When Thaler looked through the 2-way glass into a focus group room during 10th grade Career Day, she thought, “Wow, you can listen to what people think and reflect it back to them! You can help people be heard.”
That excitement led her to leave high school early and enroll in
the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University at the age of 16.
Today, Thaler is an internationally recognized pioneer of organizational narrative, leadership storytelling, and persuasive communication. She has been recognized by the BBC and the Smithsonian Institution as an expert on business storytelling, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has institutionalized the use of her award-winning video on LGBTI refugees in South Africa.
As the CEO of Thaler Pekar & Partners, Thaler guides organizations in finding, developing, and amplifying stories that break through an increasingly complex marketplace and rally critical support. The firm’s Heart, Head & Hand® process for persuasive communication is ensuring that smart leaders throughout the world engage audiences, increase sales, and heighten visibility and influence. The team has worked in 34 countries on five continents.
Thaler facilitated the opening plenary of the most recent Smithsonian Institution Conference on Organizational Storytelling. She is a visiting professor at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School Executive Masters in Communications Management, and a frequent guest lecturer at Columbia University.
Her determination to help clients achieve superior results has led her progression from political organizing to values-based communication, to finding and sharing stories, to building narrative organizations, and to collecting and curating oral histories.
Thaler is featured in the books • Working with Stories in Your Community or Organization: Participatory Narrative Inquiry • Circle of the 9 Muses: A Storytelling Field Guide for Innovators and Meaning Makers • Multimedia Storytelling for Digital Communicators in a Multiplatform World • Storied Careers: 40+ Story Practitioners Talk About Applied Storytelling • Parenting with a Story: Real-Life Lessons in Character for Parents and Children to Share • Business Storytelling for Dummies.
She is a Founding Member of the American College of Women’s Health Physicians. Her extensive studies include the Columbia University Medical Center Program in Narrative Medicine and Columbia University Oral History Masters Program.
Her career began by combining her academic interest in communication with her passion for social change. Her determination to help clients achieve superior results has led her progression from political organizing to values-based communication, to finding and sharing stories, to building narrative organizations, and to collecting and curating oral histories.
Along the way, Thaler has served as the public affairs director for a large Federally Qualified Community Health Center; as the communications director for The Children’s Health Fund; as the communications lead for a large Ford Foundation project on religious pluralism; and as a founding producer of State of Belief on Air America Radio. Her media placements include the cover of Time Magazine and several front pages of the New York Times, and features in O: The Oprah Magazine, People, 48 Hours, Oprah, and the Today Show.
Thaler is a longtime resident of Hoboken, NJ and a more recent resident of Unadilla, NY. She serves as Vice Chair of the Hoboken Historic Preservation Commission and is a board member of the Hoboken Historical Museum. Thaler has a cat named Truthiness and always crosses the street to walk on the sunny side.
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