I don’t say this lightly and I don’t say it with a shred of hyperbole. When I was first assigned her bio, I reached out to express my excitement. “I’m not that interesting!” she warned. Not only is this untrue, but it is completely beside the point. You see, Emily is the single happiest person I’ve ever met and I wanted to employ this article as a ruse to discover her secret.
On the surface, Emily is an account supervisor who builds outstanding relationships with some of Paradowski’s biggest clients. But that hardly captures the value of her presence.
Looking back, I do remember her first week.
Joining a new team can be intimidating, but Emily was fearless. Her kindness didn’t come across as patronizing and her sunny disposition never failed to brighten the crankiest of creative directors. At the time I wondered if it was a facade that would crumble as the rigors and stresses of our daily grind wore on, but I was proven wrong. If anything, Emily has become increasingly pleasant and her smile has grown even more infectious.
“Hello friend!” is how Emily begins every conversation. It’s said with a kind of breathless exuberance that’s impossibly charming. It’s typically followed by a few exchanges about how you’re doing and what you did that weekend. Don’t mistake it for small talk. She is sincerely interested. It’s disarming in the best way. During moments when frustration is threatening to turn into chaos, Emily pops up with an emoji and a sympathetic ear. It’s a subtle reminder from a calming perspective.
It’s the kind of personality that expertly diffuses tense client conversations and assuages bruised creative egos. It begs the question—did Emily’s joy make her a great account supervisor? Or did she adopt this perma-cheer because her job requires it?
It turns out that this paradox never occured to Emily. Somewhere in her formative years, she came to a conclusion that most people struggle with their entire lives: Everyone deserves to be treated with genuine kindness. This baseline decency would be an asset in any career field, but it’s been Emily’s true north when navigating conversations where others would flounder.
Paradowski provides Emily professional fulfillment and still allows her to be a mom. Part of why she joined Paradowski was because she was looking for more balance.
“Having a career is important to me,” Emily explained. “I worked hard in college because I wanted to have a job, but spending time with my family is just as essential.”
She shares a home with her husband John and four year-old daughter Morgan. They spend summer evenings walking a few blocks to the quaint suburban center for ice cream and the occasional outdoor concert. They spend Sunday mornings attending Mass, a ritual Emily continues from her own childhood. The Jesuits at Marquette (Emily’s alma mater) would be pleased.
Emily has always struck me as a born giver, so her answer surprised me when I asked what she’s learned from motherhood.
Even though she’s always been known for her persistent cheer, knowing her daughter is looking to her as an example has significantly raised the stakes. “As a mom, you’re a role model. It’s made me more patient. I feel like I’ve always looked at things positively, but it’s even more important now. Morgan is at an age where she absorbs everything.”
Emily makes time to see her friends, but most of her time outside the office is spent with her family. Even as a toddler, Morgan proudly sports her mom’s thousand-watt smile and effortless good humor. She’ll stop mid-playing and announce to Emily, “You’re my best friend.”
It’s the kind of unexpected, always welcome, unfiltered kindness that makes her mother an essential member of Paradowski.