Hi, I’m Crystal, and I’m probably on a Zoom call.
Farmer of ideas. Gardener of details.
My name is Crystal Jackson. I’m a native Houstonian now living in the coastal foothills of California, land of raptors, rattlesnakes, wildfires and wine tastings. When I’m not clicking around on a keyboard or trying to find my best angle on a video call, you can find me on a hike. Or, actually, you can’t find me, which is kind of the point.
I started my career as a grant writer for nonprofits then moved to 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 hotels. Sometimes I also write plays and blog posts and promote fighting stupidization.
That’s the what. But what about the why?
I love supporting organizations that are making the chasms between us smaller, whether they’re simplifying how people navigate complex systems, shining a light in the darkness or amplifying important stories.
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 marketing agencies with proofreading, technical writing and (beginner) design skills 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