Up Close and Personal

Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring in-depth profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Nicole Cantarella. Photography for Capitol Communicator’s profile series is by Cade Martin. Wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup was by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.

Nicole, please provide us a short bio.

I’m Associate Creative Director for Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. Before joining MCEDC, I worked for small and large companies, PR firms, and creative studios, such as GMMB, Cambridge Silversmiths, Nestlé Nutrition, Johnson & Johnson, Discovery Communications, Fathom Creative and others.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

No, but that’s on my to-do list for 2017. I plan on joining both the Art Director’s Club and the American Advertising Federation in Washington, DC.

What are the things you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of being able to find the balance between having the family that I dreamed of and working full-time for creative organizations. I gravitate to companies that focus on educating and bettering the world.

Who are your role models?

I know this sounds like a cliché, but my parents are my role models. My father taught me to see the good in everyone and to try to understand other people’s points of view even if I disagreed with them. He taught me to work hard for what I want and to always be prepared for new opportunities. My mother taught me to be independent and assertive.

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

Stand up for what you believe in and be prepared for what life throws at you. If you’re prepared, you won’t be as disappointed if things don’t turn out the way you had intended. And of course, keep trying if you don’t succeed the first time.

What professional advice do you have for others?

 Be positive. Try not to complain and see the negative in things. Constant complaining makes things seem worse than they are, promotes bad relationships, kills innovation and is bad for your well-being. There are so many benefits of being positive: you live longer, are healthier, enjoy life more, are more successful at work, and have more friends and a better social life.

What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?

Why do I need a playlist when I have Alexa? So, I don’t have a Spotify or Pandora playlist. I listen to my husband’s iTunes music playlists that he’s created for me. I love 80s, New Wave, Alternative and much more. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Beatles and Billy Joel.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

I’m really into food. I don’t have a favorite restaurant per se. I love the steak frites at Mon Ami Gabi, the spicy tuna donburi at Asia Nine, the French toast at Ted’s Bulletin and almost everything at Kafe Leopold.

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

Growing up, I moved every two years. My father worked for the State Department, so I lived in a number of countries including Canada, Soudan, Belgium, France, Djibouti and Mexico. I had the opportunity to travel to places like Dubai, China, Nigeria, Benin, England and Spain. I’m looking forward to when my kids get a little older so that my husband and I can take them on trips that they will be able to remember.

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