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Nailing the Basics: How to Grow with Intention and Purpose


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Nailing the Basics: How to Grow with Intention and Purpose


From honing foundational skills early-career, to navigating heightened responsibility mid-career, what does it take to be successful while also growing with intention and purpose? How do you meet and exceed others’ expectations but also draw fulfilling value to fuel you and your career goals? All too often, entry-and mid-level employees get lost in people-pleasing as their sole strategy for growth. While it’s an understandable default, establishing and maintaining true, holistic growth requires a multi-faceted approach. Moderated by Licy Do Canto, managing director of APCO Worldwide’s Washington DC office & Global Headquarters, this conversation will engage a dynamic and diverse group of early-and mid-career APCO leaders to share their experiences and insights on nailing the basics and growing with purpose and intent.

Danielle Calhoun

Ayla Morwin

Danielle Calhoun is an associate director at APCO Worldwide and is based in Washington, D.C. With a background in digital media, public relations and project management, she has experience executing strategic communications solutions and building strong client relationships. Ms. Calhoun is a member of the firm’s Equity & Justice practice where she leverages her past agency experience having supported a variety of diversity and inclusion client projects, as well as having led Black American and anti-racism employee resource groups.

Prior to joining APCO, Ms. Calhoun worked as a senior digital account manager at Social Driver where she was keenly focused on managing and growing client relationships and fostering business development. She worked with advocacy and issue-based clients that spanned the civil rights, education and health care spaces to propose digital communications solutions to best meet their needs and reach their target audiences. Ms. Calhoun began her career at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) where she worked for several years across multiple client accounts in the health care, food & beverage, automotive and financial industries. Specifically, she supported clients in implementing grassroots communication strategies and outreach to hone in on target audiences at a local level.

Germaine Fung

Ayla Morwin

Germaine Fung is a senior consultant at APCO Worldwide and is based in New York. She is a member of the firm’s health care and Equity & Justice practices. At APCO, Ms. Fung uses her high-science knowledge and wide range of experience in managing complex health care issues to help clients meet their brand and reputation goals. As a first-generation Chinese American/Canadian, she is passionate about DEI communications and brings her unique lens, personal life experiences and knowledge of diverse populations to address client goals in creating a more equitable future.

Prior to joining APCO, Ms. Fung supported big pharma/biopharma companies across consumer, corporate, crisis and patient advocacy communications. She specialized in supporting issues management, executive positioning and ideating campaign/media strategies and tactics around commercial portfolios for a wide range of diseases (NSCLC, diabetes, hematology, oncology, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatology, chronic pain, eye disease, etc.).

Alex Mancuso

Ayla Morwin

Alex Mancuso is an associate consultant at APCO Worldwide and is based in Washington, D.C. He specializes in client and project management and is a member of the firm’s Amplify team. At APCO, Mr. Mancuso collaborates with different teams and vendors to ensure each campaign produces one succinct and cohesive message.

Prior to APCO, Mr. Mancuso served as a project manager at Interface Media Group where he oversaw media projects for various nonprofit, corporate and political media campaigns.

Mr. Mancuso graduated from Elon University where he double majored in international studies and cinema/TV arts. During his junior year, he studied in Morocco and Jordan for six months where he earned the Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic.

Allison Smith

Ayla Morwin

Allison Smith is a project consultant at APCO Worldwide and is based in the Washington, D.C. office. She specializes in media relations and is a member of the firm’s North America Media practice. At APCO, Ms. Smith combines her abilities to write and research with her interests in international relations and public affairs.

Ms. Smith previously interned for APCO’s global marketing team where she assisted with project management, media monitoring and internal communication. Prior to joining the firm, she interned at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina with its marketing and research team. She developed a social media strategy and calendar while also creating public relations materials for external distribution.

Ms. Smith graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Journalism and Peace, War, and Defense.

Licy Do Canto

Patricia Ayerdis

Managing Director, Washington D.C., APCO Worldwide

Licy Do Canto, a veteran of public policy, corporate strategy, health care communications and diversity and inclusion, is managing director of APCO Worldwide's Washington D.C. office headquarters and mid-Atlantic region lead. A well respected expert in public health and health care policy, with nearly three decades of experience at the international, national, state and local levels across the nonprofit, philanthropic, corporate and government sectors, Mr. Do Canto is an accomplished, values-driven leader with unparalleled experience in developing and leading integrated public affairs campaigns combining strategic communications, public relations, political/legislative initiatives, policy, coalition building, grassroots efforts and advocacy.

Mr. Do Canto has held a wide range of positions and has worked across diverse sectors and industries over the course of his successful career, making him uniquely qualified to understand and support leaders and organization to successfully navigate both the opportunities and the diplomatic, technical, and multifaceted industry challenges with which they are confronted. Mr. Do Canto has vast inside knowledge of the Washington political process, and deep substantive experience on a wide range of public policy issues from public health, health care and social impact to immigration, trade and economic development.

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