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Hello world!

Professionally, I’m an independent communications consultant at the intersection of technology and politics.

I grew up in Los Angeles and enjoyed the sunshine, movie stars and sports championships.  When I graduated from UCLA I wanted to do something important and started working at the Center for Governmental Studies, a non profit that promotes civic engagement through media.  There we built an online voter information system – not a site  – a SaaS platform (before that term existed).  It was the first political New Media project (before that term existed) to engage Presidential candidates.

After CGS I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and really learned how to work on internet technology products in the heart of it all.  Since then I’ve been honing my organizational, management, and collaboration skills doing product management of a web-based communication platform.

In trying to build the best possible platform for grassroots engagement I worked directly with clients, sales/services people, developers/QA/Operations, and activists.  I understand communications strategy including social media strategy and I enjoy crafting and executing on a plan that generates results.

I’ve employed my technology, marketing and political skills on behalf of a number of candidates.  At the moment I’m working on David Chiu’s Mayoral Campaign in San Francisco.  Check out www.davidchiuformayor.com if you are a local voter.  He is an amazing listener, thinker and leader.

In my spare time, I play. Bike, Run, Swim, Hike, Camp, Write, Cook, Read and Dream. Alicia with Elk

I’m an Aunt – I never show up with a gift but I always say “yes” to playing. Affinity for boat rides, books, feather boas and bugs make me particularly well liked at the moment.

I’m Outdoorsey – enjoy camping, hiking, sailing, and the way they can make a granola bar taste amazing. I’m not a peak bagger but have enjoyed the view and the journey to the top of a few, including Half Dome, Clouds Rest and Mt Whitney.

I like to race – avid runner and triathlete. I love to train – the work, the training buddies, the results. I love the feel of race day – the energy, the company of amazing athletes, the finish. I never win but I’m always glad I raced.

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Professional

ARisk Word Cloud

Alicia is a management professional seeking to provide leadership and bring teams together.  She strives to both drive and achieve mission-critical goals.

Summary

Product/Project manager with broad-based experience in web applications software development and online communications strategy including new media strategy and implimentation.

  • 10 + years online communications product/project management experience
  • Successful leader of distributed cross-functional team including development, operations, and quality assurance; managed deployment of dozens of releases to production SaaS platform
  • Experienced Account Manager – skilled at assessing client needs, suggesting and implementing creative solutions and delivering results
  • Quality-oriented project manager with effective leadership, management and organizational skills
  • Effective communicator, comfortable leading meetings at all levels, driving to decision and reporting status/progress

Experience

Program Consultant | Edelman | San Francisco, CA
World’s leading independent public relations and strategic communications firm
2009 – Present

  • Direct technical strategy and project management for development of next iteration of communications platform
  • Provide detailed risk and requirements analysis of current technology solution that led to the creation of fully funded replacement and migration project for legacy system
  • Support operations in planning for data updates to legislative contact system insuring reliable and accurate service
  • Support PR professionals in use of communications platform to engage stakeholders
  • Employ strong communications skills, relationship management and cross-functional team building skills to guide feature identification, requirements definition and achieve timely decision making and prioritization

General Manager; Project/Product Management | Grassroots Enterprise, Inc. | San Francisco, CA
Online technology firm specializing in advocacy and community building
2000 –2009

  • Earned reputation as exceptional collaborative facilitator between front and back end teams, with adaptable planning style and ability to balance internal and external client needs, from engineers to business development
  • Planned and Implemented Facebook app integrations to support visibility, advocacy and recruitment using gamification techniques
  • Directly managed client accounts including detailed coordination of website builds and execution of communications strategy (email, social media, web presence)
  • Promoted four times in nine years in senior product management roles and to General Manager of the San Francisco office; member of the senior management team
  • Experienced Scrum Master and manager of distributed engineering and operations teams; responsible for proprietary software solution
  • Responsible for new features as well as on ongoing support of existing platform
  • Experienced, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) – ruthless prioritizer, created efficient procedures to ensure timely product delivery and improve employee satisfaction.
  • Planned and managed process for rapid incremental functional enhancements to meet market demand and sales needs
  • Led successful technology transitions including the adoption of the SCRUM development process by entrenched team
  • Effective technical writer – produced dozens of useful and used product release notes and user guides
  • Successfully implemented programs and projects to achieve communications goals around advocacy, visibility, business and operations for a variety of clients

Project Manager, Multimedia | Center for Governmental Studies | Los Angeles, CA
Nonprofit promoting civic engagement through technology
1999 – 2000

  • Responsible for operations of Democracy Network (DNet), the first SaaS platform for online candidate debate and the trusted online voter information site for the 2000 election
  • Managed external developers and designed and ran quality assurance program for product acceptance
  • Developed training materials and product documentation for five different user levels and worked with national and local political organizations to ensure product met market needs
  • Facilitated acquisition of DNet project by emerging market leader and managed transition to the substantial financial benefit of the organization

Education

University of California at Berkeley | Berkeley, CA
Agile Management Program – Certificate Holder

University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) | Los Angeles, CA
Bachelor of Arts – Women’s Studies
Magna Cum Laude

Scrum Alliance | CSPO – Certified Scrum Product Owner

What People Say…

Recommendations Word CloudAlicia has lots of fans.  Check out her recommendations on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skills

ARisk Skills Word CloudSpecialties and skills developed and demonstrated in previous experience.

Leader – Member of Senior Management team. Initiated exit strategy effort that led to acquisition by the world’s largest independent PR firm. Maxtrixed manager of engineering and operations teams responsible for new product development and ongoing support of existing platform. Led successful adoption of the SCRUM development process by entrenched development team. Led successful ownership transition of SaaS product with a small, isolated team. Managed 2009 recession in San Francisco office including layoffs and the associated HR/legal needs, west coast client retention, and ultimately physically closed the SF office.

Strong Facilitator – point person between the front and back end teams on core Multiplier product. Communicated business and technical needs/concerns on projects. Good at driving to teams to decision. Skilled at keeping our eye on the prize.

Flexible – comfortable in large well supported, process driven environment (Grassroots.com circa 2000) as well as seat of the pants, bootstrapped operations (Grassroots Enterprise circa 2003). Worked closely with clients, sales, client services, vendors, engineers, operations, business development and marketing. Enjoys respect from members of all these teams.

Customer Focused – Extremely responsive to clients – internal and external. Able to add required functionality incrementally and quickly to existing product meeting client and sales needs. Known internally as the Oracle for my unparalleled knowledge of the system and willingness to share. Sucker for having my geeky heart stroked.

Prioritizer – Balanced use of technical resources with regard to competing bottom lines of product development and current client satisfaction. Managed day-to-day project prioritization for engineering and operations team regarding new product development and support of legacy system. Sought technical and non-technical solutions that leveraged the expertise of the technical and strategy teams to solve client issues/needs.

Risk Analysis – C3PO of the team. Consistently reviewed projects and proposals in an effort to identify opportunity costs, potential to introduce deficiencies, efficacy as well as benefit to client and the company. Annoyed many a Han Solo by stating the odds.

Project Manager – delivered dozens of releases. Led projects with large and small teams. Experience with a number of development processes and tools including formal use cases, detailed PRDs, SCRUM, waterfall, and, of course, “fire drill”. Successes include integrating payment processing for a fundraising component into existing advocacy tool; addition of fully featured blog tool into existing product and data structures; and re-platforming of early SaaS voter information project.

Maximizer – worked with engineering to maximize the value of the core system. Initially managed large feature additions to meet identified market needs. Eventually made small, incremental and rapid changes to meet demands of rapidly changing market. Extracted the maximum value from a high availability multi-tenant SaaS system that was well past its prime – technically running on an unsupported platform. Responded to needs of the web 2.0 market place by looking for development as well as integration opportunities.

Program Management – Responsible for operations of Democracy Network (later DNet), the first SaaS platform for online candidate debate. Defined and documented features for developers; managed relationship with external production house, developed and ran QA program for product acceptance; developed training materials and product documentation for five different user levels; worked with national and local political organizations to ensure product met market needs. DNet was THE voter information site on the Internet for the 2000 election providing issue statements from candidates at all levels from school board on up, including the participation of all candidates for US President.

Transition Management – facilitated acquisition of DNet project by hot dotcom to the substantial financial benefit of the non-profit.