40 Under 40 2020 | Keely Spillane, NerdWallet, 33

40 Under 40 2020 | Keely Spillane, NerdWallet, 33

Zipping back and forth across the country can’t be the easiest way to build a career. But it worked for Keely Spillane, NerdWallet’s senior director, head of PR and communications.

Spillane started her comms career in the nation’s capital, by interning with lobby firm TechNet. That work caught the eye of hiring managers at technology and healthcare PR shop Racepoint Global, which drew on Spillane’s knack for tech comms and she rose from a junior hire to a senior account executive.

But, of course, the capital of the tech world isn’t on the east coast, it’s in the Bay Area. So, Spillane traversed the continent for a gig at global PR agency Text100. Her time there involved comms for B2B clients such as Broadcom, Cisco and Marvell and her work earned her the North American/Global Advisor award for outstanding efforts in strategic client communications.

But then, an in-house role at NerdWallet beckoned. Starting in 2015 Spillane led comms for that company’s efforts in the credit card and banking space. Today, she is NerdWallet’s senior director in charge of PR and comms, with 12 employees in the company’s corporate, internal, vertical, consumer and media partnerships teams calling her boss.

Spillane even branched out past traditional comms functions and took a role as interim director for NerdWallet’s email marketing team, where she led strategic planning and built the foundation for the team and helped hire a new full-time director.

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