Where did you go to college and what did you major in?

Coastal Alabama Community College and University of South Alabama

Why did you select these schools?

As I analyzed over my top choices, feeling unsure of what I should do, a vivid memory stands out: the moment I committed to attending Coastal Alabama Community College. It was during high school when I stumbled upon a commercial from them one afternoon, and it resonated with me so deeply that I immediately made my decision. Witnessing the profound impact of digital efforts during my own college selection process, I now find myself in a full-circle moment, assisting institutions in achieving the same level of influence on others.

Upon finishing my time a CACC, I attended the University of South Alabama and am a proud alum. Go jags!

What is the favorite part of your job and the impact you make?

My absolute favorite part of working at Advance Education is the thrill of connecting schools and students in innovative ways. It’s like being a matchmaker for academics!

Every day, I get to dive into the stories of institutions and help them showcase what makes them unique to students in search of a place to start their higher education journey. Whether it’s guiding students towards a prestigious university or a specialized program that ignites their passion, knowing that I’ve played a part in shaping someone’s future is incredibly fulfilling.

But what really gets me excited is the impact our work has on the institutions we partner with. By helping them reach out to the next generation of bright minds and boosting their enrollment numbers, we’re not just helping students find their place—we’re also helping colleges grow, thrive, and advocate for education.

In essence, my job isn’t just a job—it’s a chance to make a real difference, one student and one institution at a time.

Which of the challenges higher education faces do you hear most during conversations w/ clients?

Whenever we begin digging into the real-world challenges that our higher education institutions face, one common concern that emerges is the struggle to keep pace with the ever-changing digital world. Our clients often struggle to stay on top of shifting trends and algorithms while juggling other important tasks like meeting stakeholder needs, conducting research, and supporting students.

What used to work for them online doesn’t always do the trick anymore, leading to a frustrating cycle of trial and error in their digital efforts. This not only eats into their time and budget but also leaves them feeling challenged to stay ahead of the curve and compete effectively.

Many leaders in higher education recognize that overcoming this obstacle effectively can significantly impact a school’s reputation and enrollment numbers.

Why are clients going to love working with you?

Clients will love working with me because I prioritize open communication and personal relationships. I don’t just see myself as a service provider; I become a part of their team, deeply invested in their success. I enjoy listening to their needs, concerns, and aspirations while getting creative to address them.

I’m their biggest cheerleader and advocate, dedicated to championing their goals and providing unwavering support every step of the way. Together, we’re not just partners; we’re a united force, working towards shared victories and celebrating each milestone together.

Share one of your favorite ad campaigns

An ad that recently earned a spot on my list of “innovative and impactful marketing campaigns” is Airbnb’s video titled, “Bedtime.” Through compelling storytelling, it captures the universal experience of bedtime routines while traveling, evoking emotional warmth and nostalgia. However, it cleverly highlights a common problem within these routines: they often fail to cater to everyone in the family, causing the comforting familiarity to vanish. 

This is where Airbnb steps in, presenting a solution that both kids and parents can enjoy, offering the luxury of space and layout that a typical hotel room cannot provide. The ad effectively presents a simple yet obvious choice to a situation that many of us have encountered or will encounter. With its captivating aesthetics and skillful presentation of the brand’s value, the commercial held my attention throughout. 

In fact, I was so impressed that I verbally expressed to my friend, who was also watching, that this was brilliant marketing. The ad’s visual appeal, excellent storytelling, and ability to address a common problem for its audience truly set it apart.

Favorite Podcast

While at opposite ends of the spectrum, my favorite podcasts are “For the Girl” and “Impact of Influence.” I adore the encouragement I receive from the hosts of “For the Girl”; they brighten my day and offer valuable advice on navigating life’s challenges. “Impact of Influence” earns its spot on my list because the hosts skillfully deliver testimonies and stories, raising awareness and advocating for justice in the criminal cases they cover. They never fail to capture my attention.

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Where did you go to college and what did you major in?

Samford University. My major was Mass Communications/Journalism.

Growing up in Birmingham, I always envisioned moving away from home to attend college, but a fantastic recruiter from Samford University ultimately impacted that decision. He told me all the benefits of choosing Samford over some other colleges I was considering, plus he had a personal connection with my family from church.

How has your degree helped you in your professional life?

My time at Samford opened so many doors for me. A journalism professor strongly suggested I work for the college newspaper when I was a sophomore. That one push gave me confidence to try something new. Then, after working on the paper as a reporter, layout editor and selling ads for two years, I was awarded the role of Editor in Chief my senior year. That position taught me leadership skills. I learned working right beside someone in the trenches was the best way to build trust with a team. We had deadlines to meet, so we burned the midnight oil and ate a lot of Domino’s pizza (full page back cover every paper).

Also, while at Samford, I had internships at Southern Living-travel department, Southern Progress-public relations (I could walk to the building from my dorm) and WBRC-TV in the news department.
From each of those internships, I was able to decide what excited me about the media business and what I did not want to do for a career. I realized reporting was not for me. I did not have the stomach for hard news and a monthly magazine did not have a fast enough pace.

What is the favorite part of your job and the impact you make?

I’ve been selling for 25 years. I started as a sales rep for a television representative firm – Katz Communications, representing television stations all over the country. I sold airtime for multiple stations and ownership groups to media buyers at advertising agencies located in Atlanta. I lived in Los Angeles for a little over 3 years and did the same thing for a competing company, selling to buyers in the LA area for movie accounts and other regional accounts. For the past 12 years, I was a sales manager for WBRC- TV, the local FOX affiliate in Birmingham.

My favorite part of working for AMG Higher Ed is making our clients look like superstars. We have a team of super talented people and our clients get to reap the rewards in enrollment.

Many of my clients tell me they are concerned with graduating seniors choosing not to attend college at all. We need to show them why they should continue their education, so they will have more opportunities on down the road. NPR published an article that said there are 1 million fewer students in college than before the pandemic started. The article said most students are concerned about paying for school and not going into debt. Schools need to speak to these potential students and show them all the ways they can help now and in the future with better job opportunities.

Why are clients going to love working with you?

I’ve been on both sides of desk, as a media buyer and client first before moving to the sales side. I understand what the client is up against and what a responsibility it is to make the best buying decisions with the budget allocated. I’ll always have their best interests at heart.

Share one of your favorite ad campaigns

I like commercials that tug at the heart strings. There’s an old Coca Cola commercial with a little boy offering his glass bottle of Coke to Mean Joe Greene. It’s always stuck with me because the giant size of the football star vs. the boy. It looks like it’s the end of a tough game or loss. Mean Joe is limping and appears to be in pain, but then the kid offers him the Coke. Coke’s tag line was “Have a Coke and a smile”. He drank it and then tossed his football jersey to the kid.

Who wouldn’t love that?

Favorite hobbies outside of work?

I love going to see live music in a variety of venue sizes around Birmingham. Traveling to experience a show at Red Rocks in Colorado is on my bucket list. I took my 14-year-old son to a SZA concert at Madison Square Garden in March for his birthday.

Favorite Movie?

The Breakfast Club. Who couldn’t identify with at least one of those characters? The Brat Pack were the coolest group of young actors at the time and there were so many quotable lines from that movie!