Jennifer Verti – ELP Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?

I am the Executive Director, Communications at ABC Family. In my role, I oversee media relations campaigns for the scripted series on the network and pitch key executive interviews for consumer and trade publications. I also oversee the award submissions for all network programming. I have spent my career in television, starting as an intern in the casting department at ABC Television while attending UCLA, and later joined the media relations team at the network. I learned from the best at ABC about television publicity and moved over to the cable side at ABC Family in 2007. I have recently celebrated 17 years at Disney ABC TV Group, and could not be more proud.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?

The biggest challenge is managing talent and producer expectations and personalities while also developing innovative campaigns to drive viewers to tune in to our series – all while managing relationships with the press. It feels like a juggling act sometimes, but I love the challenge.

What is your proudest achievement?

I am most proud of my family – my husband Matt and two children, Isabella (age 5) and William (age 17 months), who inspire me daily to work hard and hopefully be a role model for them one day. Career wise, I would say that launching the PR campaign for the Jimmy Kimmel Live! late night talk show at ABC in 2003 and overseeing the media relations for the show for the first 4 years was a great achievement. At the time, we were the little show that could and it makes me so proud to see the success now and know I was a part of it from the beginning. I am also most proud to have been an integral part of the ABC Family team over the last 7 years, spanning a time of incredible growth for the network.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?

I admire my parents who are two of the hardest working people I know.  I also admire my mentor, Kevin Brockman (EVP Communications, DATG), who I have had the pleasure of working for my entire career at Disney ABC. He is a brilliant communicator and strategist, always cool under pressure and faces every day with a smile and a laugh. As stressful as the days are at times, it’s nice to remember to take a moment to enjoy what we’re doing as well – and Kevin has been an inspiration for that.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

It’s hard to say, but I’m hoping to still be a part of the Walt Disney Company. I know it’s rare for someone to spend their entire career at one company, but I can honestly say that I would love to remain a part of the magic, as they say. I learn more about this business and about this company every day, and I love it.

How has your participation with the Executive Leadership Program impacted the way you approach your day-to-day role?

I learned how to take control of my own career growth and development, which helped me recently secure a new promotion. I used to think if you put in the hard work and hours, you will be rewarded and recognized, eventually. But, several of the speakers inspired me to take control of my own destiny and ask for what I wanted. It sounds simple, but putting that power into my hands gave me the confidence to ask for what I knew I deserved.