Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring an in-depth look at communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Kathi Hersh.  Photography for the series is by Cade Martinwardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.

Kathi, please provide a short bio.

I was born and raised on Long Island. In the mid-eighties I moved to DC joining Fannie Mae as a typesetter a few years later. Fast forward 30 years: as Senior Manager for Creative and Print Services I oversee and direct development of creative strategies and materials for internal and customer events, employee engagement, our digital properties and corporate communications. Leading an in-house creative team presents unique opportunities and challenges. My job is never boring.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

As an In-House Agency Forum (IHAF) Ambassador, I promote networking and resources available through the organization. I’m also a member of AIGA and ANA. Outside of work, I’ve been a platelet donor at NIH for many years. It’s (mostly) painless, takes about three hours a month and directly helps patients going through treatment.

What are the things you are most proud of?

First my ability to give 100% at work while making family and fitness daily priorities. Sleep takes a back seat but that’s why God made coffee.

Next is the family I have at work. Each team member inspires me to be a better leader and human being. Creating an environment that enables them to do their best work is the favorite part of my job.

Who is your personal role model?

My mom. She was a fashion illustrator in NYC when I was born. Her drawing table, pens and inks, and file cabinet of newspaper clippings were treasures to me. I watched her talent create a career based on projects and deadlines. Those things drive me to this day.

Did your mom offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

Ironically one bit of advice my mom gave me hasn’t helped. She discouraged me from taking a typing class. And I’ve spent the last 30 years attached to a keyboard, hunting and pecking.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Take risks and be brave. I’ve been at Fannie Mae for a long, long time. That’s worked well for me, but I encourage my team and children to take a different path and explore opportunities.

What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?

The Hamilton soundtrack is on heavy rotation along with Ben Folds and Damien Rice. I recently added an awesome playlist: “I had a bowl cut in the eighties.” Check it out.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

Black Market Bistro and Black Salt come to mind. Can’t go wrong with brunch at Le Diplomat. And I will never get tired of the Arugula Salad at Blue 44 in Northwest DC.

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

I love mornings: our quiet house, my first cup of coffee, finishing a work out before most people are awake. And the wonderful feeling that I’ve got the whole day ahead of me.

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