Nancy Sherman is director of marketing and communications at Caroline Center, where she manages the organization’s brand, external communications, community and media relations, print and social media, and special events. She also writes and posts in “The Breakroom,” Caroline Center’s official blog site.
I grew up in southeast Washington, DC, in the Anacostia neighborhood, where I remember walking to school each day except when the snow got taller than I was and luxuriously long summers – hot afternoons and lazy time spent on the front porch glider reading books that I had to have a parent’s note to borrow from the neighborhood public library. Eventually, I found my way to Baltimore where I live and work on the east side. The summers are no longer so long and luxurious; but I still manage to carve out a little lazy time, and I still read whatever I want – no permission required.
University of Maryland, College Park, BA in English and Philosophy
University of Virginia, MA in English Literature
How would you say that your PRSA membership is of benefit to you?
My involvement in PRSA is a wonderful way to connect with colleagues and to share resources, knowledge, and experiences that help to strengthen and sharpen my own practice. Working in a small nonprofit organization, such as Caroline Center, is often very hands-on and keenly focused on mission. Belonging to PRSA helps me stay connected to the diverse and highly nuanced elements of the profession – parts of the work that I may not get to touch on a daily basis. As Communications Committee chair, I enjoy working with professionals at varying levels in their careers and learning from their experiences and fresh perspectives.
Do you have any personal/professional role models?
There are so many people whom I personally admire, not because they are saints, but because they have an uncanny ability to live fully, out-loud, honestly, imperfectly, unabashedly, and genuinely. Mostly, they are artists and poets and prophets and writers – folks of every stripe whose avocations and callings require them to live and speak their truths and to speak truth to power. The list is long because the well is deep.
My parents were certainly significant role models for me. They gave me an unwavering sense of the real merit of having strong personal values; and, they were always resourceful, creative, resilient, and positive even under the toughest circumstances.
Professionally, I learned so much and learned it so joyfully from my friends and mentors at the United Way of Central Maryland – Alan S. Cooper and Julie Mercer – who showed me, by example, how to lead and manage well; how to see and seize upon good opportunities when they presented themselves; and, how to build and nurture workplace and community relationships. Patricia McLaughlin, SSND, the executive director and my boss at Caroline Center, shows me every day how deeply rewarding strong commitment and passion for your work can be and that the best work one can ever do comes from a near-perfect alignment of the mind, heart, and spirit.
What are some of your interests and passions?
I like to say that I dabble in people. People have stories; but, more importantly, people are stories. I’ve found that if you give a person respect, an open mind and heart, and generous amounts of space and time, you will be rewarded with stories.
I love jazz, street art, black and white photography, theater, dinosaurs, astrophysics for lay people, Italian food, eating with chopsticks, trying to play the hammered dulcimer, writing, books with deckle-edged pages, poetry, and all manifestations of the brilliant use of words and of visual language.
I hope it goes without saying that I love my family and the wide circle of friends they bring to my life – not because they are saints, but because they remind me to keep living fully, out-loud, honestly, imperfectly, unabashedly, and genuinely.
You can connect with Nancy on social media, but to really get her attention, give her a call, send her an email, or stop by and see her at Caroline Center. Let’s see … that would be: 410-563-1303 x25; firstname.lastname@example.org; and 900 Somerset Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.