In 2003, in an effort to spread good news, I began writing feature stories for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. I sought out ordinary people in the community who were doing extraordinary things to make a difference. I photographed and interviewed these amazing individuals, getting to the heart of not only how they were making an impact, but why they were moved to do so. Eventually, given the evolution of newspaper, I phased from writing features to covering more community events; taking the photos and documenting the shorter stories of thousands who showed up to support our many Venice and Sarasota charities.
When I started writing for the newspaper, I also had an idea to help people get their life story out and onto paper or the web, incorporating my years of interviewing to ask people the questions they may not think to ask themselves. All of us have a story, yet not all of us want or like to write about ourselves. Many of us have someone in our lives we find inspirational. Perhaps you would like to pay tribute to someone who is approaching a milestone or has passed on. I help sort through memories and bring them to life through written word, photos and video.
When my dad first started getting sick, I made a point to ask him questions about the past, to ask him about the times he felt truly alive. He was a great storyteller and remembering life events caused his eyes to dance. He would laugh and I would laugh. He would cry and I would cry. And, although I've written about many things over the last 30-some years, I never wrote down a word that he said to me. I was too busy being there, being in the moment with him to even think about it. I never thought that one day he would just be unable to talk. Now I wish I had those stories. My wish is to help you get those words down, to have them forever, to collect those memories so you can spend your time being there. Whether it is your story or your story of another, we can create a lasting legacy.
I began in the communications and public relations industry in 2001. I was also a journalist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for eight years and am now the Retail Editor of Style Magazine. Previous to that, while working on my bachelor’s degree, I managed large and small retail sales teams ranging in age from 16 to 84. Since incorporating Chouinard Consulting in January of 2012, I combine all of this to assist companies and nonprofit organizations improve business by assessing current public relations and marketing (including brochures, newsletters, web sites, social media, office procedures and personnel) to make recommendations and implement a more cost-effective and streamlined strategy. I also capture life stories, write for real estate, food and travel publications as well as assist with copywriting for books, biographies, web sites and more.
I am a founding board member of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Group (YPG) and creator of the YPG Volunteer Opportunities Committee, which, thanks to the many committee chairs who have given their energy and commitment, continues to contribute time and resources to organizations in need. I am a graduate of Leadership Sarasota County and served on the Leadership Advisory Board, received gold and silver Addy Awards from the American Advertising Federation, and, in 2007, was named one of the top 40 professionals under the age of 40 on the Florida Gulf Coast. I have volunteered as a committee member or board member for many area non-profits and continue to be actively involved in our community through my support of organizations that are dear to my heart.
Chouinard Consulting utilizes local, trusted small businesses for photography, graphic design, web site hosting and maintenance, printing and any other service necessary to complement our efforts. Support local!
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