After college I learned that I wasn’t a stellar employee. High school jobs were different, they were easy and straight forward; I could work a register or serve food. Those weren’t career options for me and when I started working toward a fancy-shmancy career, I realized that wasn’t for me either. I was always looking for ways to improve processes, make work more efficient and services or products more effective. In retrospect, I suppose I bucked the system, although at the time I thought I was helping the company I worked for. What they wanted was someone who would follow directions as given and not ask questions. I’m a question-asker. As I began to accept that being an employee wasn’t a great fit, I also began to think more and more about being en entrepreneur.
I was happiest when I was working toward a future I wanted, a-typical future than what seemed planned: go to school, get a job, start a family. I wanted something else. I wanted to work for myself, see the world and help others. My goal was never to make the most money or “stay the course”, my goal was simple: be happy and improve lives around me.
To accomplish my goal I knew I had to work for myself. I wanted to set my own hours (I work more weekends than I ever did as an employee), work from anywhere (thanks to the Internet I can work from Spain, Zimbabwe or New Zealand just as well as I can from home), and meet people from a variety of backgrounds.
Before fully committing to giving up a regular pay check, I tested myself:Could I handle the pressure of being accountable for everything? Could I ask for money? Could I deliver value? I started picking up a few freelance public relations (or nearly whatever they wanted that was legal and didn’t compromise my morals) clients. I liked what was happening and eventually shed the “employee” name badge and replaced it with “janitor / boss” since I was everything from the janitor to the boss, and I wanted to remember that.
I saw a few friends get ahead of themselves when they made the jump from employee to CEO of their own company that had no clients, no staff, no revenue and no office. More often than not, their egos got in their way. To avoid this, I made sure to remind myself that I was at the bottom of the totem pole, just as much as I was at the top and responsible for the success or failure of my enterprise.
Since, I’ve founded Publicly Related, a successful public relations agency, co-founded a chamber of commerce with a business model that can be replicated across the country, and UpDog, a video review app with greater reach than competitors. Next, who knows!
Bree grew up in both Denver, Colorado and Chicago-land, Illinois. Notably, Bree interned with Congressman Mark Kirk shortly after he was elected to his first term in office, where she first experienced public relations. After graduating from Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, Bree packed her bags and headed to east for college. She attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she was involved in the Dance and Theater Group, tennis team and Alpha Phi Omega, a coed service fraternity. Each week, Bree volunteered at a soup kitchen and an animal shelter. During her second year, she joined Union Fire Company and became a firefighter where she became the first female live-in fire fighter. Not distracted from academia, Bree maintained an A/B average, and like most college students, she made time to hang out with friends. Bree followed her love for adventure and fire when she loaded her car with most of her belongings and drove to the west coast. She spent two summers working for the US Forest Service as a wildland fire fighter in Tiller, Oregon when she and her crew were dispatched to Arizona to work on one of the largest fires in the State’s history. After college, Bree left the fire service and moved to Chicago where she joined the Civil Air Patrol (an organization auxiliary to the US Air Force), earned the rank of Lieutenant and became their Finance Officer. For each organization, Bree took advantage of opportunities to learn about and experience public relations. She brought on her first freelance client in 2005, who is still with her organization today.
Bree attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, where she focused on Management and Communications. While in Chicago, Bree worked with the Chicago Park District and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago on their public relations and marketing campaigns. Upon graduation, she was asked to join an international start-up organization that had partners in Calcutta, India and Orlando, Florida. Naturally, Bree packed her bags once again and flew to India. Following her stint in India, Bree returned to Orlando where she later left the organization when she learned she would be in charge of firing local employees and outsourcing and offshoring their jobs.
Bree returned to her passions: public relations and helping people. She doubled as a case manager and a marketer for a local health care company. She realized that case management was not in her future and she could help more people by re-entering the business world and donating time and money as a volunteer. Bree decided to pursue PR full-time and build Publicly Related to a larger organization, which currently serves local, national and international nonprofits, start-ups and professionals, medium sized companies and large organizations such as professional sports teams and government agencies.
On February 21,s 2013, Bree got engaged to Joel Goldstein during the middle of an Orlando Solar Bears’ hockey game. Since meeting, Bree and Joel have traveled extensively throughout the United States and internationally (expand to a map with our locations colored in). Together, they have two wonderful dogs and an awesome cat. In her spare time, Bree enjoys cycling, cooking, adventuring and spending time with loved ones.
Currently, Bree runs Publicly Related and teaches Digital Media Marketing at the University of Central Florida. She’s extremely proud of her students who each develop a website, blog and professional social media presence during the semester, while learning how to start, implement and evaluate an Internet-based business. Most recently, Bree has been working on UpDog, a mobile application that enables video reviews.