Nice to meet you.

alexandra bairdI’m a writer and marketer managing communications for Chicago Cares, a nonprofit that creates impactful, hands-on volunteer experiences that connect people, communities and causes.

Prior to joining Chicago Cares, I worked at the award-winning digital and social media marketing agency Zócalo Group, driving strategy, community management and more for the agency and its clients. I also led communications for Social Media Week Chicago.

Before working at Zócalo, I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Chicago Mayor’s Office. There I planned and implemented a communications strategy for the Cities of Service initiative One Good Deed Chicago. It was that experience that drew my interest in exploring social media’s potential to drive positive change.

As a writer, I’m passionate about telling the stories that no one else cares to, and those of people who don’t otherwise have a voice. I previously reported on public safety, education and local issues for the Daily Pilot, a division of the Los Angeles Times. Before that, I completed a summer internship writing for the city desk at the Press-Telegram.

I led my community college newspaper, the Lariat, to an Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker nomination. The Society of Professional Journalists awarded my story “Student officials earn third highest pay in CSU” with the national Mark of Excellence Award for General News Reporting in 2011. My work has also received honors from the California College Media Association. At California State University Long Beach, I served as the Daily 49er’s editor in chief, and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in economics.

In 2013, I wrote my first novel. I plan to write another (better) one soon. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and entertaining; exploring Chicago’s incredible array of restaurants; traveling as much as possible; and running along the shore of Lake Michigan as weather permits.