2021 40 Under 40: Jesse Vernon, CPTC, 38

Communications Manager, Arup; BA, Philosophy and Women’s Studies, Vanderbilt University

By Gary Cohen, Chris Vavra and Amara Rozgus May 17, 2021

Vernon is a bold and energetic intersectional leader who is passionate about the power of communications to connect people, inspire action and shape our built environment. As a leader in Arup’s equity, diversity and inclusion program, Vernon channels her passion for social justice and EDI into values-driven action that creates positive change within the firm and the industry more broadly. As the leader of Arup’s LGBTIQ employee resource group, Vernon partnered with the firm to develop guidelines for gender transition in the workplace. Vernon also has organized programming on topics including being out as LGBTIQ in the workplace, immigrant experiences, workplace gender norms and designed workshops about bringing your whole self to work. In her role as a technical editor, she leads Arup’s regional technical communications function, partnering with the firm’s technical staff to improve the quality and clarity of narrative deliverables and public-facing reports. As a Certified Professional Technical Communicator, she balances grammatical precision with context-informed editing, designing and honing documents for their end use with a focus on clients and user experience. Vernon’s work emphasizes structure, clarity and consistency. She has developed project writing guidelines and led editorial teams on large projects under tight schedules, working with project managers to prioritize timely delivery of polished reports. She has provided technical editing and writing for more than 150 projects during her nine years at Arup. Her editing and proofing skills go beyond the world of nonfiction — on the side, she provides copy editing services for fiction. In her free time, Vernon practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu and enjoys exploring Colorado’s Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.