STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Courtney KNITTLE
Meet the woman behind the Monument social accounts – we turned the “mic” on Business Development and Marketing Manager Courtney Knittle to get to know her a little better. Courtney joined the Monument team in May of 2017 after working in the campaign world at the beginning of her career. She combines her passion for government and her business savvy to support Monument Policy’s business development, communications, and marketing efforts. She brings experience in digital marketing and online communications, and executes modern, multi-faceted campaigns for Monument’s clients. She has a knack for all things social and loves to leverage the latest trends to bolster the firm and our client’s online presence. Prior to coming to Monument, Courtney managed digital campaigns and online fundraising for Vertical Strategies, a digital marketing firm. Courtney’s experience in political and grassroots organizing gives her an additional skillset that often assists in meeting client’s advocacy and issue campaign goals. As a Tennessee native, she got her start in the office of Congressman Phil Roe (TN-01). Courtney is a graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC and holds her Master of Arts in Business Management from Wake Forest University School of Business. She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband Scott.
Since Courtney always gets to ask the questions, we had a lot of fun turning the tables. Read her interview below:
What got you interested in politics? My parents are fairly politically active and avid voters, but I think what really peaked my interest was participating in “Kids Vote” as a child. North Carolina had an incredible program when I was a kid where they had children’s voting booths at polling places, and they actually counted the votes. I distinctly remember voting in the 2000 presidential election when I was 10 years old. When they announced on the local news the Kids Vote results, I felt empowered seeing my vote count. From there on, it escalated to running for class offices, taking classes in social studies, American history and government, and finally participating in Volunteer Girls State. Girls State is a program for high school students where essentially you create your own government. The program had a major impact on me and led me to majoring in Government in college and taking my first job in grassroots politics. I guess I caught the bug early, and I love that I now get to combine my two passions of marketing and politics in my daily.
What is your favorite Monument? Okay – since I wrote the questions I think I am going to cheat on this one – My favorite “Monument” is definitely the U.S. Capitol building. Although not technically a Monument per se, I view it as a Monument to the institution of American democracy and is representative of everything our founders envisioned for this great nation. That might be a little cheesy, but I don’t think I will ever get over the feeling that comes over you when I walk up the steps under the American flag into the Rotunda. That building has stood the test of time and is full of symbolism. Maybe I am biased thanks to all the Capitol tours I gave as an intern on Capitol Hill, but there is something so special about that building. My favorite fact is that the Statue of Freedom (whose statue tops the dome) faces west looking out across the mall, because the sun never sets on Freedom. It doesn’t get more American than that.
What is your favorite book? My 2017 New Year's resolution was to read more, and I forced myself to do it by joining a book club. I definitely read more last year than I have since I was in school, and I forgot how much I love getting lost in a good read. It is hard to pick a favorite with so many different topics and genres, but I think I can narrow it down to two. In business school, we read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, and it had a profound impact on me and how I approach working with others. It will teach you a lot about organizational behavior and how to work with people. It has greatly affected how I approach work and improved my interpersonal skills. I definitely recommend it to all aspiring leaders. Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre to read – this one is in front of mind (and the first book I read in book club!) I absolutely adored America's First Daughter by Laura Kamoie and Stephanie Dray. It is the story of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph or "Patsy" as her father called her – I learned so much about Thomas Jefferson’s life all through the perspective of his daughter. It is one of those books that makes you want to learn more, and even sparked another trip down to Charlottesville to visit Monticello and really picture the story come to life.
If you could check one thing off your bucket list what would it be? A tour of the West Wing. When I first moved to DC, I created a little DC 'bucket list' because it is so easy to live in a tourist destination and never go to any of the sites. My husband and I spent many weekends during our early years in the city checking off things from that list, and I am proud to say I have checked most of them off in the last 4 years. However, the number one thing left to do is definitely a tour of the West Wing, I have seen so many recreations in former Presidential Museums and through television (Who didn’t love Josh Lyman on the West Wing?), but I would love to see the real thing.
If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be? My grandfather. My grandfather, Marion Jones, passed away in 1968 when my mom was only 7, so I never had the chance to meet him. He served our country in WWII as a tail gunner in the Air Force, and I am sure he would have incredible stories to tell from the war. We still have the silk maps of the locations his crew was set to bomb. I would love to chat with him about his experience overseas, what my mom was like as a child, and his passion for photography (which has become quite a Jones family hobby).