Celeste Olinger joined the Columbia Association (CA) as its new director of communications on Oct. 22 and brings more than 25 years of public relations and communications experience from federal, state and local branches of government to the organization.
Q: What attracted you to move across the country and work with the Columbia Association?
Olinger: “I was attracted to Columbia Association because it is a progressive community recognized by the public for its best practices and voted twice to the Top 10 list of livable communities. I was interested in becoming a part of a team where I could contribute my skills and experience while further enhancing my career aspirations.”
Q: You’re new to the area, but what do you think of Columbia so far?
Olinger: “As a newcomer to the area, I am in awe with the aesthetic or natural beauty of the community. The meandering paths and open-space areas offer a little outdoor adventure or a calm breath of serenity, in addition to the athletic offerings that complement active lifestyles and make Columbia a great place to live, work, play and enjoy.”
Q: What are you looking for, and what should residents look for, when it comes to how CA and the community communicate?
Olinger: “More community engagement, including looking at ways to involve residents in idea-sharing to identify and solve issues of community interest. I would like to see communication become a little more interactive. Rather than us just passing information to the community, I would like to encourage residents to engage in conversations and dialogue about CA so we can get their perspective. In the upcoming months, we will be asking residents what they would like to see and how they would like us to communicate.”