About Crystal Paradis

by Crystal Paradis

A vocal community leader and strategic communications professional.

I put my communications and coalition-building skills to use for individuals and organizations that are committed to building better, more inclusive communities.


My main work is as Director of Strategic Communications & Community Engagement at New Hampshire Women’s Foundation. There, I lead our messaging and engagement efforts, building Voice, Money and Power for women, girls and marginalized genders in New Hampshire. 

Some of my past work has included promoting intersectional feminism with Feminist Oasis, organizing TEDxPortsmouth, writing about feminist issues.

Marketing & Communications Professional

cp-presenting-abcI honed my tech chops, organization skills, ability to craft effective messaging and knack for running successful campaigns during my years as an administrative assistant, social media manager, copywriter and then communications director in the graphic design and digital marketing agency world. I developed and shared my expertise in copywriting, data-driven digital marketing, website optimization, content strategy, social media strategy and traditional media outreach alongside industry and community leaders.

I organized a variety of networking groups and spoke regularly at events, on topics including effectively using Evernote to organize your life and efficiently using social media as a small business. I also worked hand in hand with fellow Directors and co-founders to manage proposal writing, RFP response process and new business management.

I also created and authored the weekly #PortsmouthLOVE Letter, a popular weekly newsletter which was sent out most weeks from 2014 through mid-2018. I still update the #PortsmouthLOVE Instagram account and occasionally publish web articles on PortsmouthLOVE.com.

You can see more of my professional marketing and digital media experience on my LinkedIn profile.

Advocate & Activist

crystal-c-spanThroughout my career in marketing and communications, I volunteered for a variety of community organizations, boards, projects and initiatives, both in communications and marketing advisory roles and as an outspoken advocate.

I have spoken out and taken action on a number of progressive and social justice issues, including organizing community conversations about the heroin epidemic, advocating for reproductive justice, writing about gun violence and taking ownership for how I spend my time and energies through values-centric work.

In 2015, I was named one to watch in the #10toWatch Awards by Catapult Seacoast and SeacoastOnline.


Community organizer in Exeter, NH for NH Democratic Party, 2016 election cycle; Photo by @collingately for NHDP

In the summer and fall of the 2016 election, I devoted 100% of my time as a field organizer in Exeter for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, working tirelessly to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. In that role, I consistently led the state with the highest number of active volunteers. Amid a national election that was a startling GOP sweep across many of the other swing states, we ultimately won New Hampshire for Hillary Clinton, sent Maggie Hassan to the Senate, re-elected Carol Shea Porter and Annie Kuster to the House and gained seats for Democrats in the New Hampshire state house.

In 2019, I was named New Hampshire’s Progressive of the Year by the New Hampshire Young Democrats. I continue to be an active activist on political, sustainable community and feminist issues.

Strategic Consultant & Business Owner

In 2017, I started freelancing and consulting full-time, focusing on how I could invest my time and energy to positively benefit my community with my unique skills and strong voice. I started incubating the idea of creating community experiences and spaces for womxn. I moved to Somersworth and heard peepers outside my kitchen window for the first time. I organized the third annual Portsmouth PRIDE for Seacoast Outright, which drew an estimated crowd of over 3,000 LGBTQ+ community members and allies. I took my first Feminist Business School course.

In 2018, I founded Feminist Oasis, a business with a mission to promote intersectional feminism through experiences and spaces. Our launch event was Feminist Theory + Lemonade, a sold-out screening of Beyoncé’s Lemonade, followed by a discussion with feminist scholars on the intersectional feminist theory implications of the film. During the discussion at this event, I heard an attendee express her experience of the evening, articulating the exact vision I’d been carrying for over a year. That realized dream continues to energize and inspire me.

Visionary Community Leader

In 2019, I ran for office, winning an At-Large seat on the Somersworth City Council. Although I was a first-time candidate, I won the highest amount of votes, something I attribute to the strong community engagement we employed throughout our campaign. We reached out to members of the community who’d never been asked for their vote, we shared our vision for a more accessible local government and offered an inspiring and attainable plan of action to improve everyday life in our City. 

I took office in January 2020, and in just over two months, I was no longer the only new person on the Council — when COVID-19 hit, we were all new at leading a community. I asked the Mayor to create an Election Review Planning Commission to ensure that our 2020 elections were accessible and safe (he agreed, and appointed me as Chair); we changed the location of two polling locations to larger venues, installed a City drop box and put best practices into place that would allow for CDC guidelines to be followed. I served on 7 City committees, including Secretary/Treasurer of the Lamprey Waste Regional Cooperative — a coalition of 13 towns and cities. 

As Councilor, second-in-line to Mayor, I was thrilled to see key priorities of my campaign become realities. supported opening world’s first Little Indonesia, and I (along with my dog, Daisy) cut the ribbon on city’s first dog park. When City leaders proposed a sweep of unhoused folks in the City, I joined calls from the community to establish full-time warming center ops, which eventually passed. And when a COPS grant was proposed to commit additional funding to our police department amid a national call for police reform, I secured a commitment from our Chief that the new officer would be assigned to implement the ACERT (Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team) program to protect our community’s most vulnerable youth.

Forecasting the urgency of an upcoming 10-year Master Plan and identifying a lack of leadership and conflict of interest in our longtime mayor seeking re-election, I decided to run for Mayor in 2021, on a platform of Accessibility, Transparency and Vision. Somersworth was being outpaced by surrounding communities, and smart growth opportunities were going unclaimed by a too-short-sighted old boys’ network. I came in second in a close three-way race, and am proud of the surge in community response and conversation we raised.

You can’t be what you can’t see — I continue to believe in the more optimistic vision of what our City can be, and as a private citizen and homeowner, I’ve proudly remained engaged, and continue putting forth that vision.

Director of Strategic Communications & Community Engagement — NH Women’s Foundation

During several years of strategic consulting work, I joined the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, as the Women Run! & Community Engagement Manager. In 2021, I joined the Foundation full-time role as Director of Strategic Communications and Community Engagement. It’s exciting to be back at the organization, after once faxing merger papers to form one of its predecessor organizations, while working an admin job at an agency nearly 15 years ago. Full circle!

I’m thrilled that this new role gives me an opportunity to continue the advocacy work I’ve always done, even when my “day job”s have been unrelated. More folks find us every week, and our events, trainings, publications and grantmaking cycles grow each year. We’ve expanded our philanthropic tools to include two new field of interest funds that I’m passionate about: the Women and Girls of Color Fund and the Reproductive and Sexual Health Access Fund (launched in the wake of the leaked Dobbs decision). I love my team and my work, and am always on the lookout for ways to engage new coalitions and communities. If you have ideas, please reach out!


Photo Credits (from top, down): Will Zimmermann, @WalterElly, screenshot from C-SPAN, New Hampshire Democratic Party.


Photo and Bio for speaking engagements (updated July 2022):

Bio — Crystal Paradis

Crystal Paradis is Director of Strategic Communications & Community Engagement for the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, where she leads the Foundation’s messaging and efforts to build Voice, Money and Power for women, girls and marginalized genders in New Hampshire. She is involved in the Foundation’s Women Run! program, recruiting and training women to run for local and state office in New Hampshire. Past work has included being an organizer with the 2016 Democratic coordinated campaign, organizing TEDx events, working at digital marketing agencies and founding an experimental social enterprise, Feminist Oasis.

Crystal served a two-year term (2020-2021) as City Councilor At-Large in the City of Somersworth, leading efforts around election safety and security as Chair of the Election Review Planning Commission, and in the fall of her first year, she helped cut the ribbon on Somersworth’s first dog park, a key priority of her campaign. As councilor, she was a member of Public Safety, Sustainability, Recreation and Economic Development Committees, and was Secretary/Treasurer of the Lamprey Regional Waste Cooperative.

She volunteers with a variety of local nonprofits and currently sits on the board of SOS Recovery Organization. In her spare time, she enjoys feminist birdwatching, and working on her 3-acre homestead (especially work that involves the tractor), where she lives with her partner and their three dogs.



Please credit photographer Will Zimmermann where possible:


Headshot of Crystal, folding her arms across her chest in a gray blazer. She has short blondish hair.