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What Do Macbeth, Trumpets and Benedict Cumberbatch Have in Common?

by Lydia Swann

Roland Adams is one of our newest volunteer presenters, offering upcoming trainings on landing positive news coverage and crisis communications. He is a strategic communications consultant who has Formalworked with a variety of nonprofit organizations in Maine and elsewhere to help them strengthen their communications programs. He has served in communications leadership positions at Dartmouth College, Bates College, Vermont Law School, and The University of Texas at Dallas.

To help you get to know Roland, we asked him the following questions.

What’s your hometown?
Dallas, Texas is the name most people recognize, though I actually grew up in a couple of smaller cities in that area. But I have lived in Northern New England the last 28 years — currently in Greene, Maine.

What’s something we might not know about you even after we spend a day with you?
That I play the trumpet and was once the president of a small-town band in New Hampshire.

What do you do for fun?
A variety of things, some outdoors, others indoors: swimming, rowing, biking, snowshoeing, going to plays and concerts (of various kinds), watching films and cooking, among other things. I’m pretty eclectic.

Coffee or tea?
Both, at different times. Tea is a special-circumstances beverage for me, the necessary circumstances being what I think of as “Macbeth” weather: foggy, rainy, chilly.

Who is your hero?
There’s no one person. But the type of person I regard as a hero is one who will put the common good before their personal good when that is called for.

Favorite part about living in Maine?
Access to both the ocean and mountains, in the same state.

First job at, or with, a nonprofit?
Director of News and Public Information, The University of Texas at Dallas, 1980.

A communications resource you recommend?
Pretty Good Done: A More Elegant Approach to Strategic Planning by Dr. Robert A. Sevier. The paper is oriented to higher education, but I believe the principles are transferable to almost any kind of organization, including nonprofits. A solid strategic plan for the organization is the foundation for greatest marketing, communications and fundraising success — but it shouldn’t be a tome.

What’s your greatest strength?
I think it’s the ability to put myself in the shoes of those I’m working with, to understand what they’re trying to achieve and how to get there.

What was the last movie you went to? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
I watch films mostly at home. The last one I saw in a theater was “The Imitation Game”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Definitely thumbs up.

What book is on your nightstand?
At the moment, “Empire of the Summer Moon” by S.C. Gwynne.

Learn more about (and from) Roland by joining him at one these upcoming trainings: Your Organization’s Name Here: Landing Positive News Coverage and What?! Me Handle a Crisis?.

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