While Sharon Strahm worked for the Federal Reserve Bank, the economy fell into recession. While she worked for a major bank, the 2008 financial crisis triggered its collapse. And while she worked for a public utility, one of its big pipelines exploded, leveling an entire neighborhood. In each situation, she kept her cool and focused on her role as a communicator.
“Engaging employees through times of change is essential. I’ve always been able to stay calm and frame things well in difficult situations,” Sharon said. “What do people need to know? What do they need to do? How do we want them to feel? I always focus on being practical, truthful and authentic.”
Sharon joined the ROI Communication team in 2018 after eight years at Pacific Gas & Electric, where she worked as a Communications Manager for its Internal Communications and Human Resources teams. In those roles, she helped lead communications around software upgrades, online training programs, compensation adjustments, contractor compliance, intranet redesign, employer branding, safety initiatives and leadership development, among other initiatives.
“I advise leaders on ways to simplify their communication, cutting through all the noise to explain what is important and why,” Sharon said. She traces this ability in part to experience, early in her career, teaching English as a second language along the U.S.-Mexico border. “I learned to connect with diverse groups and communicate creatively, in ways that were interesting and engaging.”
Before joining PG&E, Sharon worked in Corporate Communications at Washington Mutual and in Public Relations at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. At the Fed, she wrote speeches, congressional testimony and reports for the bank president and senior executives. She also produced videos, marketing collateral and web content for internal and external audiences. Before joining the financial industry, Sharon worked as director of communication and education at a Bay Area hospital, created a training program for medical teams in San Jose, and helped run a medical foundation in Hawaii.
Sharon earned a BA and MA in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas, and has pursued additional coursework in marketing at the University of California, Berkeley. When she’s not advising clients, Sharon volunteers at a Salvation Army women’s shelter and organizes large community events in the seaside town of Pacifica. She also enjoys yoga, pilates, hiking and spending time with her family and friends.