Capitol Communicator is running a series of profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “up close and personal” profile, we feature Shelley Noeldechen.  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.

Shelley, please provide us a short bio.

A true renaissance creative, I started in film production working on features in NYC, then transitioned into art direction for marketing communications in 2003. During my six years in nonprofit direct marketing, I launched the first digital campaigns for major organizations such as Arthritis Foundation, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, including the National Wildlife Federation’s incredibly successful online and mobile Gulf Oil Spill campaign. After joining Porter Novelli in 2011, I moved into PR where I’m currently associate creative director for Jack’s Garage — bringing integrated campaigns for government and consumer brands to life.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

I’ve guest lectured at Howard University and participate in Arthritis Walks. My husband is an illustrator and we participate in many Comic and Pop Culture Cons every year. The whole con culture is such a powerful force. It’s wonderful to see so many different artists finding a way to commune with each other while getting their art into the public sphere. It’s a great community of entrepreneurs. These people have so much passion for the art they are creating. It’s wonderful to be a part of it.

What are the things you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of my creative team at Porter Novelli. They are so smart and talented. It’s amazing to go to work every day with a group of people that have a true passion for doing good, life-changing work. So much of what we do is about creating behavior change and helping people live better lives, get access to better education and healthcare. I love to inspire them and be inspired by them.

Who were your personal role models?

I’ve had a number of role models professionally. I love to emulate people that I admire. Really take a step back and watch them – how they approach and solve problems, and how their personality enhances the work relationships. I try to integrate the traits that I value in others into myself.

Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

Yes. Stand up for what you believe in. That has always been part of who I am. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear other’s advice or opinions. In fact, many times I find myself standing up for other’s ideas. I think people appreciate a champion.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Never let fear get in your way. If you take on anything with a can-do attitude, you will be able to do it. Don’t back away from challenges, embrace them. And never be afraid to learn something new or admit you what you don’t know. You can only get better by learning from others.

What advice do you have on appropriate attire for your organization?

My company is pretty formal. We wear business or business casual most days. D.C. is a conservative market and the people I work with reflect that in their attire. Now, I’m a little different. You can get away with a lot more when you’re “creative.” I can dress a little funky or casual and people don’t mind. I think they see it as creative expression, that it’s expected of someone who’s supposed to be thinking out of the box. So funny, because we’re all creative really.

What are the places you buy most of the clothes you wear to the office?

H&M and New York & Company are my go-tos. I love the casual dress look and love finding unique styles and patterns.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

I don’t have kids. I have two pugs, including Hogan who you see above. They’re basically my kids. Their personalities are amazing. They inspire me to laugh every day.


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