Head of School Brent Bell announced today that Tannika Wester has been named director of communications at Darlington, effective July 1.
“In reality, Tannika has been operating in this role for the past two years, and this title is reflective of her role at the school,” Bell said. “She has demonstrated leadership in the modernization of our marketing efforts and in creating strategic direction for the Communication Office. In addition, she is active in the Rome/Floyd community and models the sense of community engagement we want. I look forward to Tannika’s continued work on behalf of Darlington and our students. Please join me in congratulating her on this promotion.”
Wester has served as Darlington's director of media relations since 2004. As such, she is the school’s spokesperson and provides guidance to school leadership on matters relating to communication. She is also editor of Darlington Magazine and has overseen the content areas of the school website (News, Galleries, 1,000 Stories and Blogs).
“I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to take the next step in my career right here at Darlington,” Wester said. “Darlington is a very special place and I truly believe that I have the best job in the world. I get to brag on our incredible students. I get to work with colleagues who inspire me on a daily basis. I get to meet interesting people and share their Darlington stories. And I get to write every day, which I love! What could be better than that?”
As department head, Wester will lead communication, marketing and public relations efforts for the school. Last fall, she worked with Bell to restructure staffing in the Communication Office to better align with strategic goals.
“My staff is terrific,” Wester said. “Luke Chaffin and Paige Hamil have been wonderful additions to our team, and RuthAnne Anderson continues to do an amazing job capturing the school through photographs. I look forward to all the great things we will accomplish together.”
Highlights of Wester's 11 years at Darlington have included working on the school’s historic $90 million Second Century Campaign, partnering with the information technology staff to completely revamp the school website in 2010, and contributing to a successful Centennial Celebration in 2005. She is also responsible for developing Darlington’s ever-growing social media presence.
“Marketing has changed so much even in the past five years and social media is a big part of that,” Wester said. “We now have an abundance of ways to communicate, share compelling content about our school, and further engage with constituents and prospective families. The possibilities are exciting!
“Developing content is something that I feel Darlington has always done well, and we are only getting better thanks to an increasing amount of involvement from faculty, staff and students,” she continued. “I hope to see us continue to grow our content and inbound marketing efforts in the coming years.”
Wester has worked on numerous special projects and committees. Most recently, she was a member of the Head of School Transition Committee and worked closely with Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees/Search Committee Chair Linda (Grizzard) Owens (’79) to manage communication efforts during the Head of School Search. She also co-chairs the school's Life Skills Committee and serves on the Committee for Campus Safety and Procedures as well as the Crisis Management Team.
“Darlington is very supportive when it comes to professional development,” she said. “I have been fortunate to have many opportunities to gain leadership experience both at school and through my community involvements.”
Wester holds a B.A. in Communication from Berry College, where she majored in journalism and minored in public relations. Prior to her work at Darlington, she served as press and community relations associate at Shorter College.
A graduate of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Rome Class of XXIV, Wester is co-shadow of this year’s Leadership Rome program and will serve as co-coordinator in the fall. She has also served on the Young Professionals of Rome Planning Committee and as a member of Rome-Floyd Citizens for Progress, helping develop social media strategies that contributed to the successful passing of the most recent SPLOST.
A past president of the Sexual Assault Center of NWGA Board of Directors, she is currently a member of the Fundraising Committee and chair of the Publicity Committee for the organization’s very successful annual fundraiser, the Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge. She is also a member of the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau's Board of Directors and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Additional civic involvements have included membership to the local organizing committees for Hospitality House’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and the Dodge Tour de Georgia. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Rome International Film Festival and as a mentor through the Rome-Floyd Communities in Schools program. This year, she also participated in Harbor House child advocacy center's annual Adult Spell Off fundraiser.
In her spare time, Wester is a contributing editor for V3 Magazine. She and her husband, Adam, live in Rome.