Antioch University, BA
email: lily.thompson [at] sonomaacademy.org
phone: (707) 636-2464
Lily is a self-described dirt and nature-loving, poetry-reading, daydreamer and writer who found a career in marketing and brand strategy, but not before she tried her hand at all manner of things like: teaching, tile-setting, short order cooking, catering, and bank tellering, to name a few. With a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in English and History, Lily at first thought she might become a teacher, but quickly found that the classroom was not for her. As she wound her way through various jobs (and states—she has an irrepressible love for the open-road and travel; her favorite feeling being the one in which she finds herself some place she’s never been before), she found that the things she loved to do—listen deeply to people and capture their stories, explore the ways that people make meaning, write and express herself creatively, both personally and professionally, and be involved in the making and shaping of something beyond herself—were all aspects of jobs in marketing, branding, and communications.
She is the first to tell you about the evils of marketing and can expound endlessly on the ways that branding can be utilized for ill… and yet she finds unique satisfaction in helping a good organization doing good work in the world express itself truly and authentically.
Prior to coming to Sonoma Academy in 2014, Lily had worked for nearly two decades in branding and marketing, predominantly in the natural and organic food and nonprofit sectors. After rising through the ranks of marketing departments she eventually struck out on her own, establishing her own branding agency. She worked extensively with a broad array of clients—from organic dairy companies to green energy producers—but ultimately wanted to work in an environment that would be more personally meaningful for her.
When she first visited Sonoma Academy as part of her job interview process, she knew immediately that this was the place for her. She was struck by the respectful interactions she had with students, the way they looked her directly in the eye, and engaged her in thoughtful discussion. “There was just this palpable quality to the school that, at the time, I couldn’t define, but knew I wanted to be a part of.” In addition, she felt that she would be able to bring her skills and talents to the school to help it more authentically express who it is, which she feels she has accomplished.
She started a student internship program in 2015 and loves the opportunities she has every week to work with students who help inform the schools marketing and branding initiatives. Aside from this, she loves working with such engaged, intelligent, curious, and creative individuals every day—whether they are students, her fellow colleagues on the admin team, faculty, or administrative staff. “Everyone brings their unique talents and points of views, their interests and passions, and I feel I am learning from everyone everyday.”