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PYSK: Nelly Roach

Name: Nelly Roach

Title and company/organization: Owner/executive director of Caledon Virtual

Age: 39

Job description: I create, direct and lead marketing teams to fulfill strategic communication plans that incorporate the relevant media vehicle to reach specific goals.

Years lived in Columbia: 23

Original hometown: Peleliu, Palau

Education: Accounting degree from the University of Guam

Community involvement: Columbia Northwest rotary, president-elect; Lutheran Children and Family Services, advisory board; Phoenix Programs, executive board; Voices, founding board member; Chamber of Commerce, member; Women’s Network, member

Professional background: I started my career in technology in 1994 and worked for datastorm, the maker of one of the pioneers of communication software. A position was created for me as an electronic support coordinator; then I was promoted to technical support and became employee of the month twice across companies that were acquired by Quarterdeck. My mother duty called me when I stayed at home to raise my children. Then I came back in the workforce in marketing in 2005.

A favorite recent project: For the past year, we have been working with an amazing worldwide startup called trade-Serve. It has challenged our team in understanding buying cycles for different industries, target markets that have different habits in metropolitan areas as well as smaller towns. i love working in our community, but there is adrenaline in understanding the potential of startups that are not afraid of launching and never giving up

A Columbia businessperson I admire and why: This is such a difficult question. I work in a community with such fantastic businesspeople. But in all of the years, when i see dave Griggs at ribbon cuttings, at REDI and different events, and he gives me a, “Good job, kiddo,” my heart swells with encouragement. He is involved in areas that he is passionate about, does things for the right reasons and works for the community in ways that promote primarily his integrity and generosity and secondarily his business. 

Why I’m passionate about my job: I look at my job as helping people who own companies that desire to communicate their own passions. When our team engages in a relationship, we become partners in the making or continuance of a success story. When goals are met, there’s likely a friendship that will last a lifetime in there. i’m passionate for those relationships.

If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would: I would be a missionary. There’s something about making a difference that helps personal growth in ways that cannot be fulfilled anywhere else.

Biggest career obstacle I’ve overcome and how: J. Michael and I owned a business that failed. We had to stick our pride in our pockets, learn from all of our mistakes and decide that we were going to take whatever the ramifications and turn them into knowledge.

What people should know about this profession: This profession is about relationships: the relationship you have with your clients and the relationship you want to have with your target audience.

What I do for fun: I hang out with my husband and my kids. Quality time is my love language.

Family: The only thing that is more important is faith because faith is the foundation of an amazing family. I have a wonderful husband and three incredible kids. J. Michael is my partner in life and in business. Robbie is a junior at Azusa Pacific University in California on a pre-med track, Mikala is a sophomore at Rock Bridge and an intern at Woodcrest, and my little one, Garrett, is in fourth grade at Russell.

Favorite place in Columbia: J. Michael and I love going on drives; we somehow find our way to the Big Tree.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: In business, I’m most proud of being named rotarian of the Year. Personally, I’m most proud of a strong marriage and family.

Most people don’t know that I: I was born on a tiny island in a kitchen.

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