SPWC Panelist: Katie Wilkes, Freeheart Creative

Katie Wilkes, Freeheart Creative

Katie will serve on Panel 4-Telling Your Story: How to Engage Your Donor Base

Katie Wilkes is the co-founder of Freeheart Creative, a storytelling company dedicated to elevating voices and connecting humanity through the lens of brave women. Katie has spent the past nine years deploying to disaster sites as a spokesperson and content specialist for the American Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. As a humanitarian communications professional, she has brought stories and headlines to life with appearances on The BBC, NPR, The Weather Channel and MSNBC and in publications including the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and NBC News.

Her time spent both on disaster grounds as a volunteer and at media agencies have led her to this next phase of her work. Her first national response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 led her to continue deploying to disasters around the country in her spare time, while working 9-5 at agencies including Ogilvy & Mather and Res Publica Group. Her then “parallel life” consisted of developing corporate crisis communication strategies and grassroots campaigns during working hours, and deploying to disasters during the weekends, holidays and allotted vacation time.

In 2014, Katie worked full-time on assignment for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland. There, she developed and launched global health campaigns, including the response to the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.

Upon returning back to the United States, Katie worked as the marketing manager for the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. A 2011 magna cum laude graduate of DePaul University, Katie lives in Chicago and frequents her alma mater as an industry speaker. Katie is also a freelance public affairs specialist and has written guest blogs for WomenStrong International and is a featured writer for Illumine Magazine.

For more information about Freeheart Creative, check out their website at: http://freeheartcreative.com/

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