Thursday, April 9, 2009

Meet Bethany Richmond, Communications Manager

I'm Bethany Richmond and I am communications manager for the Carpet and Rug Institute.

I began working as communications manager for the Carpet and Rug Institute in September, 2008. Before the CRI, I was a copywriter and media buyer for an advertising agency that specialized in floor covering clients. I’ve gone from writing about carpet as an element of interior fashion to writing about the technical attributes of carpet – how to keep it clean, its benefits to indoor air quality, etc.

Transitioning from ad copy and sales materials to white papers and journal articles has been challenging, but I like to think I’m holding my own. Ask me about carpet and asthma and allergy studies, or what makes a good vacuum cleaner, and I’ll fill you in.

I grew up in Richmond Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Drama. Two months before I graduated, my dad called to tell me that if I didn’t plan on getting married right after college, (and I didn’t even have a boyfriend – at least, not one I would admit to), then I had better have myself a job, because, Dad said, his beneficence ended the moment I tossed my mortarboard.

All I knew I could do well was walk and talk at the same time, so I went to the local NBC affiliate and fast-talked my way into a job as night reporter. Soon after, I started producing and hosting a half-hour live weekday news/interview show and turning in daily stories for the six and eleven o’clock newscasts.

From there I went on to produce for two public TV stations, and produce and write video scripts as a freelancer while my sons were in school. I’ve performed as on-air talent for a bunch of industrial videos (one was for Oak Ridge Laboratory on how to protect yourself from radiation exposure) and voiced dozens of radio commercials in the Chattanooga market. I’ve written for floor covering trade publications, and for a carpet manufacturer’s employee newspaper. In between, I read a lot of bedtime stories and packed a lot of lunchboxes.

My two sons, aged 19 and 23, are still in college. I love it when they come home for a visit, and I’m thankful for the quiet again when they leave. I finally have a steady boyfriend I will admit to. Life is good.

I love cooking for my friends and family and watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network. For life in the fast lane, I have been known to attempt (and occasionally complete) the New York Times Sunday crossword.

I volunteer occasionally with Dalton Little Theatre as a performer and director. Introducing people to the fun and frustrations of live theatre is satisfying, and I am delighted when people show up at auditions to try out for their first play. I especially love to see newcomers surprise themselves by discovering talents they didn’t know they had. I am hoping for a similar experience as I try my hand at blogging for the first time.

I am proud to represent the carpet industry. I like to think of myself as contributing to the best economic stimulus there is – helping support the jobs of the many people who depend on carpet for their livelihoods. And beyond those directly involved, carpet manufacturing is extremely valuable to the economy in Georgia and elsewhere.

I am proud to be a carpet person. My job gives me the opportunity to interact with committed professionals from all parts of the carpet industry, from corporate CEOs to designers, marketers, R&D specialists, environmental engineers, carpet cleaning contractors, government lobbyists, and installers, to name a few. I admire their commitment, and I respect the role each person plays in making carpet the best product – the best floor covering – it can be.

I am proud of carpet – it’s beautiful and functional, and serves people well in their homes, schools, and office buildings. I like it in my house, and I enjoy helping people understand and take advantage of the comfort and value carpet offers.

I look forward to sharing all of that in this blog and also having the opportunity to state the truth about carpet, and correct misperceptions and inaccuracies -- encouraged by members of the press -- to portray carpet as not beneficial to humans.

Let's talk! You can reach me at brichmond [at] carpet-rug [dot] org.

Bethany

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