Semonti Stephens: The Innovation 50

Product communications manager, Square

Created by tech star and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, payments startup Square is one of the most-watched companies in the industry. Semonti Stephens has been a product communications manager there for over a year, but she has proven to be just as adept outside the tech space.

Before Square, she spent more than four years serving First Lady Michelle Obama, as deputy press secretary and deputy communications director. During her time in the White House, her work involved tackling issues such as childhood obesity and military families, coordinating the first lady’s first tweet, planning outreach for events such as the Chefs Move to Schools launch, and developing communications plans for diplomatic efforts in South Africa and Botswana.

As Square attempts to diversify, items on Stephens’ communications agenda include promoting new products such as food pickup app Square Order (which replaced the dissolved Square Wallet), a merchant cash advance program called Square Capital, and customer survey product Square Feedback.

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