Employee Spotlight: Mary Wasson, Associate
Growing up in the Portland area, Mary Wasson would see all of the local media outlets – The Oregonian, KOIN, OPB and others – in the background of her life. Now, about a year after joining Gard as an associate, she’s working closely with them nearly every day.
“It feels like getting a behind-the-scenes look,” she says.
Working with local media is just one of the things that Mary has come to enjoy about her time at Gard. She’s also learning a ton and building the foundations for what will no doubt be a successful career. (Along the way, she’s also adopted a kitten named Mochi Cat and learned how to crochet.)
What do you do here at Gard?
As an associate, I support account managers on various clients by tracking coverage, creating media lists, drafting pitch materials and whatever else they need.
What do you like about working here?
Being early on in my career, Gard has been great at providing meaningful learning opportunities for me to grow. I also really enjoy being able to work with local media.
What led you to this work?
I had just completed my AmeriCorps service with a college access nonprofit in Chicago, where I helped students from low-income backgrounds create degree plans, hosted college preparedness workshops, and ran text and email campaigns to support students with financial aid and registration. When the position with Gard came up, I applied because I wanted to leverage my communication and relationship-building skills, learn more about sharing different organizations’ stories, and move back to Portland. I am so grateful that Gard let me work remotely in a different time zone for my first six months and for all the account managers who have supported my learning. Now, I’m back home in rainy Oregon and can confidently say I not only know what public relations is, but I have gained skills in media relations, pitching and project management.
If you were not doing this job, what would you want to be doing?
Growing up, I idolized Jane Goodall, and of course my favorite animals were (and are) monkeys and apes. I always wanted to live among them and possibly create nature documentaries. If I didn’t have to work and/or go back to school, I would either live with chimpanzees or live at the beach making cheesy greeting cards and learning how to surf.
Do you have any pets?
I just adopted a two-month old kitten named Mochi Cat. If she were mochi, she’d definitely be black sesame mochi, and she loves chin scritches and plastic wrappers.
What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is “Back to the Future.” I like the second and third ones too, but the first is the best. There’s a model of the Delorean at a coffeeshop in Chicago and it has the flux capacitor and everything!
Have a favorite or new hobby?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I picked up crocheting. This is something I do almost every day now. I am most proud of a sunflower table runner I made for my mom for Mother’s Day.