Senior Vice President
Michelle started her career in professional services while working with a professional accounting association in British Columbia. In the post Sarbanes-Oxley era, Michelle was called upon to lead the association’s public and media relations efforts, while continually assessing public perception of the organization and increasing overall awareness and recognition. She also produced an annual report detailing economic conditions throughout the province and the corresponding government policies and regulations affecting these regions.
One of the unique parts of the job was attending provincial budget release days. On these days, Michelle would sit in a locked room with hundreds of others, reviewing the embargoed budget, trying to digest and come up with appropriate talking points before its release. When the door opened and media streamed in, it was a dash to connect with key reporters quickly to ensure being included in the first stories.
When the opportunity came for Michelle to move to Big Law, she jumped at the chance. With eight years of experience in heading the communications department of an AmLaw 200 firm, Michelle understands the challenges faced by in-house legal marketers and communicators. In her Big Law position, she grew the firm’s communications department from the ground up, focusing on leading public relations efforts in the U.S., UK and Middle East. She helped drive the firm’s global brand awareness and showcased its attorneys as thought leaders in business and industry publications. She also built a robust rankings program, created a social media presence, and launched podcasting and an app.
Michelle has the ability to view challenges from the client’s perspective, enabling her to come up with creative and effective solutions that meet each client’s unique needs. Knowing the pressures and deadlines that in-house teams face, she concentrates on providing responsive client service to deliver results-driven public relations and social media strategies.
Michelle got into communications somewhat by accident. She started her career as a government policy analyst, building programs to meet community needs. When she had the opportunity to start creating communications materials explaining the “why,” she couldn’t say no. This led her to return to school to learn as much as she could about the communication theories she was putting into practice.
Michelle is based in Houston and earned her master’s degree in public relations from the University of Houston and bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo.
“Communicating in the Professional Services Sector,” PRSA Southwest District Conference, April 25, 2019
“Choosing a PR Partner,” LMA 2019 Annual Conference, April 8, 2019
Michelle’s glass is always half-full, and she has never met a challenge she wasn’t ready to tackle. In life, as with work, she remains level-headed when plans call for a detour, coming up with practical solutions on the spot. This ability to think on her feet has come in handy for Michelle, who describes herself as a ready camper. In fact, she is a life-long Girl Guide/Girl Scout and remains an active volunteer, leading a troop of Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes, as well as serving on her community leader team.
After having grown up in Ontario, Michelle has found things are a bit different in Texas. Unlike in Canada, she doesn’t have to worry if she’ll be warm enough sleeping in a tent, but she does have to consider air conditioning and watch out for venomous visitors.