I’m the director of content and media relations at Lument. Content is what fuels our marketing efforts, whether on the website within our Insights pages, paid content that we place on a third-party site, or a byline that we pitch to one of the key industry publications. All of that is repurposed and used in multiple channels with the goal of drawing more eyes to the site, and ultimately, the business teams here.

In terms of media relations, my team and I field media inquiries, ensure that Lument’s experts can contribute commentary to relevant articles, and submit award nominations to trade publications. I also consider safeguarding Lument’s corporate reputation to be a key part of media relations, and we have great support for this at the ORIX level as well.

When I moved to New York after college, I spent many years working as a fact checker at various publications like Parenting and Departures, and I also worked as an editorial assistant at The National Law Journal and as an editor for custom content for Target and other retailers, in addition to doing promotional material at GQ magazine.

I am naturally curious, skeptical, and predisposed to worrying, so I tend to look at what I do through that lens, which I believe is valuable. I will ask a million questions to better understand something—how it works, what its weaknesses are. The riskiest thing that I could do would be to write about something without a rudimentary understanding of it. However, I’ve also learned to take a “sky’s the limit” view of what’s possible.

I first began working in commercial real estate and finance after I got my Master’s in Business and Economics Reporting at CUNY. I immediately loved the industry because it was so accessible. Commercial real estate also has some real characters, particularly on the investment and development side here in New York. Still, the further in I got, the more I realized that I was not typical. I didn’t see many people of color, nor did I see queer people. I’d turn up to interview an executive or meet with a PR client in a suit and be told that deliveries are made at a different entrance before I could even open my mouth.

Societal changes over the years have improved things, but what helped me the most was realizing that it’s my differences that make me most valuable. Being anchored in Black culture has helped as well. At Lument, I’m happy to say that I feel safe, seen, and heard. I bring my whole self to work here without fear of recrimination. This is reflected in everything from the way that I dress to the frequency with which I share my opinion.

In that same spirit of openness, I’ll end with a personal anecdote—something a lot of my colleagues may not know about me. I play the viola; I played seriously throughout my early twenties, taking a year after I graduated from the University of Virginia to study abroad with the principal violist of the London Symphony Orchestra. During college I also spent my summers at Meadowmount School of Music in the Adirondacks. So classical music remains a passion of mine and I’m open to hearing all your good viola jokes!