I'm Miriam. I'm Rebel Tree.
Prior to hanging out my own shingle, I was a local government communicator and, earlier in my career, a reporter. I have decades of experience talking to diverse constituencies about everything, from the mundane and everyday to major crisis situations. I was honored to serve as the Director of Communications for the City of Charlottesville, Virginia from 2012 until 2018 and the first full-time organization-wide Public Information Officer for the City of Harrisonburg, Virginia for the seven years before that.
I chose communications as a career because I love the way information moves through our world. I have dedicated myself to making sure that people have access to both what they want and what they need to know. If I can't answer a question, the person asking will know why. I don't think transparency is just a data dump, true transparency requires context and accuracy. I believe that an informed community is a strong community and that great public images are built on truth and competence.
In addition to what I can do for you, I am an instructor with the Public Agency Training Council, offering courses in Practical Public Information; I work with James Madison University Professional and Continuing Education, developing programs helping people understand the complexities of governmental structure; I speak to groups around the country about everything from living through crisis to managing professional boundaries; I provide low-cost or pro bono assistance to small nonprofits that need marketing and communications assistance; and I partner with private clients to help them reach their goals.
I called my company Rebel Tree because a tree is rooted in place, but can grow and flourish in many ways. It's also the most poetic translation of my name, which works out well.