Vice President, Marketing and Community Relations
Danielle joined Community First in 2005, managing marketing and communication for the Continuing Care Retirement Communities of Berkeley Square and Westover. She has played a lead role in developing brands and managing communication through Community First’s continued growth. Danielle’s role is focused on maintaining a strong brand presence & community connectivity, developing and implementing dynamic marketing strategies, and effectively integrating internal and external communication initiatives. She also oversees Fundraising & Development.
Say "hello" to Danielle, one of four female Vice Presidents for Community First Solutions. Read Danielle's career story and discover other fun facts about her and what has shaped her style of leadership through her personal life and professional career.
How long have you been with Community First Solutions?
"Almost 17 years."
What was your first job?
"My first job EVER was working at Arby’s because they had little microphones you could say the order into."
What three words would you use to describe your leadership style?
"Collaborative. Intentional. and Approachable."
Do you have a female role model? Who and why?
"I have always looked up to my aunt Terri Ziepfel – she was the first woman I knew who had a business career and a closet full of suits – I wanted to be just like her. While I don’t make a habit of wearing suits (she still does and they are super cute), I do still try to emulate her professionalism, drive, and work ethic."
Do you have a favorite leadership quote?
"My first boss told me “there’s a difference between being busy and being productive.” That has stuck with me through the years and even today I still take a step back and make sure I’m focused on productivity rather than being overwhelmed by busyness."
You just got home from a day of work, what do you do to decompress?
"Take a walk or work out, then pour a glass of wine and read a good book."
What passions do you have outside of your career that your colleagues would be surprised to know?
"I’m surprisingly domestic. This [spring] is my favorite time of year to visit tons of garden centers and continue to expand my gardens. I also love to cook and am always in the middle of some type of DIY project."
Men have their power suits, but what is that “power outfit” or accessory that you
feel the most confident in when faced with a big meeting, presentation, or
high stakes situation?
"New Shoes. 100%."
How do you overcome days of self-doubt in your positions?
"I try to stay focused on the goal and keep perspective. There will always be challenges and times of self-doubt, but knowing you are part of a team with incredible strengths to leverage is huge. Also knowing that everything is an evolution – I’d rather try – fail – refine and grow than maintain status quo."
It’s Saturday at 6pm during the summer, where might we find you?
"Definitely reading or entertaining on my screened-in porch."
What is a piece of advice you would give the next generation of female leaders?
"Whatever it is, GO FOR IT."
How does the culture at Community First Solutions foster/help females enter
leadership positions, and continue to build their leadership skills?
"We have a predominately female leadership team at Community First and it truly is a sisterhood. As a larger organization with a variety of service lines, we focus on retaining our employees and helping them develop career paths to continue to work toward goals. Several of our Directors started as entry-level team members and have worked their way to become today’s leaders."
What is your Why?
"When you work for an organization like Community First, you are awarded the opportunity to impact your community - and the people who live in it - in many ways. In small ways like being in the right place at the right time to sit with a friend who just received a scary diagnosis; driving a mentally ill client - and her Beagle - to an appointment at the vet; or helping an out-of-town daughter who reached out through our website hoping to plan a special surprise for her father's birthday. And in big ways, like helping to develop new services, creating campaigns that connect more people to the support they need, and participating in leadership initiatives outside the organization like the We Are Hamilton project. I love the work that I do and I am driven and inspired by my co-workers and the clients we serve."
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