What advice would you give your younger self?
I’m thankful to have had a great boss at my first job. She was an advocate for herself and her people—paving her own career path and helping me build confidence in mine. I realize not everyone is that fortunate, so I would say surround yourself with great mentors and coaches. That’s critical for development, and it’s advice I give to many of my mentees today.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Leaving the agency world. I was very comfortable and confident and had envisioned becoming the CEO of the agency. After 20 years in that business, a friend tried to recruit me to McDonald’s. While I didn’t take that role, I’m loving where I am in the U.S. business and the opportunities it has provided me to grow and develop.
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing and why?
I love my work. But if I wasn’t doing this, I would do a 180 and become a stay-at-home mom: maybe a room mom or PTO president, and really take Girl Scouts leadership to next level. I have two daughters (Addison, 11, and Campbell, 8) who bring me so much joy, and I would love to be able to spend more time with them.
What should the industry do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
All parts of the industry (brands, agencies, marketplace) must start by naming the issue and putting resources against it. It starts with recruiting, being in the right places, reexamining our mandates, and making sure we’re leaning into diversity of thought and experiences. I think about this as priming the pump. But it’s not just about bringing in new talent—we also have to retain great people. That requires an understanding of the challenges facing mid-level roles, so we can remove barriers to ensure we have a strong bench for senior and leadership roles.