Alyssa Townsend, the Director of Social Media for our in-house marketing agency, has been selected as one of the Inweekly Rising Stars for 2018. Inweekly’s Rising Stars list spotlights young professionals under the age of 35 who are excelling in their respective fields.

Hailing from San Jose, California, Alyssa began her academic quest in Chapel Hill at the University of North Carolina. She obtained her undergraduate degree in journalism with a specialization in public relations.

In 2015, Alyssa packed her bags and headed down to Pensacola for a job as a Communications Specialist at the University of West Florida. A year and a half later, she met Jill Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer of Innisfree Hotels, and was offered a job. We asked Alyssa what stood out to her most about Innisfree.

“Corporate social responsibility,” she says. “Specifically that our team is so involved with Innisfree’s corporate social responsibility program. I believe in giving back and serving the community, so being able to do that as part of my job is the golden ticket.”

And if the job description was the golden ticket, being selected as a Rising Star was the key to the factory.

“It feels awesome,” she says. “Since I first came to Pensacola, Inweekly was one of the publications that I always read. I would see the Rising Stars and it was a personal and professional goal of mine to end up on that list.”

Alyssa considers herself in good company amongst other Rising Stars.

“With all of the young professionals and movers and shakers in our community, it’s an honor to be listed among them. It gives me validation that I’m heading in the right direction and doing some good things.”

According to Alyssa, Pensacola is also heading in the right direction. We asked her what she thought about Pensacola becoming a destination for young professionals to grow and stay.

“I think Pensacola is well on its way,” she says. “There are a lot of initiatives that have come up that are helping the area — and specifically the companies and workplaces in the area — move in that direction.”

As Pensacola continues to grow, Alyssa hopes to do the same.

“I want to keep growing and learning,” she says. “The amount that I have grown in just this past year has been ridiculous. If that’s what I had in a year, I can’t wait to see what the next one brings.”

Alyssa has some parting thoughts and wisdom for her peers and the next generation of up and coming young professionals.

“You never know what you can do until you do it,” she says. “If you see something, go for it. Even if you don’t get it, you’ll learn something in the process. It might not always be a ‘yes,’ but the ‘yes’ will come.”