Genma Speaks

Entrepreneur/ Writer/ Radio-Host

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Traci Otey Blunt on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

 Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and individuals who lead by example. With acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations and leaders embody "Be the change you want to see in the world".

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, we will hear from Traci Otey Blunt, a veteran media, political and public affairs specialist. Traci, the Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at RLJ Companies,  is responsible for media strategy and communications, government relations and public affairs activities on behalf of the company. Traci, who recently served as a Deputy Communications Director for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has more than 19 years of experience leading public relations and public affairs efforts for corporate, local, state and federal governments, as well as non-profit organizations.

Listen to Traci share about her undergraduate years at Tennessee State University and her early experiences that prepared her for epic political campaigns. She will share about maintaining relationships from California to Tennessee to Texas to DC. Hear stories from Traci about working with First Lady Laura Bush, Presidential debate prep with then Senator Hilary Clinton, advising President Clinton, and how she landed her position with Bob Johnson, founder of BET . She will give a rare look into her personal life and talk about  how family keeps her grounded and how she values her friendships from every chapter of her. Although Traci has been on the national scene for many years, she does not forget those who plowed the soil before her,locally and statewide. She also talk about the importance of giving back to "Big Blue" and her love of the Aristocrat of Bands.

Traci is a 1990 graduate of Tennessee State University where she received her degree, cum laude, in Criminal Justice. Traci also attended law school at Texas Southern University. She currently serves on several boards including the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBCLEO) Foundation, the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs Board of Advisors at Tennessee State University, Color Comm.

 Living Your Best Life, radio that empowers, inspires, and motivates you to live your BEST life, is heard on 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, the Inspirational Network, military bases and live streamed at Ustream.TV from 9-10AM CST.

More About Traci Otey Blunt 

 Getting to Know Traci O.
What is the key to balancing your professional, philanthropic and social commitments?
I have been fortunate to maintain a fairly balanced life when it comes to my professional, philanthropic and social commitments. In DC, you find that all three of these sectors are often intricately linked and it’s important that you define your own balance and determine what the trade-offs are. I think I do a pretty decent job with it.
What is the biggest mistake young professionals make? Young professionals (and seasoned ones too) often name drop, discuss internal office business, or have negative conversations about people or matters in very public settings (i.e. the Metro, events, restaurants & bars). This is a networking town and if you choose to discuss these things in open forums … be aware that people are listening in.

What advice would you give other young professionals who desire to excel in their profession, specifically for other young women of color?
My advice to other young women of color is to always remain true to yourself and never lose focus of what you are trying to achieve. As you grow professionally, you may have to take what seems like one or two steps back to get three steps ahead; however, if you keep sight of your goals, you will get there. All that you desire in your personal and professional life may not come today or all at once, but I am a true believer that perseverance and hard work will always pay off.

What’s been the best experience of your career thus far (or the most rewarding)?
This is a hard one. Each employment opportunity has advanced my career. I have worked on local, state, and national political campaigns; at every branch of government (local, state, federal); have worked at a women’s issues focused political action committee; at a national legal association; two of the world’s leading PR agencies and now in a corporate office. I believe every job has been a stepping stone for me and has allowed me to have and maintain a solid foundation for each new experience. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for each opportunity. One of my most exciting career moves was being asked to serve as a deputy communications director/director of African American media for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign – that was an historic and unforgettable experience and I’d do it all over again.

What’s next for you in your career? What should we look out for?
I enjoy working at The RLJ Companies (the holding company formed by Bob Johnson after he sold BET) where I have been employed for almost three years. As the principal who oversees corporate communications and public affairs, my role encompasses every job I’ve ever had.  I don’t have any immediate career moves in the near future and see myself working to promote and execute the RLJ brand and the innovative and cutting edge work being conducted across the companies.
Lastly, give me three words to sum up Traci.
Loyal! Energetic! Real!

Above interview from Impact .
Photo Credits: AP, Genma Holmes, Lisa Otey-Spencer
Traci recently became proud new mom to a beautiful baby girl!

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