I recently stumbled upon a post from a local blog, DCist, that confirmed what many of us who live and work in the Nation’s capitol joke about frequently – that we live in one of the most transient cities in the country. It got me thinking that in a town with so much change, it can be extremely refreshing to work in an organization that prioritizes stability and is quite deliberate about hiring for the long-term.
Of course, even the most stable organizations experience turnover, and we are not immune. Last Friday marked the end of an era at McKinley, as Tania Galarza headed out for an exciting new position at Marriott. Over the last 7 years, Tania’s consummate professionalism and grace under pressure have defined how we think about client service and quality. During her tenure we all could count on her to tackle any type of project –branding, strategic planning, research, outsourced marketing, you name it, she did it. While any unplanned staff departure is challenging, I know that we all are prepared to feel this one a little more intensely as Tania’s been so ingrained in our firm. Still, we also know that she is on to great things in the future and that Marriott continues to make very smart moves in their business.
On the positive side of the ledger, Tania’s departure is balanced by the excitement of the new staff we have welcomed over the past few months who are sharing incredible ideas, skills and abilities to our team. Ellie Stavropolous and Samantha Dina are the latest additions to our growing research department, providing a significant boost to our capacity to tackle our growing number of research projects. Ellie brings a masters degree in industrial and organizational psychology as well as an impressive track-record of field work to support our team while Samantha joins the intrepid Liz Williamson as our latest American University graduate. Eric Evans, our second Washington D.C. native (in addition to yours truly), has a range of experience under his belt, including a stint as an intern in the strategy office at long-time McKinley client American Chemical Society.
In a town that is so used to transitions, big changes at McKinley can sometimes feel like an anomaly. That said, as we continue to grow and evolve, I am thinking that the ability to embrace change gracefully here can actually be a positive advantage that we can bring into our client organizations.