Office space | Working toward solutions locally and globally
I co-founded Moonsail North, which specializes in consulting in the areas of strategic communications. digital marketing and holistic personal development. The Moonsail North business model is based on a community-minded belief that success is best experienced when shared; for that reason, we donate a portion of the firm’s proceeds to charitable organization. It was a blast to build this website, so take a peek if you have 60 seconds.
I love having clients who strive for sustainable global solutions the way the team members at MBI (Michigan Biotechnology Institute) do. MBI — a mission-inspired, market-driven accelerator focused on biobased biotechnologies such as renewable fumaric acid and second-generation biofuels — develops transformative technologies to address the urgent problems we face from environmental denigration and food security threats.
Meanwhile, two wonderful local boards I serve on tackle food and energy issues from community-based perspectives. The Greater Lansing Food Bank works to eliminate hunger for tens of thousands of mid-Michigan children, families and the working poor, and Michigan Saves strives to make energy improvements easy and affordable for homeowners and businesses — because the best way to conserve energy is to not use it in the first place.
The “C” word | Creative endeavors
So there are the strategic communications projects and there are the writing projects — sometimes they overlap, but at other times they don’t.
My relationship with writing has evolved over the years. There were periods of being enamored with it and periods of resisting its influence. Now, I have to acknowledge that I am in love with its mystery and potential. I stand in awe in the power of the creative arts — language and white space, the visual arts and associated connoted feelings — to inspire, animate and transform. I am so intensely fascinated by the concept of duende right now, and lately I’ve been devouring all the connections and possibilities that duende has to offer.
I sometimes share personal stories — under my writing byline of Roselyn Tantraphol — via outlets like elephant journal, Rebelle Society and Mlive.com. Mixed in here are some links.
Education | From one coast to the next
I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!), and went straight from the redwoods of northern California to New York City to complete my master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. (Fun fact: Neither UCSC nor Columbia J-School used letter grades, so the last time I had letter grades was in high school. I think I’m all the better for it, too.)
Experience | Before the present tense
My first career was in journalism, sometimes known as the first rough draft of history. I spent more than seven years as a newspaper reporter, starting with the Newhouse-owned Union-News in Springfield, Massachusetts and ending up at the Tribune-owned Hartford Courant in Connecticut. After leaving journalism, I joined a team of writers at the Michigan House of Representatives. Following the very particular world that is politics, I entered a very different culture: health care. I gained tremendous depth and breadth of experience in the areas of branding, media relations, internal communications and HR communications while working in the marketing department of Sparrow Health System, mid-Michigan’s largest private employer with more than 7,000 employees. After the intensity of being deeply immersed in health care, I moved on agency life, juggling a wide range of clients for a public relations firm. (Although I gained breadth of experience across a variety of industries, I also deepened my engagement in the health care sector, working for a health insurance plan, a dental insurance company, nonprofit hospitals, a hospital association and a nursing association). I’m grateful that during my time doing that daily grind, I was able to contribute to efforts that made a difference in public policy and in health care.
Heart, mind and body | Ashtanga yoga, salsa dancing, and all the rest
I am dedicated — devoted, you might say — to the practice of ashtanga yoga. See a bit more about that aspect of my life in the YogaRose section of this website or head to my blog, YoseRose.net. There’s my increasing respect for daily meditation, both from a personal practice and from what neuroscientists seem to be discovering about it. I can’t seem to get enough of salsa dancing — and don’t get me started on the perfection of bachata as an art form! And when it comes to music, I will get on planes if I have to in order to see live shows with Radiohead, Arcade Fire and Rodrigo y Gabriela.
I am married to Scott Swanson, an incredible guy whose support is a huge reason why I can juggle all the things I juggle. This was our wedding website. I’d say more, but he likes to stay low-key — except maybe when he’s writing music reviews like this one. In addition to winning the marriage lottery, I won the family lottery — I have been blessed all my life with the support of incredible parents and siblings. My sisters Alisa and Sedora could have done anything they wanted, and what they wanted more than anything was to help nonprofits make the world a better place — talk about inspiration.
(Photo: A notebook, a vegan pastry, and a coffee drink at MADCAP Coffee in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Taken August 2014.)