15 to Watch (Corporate/Nonprofit): Kimberly Kanary


VP of Corp. Communications, Associated Estates Realty Age: 29

Working in an industry where bad news has nearly become the norm, Kimberly Kanary’s passion for communications shines through. Responsible for all internal and external communications, including financial and investor communications at Cleveland-based Associated Estates, a real estate investment trust, Kanary conceived and executed a rebranding program that positively engages both internal and external audiences.

Problem Solving

“I really enjoy identifying creative solutions to problems and turning obstacles into opportunities by utilizing a variety of tactics ranging from the more traditional to new and innovative,” she says. “I also have to be nimble enough to handle each situation as it arises, but firm enough to ensure we’re continually looking for ways to enhance our communications programs and execute our strategic objectives.”

Making Progress

“Certainly, reputation management is an ongoing process, but I was able to make major strides over a relatively short amount of time by creating and executing a comprehensive plan to address the major ways in which we reach our key constituents.”

Showing Value

“These days it’s easy for companies to cut budgets or programs that don’t appear to have a direct correlation to the bottom line. As a communications professional, it’s my responsibility to continually demonstrate the value of communications—and how it’s more important than ever to have a strong program during the most difficult of times.” â– 


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