I've collaborated with immensely talented and influential people across the media industry, and here's what they have to say about working with me.
Nathan Lump, editorial director, Lifestyle Group at Time Inc.
“Sarah arrived at a time of great change at Travel + Leisure, and she joined a new leadership team, including myself. In the space of a few short months, she oversaw a complete reboot of the T+L brand at TravelandLeisure.com and across social media—no small task for any brand, but particularly in the context of a large legacy media company and a brand that had a history of under-investment in digital, it was a particularly herculean one.
Sarah understands brands and what goes into defining one, has a determined focus on quality output, knows how to build teams around pursuit of a common goal, and gets things done.
I can say that Sarah oversaw these changes with great skill and aplomb. She managed outside vendors, acquired assistance for our brand in a matrixed corporate organization, recruited exceptional talent for an all-new team, and built a new culture of editorial excellence within T+L’s digital practice.
Sarah is someone who understands brands and what goes into defining one, who has a determined focus on quality output, who knows how to build teams around pursuit of a common goal, and who gets things done. I found her to be an extremely effective partner, and she achieved a great deal in her time with us. We redesigned, we grew, and we won awards in her tenure. She also always maintains her cool and continues to lead confidently under pressure, something I especially appreciate as a manager.”
Amy Schellenbaum, online director, Popular Science; former digital editor, Travel + Leisure:
“I met Sarah Firshein the August after my college graduation. I was newly 21, interning as a copy editor at the New York Times, and desperate for a gig with health insurance. As early as my first day working for Sarah at Curbed I knew her to be patient and determined and kind and tough. She was and is everything a mentor should be.
I’ve now known her for years. We ultimately worked together at Travel + Leisure, where she relaunched the website and reinvented the digital operations. At Curbed I knew her as an excellent editor and encouraging guide. At Travel + Leisure I got to know her as a nimble strategist and exemplary team-builder. There I saw how uncompromising she is about editorial integrity—and how adept at spinning metaphorical plates. At T+L she built a team from scratch, replatformed the website, and redefined the legacy lifestyle publication online. She did that in her first five months.
That’s all to say that she’s a beloved and supremely capable leader. She encourages new ideas. She has faith in people. She pinpoints people’s strengths and pulls them forward. I cannot overstate the influence Sarah has had on me and my career.”
Corina Quinn, senior editor, city guides at Condé Nast Traveler; former digital travel editor at Travel + Leisure:
“I am forever indebted to Sarah for hiring me, a longtime print writer and editor who really wanted to switch to digital, at Travel + Leisure. She taught me the digital landscape and best practices for working within it, from how to repackage stories and headlines across platforms and mediums, to properly studying analytics for valuable editorial takeaways.
It’s worth noting that Sarah has an incredible gift for hiring: she assembled a team at T+L digital that was mutually collaborative, hardworking, and equally committed to achieving. We won a Webby for the work we did under Sarah’s leadership—and the team remains close to this day. I’d recommend Sarah to anyone for her brains and talent alone, but it’s her ability to create an environment that’s fun and successful that really elevates what she brings to the table.”
Jane Frye, managing editor at Tasting Table:
"Sarah is an incredibly smart and savvy digital strategist. She gets the internet, and as a consultant, is able to translate that understanding of the digital sphere into tangible actions a team can employ to get where they need to go. Where a lot of people simply talk the talk when it comes to strategy, Sarah knows how to make it happen. She has transformed the way I think about content, which has in turn led to great results. In addition, Sarah's abilities as a writer and editor are unparalleled. She is efficient, thorough, and requires absolutely no hand-holding. She has been a godsend in many aspects of the media biz and I can't recommend her highly enough."
Callie Schweitzer, managing editor, Thrive Global:
“Sarah is a fantastic content strategist and colleague. She has a stellar attitude that she brings to work every single day, and there’s truly no task too big or too small for her. I found her to be goals-oriented, driven and a total team player. She’s a great communicator and always up for anything you throw her way. What I appreciated most about her was that she’s always willing to sit down with other team members and walk them through her thoughts on edits, social, big projects or whatever is in the news that day! She is a true pleasure to work with.”
Kate Lindquist, communications and marketing consultant; former director of public relations, Union Square Hospitality Group:
“ Sarah was our Olivia Pope! Name a task—no matter how complicated—and it was handled with finesse and poise. Sarah brought digital savvy, editorial creativity, and strategic thinking to my team at Union Square Hospitality Group, where she guided the creation of new infrastructure to drive social media strategy and execution across our family of 15 brands.
Always organized and a step ahead of the game, Sarah proved herself as a versatile communicator and effective leader who GSD on a diverse team that included chefs, sommeliers, operators, publicists, and marketers. Plus she was a ton of fun as a colleague! Highly recommend.”
Sara Polsky, features editor, Curbed at Vox Media:
“Sarah is a savvy and smart digital strategist with a keen sense for different brands’ voices and approaches. She’s an editor who also thinks in bigger-picture terms about growth, analytics, and audience engagement. And she’s a great manager and a delightful person to be around in the office.”
Lockhart Steele, editorial director, Vox Media:
“Navigating a new direction for Curbed, Sarah brought her knowledge and love of the shelter world to bear on the site, starting with a feature called House of the Day that’s been published more than one thousand times. It’s a good example of Sarah’s creativity: what began as a simple real estate feature has become a mini brand unto itself.
Sarah also pioneered Curbed’s Young Guns, a celebration of young design talent. That project she took on herself on top on an already onerous workload. Again, just how she rolls. Beyond her pure editorial chops, Sarah has built a talented team. She’s as good a teacher as I’ve seen, especially in an environment that doesn’t particularly favor teaching, and she’s easy and unassuming to work with. Plus, she has taste—something always in short supply. ”
Emily Tucker, senior director of brand services, 21c Museum Hotels:
"21c Museum Hotels was in need of a strong content strategy and without the internal bandwidth to conquer such a task, we were lucky enough to be put in contact with Sarah Firshein. We knew this would be a challenging assignment as our brand is quite unique, marrying a contemporary art museum, boutique hotel and chef-driven restaurant all in one. Sarah dove head first into our world, hungry to truly understand our point of view, needs, and goals. From that, she put together a social brand book along with several other pieces, like an iPhone photography tutorial, that completely set our teams up for success. There is something special about a freelancer who can take in a ridiculously large amount of information in a very short amount of time, and distill it into something magical. We continue to use the brand voice and tone documents she presented as a filter for everything we do in the social spectrum. Sarah’s enthusiasm for the project was contagious and her timeliness impeccable. Any organization would be thrilled to partner with Sarah!"
Mike Bruno, former SVP Content, The Points Guy:
“Sarah and I worked together during a transformational period at the Points Guy. I needed to pivot TPG from a credit card/awards travel blog to a glossy travel and lifestyle brand. Sarah was a huge asset in building the foundation for that work, developing some of the strongest and most enduring editorial concepts implemented as part of that effort. She also played a critical role in strengthening the team and improving our operations and processes, due to her professionalism and leadership qualities. She has a deep understanding of the modern digital content landscape, and a fierce, can-do attitude that delivers results.”