Successful organizations like AMA Charlotte are powered by deeply committed people working shoulder-to-shoulder, behind the scenes, to keep them alive. As the Chapter launches its new programming year, I had the pleasure of talking with Sara Beaty, the new President, about why she took on this huge responsibility.
Responsibility has been the theme for Sara this year. In the Spring, she started a new job; and now, she is taking on this new leadership post with AMA Charlotte. My basic question for Sara: What were you thinking?
Q: What’s your story as a member of AMA Charlotte?
Sara: This is my 4th year on the Board of the AMA Charlotte Chapter. I served as VP of Sponsorship for two years before rolling onto the Leadership track.
I moved to Charlotte from New York City in 2012, but continued to work remotely for my NYC-based company for several years. As anyone who’s ever worked remotely knows, the experience can feel pretty isolating. In Charlotte, I needed a sense of professional community I wasn’t getting by working from home. I had a friend on the AMA Charlotte board who encouraged me to get involved -- and I jumped right in.
Turns out, it was a fantastic boost to my career. By being active in the Chapter, I was no longer an outsider in the Charlotte marketing and sales scene. Plus, by volunteering, I’ve gotten to stretch my capabilities and see new professional possibilities I hadn’t considered before.
Q: What’s your vision for the Chapter during your term?
Sara: To continue to grow and strengthen the Charlotte Chapter as the go-to knowledge source for marketing and sales professionals in the Queen City. This is a crazy, ever-changing field, which is why we need each other’s help in order to stay relevant.
Our big-picture goal is to be 3 things for anyone working in sales and marketing:
- a coach to help you grow throughout your career
- a badge of credibility for marketing knowledge and principles
- a place to share, learn, and build relationships
A couple of people have asked why I took on the extra work and responsibility of being Chapter President. (Sleep and a personal life are overrated, right?)
It was kind of a no-brainer.
I really love this group of people. They’re passionate, dedicated, and fun to be around. I want to support them and create an environment where they can continue to grow, personally and professionally.
And that helps me grow.
I’ve always viewed being on the AMA Board as a chance to push myself out of my comfort zone and gain experience that will help me in my professional career. I took on my role in sponsorship to get the perspective of my sales counterparts.
The same goes for being President. It’s a way to expand my team management and leadership chops.
Q: What needs to happen in order to bring that vision to reality?
Sara: This year, as a Board, we need to:
- Get our volunteers involved to help them grow their skills and potential
- Provide the kind of high-quality programming that keeps members coming back for more
- Create informative and actionable content
- Help managers in the Charlotte community see the value of AMA for their teams
Like I said earlier, we want AMA to be marketers’ go-to source for development and professional camaraderie.
Q: If you had a magic wand for the Chapter, how would you use it?
Sara: I would add Jeff Bezos to our advisory board. There’s probably a thing or two we could learn from him.
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About the author: Deborah Klaus regularly drives from Winston-Salem to attend AMA Charlotte events, which are that good. You can learn more about her at debthecopywriter.com.