Member Spotlight: Julie K. Davis, APR, Brookdale Senior Living

By Kristin Appelman

On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights its diverse members through a Q & A feature. We are pleased to showcase IABC member Julie K. Davis, APR, Vice President of Communications at Brookdale Senior Living

When did you join IABC Nashville?

Way back in the mid-2000s, then- president of the chapter Sharon Harper invited me to give a presentation on a sensational case-study from my former job, a case-study that involved fraud, extortion, and a mouse necropsy to help determine the truth. The meeting was at World Christian Broadcasting headquarters so I met Paul Ladd right off the bat. I enjoyed meeting the people who came to the meeting and saw value in developing my professional network and skills through attending the monthly meetings.  I became active on the board, serving in a variety of positions, including President, over a ten year period, and found the work to be worthwhile.

What is your current position? How long have you been in this role?

VP Communications for Brookdale Senior Living. I just passed my seven-year anniversary with the company this past March.

How did you get started in this business?

College English major who was lucky enough to get into commercial radio and public television broadcasting. After some years of that, I decided to make the switch to corporate, so I got an M.S. in Corporate Communications since success in corporate communications requires more than just knowing how to make a TV show. 

What lesson(s) have you learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional?

  • Never leave a meeting thinking you’ll figure out what to write or do later. It just won’t happen. If you don’t have clarity, keep asking questions.
  • Relationships are the most important thing. When you encounter resistance, regardless of how right you may be, remember that you have a choice: you can be right, or you can be relational. Choose the latter.
  • Be responsive and meet other people’s need for closure.

What makes an effective communications leader?

Clarity, consistency, and competency. These are the same traits as for any organizational leader.

If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would they be?

Cheerleader (I have a great team), coach (one of the things that make my team great is that they want to grow), introvert (can I please go read my book now?).

Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.

Big David Bowie fan (still miss him), and super disappointed that I finally got tickets to a Rolling Stones concert only to have COVID-19 happen. Will they still be around and touring after COVID-19 is gone?

What three (3) things are you most excited to gain from IABC Nashville (in ranking order)?

Relationships, functional learning, opportunity to “give back” 

Bonus:  What’s your favorite productivity hack that’s kept you successful working remotely in COVID-19? (i.e. favorite app, time-shaving method, a part of your daily routine, etc.)

It really does make a difference to take my shower before I sit down at the computer for the day. It is magical thinking to assume I’ll get cleaned up in between Zoom calls and everything else that needs doing to keep the work flowing smoothly. I’ve also learned that I feel better wearing my rings and bracelets even if I’m the only one who can see them. 


Kristin Appelman is the marketing manager for Concept Technology, Inc., and serves on the IABC Nashville board of directors as Vice President of Membership.