Below is an interview with Deanna Deveney, a Communications Director and Government Relations Director in Everett, Massachusetts.
Please tell us more about yourself?
My name is Deanna Marie Deveney; I was born, raised, and educated in Massachusetts and currently reside in Wakefield, a suburb about 10 miles north of Boston. While educated as an attorney, my career has guided me down the path of communications, government affairs, and executive Management.
I began to have a deep interest in politics and government at a young age. I watched the local public access channel to understand municipal government before starting high school. As I grew older, my passion for politics and desire to be politically engaged grew. I wanted to speak for those who could not, both literally and figuratively.
Your background and education are unique; how has that helped you succeed?
I have deep experience designing, developing, and delivering communications strategies for entire organizations while ensuring policies and programming around communications are inclusive, thoughtful, responsive, and adaptive to team needs and culture. I pride myself on implementing effective communications systems across various groups to ensure high performance and create a high impact.
Can you provide us with a better understanding of what you do and what inspired you?
I have an enthusiasm for serious attention to detail and many years of experience, both as a Communications Director, Government Relations Director, and Attorney. Taking a vague idea or concept and morphing it into a concrete plan is what drives me. I was inspired when I witnessed, countless times, the lack of effectiveness across organizational systems. The need for execution, collaboration, and a positive attitude stimulated me.
After graduation, you went directly into the public sector; why?
It has always been a mindset to give back to the community. As an Assistant District Attorney, I was able to help victims who were at their most vulnerable. The opportunities for working in government are broad—ranging from nonprofits in the community to lead a City to recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. One of my favorite parts of working in government is collaborating with the business industry, strategizing, and communicating regularly with myriad stakeholders who make the most significant impact on their companies.
In what role have you felt you have had the most impact and why?
Working as both Communications Director and Government Relations Director simultaneously has allowed me to have the most impact. Working alongside legislators, elected officials, residents, business owners, and nonprofits all collaboratively allowed me to make the biggest impact for the community that I worked in. Working cohesively rather than unilaterally is always paramount. You get more accomplished by bringing more seats to the table.
What are the qualities an executive manager must have to operate a successful team in your line of work?
A team leader must be able to pivot, problem solve, and prioritize. There will always be issues and challenges on any team. Still, it’s how you use the skills you have created to overcome the difficulties and turn them into learning opportunities and future successes. Another quality a team leader must have is the ability to listen to understand, not to respond. Too often, people listen to respond and do not hear what is being said.
Any success stories you would like to share with us?
One of my proudest accomplishments to date has been leading a majority-minority gateway City with over 60,000 residents through a global pandemic with a complex communications strategy. The COVID19 pandemic was unexpected and unprecedented. We created, implemented, and successfully executed a robust communications plan in 4 languages reaching all residents regarding health, financial assistance, food accessibility, and City services.
What should we expect next from you?
Well, I am working on maintaining a positive mindset and a healthy lifestyle. Professionally, the next chapter is unknown. I have always wanted to expand my work across the United States and work with the Federal government. I think a diversified background is key to success and combating complacency. The future is bright!