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Downing's communications career began in the private sector working in the financial industry before transitioning to education in 2009. Every position she's held has required the successful development and implementation of communication, marketing and organizational strategic plans based solidly on research. She earned Accreditation in Public Relations in 2018. She is also an accomplished writer, and since her retirement from the Ladue School District in 2020, she has assisted various organizations in strategic planning, project planning and writing.
Downing continues to be active in the management and leadership of her own state chapter of NSPRA, the Missouri School Public Relations Association (MOSPRA).