Baby Photos

MC Female Leadership’s Advice to Their Younger Self

As we make our way through this month highlighting women across the world and their lasting impact, contributions to society, and distinct value they bring to the table—remember that women’s history is one steeped in strength and fight yet there continues to remain space to claim towards true gender equality. The importance of leading by example is integral to show the next generation of women what is possible. Show that a women’s place is AT the table as countless others have already taken their seats, that the female voice and perspectives WILL be heard as strong women are already speaking up in society, and young girls are inspired to BE bold as they see the women before them already leading the charge.

Below we interviewed the six female department heads at Media Cause. Read as they share their unique journeys to leadership and even more powerful—the advice they would give to their younger selves. 

 

Amy Small

Amy Small

I am currently the Executive Vice President, Creative + Brand here at Media Cause.

I started my career in a much less glamorous role: writing radio ads for car dealerships. Gotta love a good CLEAR THE LOT! sale. I somehow managed to get through doing that for a year before joining Tribune Media as a copywriter in their marketing department, which functioned like a mini agency. That’s really where I started building my skills, my confidence, and learning how to navigate the industry. When I moved to Atlanta a few years later, it was at the very beginning of when some agencies were becoming solely “digital.”  I went down that path for more than a decade, climbing the ranks to Group Creative Director before deciding it was time to leave consumer advertising to do something that felt more meaningful. I found Media Cause through some strategic Googling, and actually pitched them on creating a role for me and allowing me to open an office in Atlanta. We talked for 6 months, and in February 2018, MCATL was born. 

Share a piece of advice you’d give your younger self

You are a human, not a brand. 

It’s so easy right now, especially when you’re in the early stages of your career, to try to define yourself by how you want others to see you. But people change. Your interests, your priorities, your focus–it all changes and evolves over time. And if you lock yourself into a defined “personal brand,” it’s much harder to follow your heart and explore new things when everyone is expecting you to be someone else. Stay open. Let your creativity, your compassion, your personality, your spirit be what defines you. No matter what work you end up doing, even if it changes 15 times over the course of your career, those are the parts of you that will always be true. 

Share a nonprofit close to your heart

I’m going to have to go with PAWS Atlanta. I am an animal lover–I have two cats and a dog, all rescues. I worked with them as a pro-bono client back in 2015, and forged a super-strong connection with their exec director. She’s moved on since then, but I still follow PAWS closely, MC Atlanta has volunteered there, and my kids have both created birthday fundraisers for them. 

Tiffany Rivers

Tiffany Rivers

I’m currently the Director of Social here at Media Cause.

I stepped into this current position by way of being the Director of Social at Boys & Girls Clubs of America by way of being a social strategist for various nonprofits and companies, by way of being a Community Manager and Communications Specialist at Georgia-Pacific. It all started with a Bachelors in psychology and sociology and then a Masters in Social Work! I’m a social worker now, but a different kind!

Share a piece of advice you’d give your younger self

I would tell my younger self not to lose confidence when it seems like it’s falling apart!

Share a nonprofit close to your heart

The Avery Institute of Afro-American History and Culture.

Kim Anderson 

Kim Anderson

I am currently the Senior Media Director here at Media Cause.

I wanted to work in advertising since I was a kid.  I was never one to fast forward through commercials – and still remember so many from back in the 80’s.  Not being creative myself I began my career in media buying and have worked at ad agencies ever since – finally switching from working with for-profit clients to joining Media Cause and getting to work with nonprofits.  

Share a piece of advice you’d give your younger self

If I was able to give advice to my younger self is to embrace being an introvert!  

Share a nonprofit close to your heart

A cause close to my heart is the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance .

Katey Parker

Katey Parker

I’m currently the SVP, Marketing Services here at Media Cause.

I always knew that I wanted to be in the cause marketing space, and after working on the nonprofit side early on in my career, I made the decision to join Media Cause in 2013 in order to continue my work with nonprofits, but also build my digital marketing skills, which I knew would allow me to make even more of an impact in my work.

I made a promise to myself early on that if I ever stopped learning and growing, I would move on; fast forward 8 years, and here I am, still building my skill sets and enjoying new challenges each and every day. 

Over the past year, I’ve transitioned away from the client-side in order to spend more of my time focusing on the growth and development of our services, helping to bring on more amazing nonprofits, developing processes and finding efficiencies to help scale our work and leading an incredible team of marketing specialists. 

It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and the amazing team that I get to be a part of every day.

Share a piece of advice you’d give your younger self

I’ve always believed in the saying “fake it until you make it” — in other words, even if you don’t think you’re qualified, act like you are! Unfortunately, women often have a hard time believing in themselves or thinking they have the knowledge or expertise to speak up and share their opinions, despite being more than qualified to do so. This can be one of the best ways to get more comfortable stepping into a leadership role and getting to a place where you stop second-guessing yourself.

Share a nonprofit close to your heart

Big City Mountaineers is a national organization I’ve found that does an incredible job providing transformative experiences through nature for youth from underrepresented communities. Spending time in the outdoors has always been an important part of my life, and something that I think not only instills confidence but provides mental health support and helps younger generations to develop a greater appreciation and respect for the environment. 

Taylor Cote

Taylor Cote

I’m currently the Senior Director of Marketing here at Media Cause. 

In College, I always knew I wanted to use communications for good. I was fortunate enough to take a Nonprofit Marketing class while attending Emerson College, which gave me the courage to apply to Media Cause. I was hired as the second employee in our Boston office—and worked my way from an Intern to an Account Director. While I loved Media Cause, I knew in order to grow my career professionally I needed new perspectives.  I left Media Cause and joined a fitness app where I worked for 2 years leading up their marketing department. In 2020, I boomeranged back to Media Cause. I missed working with nonprofits and generating their impact and being part of a close-knit community like MC.

What is a piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Stop being a perfectionist. Not everything needs to be “perfect”—sometimes good enough is great. Getting to an end result that is “good” is better than exhausting yourself on “perfect.”

Share a nonprofit that is close to your heart.

The Mccourt Foundation focuses on Neurological Diseases to help patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s, MS, ALS, and Parkinson’s diseases. My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s many years ago—and fortunately, her treatment has delayed the progress of this terrible disease. 

Jillian Ingram

Jillian Ingram

I’m currently the Senior Director of Operations here at Media Cause.

After working abroad in International Development and getting a Masters in Management I found myself in the tech start-up scene in SF working for mission-driven start-ups. From a tactical standpoint I love being able to work at growing orgs and helping build sustainable organizational structures, and from a heart perspective I wanted to work at a place which champions causes I care about in their work- Media Cause is the perfect combination of both of those for me.

Share a piece of advice you’d give your younger self 

Be comfortable in what you don’t know and stop second-guessing yourself. If you don’t know how to do something, reach out to your personal network (and be comfortable building one!)- people are so willing to help you learn and I’ve gained so much from just talking through even the smallest of situations with my network. 

Share a nonprofit close to your heart

 Any org supporting women’s health research!