Monique Wingard is a digital media professional, advocate of women and youth in STEAM, and founder of The Civic Tech Collective–a news/media website for and about social entrepreneurs in civic tech.
Monique has parlayed more than 15 years of diverse experience in traditional media, government service, public administration, and marketing, to build a socially-minded career in digital media.
Working as a consultant for private clients, including her firm, SAVVY Consulting and Communications, Monique helps businesses large and small understand digital media and how to use it effectively. The firm builds creative, community-based campaigns, provides interactive digital media workshops, and serves as a source of job creation for creatives in the Midwest.
Monique’s journey to a service-driven career began as a child, when she accompanied her grandmother on various community-building efforts with the Southwest Priority Board in Dayton, Ohio. Deeply admiring of her grandmother’s commitment to public service and the positive effect it had, Monique took up that mantle when she went off to college.
As a child of the 20th century, however, Monique was intrigued with the power of widely distributed media and its potential to be used as a tool for social change. The influence that this industry had in shaping policy and the portrayal of people of color, specifically women, led her to pursue a degree in Public Affairs Journalism from The Ohio State University, where she also spent time as a Page with the Ohio House of Representatives and eventually as an intern on Capitol Hill with the Washington, D.C. Bureau of Tribune Broadcasting. Upon graduation, and receiving an Emerging Leader Citation from The Office of Student Life, she was selected for a coveted internship with Atlanta’s WVEE/CBS Radio that turned into a full-time position in its programming and research departments.
Monique then accepted a fellowship with the Ohio Senate’s Legislative Service Commission (LSC), working for Senator Eric H. Kearney. Seizing the opportunity to use her public affairs and writing skills, Monique was soon serving as a de facto press secretary, writing press releases and speeches and preparing presentations for senior staff and legislators.
Thrilled with the work, but wanting to improve her ability to help people, Monique returned to school to earn a Master of Science in Social Science Administration (M.S.S.S.A.) from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Upon graduation, she served as a program manager for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central, Ohio.
Still focused on her goal of working directly in media and building her credentials, Monique earned a master’s degree in Media Management from Ohio University. During her time as a graduate assistant for the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Monique worked as both an audio and video editor, as well as on-air talent to host Shades of Color Radio and as the local anchor for PRI’s The Takeaway on WOUB’s television and radio stations.
Working at WOUB at the dawn of the digital marketing revolution, Monique began experimenting with social media promotions to build her brand in hopes of moving to Washington, D.C.
However, social media ultimately rerouted Monique to Chicago, Illinois. One tweet from 1871 and several phone interviews later, she discovered a unique opportunity to fuse all things community, media, and tech, into an exciting career in the ever-growing digital startup ecosystem as a Technical Marketing student at the Startup Institute.
The Startup Institute provides an 8-Week immersive program designed for Career Changers, Creatives and the overall Tech Savvy individual determined to get off the sidelines and in the game!
After her experience at Startup Institute, Monique worked for several brands including:
- Computer Training Institute of Chicago
- JeffreyM Consulting
- McDonald’s Corporation
- Urban Ministries, Inc.
Throughout this journey, Monique has never lost her commitment to giving back, and today she serves as the Community Outreach Lead for the Chicago Chapter of Black Girls CODE, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. Monique focuses her work with the organization on encouraging those young women who, like her, don’t necessarily want to earn a science degree to see the myriad of opportunities in the STEAM industries; from graphic designer and copy editor to digital media guru.
Monique is a long-time bibliophile with a collection of over 200 vinyl albums, a devoted aunt, “Xennial” (not Millennial), and unwavering Ohio State Football fan.