Ask most Woodbury residents, and they’ll say they love their community and what the city has to offer. City of Woodbury communications specialist Emma Sroda agrees—and it’s literally her job to help tell the story of the city and the people who live here. “I love meeting new people and building relationships with them; this includes the Woodbury community,” she says.
Part of Sroda’s job includes taking Woodbury news and neighbors to the small screen. “I also host our monthly cable programming with South Washington County Telecommunications Commission,” she explains. “I’ve actually had people come up to me while I’m running errands and tell me they watch the show. It’s hilarious. It’s fun to interview people from different divisions at the city.”
Public relations wasn’t something Sroda necessarily thought she’d end up doing, but her parents knew it was in her future. “In elementary school, my friend and I made up scripts and pretended to host our own radio show,” she remembers with a laugh. “I also attended a journalism camp at Mizzou in junior high. I gravitated toward public relations in college.”
From there, her career path led her away from Woodbury—for a while. “In 2013, I started interning and eventually became an account executive for a public relations agency in Scottsdale, Arizona,” Sroda says. “I stayed there for about a year before making the decision to move back to Woodbury. I found a seasonal internship with the City of Woodbury that eventually became a full-time technician position. Almost five years later, I’m now a communications specialist.”
“In my first year at the public relations agency [in Scottsdale], I learned a lot,” Sroda says. “It’s an incredibly fast-paced industry and … It challenged me to be creative and think outside the box on campaigns.” But since coming back to her hometown, Sroda says she has many memories that she’ll cherish.
Since she’s been in her current role, she says her most memorable moment “was the Stanley Cup coming to HealthEast Sports Center in 2017. As a big hockey fan, it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience having [Pittsburgh Penguins forward] Jake Guentzel come back to Woodbury and celebrate with the community.”
With such a full schedule, it’s hard to believe that Sroda has time for much else, but she works hard to balance her work and personal lives.
“I’ve been married just over a year now, so a lot of the last year I’ve spent enjoying this new chapter in my life. My husband and I have been to Europe twice in the last year and are currently planning our next adventure,” she says. Sroda’s family also still resides in Woodbury. She says that seeing them and traveling are two of her favorite ways to unwind from work.
As for returning to Woodbury, Sroda says she has no regrets about the move. In fact, she loves the perspective she has to see how far things have come. “I do a lot of the social media and marketing for HealthEast Sports Center, so it’s pretty cool to see how much that building has changed [since I was a kid],” she says. “It was just a big part of my life. I played softball on the fields, I learned to skate in the west rink and played softball in the field house. It kind of became my second home.”
Catch up with Emma Sroda’s South Washington County Telecommunications Commission programming at swctc.org.