June 21, 2003 - My Cool Career: In 1998 I made a huge switch from high tech to the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Peace Corps Honduras: The Peace Corps in Honduras: June 21, 2003 - My Cool Career: In 1998 I made a huge switch from high tech to the Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 8:35 am: Edit Post

In 1998 I made a huge switch from high tech to the Peace Corps

In 1998 I made a huge switch from high tech to the Peace Corps



From High Tech to the .: Peace Corps

.: More info about PR/Affairs Pros!

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WEBCAST April 17, 2002 – I've worked in Public Relations since 1983. The first 15 years of my career were in the exciting and rewarding specialty of High Tech PR. In 1998 I made a huge switch from high tech to the Peace Corps.

I've worked both as in–house PR counsel and in an agency environment, providing strategic public relations direction and implementation for a variety of companies and non–profit organizations. PR professionals are chartered with helping meet an organization's bottom–line objectives.

PR program design experience involving myriad communication vehicles including but not limited to: international videoconferencing, audio satellite conferences, multi–city communications seminars, and CD–ROM based communications tools. I've written millions of press releases, press kits, speeches for technology panels, marketing forums, and advocacy campaigns. I have specific expertise in grant writing, International PR, program design, overall imaging and marketing communications. I've managed budgets up to 1.8 million and a staff of 10.


Director of Public Affairs

Peace Corps, Los Angeles Regional Office 2001– Current I design and implement strategic public affairs programs to build awareness in the general community and targeted Peace Corps recruitment sites from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, and Arizona. And manage and design all advertising and placement strategies and work together with Washington DC to design and execute nation–wide community service events, and create and implement local community service events. I'm Editor of the Western Region newsletter for returned PC volunteers, nominated volunteers, pending and applicants.

Recruitment Volunteer

Citrus Health Valley Partners, West Covina, California 2001– Current I recruit, train, and schedule community and college volunteers to assist with community health education outreach, health insurance enrollment and retention services. And work with CVHP's public relations staff to develop marketing, public relations and advertising campaigns, and train all volunteers and appropriate staff on how to better educate families about Medi–Cal/Healthy families health insurance programs.

Microenterprise Volunteer

Peace Corps, Honduras 1998–2001

This is where I made my big career change. My time as a Peace Corps volunteer was fantastic. I collaborated with business leaders and the mayor of Cantarranas, Honduras to develop short–and long–term goals and strategies working toward economic independence of the municipality. And:

Wrote grants/proposals resulting in the receipt of: $450,000 from USAID to construct and equip a business incubator / vocational training school; $10,000 from the Japanese Embassy to fully equip the local high school's five technical courses; $7,000 and 42 computer systems from the Rotary Club for the construction and implementation of a community computer learning center; $1,500 and transportation from the local business leaders to write, train four interviewers, and execute an economic feasibility study encompassing three large communities; and $1,000 from the Peace Corps for the reparation of a destroyed school.

Taught business and community leadership classes to the women of 7 community banks and the local high school.

Consulted one–on–one with individual small businesses in the community to improve accounting practices, encourage assertive / creative marketing and PR techniques, review and establishment of quality control processes, and customer service awareness.

Improved communications training in the area of PC Volunteer peer–to–peer counseling by initiating a confidential counseling protocol.

Expanded the role of emergency zone coordinators in PC's emergency communications process reducing the number of staff involved emergencies by 15 percent.

Vice President

Hitachi PC/San Jose, California 1997–1998 I provided strategic public relations counsel to Hitachi PC senior marketing and sales management prior to and during the launch of the company's flagship notebook computers, designed and executed the launch of Hitachi PC's entry into the corporate server market, wrote and managed the speech writing, presentation and placement process for Hitachi's CEO and senior level executives, resulting in over 24 speeches placed, and orchestrated twice–monthly customer and press seminars.


Brehm & Partners, Inc./Palo Alto & Irvine, California 1994–1996 I ran my own PR agency with 7 employees and revenues of 1.8 million sold to N.Y.–based Poppe Tyson Advertising. We designed and managed public relations strategies for main client, Toshiba America in the areas of product public relations and corporate relations; orchestrated press and analyst events at 6 major trade shows, annually. Strategized with senior management to develop communication strategies for 4 unannounced products.

Executed 2 communications audits to determine the success of Toshiba's messaging strategy. Trained company's Japanese PR department in tactical issues dealing with the U.S. press. Worked closely with senior management (U.S. and Japan) to prepare for press interviews, presentation effectiveness, and TV interviews resulting in 3 management cover stories, 5 local and national press TV interviews, and monthly coverage in local and national print; wrote and designed 12 speeches for senior level executives for delivery at press events, industry and technology forums, and corporate customer events. Ensured positive media placements, secured 1–2 third party testimonials weekly and managed 13–18 product reviews monthly.

Director, Corporate Communications

Gold Disk, Inc./Santa Clara, California 1990–1994

I was responsible for the public relations strategy and implementation of the launch of 11 products during a two–year period. Company main products captured over 30 editorial awards domestically and 15 awards internationally. Wrote, produced, and distributed a VNR (video news release), product demo tapes and CD–ROM customer testimonials. Developed and managed the company's international public relations effort in the UK and Germany; hired and managed 2 country specific PR agencies and conducted 4 international press tours and numerous U.S. press tours. Managed and budgeted all company trade show activities, 4 yearly. Developed company's on–line marketing and PR strategies. Responsible for writing and developing presentations for CEO and VP of Marketing. Teamed with management to grow company from 1 million dollars in revenue in Oct. 1991 to over 10 million by Dec. 1994. Worked with management to secure 4.2 million in financing.

Senior Group Supervisor

Miller Communications/Marina del Rey, California 1987–90

Miller is another large PR agency specializing in high technology clients.

Senior Account Executive to Group Supervisor

Hill & Knowlton/Santa Clara, California 1985–87

A large global Public Relations Agency. After working in Santa Clara for a while they asked me to open an office in Orange County, California to provide PR consulting to their technology clients, and I did.

Director of Corporate Communications

Bell Technologies/San Jose, California 1987–89

Bell Technologies was then a small start–up! Was in charge of all communications including advertising and PR. It was there that I realized that I preferred PR over advertising. Intel bought the company and wanted to move to Eugene, Oregon, and I didn't want to go.

Public Relations Specialist

Spectraphysics/San Jose, California 1985–1987

I'd decided to become a High Tech PR Specialist (vs generalist), and this was my first professional job out of college. This was the beginning of "high technology" and we were pioneers in lasers. It was very exciting!

Youth Minister

Sacred Heart Catholic Church/Saratoga, California 1983–85

This was my first job after college and I worked at Sacred Heart for two years. I worked on community development, youth development, I taught some classes and was responsible for the newsletter.

College Job

I paid my way through college, and waited tables, of course.

After High School Job: Court Liaison Officer (after high school) Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept

My father was a police officer so I was knowledgeable about the world of law enforcement. After high school I was involved in Community relations events and did public speaking to organizations like the Rotary Clubs and Senior Citizen clubs about the "Vile of Life" program and I found out I was a good writer.


English (native), Spanish (advanced)


Meals on Wheels, Driver St. John Vianney Food Distribution Program, Volunteer Village Enterprise Fund, Board Member Children's Advocacy Council, Board Member Youth Minister – Junior and Senior High, Sacred Heart Catholic Church


St. Paul's High School, Santa Fe Springs, California – 1974

Bachelor of Arts, Public Relations/Marketing, San Jose State University, California – 1981

Mt. San Antonio Junior College – 1974–76 Certificate in Instructional Technology, San Jose State University, California – 1982

Certificate in Cross Cultural Communications, Spanish, Peace Corps, Honduras, Central America – 1998

Certificate in Business Development Training, Peace Corps, Honduras, Central America – 1998

Bible Institute Program, Loyola Mary Mount Univ., California – Anticipated completion date: 2004

Mini–Media Certificate– CASE Fellowship, University of Maryland – Completion date: April 2002


White water kayaking, trekking, camping, world explorer, cultural art collector, avid reader, gardening, walking my dog Tasha

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Story Source: My Cool Career

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Public Affairs



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