Maria Rodriguez

President of Vanguard Communications


What, if anything, are you doing differently?

Practically everything! Like everyone else, we are holding all of our meetings, including creative brainstorming sessions, via video calls. I’m unexpectedly finding that my days are more jam-packed because everyone in my life is turning to video calls as a way to keep active and engaged. I’m not just on calls with my Vanguard colleagues and clients, but with my professional organizations, nonprofit boards, friends and family. I’ve already participated in four virtual happy hours! I’m also spending more time exercising and cooking – two things I love to do!

Are you staying creatively active?

Absolutely. We are holding frequent video calls to stay connected, brainstorm together and share tips for navigating life during COVID-19. We’ve started a chat thread where staff can post pictures of their pets, the view outside their windows, and other things that bring us joy. It’s been a great way to continue to live one of our core values – to be friendly and fun!

We also have put a list together of projects (should anyone have down time) that will help improve the firm and individual skills, everything from writing new marketing materials to submitting our work for awards programs and participating in training opportunities.

On a personal note, I’ve decided to finally learn to meditate. Check back to see how I do on that!

How are you sparking yourself creatively?

I’m taking two long walks everyday and listening to podcasts. Some are about the current news environment (The Daily, The Women, CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction, etc.), but most are evergreen interviews with business leaders about how they built their businesses and pivoted when external circumstances demanded it (How I Built This, Skimm’d From the Couch and others). It’s a great way to keep me thinking creatively about how to enhance what and how we do our work at Vanguard.

I’m also making time to provide pro bono strategic communications counsel to friends on the front lines of addressing the pandemic. Just hearing about what they are doing to ease the pain of others is heartwarming and motivating. Working together, we will get through this.


View Maria’s original Capitol Communicator profile here.