Nancy Drew mysteries, a revolving stack of library books, and Mad Magazine introduced me to places far from the PA town where I was raised. Fast forward to New York City and a career as a retailing, apparel, and media executive. While employed full time I entered an MFA program in Creative Writing and earned my degree in 2015. Since then, my personal essays and articles have been published in literary journals and various online venues. I also serve as an assistant editor at Narrative Magazine.
After leaving corporate, I started a brand consulting business. A few years later I was tapped as an Encore Fellow and entered the non-profit sector bringing my marketing skills to generate revenue/donations and build brand awareness. My services for nonprofit and for profit clients include social media strategy, website and newsletter content, annual reports, fundraising communications, and grant writing. I have also developed Zoom webinar programs on a host of topics with subject matter experts. For individuals in need of a personal branding refresh, I create resumes, cover letters, bios, and Linked In/social media profiles.
If you have a project in the aforementioned areas or would like to discuss a writing assignment, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business, Work & Leadership
Jobs held in my teen years included babysitter, sales clerk, and waitress. After college, I joined the executive training program at Lord & Taylor and later became a buyer at Bloomingdales and other department stores. Check out my story, “Uniforms,” about two pivotal jobs in two different worlds and what those experiences taught me about the workplace. Other pieces include reporting on a talk with Jill Abramson after she was fired from The New York Times and observations about Gloria Steinem’s influence on teen girls.
A love of clothing led to my career choice in fashion as a buyer, merchandiser, and marketer. Dressing, whatever one’s station in life, is a powerful form of expression. Clothing can hide or show who someone really is. My Catholic upbringing instilled a fascination with ritual and rich religious traditions. In a review of the Met’s Heavenly Bodies exhibit, I write about Catholicism’s influence on designers including Christian Dior, Jeanne Paul Gaultier, and Alexander McQueen and the beauty and symbolism of their creations.
I am one of six kids, second generation Italian-American. After my father’s illness limited his ability to work, my mother juggled multiple roles as breadwinner, housekeeper, and finance manager. She got us public library cards, scrimped to pay for our Catholic education, and saw to it that we all went to college, though she herself was not able to finish high school. She inspired my own path and supported me in her special way, which I share in this essay. In Patch Town, I tell parallel stories of the artist Franz Kline’s life in PA, my father, and Hazleton, my hometown.
Living in New York
In 1975, I stepped off the bus at Port Authority in New York City with two suitcases to begin life after college. I lived on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, a neighborhood that felt more small town than big city. Five years later, after a stint in Washington, D.C., I moved into my first Manhattan apartment on East 11th Street and learned how to become a real New Yorker. That building was demolished a few years ago to make way for an upscale hotel, though my memories of the ‘80s era East Village are still vivid.