Chief Influencer

Danica Roem is the newly-elected delegate representing the 30th District in the Senate of Virginia. To congratulate Danica, we are re-sharing her interview with Anthony from during the campaign. Previously, Danica served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates and helped her constituents by providing a free school lunch program and improving state infrastructure. Danica is most well known as the United States’ first openly transgender state legislator. She is also a heavy metal vocalist, award-winning journalist, and author of the bestselling Burn The Page. Danica shares how to drive impactful change, why individuals must take the initiative to create positive change, and how to overcome imposter syndrome as a leader.

  • By truly listening to and understanding the needs and concerns of those around you, leaders can incorporate their perspectives into decisions and ensure that their actions align with the interests of those they represent. Danica learned this as a legislator first-hand. This approach strengthens relationships and leads to more effective and inclusive environments.
  • Leaders should strive to communicate authentically. Sharing personal stories, expressing genuine empathy, and conveying messages that resonate with others, fosters strong connections and builds trust.
  • To create change, you need to take the initiative. Danica shared her experiences of actively advocating for policy changes, such as improving transportation infrastructure or expanding support for LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Embrace compromises, but make sure that when you do, make sure it’s a well-informed decision. Leaders must balance personal values with the greater good, which can require making difficult choices, such as in the legislative process.
  • To counter imposter syndrome and insecurities, Danica encouraged leaders to recognize their qualifications, unique perspectives, and the support they have received from their electorate. By embracing their authentic selves and acknowledging their value, leaders can overcome imposter syndrome and lead confidently.
  • Embrace the hard work and effort required to achieve your goals, whether it's knocking on doors, making phone calls, or biking between constituents in rural areas.
  • Combine your instincts with thorough research and knowledge to make well-informed decisions. Danica shared how she relied on her intuition, along with years of living with and listening to her community, to guide her actions as a legislator.

Quote of the Show:
  • “Thrive because of who you are, not despite it” - Danica Roem


Creators & Guests

Anthony Shop
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Danica Roem
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates and currently a candidate for the Virginia State Senate. Danica is most well known as the United States’ first openly transgender state legislator. She is also a heavy metal vocalist, award-winning journalist, and author of the bestselling Burn The Page.
Robert Krueger
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.

What is Chief Influencer?

Chief Influencer is a podcast that explores how today’s successful leaders inspire and influence others to make an impact in the world. They aren’t just Chief Executives, they’re “Chief Influencers.” We interview a range of leaders and uncover how they build authentic connections - both inside their organizations and beyond. Your next breakthrough idea may come from a Chief Influencer facing similar challenges in a completely different sector.