In 2001, Jim Collins debunked the old adage “people are your biggest asset” by asserting not just any people will do. Rather, Collins argued that “the right people” are in fact what drive great organizations. With this philosophy in mind, I am proud to share NST is promoting five team members, while also expanding our pool of talent with some rock star additions to the NST family.
- Melissa Rue, who joined NST in October 2020, is now vice president, a title she’s earned a million times over with her dedication not only to her clients, but also to our profession and team. Her creativity serves as an inspiration. Her energy is palpable, and her results-oriented approach makes her an asset to clients in any industry. In her new role as vice president, Melissa will be a valuable member of the leadership team, and I’m honored to continue to work alongside her.
- Since joining NST in March 2019, Natalie DeAngelo Neal has exuded leadership potential and over the last year we’ve seen that leadership in action earning her the title of senior account executive. Natalie is not only a seasoned executor of a variety of public relations and marketing communications tactics, but also a strategist who is increasingly being relied upon by her colleagues and clients. Natalie recently embarked on LEAD San Diego’s Advance program, and we can’t wait to see what she will do in the future. Watch out world, Natalie is making her mark.
- Rebecca Schmidt is now account supervisor. During her 12 years at NST, she has supported numerous public relations and marketing communications efforts, with emphasis in managing digital and social media efforts. Her exceptional project management skills has earned the trust of internal and external stakeholders for keeping projects on track, on time and on budget. With Becky managing a project, nothing slips through the cracks and quality is always top notch.
- Anja Riedel – who is known internally as the pitching queen – is also being promoted to senior account executive, a title she has earned not only due to her keen knowledge of the media landscape in San Diego and beyond, but also for her embodiment of the NST value to continuously push herself, her clients, and her industry to explore. Never satisfied with the status quo, Anja’s contributions continue to make a positive difference for her clients and NST.
- Adriana Villa is going from super intern to super account coordinator. NST interns get a crash course in public relations, providing support in terms of media outreach, social media strategy, strategic research and more — and Adriana passed with flying colors. As a past NST intern myself, I have an affinity for those who start their career at NST and look forward to watching Adriana continue to grow and hone her craft.
Melissa, Natalie, Becky, Anja, Adriana and our entire team will now work alongside four new team members carefully chosen for their talents, unique perspectives and ability to contribute to our clients, culture and vision to redefine PR.
- Taylor Clement is a recent graduate of University of Colorado Boulder and joins NST as an account coordinator. Her hands-on experience supporting consumer brands, detail-oriented execution and natural ability to connect with people made her the perfect fit with the NST culture and a stand-out candidate during the interview process. She has jumped in headfirst and we expect to see more great things ahead.
- Holly Perttula is re-joining NST as creative manager. After a brief stint putting her creative talents to work for others, including Cutwater Spirits, Holly is back in action at NST. NST prides itself on strategic thinking, and Holly has a knack for bridging strategy and creative execution like no other designer we’ve seen. From mural design to photography, and print and digital creative, there isn’t much Holly can’t do. We are lucky to have her on our team, and it feels good to have the band back together.
- Vanessa Rock is a new account coordinator at NST, who learned the ins and outs of the podcast world by rolling up her sleeves, creating her own podcast and later using her interest and experience to help other businesses tap into the power of the medium. She also brings to the NST table skills in social media and executive positioning. Her fresh perspectives, positive attitude and infectious curiosity are an asset to all of us.
- Kirsten Skala is a San Diego native and Washington D.C. transplant who is coming back to her beachside roots as community and government relations director. With over a decade of experience working in Washington, D.C. on public affairs and communications campaigns for large corporations, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations, Kirsten’s unique skill set will benefit the agency and her clients. She also brings to NST experience in navigating diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, internal communication, and partnership building. Welcome back to the West Coast, Kirsten.
Collins also argued that great companies get the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) in order to succeed. I’m happy to report our bus is filled with the best talent out there, and while I’ve named just a few here, NST wouldn’t be successful without our entire NST team. Thanks to each NSTer who makes this ride great. I’m looking forward to where this bus heads next.