Professional Experience

Work Experience

2023-2024

Global Co-Lead | Connected Disability Action Network

Cisco Systems, Inc.

In June of 2023, I was selected as one of the incoming Global Co-Leads for the Connected Disability Action Network (CDAN), which is Cisco’s employee resource group/inclusive community for disabled and neurodivergent employees. As Global Co-Lead, I helped guide the direction, development, and engagement strategies for Cisco’s disabled and neurodivergent community. I championed diversity and awareness of the issues facing the disabled and ND community and advocated for greater physical and digital accessibility for our employees, customers, and partners.

  • Recognizing a gap, a handful of us launched a neurodivergent-friendly Webex space in late 2022 and I was soon tasked with leading its expansion and potential CDAN chapter creation, resulting in swift community growth.
    • Within a year, my co-leads and I grew the Webex space from a foundational 65 members in February 2023 to a vibrant community of 365 members by February 2024, reflecting robust engagement and ongoing expansion.
  • Led a significant 11% increase in CDAN membership with my Co-Lead from FY23 Q3 to FY24 Q1, followed by an additional 3% growth in FY24 Q2, reflecting our successful advocacy for diversity and the creation of a supportive, inclusive community environment.
  • As a subject matter expert, I successfully advocated for the inclusion of CDAN in Cisco’s 2023 Purpose Report and ESG Reporting Hub. My efforts led to multiple features that enhanced CDAN’s visibility, highlighted Cisco’s commitment to diversity, and resonated with stakeholders across the board.
  • Managed quarterly budget and budget requests from regional and chapter leads, ensuring budget usage followed Inclusive Community Experience (ICX) and Cisco guidelines while also benefiting the CDAN community.
  • Forged dynamic partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft, Lexxic, and PurpleSpace to deliver impactful CDAN events, while collaborating with other Inclusive Communities to showcase the intersectionality of disability, neurodivergence, and other identities.
  • Increased visibility of Cisco’s disabled and neurodivergent community via internal and external Cisco communications channels.
  • Actively engaged in various focus groups and strategic visioning sessions, contributing to the advancement of Cisco’s accessibility, workplace experience, accommodations, and disability and neuro-inclusion initiatives.
  • Worked with DEI office and Global Benefits team to evaluate and vet neurodivergent benefit introduced in 2024; provided inclusive language guidance to Benefits team around positioning of benefit.
  • Actively partnered with Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Office of Accessibility, representing and advocating for the CDAN community.
  • Worked with accommodations team to assess requests and provide guidance; offered feedback and recommendations on best practices and resources; and advocated for better processes and resources for disabled and neurodivergent employees.
  • Collaborated with Office of Accessibility, DEI, Learning & Development, and Deque to create and launch internal accessibility learning role-based certification pathways.
  • Interviewed candidates for full-time Cisco roles and CDAN stretch (volunteer) assignments.
  • Speaking engagements included:
    • 2022 #PurpleLightUp International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Neurodivergence in the Workplace, with Aidan Healy, Chair of the Board, Lexxic
    • 2023 Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Our Stories: Living in a World That’s Not Made for Us
    • 2024 Neurodiversity Celebration Week: Wellbeing and Psychological Safety for Neuro-inclusion, alongside Dr. Nancy Doyle, Professor and Founder, Genius Within

Other Cisco Internal Volunteer DEI Activities

  • Mentor: Cisco Emerging Talent Program
  • Mentor/Speaker: Engage with Cisco
  • Member: Sustainability Messaging Guidance Council

    2022-2024

    Content & Storytelling Lead | Global Partner Marketing

    Cisco Systems, Inc.

    After transitioning to a full-time employee as the Content & Storytelling Lead for Global Partner Marketing (GPM) in April of 2022, I took on a significant role in steering and contributing to several key initiatives, such as:

    • Strategically developed and executed comprehensive GPM Communications Strategies for fiscal years 2023 and 2024, ensuring uniform messaging and alignment with Global Partner Routes & Sales (GPRS), Growth Marketing, and Cisco Brand campaigns and priorities.
    • Spearheaded content strategy for the Cisco Partner Blog, leading it to become the most active Cisco platform in FY23 with 161 posts, up 5.92% from FY22.
      • Boosted unique visitors by 5.1%, outperforming the aggregate growth of 3.789% across all Cisco blogs, evidencing successful strategic content alignment and promotion.
      • Achieved superior engagement metrics with a Bounce Rate of 40% and Click Through Rate of 57%, surpassing Cisco blog averages of 48% and 46%, respectively.
    • Teamed up cross-functionally to design and implement a streamlined blog submission workflow, incorporating a standardized Microsoft Word template and SharePoint file management system with automated submission notifications to enhance stakeholder engagement.
    • Led the stewardship and strategic evolution of the GPM Editorial Content Calendar, overseeing its maintenance and directing the seamless transition from Smartsheet to AirTable to enhance collaboration and efficiency.
      • Successfully implemented AirTable within a rapid 60-day timeframe, including the integration of advanced reporting dashboards and a blog request form to optimize project management, content tracking, and messaging alignment.
      • Curated high-quality content across various communication platforms to elevate brand presence and foster cohesive partner engagement.
    • Collaborated proactively with communications teams across Cisco, orchestrating efforts to guarantee alignment in messaging and adherence to legal compliance, thereby upholding the company’s brand integrity and mitigating risk.
    • As an active member of the Sustainability Messaging Guidance Council, I contributed to shaping and steering our organization’s sustainability narrative, ensuring that Cisco Partner communications reflected Cisco’s commitment to environmental responsibility and aligned with global best practices.
    • As a core member of the Cisco Partner Launch Experience team, I led essential internal and external communications and vendor management.
    • Crafted and executed strategic executive communications and thought leadership initiatives for senior GPRS and GPM executives. Responsibilities included creating compelling content for blogs, developing persuasive talk tracks, curating tailored social media kits, and designing impactful slide decks to bolster executive presence and drive key messaging.
    • Led a collaborative effort across departments to develop robust Partner Favoritism guidelines and accompanying documentation, guiding partner marketers in prioritizing fairness and impartiality. This ensured a consistent, unbiased approach in all partner interactions and marketing strategies, mitigating any appearance of favoritism.

    One of the things I loved most about Cisco was the ability to get involved via volunteer opportunities and stretch assignments. After joining Cisco as a full-time employee, I had the joy of working alongside some amazing people from many parts of the company on projects that truly do help to power a more inclusive future for all.

    • Strategic Stretch Assignments: Actively contributed as a core member of the marketing and communications teams for the African American Cisco Partner Community (AACPC) and the Partnering for Purpose initiative. In these roles, I influenced key marketing campaigns and communication strategies that increased the visibility and influence of AACPC partners and Partnering for Purpose.
      • My efforts included developing comprehensive marketing plans, generating authoritative thought leadership content and executive blog posts, and leveraging my subject matter expertise to showcase partner success stories that resonate with the target audience. My work not only elevated AACPC and Partnering for Purpose but also played a critical role in driving diversity and inclusion goals, resulting in measurable increases in partner participation and satisfaction.

      2020-2022

      Program Manager & Creative Storyteller | Cisco Global Partner Marketing

      Trilyon, Inc.

      • Worked with a diverse range of teams and external partners, including Global Partner Marketing, Global Partner Routes & Sales, Global Advocacy, and Corporate Storytelling, as well as vendors like Golin, Lightspeed, RYO, and Upshot, to drive cross-functional initiatives and achieve business objectives.
      • Orchestrated cross-functional collaboration to build a robust Partner Stories pipeline, designed to craft compelling top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-the-funnel content. This initiative not only amplified awareness but also reinforced Cisco’s position—and that of our partners—as thought leaders in the industry.
      • Charged with crafting Partner Success narratives, I conducted interviews and authored engaging stories that demonstrated how partners leveraged Cisco technology. These stories highlighted the transformative impact on mutual customers’ business goals and underscored the shared commitment to fostering a more inclusive future for all.
        • In 2020, I initiated the ‘Technology for Good’ Guest Partner Blog series, spotlighting partners who collaborated with communities under Cisco’s Next Horizon initiative, recognizing their contributions to societal advancement through technology. (Read one of the blogs here)
      • Served as the project manager and content strategist for the ‘Leaders as Teachers: Agile Marketing’ thought leadership series for the Global Vice President of Partner Marketing, featuring interviews that showcased expert insights on marketing agility.
      • Crafted a comprehensive suite of internal and external communications materials for the Cisco Partner Launch Experience, ensuring clear messaging and engagement across all channels and stakeholders.

        2016-2019

        Corporate Content Writer/Content Manager

        Kony, Inc.

        As a member of the brand team for Kony, a leading cloud-based low-code application development platform, I was primarily responsible for Kony’s voice, which meant a lot of writing and editing, and a lot of work cross-functionally. Kony was acquired by Temenos in August of 2019.

        • Strategic responsibilities encompassed a diverse content portfolio, including the composition and curation of blogs (also ghostwriting for executives), managing editorial content, driving thought leadership initiatives, creating rich media content, implementing email marketing campaigns, optimizing web content for SEO, crafting and editing copy, executive communications, and producing informative newsletters.
        • Increased blog content output by 50% year-over-year, which led to a substantial 25% YoY rise in blog viewership. Additionally, we successfully amplified blog syndication, broadening our reach and engagement with target audiences.
        • Collaborated closely with the Human Resources team to streamline both internal and external communication strategies, optimizing job posts for maximum impact. Played a key role in enhancing the company’s online presence and appeal to potential candidates by refining career-related content across the Kony website and social media platforms, with a particular focus on LinkedIn and Glassdoor profiles, to attract top-tier talent.
        • Recognized as the subject matter expert in grammar and punctuation, providing authoritative guidance and oversight to ensure the utmost accuracy and clarity in all company communications.

          Achievements & Professional Development

          2008-Present

          Published Author

          Aubrey Gross, Romance Author

          Independent romance novelist with 2 novellas and 5 novels currently published

              2012

              Speaker | SXSW Interactive

              Flash? F Bomb or Da Bomb?

              Panel on Flash and web accessiblity standards

                  2024

                  Employing Abilities at Work Certification

                  SHRM Foundation

                    2023

                    Cisco Certified Interviewer Training

                    SocialTalent

                      2023

                      Data Storytelling for Business

                      StoryIQ

                        Volunteer Experience

                        2018-Present

                        Ambassador of Hope

                        Life Gift and Donate Life Texas

                          2015-Present

                          Donate Life Voice

                          Donate Life America

                            2015-Present

                            UNOS Ambassador

                            United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

                              2015-2018

                              Volunteer

                              Texas Organ Sharing Alliance

                                Skills & Expertise

                                Storytelling

                                Writing

                                Communications

                                Adobe Creative Cloud

                                HTML

                                WordPress

                                Executive Thought Leadership

                                Disability & Neuro-inclusion

                                Leadership

                                Microsoft Office

                                Trello

                                iMovie

                                Connecting Dots

                                Sense of Humor

                                Seeing Possibilities

                                Canva

                                AirTable

                                Notion

                                Education

                                2008

                                Master of Arts

                                Seton Hill University

                                Writing Popular Fiction

                                  2004

                                  Bachelor of Arts

                                  University of North Texas

                                  General Studies: Communication Studies, Women’s Studies, Business Management