Hi, I’m Crystal, and I’m probably on a Zoom call right now.
My name is Crystal Jackson. I’m a native Houstonian now living in the coastal foothills of central California. So, I moved from a place that regularly experiences 500-year floods to one that’s always at risk of catching fire. Maybe my next home will be plague-adjacent. Oh, wait.
I’ve been a professional writer for two decades. First as a grant writer for nonprofits, then for agencies working with public and private sector clients. I’ve written proposals to the federal government, TV spots for a transit agency, keynote speeches for healthcare CEOs and brand guidelines for luxury resorts. I love the challenge of moving from one sector and one channel to another. And there are a lot of sectors/channels left to explore.
Sometimes I write plays and blog posts and promote fighting stupidization, though not as often as I’d like. Those activities just don’t have the same impact on the light bill as the other writing I do.
With each new opportunity, I’ve found myself at a company in the midst of major organizational change. Those transformational moments provide a dynamic testing ground for fresh thinking, job-description flexibility and roll-up-your-sleeves getting it done. Exhilarating stuff.
CREATIVE DIRECTOR + COPYWRITER
HMA (Monterey, CA), July 2017 to present
Hospitality marketing company
My role: expanding the menu of creative services, pitching projects to clients and partnering with designers to elevate the level of work being done
Clients: David Rubenstein Forum, Delta Hotels by Marriott Dallas Allen, Essex Resort & Spa, Texas A&M Hotel & Conference Center, The Equinox, Margaritaville Lake Resort, The Heldrich, Lansdowne Resort, Lake Arrowhead Resort, Grand Plaza Hotel, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels
Langrand (Houston, TX and remote), June 2011 to July 2017
Branding and marketing agency
My role: finding ways to make health insurance sound human, creating imaginative content for public sector clients, simplifying employee benefits communications
Clients: Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Houston ISD, METRORail, Harris Health System, Tufts Health Plan, Houston-Galveston Area Council, Consortium Health Plans, Catastrophic Theatre, Prologis
MARKETING AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
Freelance (wherever there’s wifi), March 2010 to present
My role: combining my experience writing for nonprofits and agencies with proofreading, technical writing and (limited) design experience to create content for a variety of clients
Clients: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Catastrophic Theatre, Mohr Creative, Langrand, Carrithers Studio, The Smith Group
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
HoustonPBS/KUHT-TV (Houston, TX), January 2008 to June 2011
America’s first public television station
My role: creating a grants department, streamlining processes that had been spread among various departments for decades, stewarding donor relationships
DIRECTOR OF FOUNDATION AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Alley Theatre (Houston, TX), July 2004 to January 2008
Tony Award-winning regional theatre
My role: closing out the end of a capital campaign, growing annual foundation contributions from $1.1 million to $1.5 million, proofreading Playbill