In the early 1990s, when Nina Morrison’s husband brought home a bottle of Talking Rain water from an event he had been helping to plan, the former school-teacher and Mercer Island mother of three had an immediate reaction to it.
“I went, ‘Wow, what is this?’ and we started drinking it all the time,” the present-day vice president of public relations for Talking Rain Beverage Co. said of her first taste of the water sourced from a nearby aquifer. “It was just so clean and fresh.”
At the time, Morrison was the CEO and president of Emerald City Marketing, a food brokerage that she founded in 1984. Not long after taking her first swig of Talking Rain, Morrison was approached by a fellow Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club board member, who happened to work for Talking Rain at the time, to help host a business breakfast. Morrison said the event went over so well, she was asked to join the then-five-person Talking Rain team as an event consultant, and later, a full-time staff member.
“We worked in a small office in Bellevue, and it was so small that our founder had to take the (corded) phone outside to make calls,” she recalled of those early days.
In the more than 27 years since joining the organization, Morrison has seen innovation in the form of the company’s Sparkling Ice line — among others — that helped Talking Rain grow to become a $600 million brand with more than 350 employees, or rain makers, and global distribution to more than 20 countries.
Along the way, Morrison also has climbed the ladder to vice president of public relations and assisted the brand with the creation of a “positive goodwill within the communities where Talking Rain operates” by partnering with worthy causes like Race for the Cure and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
“I am drawn to (nonprofit work) because I feel like we all need to give back and make our communities a better place, and I think it has been in Talking Rain’s DNA since even before I started,” said Morrison, who also has personally given her time to serve on the board of directors for Puget Sound-based chapters of organizations like The Boys & Girls Club, the Washington State Special Olympics, and Susan G. Komen For The Cure.
Turn the page to see what a typical day is like for this grapefruit sparkling water-drinking VP.
Photos courtesy Nina Morrison
6:30 a.m. | My dogs Remy and Stella always are ready for their morning walk, rain or shine.
7:30 a.m. | After a quick drive to the office in Preston, I enjoy some Peet’s Coffee (black) while I check email, review my calendar, and scan The Wall Street Journal and The Seattle Times.
8 a.m. | I hunker down for a weekly leadership meeting with our CEO, Chris Hall, and other Talking Rain executives.
9 a.m. | I jump from the leadership meeting into the weekly stand-up meeting with our marketing team.
9:45 a.m. | There’s no better meeting than one that includes walking and talking along the Preston Trail with Stephanie Giralmo and Mallory Megown.
10:30 a.m. | I meet with June Leahy, executive director of the Austen Everett Foundation, and our communications specialist, Hannah Ham, to review the continued sponsorship of the nonprofit.
Noon | Everyone needs to take a break and laugh with their colleagues. That’s why Talking Rain has a table at the annual Prescription Laughter Luncheon in Bellevue to benefit Camp Korey.
1:30 p.m. | The new Talking Rain sparkling waters arrive at the office. We recently engineered this product line, and they are very refreshing.
2 p.m. | After a morning of meetings and events, I take a quiet moment to review the Talking Rain social media content.
3:30 p.m. | As a member of the development council for the UW Medicine Cancer Vaccine Institute, I take a tour of the institute with councilmember Sara Osborne and the institute’s director, Mary L. Disis.
5 p.m. | Before heading home, I attend the comedy show Giggles for Global Visionaries at the Preston Community Center. The show will benefit high school senior Tien Hoang’s service trip to Guatemala.
8 p.m. | At home, I share a glass of wine with my daughter, Bri Ancia, while we work on planning the Opportunity for Success Scholarship Luncheon in memory of my other daughter, Jennifer Kiley Morrison.