Two Minutes With” is Weber Shandwick Seattle’s employee spotlight series that provides professional and personal insight into our rockstar team. Enjoy!

What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

People who don’t know me well may think I’m shy. I can seem that way because I tend to hang back and observe in unfamiliar situations. Once I’m comfortable, though, I open up. I’ve had to push myself as an introvert in the communications field to be more outgoing. I still struggle with that sometimes.

In your free time, you “roll” with the Jet City Rollergirls. Tell us how you got your start in roller derby.

A friend suggested I try it and introduced me to my hometown league, the Jet City Rollergirls, who practice about 10 minutes from my house in Everett. I played rugby in college and briefly when I moved to the Seattle area, but I had trouble getting to early-evening practices across town. Team sports, especially those with full contact, provide great stress relief for me. So I was thrilled to discover derby and its thriving community in the Puget Sound area.

Are there any misconceptions about roller derby?

Well, the history of roller derby leads many people to believe it’s staged or more spectacle than sport. The skate names and fishnets are throwbacks to the derby you may remember seeing on TV or in movies, but the sport experienced a revival in the early 2000’s. Flat-track roller derby, the popular modern incarnation, is a fast-paced, physical game with complex strategies. Fighting, elbowing and tripping, things people seem to associate with derby, aren’t allowed. Players practice several times a week and do cross-training off skates to build strength and prevent injuries. Each league generally has home teams that compete against one another and an all-star team that travels to compete nationally and internationally. The sport is steadily gaining popularity in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in Canada, Europe and Australia.

It’s not surprising that your derby name, “Deadline” has some historical significance. Tell us about your journalistic background and what made you take the leap to the PR side.

The name fits me because I thrive under deadline pressure. I spent five years working in newspapers before I came to Weber Shandwick. I started out as a reporter covering the military and then moved on to become the web editor in another newsroom. Telling stories through new channels and engaging with the people formerly known as the audience really pushed me into the digital realm. That interest also translated directly from journalism to PR.

What’s your favorite service that you get to provide to clients every day?

I was attracted to Weber Shandwick Seattle due to its creative people with a passion for finding effective ways to tell the right story to the right people. That’s also the service I take the most pride in providing for clients.

Elaine Norton is an account executive at Weber Shandwick Seattle

Photo credit: Chris Jones

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