Q&A with Karen Kacir, the Newest Addition to Our Team

April 30, 2018

by Karen Kacir

Following 11 months in Colombia as an English teacher for the Peace Corps, former intern Karen Kacir is back with the Curley & Pynn team as our newest communications specialist.

Read on to learn more about this quick-witted member of our office family.

What motivated you to pursue a career in public relations?

I’ve always been fascinated by creative storytelling.  Having come of age in the era of social media, I was drawn to businesses and nonprofits that used compelling narratives to cut through the clutter and make themselves heard.  I liked the idea of learning to communicate smarter, not louder.

What is your favorite memory of being in Colombia with the Peace Corps?

I had the chance to live with three host families during my time in Colombia.  Without a doubt, the members of my families were some of my closest friends.  One of my host moms, Gloria, has a special place in my heart – she could sense when I was having a bad day (or, could understand my broken Spanish when I tried to communicate that I was feeling down) and would brighten it up without fail.  Once, to cheer me up, she took me on a hike through the pueblo in a downpour.  When her concerned neighbors asked what she was doing, she replied that it was the perfect weather for a walk.  Her humor, kindness and indefatigable optimism stand out very clearly in my mind as a highlight of my time at site.

If you had to present on any topic without preparation, what would it be?

I could probably lead a presentation on all things related to bullet journaling, including how to make the journal itself out of printer paper, embroidery floss and a record sleeve.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Swing dancing!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

I would want to be able to teleport and take other people with me.  Not only would it eliminate my commute, but I’d also have the ability to spend more time with my loved ones scattered around the globe.


Five Questions with Ellie Hodgkins

March 6, 2018

by Ellie Hodgkins

Ellie Hodgkins joined us just three weeks ago as a communications specialist and has already become an integral member of the team.  An experienced producer and supervisor for the Home Shopping Network and marketing consultant for Art & History Museums – Maitland, Ellie offers expertise in marketing communications, event planning, merchandising and business development.

Read on to learn more about Ellie, a passionate philanthropist and proud UCF Knight:

What motivated you to pursue a career in public relations?

As a born communicator, I’ve found that public relations is a perfect fit. Very often, I am an unwitting influencer to friends and family when products, actions and innovations excite me.  Why not do that professionally?  What interests me most about this industry is uncovering the underlying motivations behind communication and endorsing worthwhile community efforts.

Is this what you wanted to do when you were little?  If not, what did you want to do when you were little?

My first ambition was to be a mountain-climbing ballerina, but as fate would have it, I’m not very coordinated.  After that, I wanted to be a greeting card writer or product demonstrator.  The latter was realized when I worked for the Home Shopping Network and got to produce demonstration segments.  My foray into television led to an interest in documentary film-making, a passion I continue to pursue in my free time. Now, my career path has come full-circle; understanding what makes someone tick is at the heart of both documentaries and public relations.

What’s one fun fact about you that most people don’t know?

I am allergic to cold.  Yes, the temperature.  I guess that means I’m a Florida girl through and through!

If we looked in your office drawer, what would we find?

Notebooks, folders and snacks.  I’m extremely organized.  And hungry.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?

There are so many feminist icons who would fit the bill, but at the end of the day, I’d have to say John Waters.  He is not only a director, comedian, author and artist whom I admire, but his work has pushed boundaries and opened the door to a more inclusive world.


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