Meet Team Switchboard – Elysa Darling, Senior Consultant

By admin

May 27, 2020


Team Switchboard is made up of an incredible group of individuals who get it done. We’re excited for you to meet our fantastic team. This month, we’re featuring Elysa Darling, our powerhouse senior consultant who is an expert strategist and overall wonder woman!

Tell us a little about yourself…

Calgary became my adopted home by chance in 2013. I was planning to move to Toronto for law school, had a last-minute change of heart and moved to Calgary on the recommendations of some friends who had gone to law school there. I fell in love with Calgary and met my husband soon after. We’ve built a life in Calgary with our two rescue dogs, Rudy and Ellie, and many good friends. Before moving to Calgary, I went to UBC and lived in Vancouver for several years, working for an international not-for-profit. 

I have been described as high energy, to a scary degree, and am often going a thousand miles a minute. I love the snowy winters in Calgary, but sometimes miss the Vancouver rains, and am happiest in the mountains with my hounds and husband.

You’ve made the transition from Law to PR what inspired the move? 

After completing my LLM, I realized that the pieces I loved most about practicing law – policy development and stakeholder engagement – were far more common in PR and communications than in private practice. After consulting in the area for several years, I decided to move over completely. I realized soon after that, my personality and love of people have made me a far better fit for this field! 

What do you love about working at Switchboard?

I love the feeling that we get to build something with our clients. So many of the companies we work with have big, bold ideas that will spur change. When we help our clients tell their stories effectively, we see their ideas gain traction and attention and push them forward. 

What motivates you to work hard?

Knowing that what we do can help our clients advance their mandates and achieve their mission.

What books are you reading right now?

I love a good piece of fiction, but lots of my reading right now is related to my word for 2020, which is ‘fail.’ I’m actively trying to push myself beyond my comfort zone and, as a result, failing often and failing hard. The books I’m reading relate to this personal goal; Range by David Epstein, and Atomic Habits by James Clear.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

I completed my LLM thesis in 2019. Over two years, I worked with the Ermineskin Cree Nation in Maskwacis, Alberta, to revise and consult on their matrimonial real property law. It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life, and the lessons I learned from Elders and other members of the Nation continue to have a profound impact on my work today.

Tell us three interesting facts about you…

  1. I spent most of my childhood acting and modelling. 
  2. My retirement plans include an animal sanctuary 
  3. I received a diploma in post-conflict resolution in the Hague and have pupilled at a Barrister’s set in London.

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

Sushi- because, sushi. What can I say my, West Coast roots are strong!

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

A lovely hike on a sunny day in the Rockies with my dogs and husband.

Besides the necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Following the #TeamSwitchboard trend, caffeine! But truly, my dogs. Even being apart from them on vacation is so hard!


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