Vice President, Hirsch Leatherwood

Julia Chappell is a Vice President at strategic communications firm Hirsch Leatherwood, where she focuses on strategic media relations and campaign planning. She has over 10 years of diverse communications experience across industries and a keen understanding of what it takes to tell stories that resonate.

What inspired you to join NYWICI?

When I was a college student at Hofstra University, a friend invited me to a NYWICI event where Joanna Coles was speaking. I remember leaving feeling inspired and motivated. After I graduated, I attended a few more events and later joined as an official member. I recently had the chance to hear Joanna speak again at the last NYWICI board meeting, which felt like such a full circle moment to reflect on my career from then to now.

What piece of career advice do you live by?

Work hard and be kind. Lift others as you climb.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I grew up in Indiana, just outside Chicago, and I wanted to come to the East Coast for college. I specifically sought out schools with programs that specialized in public relations, which was uncommon at the time. I believe my experience is uncommon that I went in with such a singular focus and that I still work the field I studied in college.

What’s the best thing you’ve watched/ listened to/ or read recently?

I like to read a healthy mix of fiction and nonfiction. I recently read the lengthy and somewhat controversial 2015 novel A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, that covers difficult topics but gripped me in a way that a book hasn’t in a long time. For nonfiction, I just finished All the Gold Stars: Reimagining Ambition and the Ways We Strive by Rainesford Stauffer, which looks at the nature of ambition, where it comes from and how we might reimagine it to better serve us.

What 5 people living, or dead would you invite for dinner?

Princess Diana, John Lennon, Stevie Nicks, Joan Didion, and James Cameron


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