My name is Wendy, but my friends call me Wen
What do you do at BOCA?
I’m BOCA’s HR Director. I keep things moving from a people operations standpoint, including hiring, training and career development, getting people paid and set up with benefits, and anything else that is needed. I enjoy being part of the amazing culture at BOCA and value the relationships I’ve built here.
What is life all about for you?
Spending quality time with my family and friends. I come from a large, close-knit family (my Grandpa John was one of 17 kids, so there are lots of cousins) and I still live not too far from where I grew up so I get to see mom, stepdad, and other family members quite often. I’m also lucky to have friends who I count as family, including my best friends from high school and college, who both live super close to me. I do miss my little sister and her family in Arkansas, but they are just an airplane ride away.
What drew you to PR?
Before I became an HR professional, I actually did PR! I come from a communications background and my career path has been a bit circuitous. After college, I was a buyer at Macy’s (men’s slacks, of all things) and then a marketing writer at Bank of America (focused on corporate cash management). I’m aging myself a bit here, but I was at BofA in the early 1990s when the internet had just started to become a thing. I was in charge of managing my division’s content for BofA’s very first website and became hooked on internet technology and the seemingly limitless things we could do with it! I eventually landed at a tech PR agency where I could use my experience taking complex information and turn it into communications that told compelling stories about my clients and their technology and I was hooked. Long story short, the tech boom meant PR agencies were hiring like crazy and I was tapped into the tech PR scene, so I eventually started recruiting, which then turned into a full-time HR manager gig. I love the PR agency world and, while I’m no longer doing media and client relations, my previous experience truly helps me service and guide my colleagues at BOCA as they navigate their own careers.
What do you do for fun when you’re not killing it at BOCA?
I love listening to good music and drinking good wine with my friends. On the weekends, you can often find me checking out antique shops, estate sales, and flea markets. At home, I enjoy gardening with my cats, Gladys and Mabel. I’m an avid collector of hobbies and relax by knitting, crocheting, spinning and dyeing yarn. Just before the pandemic hit, I took up silversmithing and that’s my latest obsession. My dad taught me leather carving when I was a teenager and I inherited all of his tools, so I’m about to add that back into the mix! I sell some of my creations online to help pay for all the tools and supplies I’ve acquired.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
So many places!! I’ve been to Iceland twice and cannot get it out of my head. I want to go back there and see some of the areas I missed the last couple of times and revisit some favorites. I also want to go to Croatia. The Plitvice Lakes National Park there is definitely on my bucket list.
What are you binge-watching right now?
I’ve recently binge-watched all of “Stranger Things” and I’m hooked. I also recommend “Our Flag Means Death” on HBO and “What We Do in the Shadows” on FX/Hulu. “Reservation Dogs” on FX/Hulu is also really good! I also watch a LOT of silversmithing how-to videos on YouTube.
What is your number one motivator?
My family! I was the first in my family to get a degree and my mom and dad sacrificed a lot to help me achieve that, even when I went a bit wayward during the process. They were always encouraging and taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I also inherited my creativity from both parents and I feel like a bit of them is in each piece of jewelry or hand-knitted garment that comes from my hands. I hope I’ve made them proud.