Member Highlight: Gwendolyn Keefe

Meet Gwendolyn Keefe.

Gwendolyn Keefe

Current Role: Director of Partner PR, Guild Education

Previous Role: Communications at Lyft; Media Strategist at The OutCast Agency (PR agency for Amazon, Facebook, HBO, TurboTax and others)

Secret Talents: Field hockey; making the most of awkward situations

Hometown: Saratoga, CA

Pet's Name: Koda (Golden Retriever)

Guild Education is everywhere. What's your PR secret to keeping all of the amazing coverage flowing?

We have a positive and timely story to tell. Guild is impacting the lives of frontline workers across the US who typically don’t have access to higher education and jobs are being automated, so our platform is widely needed. By leveraging Guild’s executives, students and partners (both Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart, Disney and Lowe’s as well as universities) in my PR role, we have diverse voices to tell an important narrative. I find the strongest stories come from the latter two, since students are able to articulate what getting a debt-free degree has done for their career and economic mobility, while partners are seeing stronger recruitment and retention of employees.

What was your biggest learning while you helped Lyft transform the transportation industry?

Being the underdog will make you stronger. We had fierce competition with Uber who was global and at a much larger scale than Lyft at the time when I worked there (2016-2019), so it was important to establish a separate identity in the transportation industry and use PR to position ourselves as strategic, transparent and a company who does the right thing.

Tell us about Feed the Frontlines.

Last Spring, a small group of us in Denver came together to form Feed the Frontlines Denver to support both healthcare workers in need of healthy meals during the pandemic as well as restaurants who needed business when their doors were closed to customers. Within two months (April-June 2020), FTF Denver delivered nearly 5,000 meals and raised over $82,000. We saw incredible support from the community. I will never forget the pictures from the hospitals with first responders smiling holding the meals and the thank-you notes we received from the restaurant owners that we partnered with.  

What is an innovation in your work (full-time or side) that you are excited about?

I’m passionate about the innovative solution Guild has brought to the American workforce and believe that more and more employers will offer education and training as part of their benefits package for employees. Guild is changing the dated script on “you need to go to college in order to get a job”. Instead, you can get a job to go to college… for free (on your employers’ dime).

What is a unique fact about you?

I played center midfield for Cal’s Division I field hockey team from 2005-2009. Due to my loyalty to UC Berkeley and frankly because we’re better than Stanford in all aspects, I don’t own anything red.

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