Capitol Communicator is running a series of profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “up close and personal” profile, we feature Nyree Wright, Senior Vice President at Qorvis MSLGROUP. Photography for this series is by Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.
Nyree, please provide a short bio.
I am a Senior Vice President at Qorvis MSLGROUP in Washington, D,C. MSLGROUP acquired my previous firm, The McGinn Group/TMG Strategies, a well-known senior consulting firm, in 2007. Currently, I manage the General Motors and Firestone portfolios. I played a critical role helping to manage communications during the bankruptcy and recovery of General Motors beginning in 2009. Additionally, I served on National Grid’s crisis communications leadership team and was onsite during Hurricane Sandy – the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Most recently, I’ve been leading the team supporting Firestone Liberia communicate its efforts in combating the Ebola outbreak in West Africa – the largest and deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. I have a proven track record in crisis communications and for developing successful campaigns within the automotive, education, financial services, energy and telecommunications sectors.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
Yes, I am a member of the the National Press Club (NPC 5K Fundraising Committee Chair & Speakers Committee Member); the Rutgers Alumni Club of DC (Events Chair); The Capital Press Club (President Emeritus); ColorComm Network (Board/Charter Member); The Humane Society of the United States: (fundraiser) and, Heritage Hill of Alexandria Townhouses Association (former board member).
What are the things you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my role as president (2009-2012) of the Capital Press Club (CPC). CPC is the oldest African-American communications association in the nation. CPC – founded in 1944 as an African-American alternative to the National Press Club which did not then accept black members – exists to unite communications professionals of color through professional development, networking, new business opportunities/entrepreneurship and issues advocacy.
Who were your personal role models?
Terrie Williams, one of the first powerhouse African-American female PR pros in the business, has a tenacity and perseverance like no other. Also, my parents who built a home and life for our family that gave me life’s fundamental principles and ethics that have guided me until this very day.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
I was told by one of my mentors early in my career to “learn from another’s journey while charting your own path”. I’ve almost never stayed away from that philosophy.
What professional advice do you have for others?
I say often: own your identity and know your worth. In this day and age, one has to be proactive and disciplined in determining how they want to be defined – or it will be done for them. Furthermore, when you’re high-performing and successful in your role, you should have a confidence in who you are and what you do. Having that posture is almost infectious, in that others will gain a confidence in your abilities as well.
What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire for your organization?
In my agency, the dress code is business casual. But it is understood that client meetings require business attire, so your wardrobe needs to accommodate that.
Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?
I do not have one specific store, but I definitely have an eye for unique wardrobe pieces that I then build around. Also, I am a true fan of vintage jewelry pieces and clothing that is versatile, so I can dress it up or down, go from day-to-night.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
I am the quintessential cat lady – I have a 20-year-old feline – and love the joy that animals bring to our lives. It’s my passion to help bring people together with animals in need of a good home.
(You can check out many other profiles on the Capitol Communicator website, www.capitolcommunicator.com)