Welcome to The Herald Group, Steven!
Last month, The Herald Group welcomed Steven Smith as our newest Senior Director. Steven has integrated himself into the work for multiple clients, primarily focusing on financial services and fiscal policy—two issue areas that he is most passionate about. Over the past month he has enjoyed learning about how all the members of THG’s team work together to achieve client goals. Please take a moment to get to know our newest Senior Director and help us in welcoming him to our team.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and am a proud graduate of Indiana University. I never planned on getting into politics, but life unexpectedly brought me to Washington, DC, back in 2011 where I started a 10-year stretch working on Capitol Hill for 6 different members of Congress. When I’m not working, I’m probably playing on one of my rec sports teams. My friends joke because the trunk of my car has sports equipment from 6 different sports. But there is nothing I love more than traveling to new countries with my fiancée. Our goal is to travel to at least one new country every year until we run out of countries. So far, my favorite trip has been driving along the southern coast of Portugal.
What excites you the most about working in public affairs?
I’ve always believed that at its core, public affairs is the battle to change hearts and minds. That battle lies at the intersection of creativity, policy, and politics. There isn’t another profession that I know of where you get the opportunity to mix those three things together on a daily basis in a fast paced, constantly changing world. Nothing is more exciting to me than developing innovative communications strategies that can influence policy makers, stakeholders, and everyday Americans.
What’s the best thing you’ve watched or read in the past 5 years?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve tried to catch up on reading some of the classics. I’ve always been fascinated by the life of Ernest Hemingway—mainly because I love the Florida Keys and fishing—and I started with The Old Man and the Sea and now I’m moving on to The Sun Also Rises. I also started watching the TV show Cheers for the first time in my life and I highly recommend it.
What drew you to THG?
I’ve been lucky to work with some incredibly talented public affairs professionals over the last ten years on Capitol Hill. When I made the decision to transition from the Hill to public affairs, I reached out to my professional network and asked them to recommend firms where I could make a positive impact on policy decisions through strategic communications. Every single one of them put The Herald Group at the top of their list because of THG’s reputation for getting results. Now that I’m part of THG, I love how the firm prioritizes an open-door culture that encourages creative and innovative thinking along with professional development.
What is your favorite thing about Washington, DC?
There is never a dull moment in Washington, DC. For better or worse, there is an endless stream of interesting people, food, and culture that can’t be found anywhere else. While I think it’s healthy to get outside the “DC bubble” from time to time, it’s fun to live and work in a city that feels like it’s at the center of everything. Favorite restaurant: Sfoglina, Favorite bar: Jack Rose, Favorite neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Favorite monument: Teddy Roosevelt Memorial