Elisa. And up until today, I was a Medium lurker. I wanted to say hello sooner, but I wasn’t sure what to say. Which is odd, because I actually write for a living! Well, here goes nothing…

First and foremost, I’m a proud wife and mom. I’ve been married for almost seven years to a man named Russ, who is the Clyde to my Bonnie. He’s in deep on this journey of life with me, and I’m grateful, even if I don’t always show it (read: he puts up with a LOT of my crap).

I also have two cute little boys — Preston, 5, and Peyton, 2. They love to wrestle; I don’t. I love to sleep; they don’t. But they do put up with my tone-deaf singing and bad Mickey Mouse impressions, so I guess it all balances out.

Professionally speaking, I’ve been a bit of communications nomad. I started my career as a journalist — working as a reporter, copy editor and page designer. I then worked in communications roles at two nonprofits, the Campaign for College Opportunity and Special Olympics Northern California & Nevada, before selling my soul to a global PR agency.

I AM KIDDING about the selling my soul part — I’d encourage anyone interested in PR to work at an agency first. It gave me a great foundation in PR, and a wealth of experience that I will take with me throughout my career. I worked on clients and projects in dozens industries, and learned from some of the best and brightest minds out there. No regrets.

But after 5 1/2 years of agency life, I was looking for a new challenge, and a former colleague of mine helped me land a marketing communications role at UC Berkeley. It marked my return to higher education, after the Campaign for College Opportunity, and I fell in love with the mission-driven work. But, even with a wonderful boss and job, it couldn’t make up for the fact that I was commuting 1.5 hours each way to work, and my children were having to spend 10 hours a day in daycare. Enough was enough, and Russ and I decided together it was time to pack up and leave the craziness of the San Francisco Bay Area.

As we began to contemplate our next move, I took a 6-month contract as Director of News & Communications at Sacramento State, while still living in the Bay Area. I went from commuting 1.5 hours West on 80 to Berkeley, to 1.5 hours East on 80 to Sac. I did that commute for nine months — with daily stops at the Starbucks drive-thru in Dixon (hi ladies!) — while we waited to see if Sacramento was the right fit for us. Thankfully, it was. My job became permanent, Russ took his San Francisco-based job remote, and we relocated to El Dorado Hills. And we haven’t looked back.

So now that you’re all caught up on my life, what can you expect for me to share on Medium? Most likely things related to media, PR, life as a working mom, and my constant struggle to find work/life balance. I can’t promise I won’t talk about the Kardashians, but I will try my best to be interesting (and briefer next time). Cheers!

First shift: PR professional | Second shift: Wife and boy mom | Find me at: elisabongiovannismith.com

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