After two decades in the Big Apple, Courteney Monroe was the definition of a New York City power woman. Thirteen years at HBO landed her a top spot as executive vice president of its consumer marketing and digital platforms. That heavy title means she oversaw marketing for most of the channel’s hit shows—including a little one that defined a generation of women, Sex and the City. “I also led the development, launch, and marketing of HBOGO, the digital streaming service,” she adds.
The Bethesda native, a Williams College and Wharton Business School grad, moved with her family to Washington three years ago, when her husband, Mike, a former Special Forces Marine (“the strongest, bravest, most giving soul I know”), was offered a new job. Monroe tried her hand at a dual-city commute, an exercise in crazed schedules and quick hellos and goodbyes that lasted a little more than a year. “No job is worth more than my family,” she says. Luckily, she finds her new role as chief marketing officer of National Geographic Channels just as interesting, fast-paced, and “exceptionally exciting” as her former gig. “I’m thrilled and grateful to have found something here in Washington that I’m so passionate about,” says Monroe, 45, who runs everything from brand strategy to all aspects of marketing, events, public relations, digital platforms, and social media.
Settling back in her hometown, Monroe, who has yet to relinquish her Manhattan-influenced style habits—Vince, Theory, Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, and Prada are in heavy rotation—has developed solid guidelines for life as a full-time-and-then-some working mom. “When you’re present, be present,” she says. “I do my very best not to miss the really important moments, and when I’m with the kids, no work calls, no work e-mails.” She tries to make it home for dinner every night, even if that means she works several hours after Miles and Lola go to sleep. “And no tech at the table!” Monroe is practical and refreshingly open about not being able to give 100 percent, settling instead for what she calls the “80-percent solution,” which is based on the principle that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. “Learn to accept it—and just hope that your 80 percent is better than most other people’s 110 percent,” she advises. “I am sure they would prefer me to be around more, but they know I love them with every fiber of my being, and hopefully I serve as a role model for them.”
Courteney’s Mom Code
Local Family Activity
Hiking the Billy Goat Trail.
Favorite Date-Night Restaurant
Favorite Restaurant With The Kids
Favorite Family Tradition
Thanksgiving at my Aunt Sandi’s. She puts Martha Stewart to shame.
Any beach anywhere, anytime, with my husband.
Giorgio Armani No. 101.
Bag of Choice
Louis Vuitton Artsy MM in chocolate brown.
Blowouts at Drybar and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
When All Else Fails
Pour a glass of Malbec.