LEADERSHIP LOWDOWN Phoenix Business Journal Ilana Lowery and HMA Public Relations Abbie Fink
The Leadership Lowdown was created to share the REAL story behind valley leaders’ rise to the top, and the truth about what it takes to TRULY succeed in life and business. Hear the raw stories of these leaders’ journeys…the pitfalls, the victories, and all of the heartaches and triumphs in between.
Ilana Lowery has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Phoenix Business Journal since August 2001. Prior to that, the Chicago native served as managing editor. She first joined the publication as a reporter and projects editor in 1995.
As a reporter she has covered banking and finance, travel, aviation, tourism and sports business. Prior to the Business Journal, she was an editor for Independent Newspapers Inc., a community newspaper chain based in Scottsdale.
Before moving to the Valley in 1989, Ilana was a reporter and editor for Pulitzer Newspapers in Chicago. An award-winning journalist, she also worked as a scriptwriter and associate producer for the NBC-TV affiliate in Chicago.
A 1986 graduate of the University of Illinois, Ilana earned BA degrees in Mass Communications and English. Currently, Ilana is an associate professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
In addition to the Hon Kachina Board of Governors, she is on the board of the Arizona Newspaper Association and executive board of Gabriel’s Angels. Ilana also is a member of the prestigious women’s professional associations Charter 100 and Central Phoenix Women.
Ilana served on the advisory board for the Greater Phoenix Jewish News and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Arizona Press Club and the Arizona Newspaper Association, which in 2015 presented her with the Order of the Silver Key, an honor for journalists who have been in the profession for 25 years or more, contributed to the journalism profession both locally and nationally, and have inspired fellow journalists.
Ilana was a 2014 Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Athena Award finalist. In 2005, she was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council and in 2008, she was honored with a Woman of Distinction award by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America – Southwest.
Abbie S. Fink is vice president/general manager of HMA Public Relations and has been with the firm since 1993. Her marketing communications background includes skills in media relations, digital communications/social media strategies, special event management, community relations, issues management and marketing promotions.
Fink, an award-winning communications professional, is often called upon to present to a wide variety of business and civic organizations on such topics as media relations, social media and digital communications strategies, issues/crisis communications and special events management, and workplace development and culture.
She is a past president of the Phoenix Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy and a former executive board member. She is the recipient of the Phoenix chapter’s Percy Award and the national Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA.
Fink has both a master’s degree in mass communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism/public relations from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.
ABOUT YOUR HOST
Jodi Low is an accomplished corporate trainer, inspirational speaker, and the Founder and CEO of U & Improved. Jodi has trained thousands of entrepreneurs and executives on how to build a booming business, master a mindset for success, and achieve the lifestyle they desire through heart-fueled leadership.
Through U & Improved—an award-winning personal and professional leadership development company based in Scottsdale—Jodi has redefined traditional leadership training by creating a sustainable and actionable model that is personal, challenging and meaningful to each and every individual who enrolls in any of the two-and-a-half-day experiential training classes. She and her elite training team have advanced the charge in heart-based leadership
development and empower U & Improved graduates with knowledge, tools and awareness to immediately be more effective and responsive leaders at work, home and within their communities.
Among her many accomplishments as a Valley leader, Jodi launched a teen leadership program in 2014 to empower young adults to become more confident, motivated and focused stewards of our future. In 2016, she founded a non-profit arm of the company—the U & Improved Leadership Foundation—that makes the program more accessible to deserving teens.
Jodi has been recognized by industry publications and organizations for her work in leadership development and serves as a source of inspiration within the community. In 2015, she was honored as an “Outstanding Women in Business” by the Phoenix Business Journal and by the Phoenix Suns and National Bank of Arizona with the “Amazing Women” award. She has received both the prestigious “Diversity Leader of the Year” and the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce’s “Sterling Award.” She was also awarded a Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 and was a finalist for the Junior League of Phoenix’s Valley Impact Award. Jodi is a devoted single parent who volunteers her time at her daughters’ school programs and with organizations such as Angel Mamas, where she’s served on the board for three years.