It all started when...
Word Munky founder Colette Taber is inspired by the architectural community where she got her start as a business writer specializing in professional services and creative environments. She managed content for the new business initiatives of the Philadelphia-based architectural and planning practice, Sullivan Associates (now Martin Architectural Group), which in the early 1990s was known for custom, multi-family, and senior housing. The firm was one of the first design practices in the country to develop planning and architectural concepts for continuing care retirement communities.
Prior to this move into the building and design industry, Colette was a proposal writer and program administrator for the social service agency, Easter Seals of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
In 1998, Colette joined the 400+ person design practice The Kling-Lindquist Partnership (later KlingStubbins). As a business development writer, she worked closely with the various studios of architects, engineers, and interior designers. This included Kling’s corporate interiors group, collaborators with her on a comprehensive rewrite of all marketing materials.
In 2000, she was recruited by the international MEP engineering firm, Flack + Kurtz (now part of WSP Global). Colette managed the marketing department of the New York corporate headquarters for the next three years.
Since 2003, she has worked as an independent writer providing marketing and proposal content development related services, including strategic internal marketing consultation, to design and professional service firms in New York City. As part of an ongoing effort to contribute to a community of marketers in New York, she has lectured at numerous venues in the tri-state area, including The Center for Architecture.
In 2005, she established Colette Taber, Inc., a writing consultancy focused on the development and implementation of communication strategies and planning, including working with Subject-Matter Experts (SME) on website content and collateral updates, digital marketing, public relations, and corporate branding.
Colette’s clients are often global firms, including Gensler, Perkins Eastman, and Gruzen Samton (now IBI Group). For Gensler, she worked with the director of firm-wide communication, implementing corporate standards for content and style. She was responsible for the U.S. portfolios of offices located in the north central and south central regions. She also worked with design leaders at FXFOWLE Architects on numerous writing projects addressing urban conditions in communities around the world. From the CTBUH World Congress to international conferences on infrastructure, the multiple white papers developed for FXFOWLE involved interviewing and partnering with the firm’s thought leaders, as well as extensive writing and editing. In addition, Colette prepared a successful AIA Fellowship submission for FXFOWLE and engaged with multiple studios on an expansive portfolio rewrite.
In the building and design community, Colette is known for her proficiency with a range of disciplines and service areas and her ability to produce compelling writing on a variety of subjects. Many of her clients represent the very best in their areas of expertise.
For instance, the exceptionally innovative company and 2012 AIA New York State Firm of the Year Caples Jefferson Architects (CJA) devotes a minimum of 50% of its practice to community-based projects. Colette worked with the managing principals at CJA to develop core themes subsequently integrated throughout all written communications. She also partnered on articles for publication and web copy. MDSzerbaty Associates (MDSA) is likewise an idea-driven design practice and one that has cultivated new approaches, evolving for contemporary uses a renowned legacy of modernist architecture. Colette helped develop content standards for the marketing of MDSA’s higher education and K-12 studios.
Colette has worked with a number of award-winning engineers, project managers, and consultancies, including Allee King Rosen & Fleming (better known as AKRF), global leaders in environmental planning and engineering, and The TLM Group, a trusted owners rep known for its expertise with both regional and worldwide financial services and mission critical customers. She also wrote for Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects (EKLA), considered one of New York’s most innovative open space design firms specializing in historic landscapes, cultural sites, and green infrastructure. EKLA has received awards for preservation and sustainable site design from the Public Design Commission, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Preservation League of New York State, US EPA, and the Mayors Office of Sustainability.
Colette is a member of the faculty at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education (PCTE) where in 2012 she completed the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) accredited and American Montessori Society (AMS) affiliated teacher education program for Early Childhood Education. This effort represented a culmination of 10 years of research and passion for education advocacy and, specifically, for the integration of art and architecture into classroom curriculums. At PCTE, she teaches art principles and practices to early childhood and elementary school teachers.
In 2012, Colette accepted the position of head writer at HLW International. She devoted the next three years to the 300-person architecture and engineering practice headquartered in NYC with offices in New Jersey, Shanghai, London, and Los Angeles. In addition to working closely with the directors of the various design studios, she served as a trusted partner to senior leaders in operations, finance, and business development as a source of public relations and communications counsel. A key aspect of her responsibilities involved collaborating with HLW’s digital acceleration team to ensure a highly integrated approach to writing.
In 2016, Colette founded Word Munky Communications, a company that embodies a renewed commitment to exploring where technical aspects of the built environment merge with how people live, work, and play. Word Munky is about meaningful storytelling, the kind that pushes a passive reader toward real engagement. We see writing as an integral part of conversion optimization. By focusing on the challenges faced by users of both commercial and creative spaces, we can help you start those conversations that will lead to worthwhile dialogue with your next client.
Colette Taber attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Fine Arts and English Literature from The School of Arts and Sciences. Prior to attending university, she graduated with honors from The Pinellas County Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is also a painter and has work in private collections throughout the United States and abroad. Her extensive travel throughout Western and Eastern Europe and North Africa has influenced both the subject matter of her writing and her paintings.