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Principal – Sheila Blaine

Sheila Blaine of SaidWellSheila started a writing career in a pretty non-inspiring job – writing resumes for government proposals. Hundreds and hundreds of resumes. It didn’t take long for people to see that her writing style didn’t fit the “check this spelling and format this section” demands of this occupation.

Then Sheila started to move up in responsibilities, eventually becoming Communications Director for a large corporation in the D.C. suburbs. She managed a team, worked with executives, met with government leaders, and had more creative license in messaging and writing. She even tried a two-year stint as a systems consultant at Naval Sea Systems Command, a great experience but not inspiring for her.

Then Sheila started a family. Through child one and child two, she maintained her full-time status, even moving among companies and enjoying promotions. It was child three that forced a work-life balance decision. And SaidWell was born.

That’s Sheila’s story. If you’d like to see more details about the work she has done, and for whom she did it, you can read it below. For purposes of gainful employment, of course, it’s written in traditional resume style.

WORK EXPERIENCE

 Owner/Freelance Writer (SaidWell Communications)
2/01/02 – Present
Principal

SaidWell is a sole proprietorship offering nearly 20 years of experience in marketing communications.

  • Client engagements include:
    • Writing and editing copy for various company websites – public and private sector organizations of all sizes.
    • Writing and editing copy for event-related publications covering a wide range of topics and clients (technology firms, school board associations, public safety communications, foundations, and more).
    • Brainstorming membership drive ideas, writing targeted e-mail campaigns, writing and producing multi-level print collateral, and writing website copy.
    • Interviewing government officials and corporate executives for newsletters targeting existing clients, prospects, and employees.
    • Marketing writing for small company involved in event planning, lobbying, and education geared toward technology in the government market.
    • Writing, editing, and producing four-color, eight-page newsletter for a government acquisition program. Transitioning newsletter to online media vs. print media, and also writing, editing, and designing this award-winning online newsletter.
    • Conceptualizing and writing glossy, multi-page brochures for technology companies of all sizes – in both public and private sector.
    • Writing, editing, and designing statements of capability for small startup technology companies.
    • Editing and proofreading marketing material for various companies – from large enterprises to small organizations.
    • Volunteer work for major non-profits: Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia (newsletter and various other publications), American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life (newsletter and marketing flyers), and Girl Scouts, USA.

 E-Gov
9/26/00 – 3/29/02
Senior Marketing Consultant

 Worked with Program Advisory Boards comprised of senior level government officials (Agency CIOs, CTOs, CKOs, Senior Procurement Officers) to design and market government-specific conference programs. With six technology-focused conferences in all, subjects included Knowledge Management, E-Procurement, Information Assurance, E-Learning, Web-Enabled Government, and the large annual Electronic Government conference known as E-Gov. Hosted several Board meetings for each conference to help decide keynotes, track themes, session topics, and faculty for each conference.

Conducted research and wrote the content for each conference brochure and website, with brochure circulation ranging from 140,000 to 400,000 each. Helped develop the marketing strategy for each conference, from purchasing appropriate target lists to arranging barter agreements with associations, government organizations, and trade publications. Worked with those associations and trade organizations to conduct joint marketing programs around each conference. Conducted e-mail and fax-based marketing campaigns for each conference. Managed public relations firm efforts in promoting each conference. Coordinated the production of all final print pieces, and worked directly with graphic artists throughout the design phase. Helped redesign company website, and ensured current, dynamic content.

 American Management Systems, Inc.   05/10/93 – 9/1/00
Communications Director, Defense Group
8/98 to 9/00

Responsible for all communications, both external and internal, for a 1,200-person division of a larger 9,000-person technology consulting corporation. Worked closely with senior management to ensure the marketing communications plan was tied closely with the overall strategic business plan. Managed a constant team of five, but managed concurrent projects involving dozens of people. Initiated this division’s first public relations campaign and directed all efforts, including management of two outside agencies and coordination with corporate headquarters. Oversaw design and development of all online and print material, including multiple websites, internal and external newsletters, brochures, and advertising. Managed all internal and external events, including more than 20 annual conferences and tradeshows.

Senior Marketing Writer
3/97 to 8/98

Responsible for all written marketing material, including newsletters, brochures, flyers, press releases, advertisements, web content, news articles, and tradeshow and conference collateral. Printed material ranged from black and white ad hoc pieces to six-color, outsourced off-set printing. Coordinated all writing efforts by working closely with project staff and senior company officials.

Also conducted market research for this same group in various arenas, as needed. Scoured Internet resources, competitive information, and government publications to supply senior company officials with relevant marketing information. Led an intense research effort to develop a “Market Assessment” of the Department of Defense’s Financial Management environment.

Analyst
Naval Sea Systems Command
3/96 to 3/97

As an analyst supporting the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), served as program management developer and analyst, functional analyst and consultant, and fiscal year planning consultant. For a large system migration effort taking place at all Navy shipyards, analyzed monthly status reports from all shipyards. As part of program management duties, managed the development and deployment of a NAVSEA website and application. Worked closely with senior management of NAVSEA to develop fiscal year plans for all efforts being managed within the organization, totaling more than 16 separate programs.

Technical Writer/Proposal Specialist
5/93 to 3/96

Analyzed detailed government and commercial Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Developed technical proposal outline, conducted formal theming sessions, and drove the schedules for technical writing and review sessions. Wrote and edited technical proposals for information systems, software, and consulting and engineering services. Coordinated proposal production, from graphics development and embedding, to photocopying and delivery. Consolidated technical input from all members of the proposal teams – sometimes more than 25 people. Edited entire technical proposal for content, grammar, style, and consistency. Conducted formal proposal review sessions, lasting as long as two days and involving subject matter experts, section authors, and senior management.

National City Corporation
Marketing, Corporate Cash Management
10/90 to 3/93

Researched specific needs of prospective customers and developed persuasive marketing material. Tailored cash management portfolios to individual customer disbursement and collection needs. Marketed available services to both existing and prospective clients. Gathered comparative pricing information on area market, and developed new pricing proposals to present to executive staff. Assisted other sales associates with preparation of sales calls and proposals. Maintained a detailed departmental marketing tracking system. Sales Department exceeded goal by 63%.

EDUCATION

BBA, Marketing (magna cum laude); minor in English; Morehead State University, 1990
Multiple conferences and courses, including: Conflict Management, Program Management & Analysis, Team Facilitation