Spotlight on Sarah Barczyk
For the past few years, my professional career has taken a number of unexpected turns. After a long and rewarding tenure providing internal and external communications support in the energy and natural gas business, in 2020, I decided to make some drastic changes. I left a beloved work family to pursue some personal passions of mine and ended up publishing two fiction novels (with more on the way). In 2021, I started my own communications consulting firm and worked on some fascinating projects while drafting two business books (yet to be published). Then, I decided to shift gears completely, move myself thousands of miles away and join an entirely new industry. This was all scary, overwhelming and incredibly exciting!
Enter, Stage Right: Lisa Nickerson
Lisa and I met a little over three years ago during one of the most intense, challenging and rewarding periods of my professional life. In 2018, in the midst of a crisis of incomparable proportions, we both spent months working incredibly long, hard hours toward a common goal of restoring heat and hot water to thousands of customers affected by a pipeline safety incident. The mission included ensuring that those customers had the information and support they needed during a life-changing emergency, and ensuring our leadership had the intelligence that they needed to make.
I made a lot of friendships and connections during that time, but my connection with Lisa was instant.
The two of us could not be more personally different. Lisa is a force of LIFE. A whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm. She’s got a laser gaze and an easy laugh, and once you meet her, you don’t forget her. I am much more methodical and measured. I’m good at what I do, and my risks are calculated. I’d rather have a quiet conversation than be the life of the party. But Lisa and I clicked. Her prodigious enthusiasm was tempered by my more disciplined march to completion. Together, we worked.
So when we reconnected around Thanksgiving and a potential opportunity to work together again began to take shape, I couldn’t deny that the timing seemed right. More than that, it seemed downright portentous. She spoke of some projects that fit well with my background, and while I hadn’t expected to make another drastic career move so quickly, if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that opportunity sometimes presents itself at unexpected times. And sometimes it’s worth making a change even when it would be vastly more comfortable to stay in the same spot.
As of January 3, I am proud to say that I’ve joined Nickerson as Director, Strategic Communications, dedicated to building Nickerson’s Miami and South and Central Florida presence. I will also be supporting the team as a whole to advance existing projects and explore new areas of opportunity, including driving strategic communications for the team, providing thought leadership at Nickerson and for our client-partners and supporting the agency’s robust risk/crisis communications portfolio. I’ll be able to use my unique expertise in executive communications, legislative and regulatory matters, stakeholder relations, customer communications, government and municipal affairs, corporate citizenship and crisis communications management.
Nickerson is made up of group of unique and diverse individuals who depend on each other and hold each other accountable. They emphasize inspired collaboration to achieve excellence and take pride in their passion for both their professional and personal lives, ensuring a balance that sustains positive energy and innovative ideas both at home and at work.
After the isolation propagated by COVID-19 and the economic, political and social change that we’ve seen as a society, I, for one, am ready for a little bit of inspiration and creativity—a position and a company that supports my passion for communications and allows me an opportunity to use my strengths to their fullest capacity.
The Nickerson team consistently and intentionally pushes the boundaries of what they do and redefines what excellence looks like. I’m excited to be a part of a team that supports growth and market leadership, that isn’t afraid to take risks and that embraces new opportunities and ways of thinking.
I can’t wait to help redefine excellence with this exceptional team, and I’m so thankful to be reunited with my good friend Lisa once again.
Written by Director, Strategic Communications, Sarah Barczyk. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn and welcome her to the Nickerson team!