The 1828 Project is one of our signature programs at IndyHub and each year it’s full of incredible leaders between the ages of 18 and 28. Duchess is a part of 1828’s Class VII. We sent her some questions and she responded. Keep reading to learn more about Duchess!
What is your day-job?
I’m the Regional Communication Director for the American Red Cross. I ensure the great work of countless volunteers, corporate donors, board and staff members are heard and seen by as many people possible. I oversee our communication, marketing and digital strategies, as well as any public and media relations across the state and throughout the country.
Where are you originally from?
I’m a Bostonian! I cannot deny that I love Boston because it’s home and where I was raised, however, I have a special place in my heart for Indianapolis. As a child, I visited Indy quite a bit, and always thought it would be a wonderful place to live. Flashforward several years later, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What made you lay your roots here in Indianapolis?
My mom has nine brothers and sisters, and it was important for us to be closer to family.
If you had to choose one mode of transportation to get around our city, which would you choose and why?
I feel as though I live too far to take anything else but a car. I like to get to my point A and point B quicker than what a bike or me walking can do.
Which local coffee joint (or restaurant if you don’t like coffee!) is your favorite? What’s your go-to order?
I wish l enjoyed coffee! It seems like coffee drinkers have more fun! I’m definitely a Chai Tea Latte kinda’ woman, and find myself ordering many of them from Quills! If you haven’t been – please go! On the restaurant side, I’ve most recently fallen in love with Mimi’s Blue Meatballs. It’s such a quaint and classic restaurant with amazing food – anything on the menu is a win!
Who has been your favorite speaker thus far?
I’ve thought long and hard about this one, and truly cannot pick a favorite speaker. I’ve taken advice and great information from each person who has spoken to our class, and have already parlayed some of their concepts and ideas into my own life. As young professionals looking to gain more experience and cultivate our own legacies, the speakers we’ve had thus far are truly remarkable and make me proud to be part of this city. Additionally, I’ve gained some incredible friendships that I know I’ll maintain for years to come.
What are you most excited about when thinking about the future of our city?
This is one of the most exciting times to be part of Indianapolis. There has been a reduction in the brain drain – college graduates from institutions in the state, across the country and around the world, are finding greater opportunities to remain here. Young and seasoned professionals are beginning to migrate into Indianapolis because we are becoming the “Crossroads of America,” for the next generation, and establishing ourselves as a global city.
From visiting Indianapolis as a child, to now living here, it’s wonderful to see how much this city has positively progressed. From winning a Super Bowl Championship and having a Super Bowl experience, to the amount of new real estate developments and companies now calling Indy home, to being the continuous host for Gen Con, and finally being the host city for the upcoming NBA All-Star Game– there are many exciting moments and memories that are shaping the footprint of Indianapolis.
If you could make one rule that everyone on earth had to follow, what would it be?
Be Kind. Don’t Hurt Anyone.
Are you reading anything interesting right now, if so what?
I’m currently reading Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal. I’m such a communication and marketing practitioner, and find that sometimes in my spare time, I’m reading and researching whitepapers and books that help me continue mastering my craft.
Does your family have any traditions? If so, which is your favorite?
Every year my family hosts a wine and kabob party. It’s always a day toward the end of June, right before the 4th of July. Year after year, our party gets bigger and bigger with more family and friends traveling from around the city and flying in from across the country.
What’s your dream adventure vacation?
Since college, one of my best friends and I have always wanted to visit Maldives. I was introduced to the beauty of this destination through pictures of glow in the dark beaches and plankton. I was immediately enamored and it is now at the top of my destination list.