AMA Tampa Bay’s Member Spotlight:
Kristin Whitaker, Chief Advancement Officer at Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
A monthly feature for our members to learn from the insight and experiences of other members
Kristin, what is your professional background and current position?
KW: Since graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Mass Communications – Public Relations, I have gained more than 10 years experience in non-profit marketing and communications and worked in the non-profit sector since. My role currently as Chief Advancement Officer is to ensure the Girl Scout mission is advanced through sound revenue management of sales channels, fundraising, brand management and member communications/marketing support – ensuring all revenue goals are met or exceeded. I advocate for girls’ issues through my role and ensure girls have the opportunity to benefit from Girl Scouts, are enabled with leadership skills and become confident young women who are empowered in their everyday lives.
What has been your most memorable career moment?
KW: We celebrated the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting in 2012 by throwing a huge party in Coachman Park (Clearwater) in October 2012 with multiple acts/performers, STEM activities and so much more. “Bridging” is a tradition in Girl Scouting so we also orchestrated a bridging ceremony where 5,000 Girl Scouts walked across the Memorial Causeway bridge symbolizing our advancement into the next 100 years while a helicopter flew over and took aerial photos. I am proud of helping to orchestrate that life-long memory for thousands of girls and their families.
What do you think has been the most innovative change in the marketing world over the last 5 years?
KW: The adoption of the CRM system, alignment of sales and marketing teams, content marketing and how accessible a change like this is to companies of all sizes – it’s not just for the huge companies anymore. At Girl Scouts for example, we are very business savvy about the way we recruit, retain and serve members. We use Salesforce as our CRM, have a lead generation, lead nurturing and pipeline strategy and management system tied to dashboards and team accountabilities. It’s became an integral part of our business ecosystem. It’s been a game-changer in terms of the skill-development this way of work has afforded each team member as well as the real-time insight into key metrics that are impacting growth.
How long have you been an AMA Tampa Bay member? And, what do you value most about the chapter?
KW: I’ve been an AMA Tampa Bay member for several years and now serve on the board as the Chair/VP of Marketer of the Year (our chapter’s first-ever annual event showcasing the top marketers, brands, companies, etc. in our area). I value the people the most within the chapter. There is excellent programming on a monthly basis where an attendee gets so much value for their investment of time and money, a wealth of resources on the chapter website, and the people/networking and relationships are what really make a difference. There are so many opportunities to get involved and each one is so enriching. You really get out of the chapter what you put in!
What resources do you use to stay current on marketing best practices? (e.g. blogs, newsletters, websites, conferences, books, podcasts, etc.)
KW: I try to read as much as possible and network with peers – and attend AMA luncheons, of course! HubSpot is a great place to get industry news and best practices and I’ll attend conferences or work shops throughout the year that are tailored to my everyday role.
What do you like best about living in Tampa Bay?
KW: The water and weather! I’m a native Floridian and as such love the beaches, water and weather (ask me again when it’s August though and my answer might be different on the weather). It’s a great place to live, work and play – with so many sports teams to cheer on (Go Bolts! Go Bucs!), quick access to the beaches and opportunities.
What has inspired you lately?
KW: Leadership St. Pete, I’m currently wrapping up my participation as a class member of 2016 and each week I’m exposed to people, topics and aspects of our community that I never knew about. It’s very inspiring to know how much of an impact one or a group of individuals actually has on our everyday lives.
This monthly feature is presented by Alison Clinton.
Alison is volunteering her time with AMA Tampa Bay on the communications team as the Director of Content. She is also Director of Marketing at Bright House Networks in St. Petersburg. LinkedIn
If you would like to be considered for an upcoming Member Spotlight, please email [email protected].