September 24, 2019
At Work with Alexandra Brown
This post is part of our #HGatWork series, giving you an inside look at the people behind our work and the leaders who further our mission to empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits.
Meet Alexandra (Alex) Brown, Healthier Generation’s Marketing Specialist. Alex, who is based in Copperas Cove, Texas, has been working to strengthen and highlight Healthier Generation’s work for 6 years. As a member of the marketing and communications team, Alex works across various facets - from media relations to digital marketing. Read on to learn more about Alex’s role and commitment to creating healthier futures for the current and next generations.
What inspired you to work for Healthier Generation?
My path to Healthier Generation was a bit different than most. I was in search of a job fresh out of college and came to Healthier Generation through a temp agency. It was after working here for a few weeks, getting to know the mission and people, that I knew it was a place I wanted to call home.
Joining the Healthier Generation team quickly made me reflect upon my own childhood. As a child, I was the target demographic for many of our programs. I grew up in a low-income area of Portland, Oregon, and all students in my school received free lunch. As I grew older, I realized how hard it was to eat healthy and find time to be physically active at school. While reflecting, I thought about how my life could have been different if an organization like this could have been around for my school days. This realization is what has continued to inspire and motivate me to push our work forward.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
As many have said, there is no typical day. But most mornings I like to start the day by going through my inbox and creating a priority list. Next, I scan our social media channels for relevant articles for our work and trends in children’s health. I have my hands in many projects, so the rest of my day could include creating media lists, drafting press releases, writing content for the blog, creating social media messages, updating our website, and campaign execution. I love the variety of projects, as well as the many opportunities for collaborative work.
What are you working on right now that really excites you?
America’s Healthiest Schools – We’ve released the list and along with all the winning schools – we are still riding the excitement around the announcement. It’s so great to see all the schools sharing their award within their communities. And each day we see a wave of new stories in the media from each state. I love witnessing how the schools we work with are transforming their campuses and I enjoy being able to celebrate them through a national announcement.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment (personal or professional)?
Personally, being the first in my family to graduate from college. Not only did I graduate, I graduated with honors. It was not only a great accomplishment for myself, but also for my mom who raised me by herself.
Professionally, there are many things I am proud of, but the one that most comes to mind is leaving my mark on the culture here. A few years ago I pitched and developed Healthier Generation’s volunteer time off policy. It’s a privilege to take time away from our computers and work with partner organizations that are immediately impacting the communities we live and play in. Here’s a photo of me and a former colleague volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank.
At Healthier Generation, we place a lot of emphasis on work-life balance and living a healthy lifestyle. How do you maintain a healthy balance and “walk the talk?”
Every day I have time blocked off on my calendar to walk or exercise. I love group exercise classes, so a couple times a week I go to my local gym for Les Mills classes during the work day—BodyPump and Tone are my favorites. This daily practice has been such a game changer for my productivity.
Outside of work, I love to cook and bake. It brings me great joy to bring out my inner scientist and artist, by whipping up new dishes or trying new recipes. Over the last few years, I’ve tried recreating classic southern favorites while health-ifying them – cutting back the sugar, substituting yogurt for oil, and adding in more greens and whole grains. This has been a huge win at my house, as my husband isn’t always so keen on “healthier” eats. Below is my take on shrimp and cauliflower grits with wilted rainbow chard.
What do you enjoy the most about working at Healthier Generation?
The culture! The people here are amazing, but it’s the culture that allows them to be authentically true. I can’t imagine starting my career anywhere else. I also love all the opportunities to grow and learn new skills from all my colleagues.
What is one of your fondest memories of working at Healthier Generation?
We have a lot of fun working together virtually, but my favorite memories are from times we get to spend together in person. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but hands down my favorite must be a trip to DC for one of our events. I was traveling with our Senior IT Manager and there were so many mishaps…from an unintentional Uber shared ride to getting stuck in a revolving door. There were many laughs and the event turned out great as well.
As a busy professional, how do you support your social-emotional health?
Some days I just need a quick brain break, whether that be a walk around the block or Googling memes to make me laugh. I’m also a firm believer in the need for time to play and therefore am not shy to take time off when needed to fully recharge. My favorite way to recharge is traveling. Whether it’s a quick local trip or something more adventurous, I’m always thinking about the next trip and planning the must sees and dos. Next month my newlywed husband and I are off to Thailand!
What are your favorite healthy fall activities or recipes?
As this will be my second fall in Texas, I look forward to cooler temperatures and exploring more parks and gardens.
I’m also looking forward to soup season! My favorite is this sausage, white bean and kale soup recipe. I usually substitute the Italian sausage for turkey or chicken sausage and adding in more spices because I prefer more of a spicy kick.