Judi Mohn Griggs
Can't sing, can't dance and once bit my tongue so hard the ER docs got into a heated argument over whether it needed to be stitched. I did it attempting to chew gum while climbing into the backseat of my parents car.
But I can write. One way or another, I've made my living as a writer since my first daily newspaper (Buffalo Courier-Express) clip at 15.
Like most first loves, newspaper has not turned out to be all I dreamed. I still love it irrationally, but recognize it did not grow along with me into new platforms and technologies as quickly as necessary.
I was lucky to have caught the tail-end of the tell-it-tight-, tell-it-right, and organize-your-thoughts-because-the-typewriter-doesn't-forgive-on-deadline era. It turns out those skills are platform neutral.
Following nurture by old-school, j-school profs at St. Bonaventure University, I interned at the Buffalo (Evening) News, wrote a humor column syndicated by the Air Force News Service and got to Texas just in time to cover the booming business of bank failure, S&L fraud and bankruptcy in the 1980s at the San Antonio Business Journal and San Antonio Light.
As a unexpectedly single parent in Houston, I launched and sold two specialty tabloids-- one covering residential real estate and the other horse racing in Texas -- and did a few years as a senior writer for Special Sections at the Houston Chronicle. By the mid 1990s I finally surrendered to the "dark side, " working in senior corporate communications roles at a horse track, multi-office residential real estate company and posh resort in Georgia.
I will always be a proud "Buffalo Gal" and went home in 2004 to promote the symphony (where I lucked into an astounding side-job with the late Marvin Hamlisch), earn big wins for some great clients as senior account manager at Travers Collins -- the region's largest public relations firm, and join an exceptional development company there until a few years ago.
I have actively served on dozens of non-profit boards over the years and donated thousands of pro bono hours to special challenges and opportunities for non-profit organizations.
The practice of communications has come a long way from my childhood heroines Lois Lane and Nellie Bly -- so have I. That's what keeps it interesting. The most fascinating challenge is always the next one.