New Public Information Officer shares know-how with city of PA

Published 6:17 pm Friday, October 14, 2016

Risa Carpenter has been around the world but she wanted to come back home to Southeast Texas.

Consequently she just completed her first week of employment as the Public Information Officer for the city of Port Arthur.

She grew up in Beaumont, Lumberton and Fannett and graduated from Monsignor Kelly High School in Beaumont in 1995 before she joined the U.S. Marine Corps. She worked in public affairs in the Corps in broadcast and print journalism including being a reporter with the base newspaper at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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“It’s genetic for me. My grandmother was a journalist,” she said.

She spent eight years in the USMC and reached the rank of E-6, or staff sergeant.

She was discharged in 2004 and moved to Japan for three years. She worked as an office manager and as a public affairs specialist in the marketing department.

“I have experience and I will travel,” she said. “I’m a people-person.”

She later moved to the U.S. East Coast and worked as an area coordinator for the Marines. She was responsible for 13 units and as an intermediary with the Marine Corps. They provided community services with an emphasis on morale, scheduling events, welcoming Marines home and assisting those on deployments.

“We scheduled 15 large events every month. We handled the readiness aspect for families where they could find resources in one place,” Carpenter said.

Later, she became marketing director in New River, N.C., as a marketing director and area coordinator. They consolidated efforts with nearby Camp Lejeune.

Her last gig in North Carolina was as events coordinator for Duplin County.

“I had a blast doing that,” she said.

She came back home and landed a job last August with the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas. She started off as education coordinator before moving up to director of marketing and communications.

Carpenter is also taking online classes from Penn State University.

Now that’s she’s the PIO for Port Arthur, she’s been scheduling meetings with departmental heads and she plans to redesign the city’s website.

“I want to get the information out as quickly as possible so the department managers will have less on their plates. I want it to be accurate when it goes out and foster positive relations in the community,” she said.

Carpenter said she realizes every position comes with challenges. She wants to sit back now and learn and assimilate.

“I want to learn personalities, but still be active,” she said.

Carpenter has three children — a 14-year-old boy, and two girls aged 11 and 9.

David Ball: 409-721-2427