AMA Tampa Bay’s Member Spotlight:
Wes Strickland, Vice President of Marketing at Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
A monthly feature for our members to learn from the insight and experiences of other members
Wes, what is your professional background and current position?
WS: I’ve been in marketing for 26 years and enjoyed every role I’ve ever had. For the past 14 years (since 2001) I’ve been in bank/credit union marketing overseeing marketing for a regional bank in Indiana, First National Bank of Illinois, and currently for Grow Financial as the SVP of Marketing. Prior to entering the financial industry, my marketing career was with a couple of technology companies where I learned a great deal about how software and tech firms work.
In my current role at Grow Financial, I get to oversee an amazing group of marketing professionals – each with unique skills and talents. So from a talent management capacity, my goal is to help each member of my team continue to learn and grow, while at the same time meet our organizational goals.
I’m also a member of our Senior Management Team, which provides me the great privilege of working with a diverse team of seasoned professionals working toward the common goal of making us the best credit union possible for our members. Plus, it’s an exceptionally fun team that truly enjoys working together.
What has been your most memorable career moment?
WS: Hmmm, hard to say. I would probably need to go with something from the “lesson learned” category. Early in my career, I was overseeing a direct mail project and in the process of preparing the mailing list the whole list got completely “hosed up” and was unusable. At the time, I thought it was a catastrophic mistake and that I was fired for sure. Fortunately, calmer heads prevailed and a solution was found so the mailing could get done. During the heat of the episode, one of my bosses shared with me one of his “catastrophic” mistakes in his career and how things just have a way of working out. Lesson learned – we all make mistakes, and plenty of them. Mistakes are great opportunities to learn and improve ourselves.
What do you think has been the most innovative change in the marketing world over the last 5 years?
WS: That’s easy – mobile devices. Mobile phones and tablets have truly revolutionized how we can approach marketing to prospects and customers. The advent of responsive design, re-targeting, and geo-fencing were not even on the roadmap 5 years ago. Today, marketing on mobile is at the forefront of the plans for nearly everyone. And, we’re just getting started. I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years brings.
How long have you been an AMA Tampa Bay member? And, what do you value most about the chapter?
WS: Just a few years. I really like how the chapter provides so many resources in different formats, so that I can choose what I’m interested in reading/listening to/attending based on my schedule or needs at the moment.
What resources do you use to stay current on marketing best practices? (e.g. blogs, newsletters, websites, conferences, books, podcasts, etc.)
WS: Everything I can. Social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter have been great, and I’m constantly inundated with emails for webinars and industry newsletters. Unfortunately, as much as I want to know and absorb, I’m definitely that guy you have to capture in the first 5-10 seconds of your message or I’m on to the next item.
What do you like best about living in Tampa Bay?
WS: It’s in Florida! My wife and I met in school in Florida and we were definitely ready to say goodbye to the Chicago winters after nearly 20 years. We have absolutely loved being in the growing city of Tampa and have tried to enjoy everything the city and area has to offer.
What has inspired you lately?
WS: The opportunity to transform our organization to become member-centric driven. That’s not to say that we don’t already try to do all we can for our members, it’s just doing more to capture member feedback and responses to truly drive what we do, how we serve, and what we create. It’s a great opportunity that we’re working on right now. It’s very exciting.
This monthly feature is presented by Alison Clinton
Alison joined the AMA Tampa Bay volunteer team this year as Digital Content Curator and Blog Writer. She is also Director of Marketing at Bright House Networks in St. Petersburg. LinkedIn