The Strategic Elements team sat down with our resident NASCAR super-fan and former Hill staffer, Hayley Wade, Communications Manager. She joined the Strategic Elements team more than a year ago and has been an asset in always providing the latest insight into social media trends and traditional media opportunities to our team. You can read the conversation below.
What initially sparked your interest in politics?
I have had an interest in politics since I was in kindergarten (crazy, I know). My dad ran for school board during my kindergarten year, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever— telling all my friends and even giving out election pens to their parents. As I grew older, I paid more attention to the news than any of my peers and always got so excited to see the election signs go up around town. I have been hooked ever since!
What attracted you to work at Strategic Elements?
The Strategic Elements team is a powerhouse. We truly have the best in our field—and everyone is so genuinely kind, which made it an easy decision to join the team. Since then, we have accomplished so much, and this is just the beginning!
What is something you could talk about for an hour straight?
This may be surprising: NASCAR. I absolutely love stock-car racing and could tell you facts about the drivers, the tracks, or the next-gen cars for at least an hour without interruption. I finally got to see a race live earlier this year and it took my obsession to the next level.
What is your go-to comfort food?
I absolutely love Italian food. During quarantine, I started making pasta from scratch—it is a labor of love, and so worth the work.
What is the most exciting challenge you face in your position as Communication Manager?
The ever-changing rules and algorithms of social media make every day an exciting challenge. I would have never guessed that Instagram would add Reels, or that Twitter would have stories… and then get rid of them. The game is constantly changing and forces us to change with it. Every day is a new challenge– trying to get our clients the most meaningful exposure– and definitely keeps it interesting!
What do you love most about living in California?
First, I love living close to my family again. After a few years of being across the country from just about everyone I know, being able to drive up the freeway to see my mom or dad is something I don’t take for granted. Plus, the weather can’t be beaten—hard to be upset about something when it is 75 degrees and sunny outside.
What piece of advice would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career?
Always apply for the job, even if you do not think you’ll get it because you’ll never know what it can lead to. When I had my first writing job, I would have never guessed it would position me to become a staffer on Capitol Hill or a Communications Manager with Strategic Elements. If I didn’t take a chance on myself by applying to that job (even though I had no writing experience and just a dream), I would have never been able to do the things I have been able to.
What sport would you compete in if you were in the Olympics?
I come from a water sports family—I could spend ten minutes listing off all the awards my mom, dad, and brother have won in swim and water polo. So, I would love to think I could make it in swimming or water polo, however, I can barely do a flip turn and there’s no way I would last more than two minutes in a water polo game (and my brother would argue it would be even less than that).