Skip links


The Evolution of a 2022 PRWeek 40 Under 40 Honoree: Danielle Cassady

Published on Dec. 09, 2022,  at 5:36 p.m.
by Carleigh Clark.

Danielle Cassady is the senior director of leadership communications at UPS. Cassady has been with UPS for over five years and was recently named to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 list for 2022.

Photo via Danielle Cassady

PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 list is chosen yearly and “celebrates the influencers and innovators guiding the industry forward.”

Danielle was a 2017 graduate of The University of Alabama, double majoring in public relations and political science. She is also currently working on a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in marketing.

Cassady discussed some highlights in her education and career that have helped her earn a spot on PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 list for this year.

During your time as a student at The University of Alabama, what are some things that you were involved in that helped your career in the long run?
Capstone Agency was my first experience in client services. I was in the Blackburn Institute, and the experiences in Blackburn, where we dealt with local issues and policy issues, helped a lot. The most important experience I had in college was the Bateman Case Study Competition, and it was a real, end-to-end, public relations campaign with multichannel requirements. It was the most real world experience I had.”

What made you decide to forego the agency route and practice in-house PR?
“I did go to FleishmanHillard right out of college, and I loved my experience there. I just realized that a multiclient experience was not what I really wanted. I really like to get my hands dirty, and on the agency side, when you have multiple clients, you’re an inch deep but a mile wide. When I came over to the in-house side, I really got to sink my teeth into our brand.”

What is the best part of your job on a day-to-day basis, and what do your daily activities in the office look like?
“Every day is pretty different. We work with 10 primary executives, and every day they have different needs and we have different recommendations for them. No day is the same, but every day is an opportunity to learn more about the business of UPS and advance our goal through the executive voice.”

Photo by ZQ Lee via UnSplash

What is the coolest thing you have done with UPS in your current role?
“We were the official logistics provider for Expo 2020, which is a world fair, hosted in Dubai. I got to go to Dubai with UPS to see the site. So getting to go to a place like Dubai and getting to call it work was really cool. To work with governments from around the world and built these platforms. To get to communicate how UPS was playing a role in this event was cool to get to see up close.”

What advice would you give to a PR student getting ready to enter the workforce?
“Always be open to new opportunities. I think being open to a nontraditional and more in-house role instead of the agency path has led me on a really amazing career. It has given me the opportunities that I’m not sure the traditional path would have ever provided.”

What does it mean to you to be named to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40?
“Truly, the most humbling honor. To be on this list and to have my career accomplishments listed out and be in a group with other young leaders, who have accomplished so much, it’s amazing. I have this new, built-in network of the 40 Under 40 cohort of this group of people where we can stay connected and talk about best practices and industry opportunities. Yes, 40 Under 40 is a huge honor, but to get to connect with other people who are trying to change the world through communication is most valuable to me.”

Where do you see yourself in your career in the next 10 years?
“Honestly, I don’t know. I really believe in being open to what’s next and not being planful. I love the role I’m in now and I love UPS. Hopefully I will be doing something new, fun and something that will keep me on my toes. Every day is a new opportunity to make an impact on the organization I work for.”

Photo by Alex Gorey via Unsplash

Cassady included that she did not fully appreciate her experiences in school. She did not realize, at the time, how special the public relations program at The University of Alabama is. She said she has skill sets and knowledge from college that put her ahead of others that have been in the industry longer or colleagues that graduated from other universities. 

Emily Casey, public affairs manager for UPS, holds Cassady in high regards. She said, “First and foremost, Danielle hustles. Her work ethic is unmatched, and her quality of work is exceptional. The team she now leads did not exist just a few short years ago, yet she saw an opportunity to drive brand awareness through thought leadership on social media and established it as a key part of the company’s strategic messaging.”

Deisha Barnett, president of global communications and content at UPS, also said, “Danielle is the consummate communications strategist. She brings fresh thinking and challenges the status quo while also building relationships, inspiring the team and giving away the credit. From counseling our C-suite to partnering with our agencies or coaching our interns, she shines in every room. Her passion for thought leadership, social media and public policy makes her a triple threat. She represents the future of global communications at UPS and in our industry.”

Danielle Cassady utilized her opportunities along the way. Cassady quickly made a name for herself in the industry, only five years post-grad. While some may consider her path in PR unconventional, Cassady’s work in the industry is backed up with rave reviews from co-workers and tangible results from within her line of work.

Return to top of page