Meet Michelle: More Than Just a Social Media Maverick

I have always had a strong work ethic. At the age of fifteen I found myself in college prep courses while working two part time jobs. Not because I was forced to, but because I wanted to. This drive stuck with me throughout college and grad school and has become the trait I’m known for by family, friends, and colleagues. If I had to choose one word to describe myself it would be DETERMINED.

My career path has taken many unexpected turns in the past fifteen years. I’ve learned to adapt and seize opportunities as they happen, even if they weren’t part of the plan. I’ve been in the financial services industry, healthcare sector, held freelance roles, and even been a business owner a time or two! 

As a full-time undergrad student, I worked a few part-time administrative roles where I learned medical credentialing and the ins and outs of legal document processing. I was given the opportunity to plan corporate events and fell in love with event planning almost instantly! 

During grad school I worked for a private mortgage firm as a marketing specialist where I had a lot of “firsts”. My first time running social media for a corporation, my first time working with graphic and web design, I planned my first B2B networking event and tradeshow participation and continued with corporate event planning (but this time with much larger budgets!) I learned a lot in this role but ultimately decided I wanted to return to the healthcare industry. 

In 2014 I accepted a Director of Admissions and Marketing position in Hawaii for a Skilled Nursing Facility. Again, a lot of first-time experiences in this role. Most notably, I was able to work with a lot of patients and their families in helping them get the care they needed. After about a year I decided it was time to move back home to California as I was expecting my first child.

As a first-time mom I was looking for a way to have flexibility in my schedule while still fulfilling my desire to grow my career. I began working remotely (before working remotely was cool!) as a marketing consultant for small businesses and local nonprofits. It was an exciting time because I got to do so many different things within so many different industries. I worked with churches, local politicians, education providers, retailers, and even a performing arts theater. My time was spent writing and executing marketing plans and strategies while revamping websites and creating social, email, and blog content on a regular basis. Not to mention, I created an organic skincare line and participated in street fairs, farmers markets and other pop-up shop events every weekend for about two years.

A year later I found myself returning to the mortgage industry in a remote, part-time social media management role. I also continued to freelance over the next few years, and I joined a few agencies along the way. I was managing about 16 different clients and at the same time I was working on a new business concept for an indoor playground that catered to working moms. 

In 2017 I launched my indoor playground brick and mortar business. It was great. I had created a space where kids could cultivate their own social interactions through play while parents could sit on a comfy couch, sip on a cup of coffee and still be within a few feet of their child. If you were a working parent or a parent that was in school we offered a co-working space in the back room. My staff would supervise the children while parents had their own space with peace and quiet to get work done. We also offered fitness classes with child care, reading, sensory, tummy time, dance, and STEM classes for kids of all ages. We even hosted a monthly networking event for moms called the Mother Hustler Mixer. In March of 2020, a date everyone will remember forever, my business was shut down with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic I was never able to reopen the doors. I pivoted out of the tragedy and now my business offers STEM kits for kids and I partner with 20 charter schools throughout California to provide these kits as part of STEM education to homeschooling families.

In 2021, like many others throughout the world, I found myself a little lost, and in need of more work. I was grateful for my freelance work throughout the pandemic, but managing 16 accounts was beginning to take its toll on me. I received an email from a headhunter that proposed I apply for a full-time (remote) social media manager position for a private mortgage company. I wasn’t looking for this opportunity, but somehow it found me. In the (almost) two years I spent in this full-time role I became not only the go-to-person for all things social media – training, webinars, content creator- but I also found myself becoming the compliance manager as well. The mortgage industry is heavily regulated requiring a lot of details when it comes to compliance. This presented a lot of challenges when managing all 700 mortgage loan originator’s social media accounts. 

The opportunity to come onboard with REACH came during a time when I knew I was ready for a change. I needed a career that aligned with my values and I needed to do something that made an impact beyond a corporation’s bottom line. Although it may be a small part, I take pride in being part of a company that allows me to do what I love while advocating for the adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. 

My experience has taught me that hard work, relentless effort, a positive attitude, collaboration, and an open mind can get you to places you never thought possible. Through the ups, downs, wins, and losses I’ve learned two things about myself: I am a people person that loves marketing!

One of the first things I share about myself is that I am a proud mom to three beautiful littles. And yes, my “mom vibes” run strong! Being a mom has taught me how to advocate for others and causes I believe in. It’s made me a better listener, more patient, and given me a keen sense of awareness. The challenge of raising kind humans has taught me that being true to yourself is the only honest way to live. All of these lessons have molded me into the person I am today. 

When I’m not working, you can find me running my kids between soccer, cheer, and karate or spending time with family on a beach or in a lake. Nothing is more important than family. We spend our time together with good music and food enjoying the sunshine!