting its brand image. I also got to explore the parks every day for free, which was a pretty great perk.”

Hannah Sabroski, Account Coordinator

“After graduating from college, I did a year of national service with AmeriCorps NCCC. My team and I completed a variety of service projects across different states. My favorite project was at an elementary school, working with a second-grade class in Denver, Colorado. The school had over 30 countries represented, and the diversity of languages among my students was incredible!”

Sonya Singh, Managing Director

“Ever wondered if you should have your pinky up or down while you sip tea? Ask me! In my past life I was a tea sommelier (yes, there is such a thing). I can walk you through tea tastings and world teas. I started my own tea company called Wilde Tea (named after my favorite author, Oscar Wilde). And my tea was actually the official tea of Canada 150, Canada’s 150th birthday. So on that royal note, I will continue to sip my tea today — with my pinky up! Have a tearrific day!”

Caitlin Teare, Account Manager

“Before joining DCI, I spent five years working as a political communicator in the United States Congress, most recently as a spokesperson for a member of the House of Representatives. I spent most of my time writing speeches and press releases (with more than a few included in the Congressional Record!); staffing my boss during events, interviews and press conferences; and navigating (more often than not, getting lost in) the labyrinth of halls underneath the Capitol complex. While the work was intensive and the hours were long, I did manage to have some fun. A few highlights include bowling in the White House bowling alley, climbing the Capitol dome, celebrating the Supreme Court’s equal marriage ruling outside the courthouse, meeting former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden, and attending the 2012 Inaugural Ball.”
Whether we’re indulging in exotic experiences abroad or simply enjoying hobbies right in our hometowns, you can always find the staff of DCI pursuing happiness in our spare time. How does your team juggle work-life balance? Tweet us at @aboutdci or share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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