This was originally published in SHOUTOUT ATLANTA. Read the article here.
We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Waters and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The foundation for my success started with developing an intentional plan. While I have been blessed with many opportunities to advance my career, it was my plan that allowed me to truly purse my calling. Developing a plan allowed me to set realistic goals and chart a course anchored in my desire to make a difference. So when I had to make choices and navigate environments, it was my plan that kept me grounded, focused and full steam ahead! In 2018, I started my advisory, H2O Strategies to help cause-driven leaders and startups develop and stick to a plan of their own.
What should our readers know about your business?
I established H2O Strategies to work with cause-driven leaders and startups using my expertise to deepen their impact. I’ve worked side-by-side with non-profit leaders, CEO’s and members of Congress to deliver clarity, structure and guidance by working with them to develop a strong communication plan. It would be easy to hang my success on one incredible job or opportunity. To the contrary, my journey actually started and continues to be driven by a plan. There is not one aspect of my plan that hasn’t come without painful lessons and challenges, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Knowing I have a plan in place allows me to stay focused even when faced with adversity. I started my career at sixteen when I was granted an internship to work with Ofield Dukes & Associates. With this foundation, I continued working in both public and private sectors helping non-profits, members of Congress and CEOs successfully engage stakeholders and national media outlets on front-facing issues of the day.I led an extensive career in public service as a spokeswoman landing my first media relations role with then D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. I served as the press secretary for U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) where I was responsible for successfully garnering national media attention as Senator Booker pushed for criminal justice reform. I also served as communications director for former U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA). I transitioned from the public sector to oversee corporate communication for EVERFI, an education technology startup funded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos leading media relations around the startup’s historic $190 million Series D venture capital fund raise. In 2018, I established H2O Strategies a woman and minority owned communication advisory that works with cause-driven leaders and startups. As I discovered twenty years ago during my internship with Ofield Dukes & Associates, owning my own business allows me to truly see the difference I am making in a unique way. During COVID-19 I authored my first ebook Stick To The Plan, an interactive resource that guides readers of all ages how to develop and stick to their plan. Through my advisory and now with my ebook, I love helping others develop and stick to a plan of their own.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is always something going on in this city. As if anyone needs a reason to connect with their friends over good food we LOVE reuniting over happy hours and brunches. If somone were visiting the area, I would start with a trip to the wharf for some seafood at the fish market followed by a visit to the Soda Pop Shop. For Saturday, I would plan a relaxing day trip at Potomac Point Winery. I would end the weekend with brunch on Sunday at Milk & Honey.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As a young person, I was blessed to be mentored by one of nation’s most successful African-American public relations practitioners, Ofield Dukes. Not only did Mr. Dukes break barriers in the industry, but he did so while using his expertise and resources to help others. He mentored me during the critical early stages of my career allowing me to develop key professional goals within my plan.