Please tell me about yourself, your interests, and what you’re passionate about.
I’m Stephanie V. Smith, Everett City Councilor, mother to Harlowe (5) and Harrison (3), and wife to Mike. I am a huge NFL fan (go Pats! but temporarily a Bucs fan as well), and I love the Red Sox. I read ALOT, probably two books a week on my kindle, and am an avid TV watcher of all dramas (Dick Wolf is the man). Fun Fact: When I worked at NBC, I worked in Dick Wolf’s building in his office. However, these days, my life mainly revolves around my children.
I am also very passionate about youth services in my local community. I have been very active in local politics since I was younger. I remember watching the Board of Alderman when I was just a little girl and writing in my notebook issues with the ordinance they passed about fining people for shoveling snow in the street. I went to Northeastern University through GE’s rigorous financial management program, where I traveled the world for five years (another passion) and learned about different cultures. Now I am a consultant for Digital Technology products at Moderna.
Tell me about how you and Deanna Deveney crossed paths.
I met Deanna when I was running for City Council in Everett. She was the Director of Communications and always went out of her way to come over and say hello to my kids at every event and me and me. 6She made my kids feel very welcome at all times, which meant a lot to me as a Mom who was running for political office but had two kids in two at all times.
Is there a particular situation that occurred or a specific skill set that Ms. Deveney possesses that drew you to her?
Deanna is passionate about everything she does. She always gives 110%, and it shows. She is excited about the entire process when she is putting on events. From the minor details in planning to make sure everyone is taken care of who is at the event, no matter who you were or what position you held. Deanna is genuine and cares, which drew me closer to her.
How did your professional relationship grow after you began working collaboratively?
Once I became elected to the City Council and spent more time with Deanna professionally, I could see how much she really cared. She always said hello to everyone; she took care of her staff and treated them as equals. She was always willing to sit down and talk, bring my kids to her office to grab a snack, and just be there.
As the Government Affairs Director, can you tell me about the challenges and obstacles Deanna helped you or the City Council in general work through?
Deanna was someone you went to when you needed help navigating City Hall. She was always present in meetings and willing to find the answers to anything that was asked of her. She helped the City grow and expand its Communications and Community outreach. She was a driver of the social media platforms, which helped residents to understand what was happening and what was occurring in the City and what resources they could use. She made sure to connect the residents with City Hall to collaborate with City departments. During the pandemic, when City Hall was closed and residents had to go completely virtual to get services, she showed how they could still get what they needed even though the world was closed.
She was a huge advocate in getting Everett a Covid 19 test center which was amazing to have in our city when it was difficult to get a test. I could pick up the phone at any time of day or night and call Deanna, and if she weren’t the right person, she would find the right person to get what I needed to be done.
What would you tell someone inquiring about Deanna’s skill set and worth ethic based on your experience working with her?
Deanna gives it her all. She goes above and beyond her job responsibilities and is one of the hardest, most passionate workers I have seen. Deanna has a tremendous drive and always with a smile on her face. She makes you feel very comfortable and is welcoming to everyone.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Deanna would be an asset to any team. She has a very inclusive leadership style and empowers her team to deliver positive results. Deanna’s style and ability to quickly build relationships across all levels of government fostered a highly motivated and effective communications team which helped the City Council to articulate the progress of the City clearly.