It is such a personal blessing to me to have you on my core leadership team at B&H. Your leadership in marketing and publishing is making a significant difference in the growth of our ministry impact in the market. I look forward to all that God will do through you in the coming years.
At the age of fifteen I knew I was being called to be a part of God’s work. Of course I didn’t know specifically what He had in store at the time! I received my MBA from the Owen School of Business at Vanderbilt University certain that I was being called to nonprofit work and to further His kingdom. LifeWay was, for me, the perfect place to apply my business skills, my passion for reaching customers, and a love for telling the world about the amazing grace of Jesus Christ!
Tell us about the jobs you have had since you joined LifeWay?
I have been fortunate to work in all three major divisions in my almost ten years at LifeWay. I began my career at LifeWay in our Church Resources Division, communicating with and refining messaging and product development for churches. I then worked with Lifeway Christian Stores, leading the national marketing team. This was a time when social media was just beginning to take shape, the economy was on the decline, and online retailers were beginning to develop deeper relationships with customers. I loved being that close to the customer—seeing how they responded to promotions and which products impacted their lives and families on a daily basis was immensely gratifying. I did not think I would ever love a job as much—until I joined the amazing team at B&H Publishing Group. Being part of the publishing industry is like being part of a close family. We love content, the smell of books and, most importantly, the way that the words on a page can forever impact a reader. Leading the marketing team at B&H is one of the greatest privileges I have had. The work is hard—the market changes daily and consumers have access to more content than ever. But the rewards of working with amazingly talented people and knowing that we have the privilege to impact real people with the content we publish is more rewarding than I deserve.
What do you like about B&H and marketing in trade publishing?
The amazing team is by far my favorite part! The fact that every day is different keeps me coming back day after day. The publishing industry is changing, the way we reach consumers is constantly changing and the way people interact with content is changing—the way we did a campaign six months ago can’t be the way we build a campaign today.
What changes are you seeing in the industry that impacts marketing?
Consumers have the ability to consume content anywhere from any number of places. When someone asks whom our greatest competitor is, I don’t think about other publishers first. Blogs, websites, Facebook, and Pinterest are all available at the click of a mouse. Then, of course, there are magazines and multitude of books available. Overwhelmingly busy schedules also make people much more discerning about how they spend their time. Asking a person to commit several hours to a book is asking a lot today. We, as a publisher, keep all of these things in mind as we acquire, design, package, and market each book.
As a working mom, how do you balance it all?
I am blessed with an amazing support system. My husband and parents are incredibly supportive of my career. They encourage me to attend conferences that will help me grow; they take care of my daughter when I have to work late; and they never make me feel guilty when I am tired and feel like I don’t have any more to give.
When do you find time to read?
I have a two-year-old daughter so much of my reading these days is children’s books. With her, I am re-reading classics like Charlotte’s Web and Dr. Seuss (all of them are amazing!) as well as discovering newer authors like Mo Willems. Reading for myself does tend to take a backseat. My daily Bible reading is nonnegotiable and that is the last thing I do before I go to sleep at night. Other reading happens in spurts, during those pockets of time when I can get reading in—on a plane, eating lunch, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or during a pedicure. Sometimes I get in a few pages, sometimes several chapters.
What is the one thing you would tell someone that wanted to make a career in publishing?
You have to be flexible. No day is like another, no campaign is like another, no author is like another. Just when you think you have something figured out, something changes—technology, reading habits, advertising options, blog readership, retailer health, etc. So if you are ready for an ever-changing, fun career, buckle in and get ready for an amazing ride!