37, SINGLE, LYNN
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS, MASSACHUSETTS STATE LOTTERY
When the Lottery hands a jackpot winner one of those giant novelty checks, you're seeing Bresnahan's work.
What you seldom see are her "winning smile" and "megawatt sense of humor" that our panel raves over.
This is actually Bresnahan's second tour with the Lottery, which is part of the state treasurer's office. The lifelong Lynn resident — who names her fish and cats after Red Sox players — has worked in and around Beacon Hill for 12 years. That began with a hasty application to the state's housing department, and recently including four years at the Rasky Baerlein public relations firm.
"I try to bring my quirky sense of humor to most situations," she says. "But no one wants to deal with a PR person who is full of BS, so I strive to be honest, straightforward, and transparent." And, according to our panel, beautiful.
Job title: Assistant executive director/director of marketing & communications, Massachusetts State Lottery
Held since: March 2011
Marital/relationship status; children; pets: Single; reluctant owner of two five-year-old cats (David Ortiz and Mikey Lowell) and one fish (Jim Rice).
Originally from: Born and raised in Lynn
What you do: I oversee all of the marketing and communications for the state lottery, which includes everything from designing and promoting the games, to handling all of the media, social media, and public relations interactions on behalf of the organization.
I can't say there is ever really a typical day, every day seems to bring on something new, exciting and often crazy, but that is why I enjoy the job so much.
One experience that made you glad to do this work: I get to hand over big prize checks to players on almost a daily basis, which is pretty much always great, but the most memorable and rewarding experience wasn't tied to a ticket sale.
I met an elderly couple, Oscar and Theresa Dupre from Chicopee, while they were waiting in line at one of the stops along the Lottery-sponsored World Series Trophy Tour in 2005. The husband, who was born in 1918, had been to a Sox game every season since he was five, but during our conversation shared that he likely wouldn't be able to attend a game that season due to financial reasons.
Several months later, the Lottery was provided with a first-pitch opportunity through our Sox scratch ticket and Oscar immediately came to mind. We tracked him down and asked if he would do us the honor. He was in absolute disbelief. Not only did he get to attend a game for the 82nd season in a row, but marked that milestone by taking the mound, dramatically winding up like Luis Tiant, and tossing out the ceremonial first pitch, while his whole family watched from the stands (and I sobbed hysterically from the warning track)!
Other jobs: I've worked in and around Beacon Hill since 2000, in legislative and media relations roles for a few different state agencies, but this is actually my second stint at the Lottery. I was the Communications Director for the Lottery and Treasury for a few years before a taking a four year break from state government to work in the private sector for Rasky Baerlein.
Other activities: Saint Mary's High School, Lynn (Trustee, Board of Trustees); Essex County Commission on the Status of Women (Commissioner); Lynn Citizens Advisory Board (Board Member); Boston Cares (Volunteer); and, I'd be remiss if I didn't note that I've been voted "Best Dressed Customer" by my dry cleaner for three years running.
Path to Beacon Hill: Growing up, several of my family members worked on Capitol and Beacon Hill, so my exposure to and passion for politics and government began at a young age.
But in spite of that, I initially ended up on the Hill by default. I started my career in working sports media, but after two years just couldn't make ends meet and had to move on. I was in the process of getting hired in a PR role in a sheriff's office, when I was informed that I would first need to pass a background check. Not fully understanding what that meant, I freaked out at the thought of being fingerprinted. I hastily hopped online applied for a job with the state housing department. I not only passed their background check, but spent the next five years cultivating my "Beacon Hill roots" and career there.
Personal style: I like to think that I am a laid-back, "what you see is what you get" kind of person, and my style is reflective of that.
I try to bring my quirky sense of humor to most situations, but also know that no one wants to deal with a PR person who is full of BS, so I strive to be honest, straightforward and transparent in all of my dealings (State House and beyond).
If you mean style from a fashion perspective, I will almost always be spotted in shoes that are not suitable for climbing the Hill or navigating cobblestone sidewalks.
Favorite thing about working in the State House: I love doing business in the State House because of the relationships I've forged and the great friends I've made working on Beacon Hill. While many of the electeds and staffers have changed over the last 10-plus years, there's always a familiar face walking the halls. Oh, and there's always an abundance of events and food in the building too!
One thing you would change to make State House work more "beautiful": I think the State House is already one of the most beautiful backdrops in the city, but certainly wouldn't be opposed to the Commonwealth hiring George Clooney or John Stamos as security guards at the Gen. Hooker entrance.