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Neila FAQ

I write books, drink coffee, and fight evil ... not necessarily in that order.

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Q: What have been your biggest personal and professional achievements?


My greatest personal achievement would be writing and publishing nine novels in the genres of mystery and romance. More than one of them has been an Amazon bestseller. My passion has always been writing, and becoming a novelist has served as the most wonderful creative outlet.


It’s difficult to pinpoint my greatest professional achievement because my career has been peppered with so many accomplishments that I’m proud of. However, two things immediately come to mind. Demonstrating my leadership at and working hard with my team to build a website that became one of the top ten websites in the world has been, hands down, the most satisfying thing I’ve accomplished in my career.


At, I implemented a teen program (Wiki Influential Teens) and grew the membership to more than one thousand teen volunteers within a year of onset. Coaching and mentoring our teen members and watching the membership soar was a huge accomplishment, as I pride myself on my coaching and mentoring skills.

Q: What is your greatest strength?


Effective communication is a huge strength of mine. In every company I’ve worked for, I have made it my mission to help teams understand what a difference accurate, effective communication can make in the industry. While working at U.S. Central Federal Credit Union, I taught seminars to other employees on effective business communication, and I have taught seminars on writing for the web to professional teams and college classes.


I have written style guides for three different companies, and I am an expert in Associated Press Style and Chicago Manual of Style. I love words and language, and demonstrating my expertise in a way that improves all aspects of an organization’s communication style is truly fulfilling.

Q: What is your biggest weakness?


I believe every weakness can be turned into an opportunity, so instead of “weakness,” I prefer to use the term “challenge.” My greatest challenge—other than the ability to do math in my head—is to make sure I stay on the cutting edge of technology in the industry. The hard part is analyzing which technological advances are making a difference and producing the most positive changes within my industry. The amount of solutions available today can be overwhelming, but taking the time to wade through the possibilities is vital in making sure I identify new technologies that can be implemented to help my organization and team stay at the head of the pack and improve the bottom line.

Q: With your experience leading teams, discuss how you coach and mentor team members.


My coaching style can be described as both spirited and considerate. I feel it’s important to start out by outlining the big picture of what goal a team needs to achieve then discuss how the team fits into that puzzle. I then feel it’s important to be positive, encouraging, and empathetic so team members feel comfortable brainstorming and sharing their ideas. Positive reinforcement is huge in coaching team members to achieve their goals. Effective communication is important so I know what tools I need to provide team members for them to succeed.


Every person is different, so it’s important to get to know each person’s personality, work style, and strengths to find out what motivates them. I am then able to adjust my coaching style in any way necessary so I can make sure team members are happy and achieve their specific goals.


My leadership skills have allowed others to be comfortable with me, so they are more willing to share ideas, thoughts, and concerns. Therefore, I have more of an opportunity to help them grow in their careers.

Q: Tell me about a situation that demonstrated your problem-solving abilities.


As with every situation in business and in life, effective communication is the key. At, I was leading a team at one point that had several new members. Many of them had never worked with remote teams and were having a difficult time communicating, which was leading to a lot of issues between team members.


It was important in this case for the team to have an in-person team-building session. I ran into the problem of our Vice President denying my funding request for this event, and I needed to help him understand why the session was necessary.


First, I approached it by identifying to him what the issues were with my team and how those issues were affecting productivity. I described in detail some of the problems the team was having and gave examples of the difficulties and lack of communication. Once I outlined the problems and the different solutions I had already tried, he agreed that an in-person approach was necessary to get the team back on track. He then approved funding, and our team met in our New York office for team-building sessions and activities. This was by far the right solution. The time together and the various activities really helped the team members get to know each other and build trust. After that, communication and trust massively improved among the team, and they were able to work much better together remotely.

Q: What kind of experience have you had planning community events?


Throughout my career, I have worked with different types of communities and have had experience planning both virtual and in-person community events. During my tenure at, one of the biggest in-person events that I helped plan was a meet-up in Atlanta of teams and community members from around the world. Our community team took charge of planning events and activities for the three-day event. I have also planned meet-ups with teams in New York and Saint Louis, but the Atlanta event was the largest one I’ve helped plan.


Virtually, I’ve planned numerous community events. I’ve worked remotely for eighteen years, and I have worked with teams who are scattered across the world. I’ve worked on organizing and planning virtual team community events at, Red Adept Publishing, and Kids Yoga Stories.

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