Alicia Thompson, Hall of Femme 2018

VP, communications, Edible Arrangements

What would you do if not in PR? 
I would either be a chef (I am a foodie and oenophile at heart) or a leadership coach (I feel that my purpose in life is to help others fulfill their full potential).

Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment 
In 2005, I was comms lead for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, we had about 300 employees in the area that were displaced. During the evacuation, they dispersed across the Southeast and the broader U.S. During and after the hurricane, we implemented a large-scale effort to track down every employee to ensure their safety. With no telephone service, we managed to make contact with, ensure the safety and location of, and share relevant paycheck information with 90% of the displaced employees through a myriad of tactics, including text, message boards, media, and PSAs.

We also worked with franchisees across the U.S. to coordinate work for displaced employees. It was an amazing sense of relief and accomplishment to make contact with those employees and make sure they were safe and received their paychecks.

How long ago was the last time you took the time to recharge your batteries? 
For Christmas 2017 my family and I rented a house in Turks and Caicos and spent our days at the beach, in the pool, and just reconnecting with each other. No work phone or email, just family and fun. It was amazing.

What is it about this industry that frustrates the hell out of you sometimes? Time sheets.

When have you seen this industry or your organization really shine? 
I’ve seen the industry shine in the leadership role we’ve taken in helping companies navigate continued merging of traditional and new media platforms. This role has become increasingly important for companies as they break through the noise to drive impact. Few disciplines have proactively tackled the need for counsel and leadership in this area.

Finish the sentence: To ensure career advancement and pay parity for women, I will...
continue to mentor and advocate for women in the industry and use my influence to drive conversations around career advancement and parity for women.

Words to live by?
"Let your dreams be your only boundaries, henceforth, now and forever!"

Favorite drink? 
A great glass of Malbec.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self? 
Embrace each phase of life. You only get to a given point in time once.

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