David Vogin

Business

My Toughest Challenge: Hope Shimabuku

The director of Texas' regional patent office on how her team responded to the July 2016 shootings in downtown Dallas.

Leading Her Team Through the Dallas Police Shooting

“We were watching the news, and my husband said, ‘Hey, there’s been a shooting in downtown Dallas.’ I started to watch the TV and said, ‘That’s really close to my office. I should be doing something.’ In the beginning, there was shock and disbelief at the events happening. Then it turned into protectionism and making sure everyone was safe. The first thing in my mind was the safety of the personnel. We reached out to employees about emergency procedures and safety protocols. In situations like these, we’re trained to be professional. In a tragedy, it’s hard to not get personal and emotional. People were scared, and I was not going to lie to them. We were upfront on that, and it drove the discussion. [The shooting] affected the way I communicate with my team, and the rest of the organization here within USPTO. We are more cognizant of security issues and what needs to happen, so we communicate a lot more.”

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