Leadership is all around us when we are open to learning. In the summer of 1991, I started working for Vector Marketing. Who would have thought answering that ad in the newspaper would lead to my careers. I never thought that I would working here 24 years later. When I started as a sales representative for Cutco, I was not the superstar. I did develop into a pretty good sales rep and that is because we have a great program in place that teaches reps how to improve. During my career with Vector, I have learned from many different leaders.
Since 2001, I have worked in our Campus Recruiting Department. My current role is to lead the Campus Recruiting Department with recruiting on campus along with our local office managers. About 10 years ago I met Sam Ratcliffe. He is the career center director at Virginia Military Academy. I met Sam at an Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE) conference. Have you ever met someone and just know you have lots to learn from them. Sam is one of the people when you speak with, you are the only person in the room. That is an amazing skill to have and one that I find myself working to improve. For the past year, Sam has been the President of National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Sam is one of the best leaders I have seen in action. He has learned how to use his skills and lead. “Everyone loves Sam” and that is one of the things that I took away from the NACE conference this year. So, I decided to ask some of his colleagues what they love about Sam:
“He is broad thinking, strategic, listens and guides collaboratively, and is oh so humble.” -Donna Cassell Ratcliffe
“His eloquence no matter what the situation- he can make ordering lunch sound better than anyone. Second is his incredibly kind and generous heart. He always asks how you are.” -Marie Artim
“His mentorship and support of women and individuals of color has been tremendous. he has been a sponsor, mentor and friend launching careers for a number of professionals in the industry. I can name a good long list.” -Adrienne Alberts
“When Sam really starts laughing, the whole room laughs with him. The man knows how to give a bear hug! Sam’s leadership style never screams “look at me”…but his observations always get our full attention.” -David Ong
“He is one of the most genuine persons I know. He remembers people, who they are, what they care about and he genuinely acknowledges his friends and colleagues along the way. He is a visionary, while always remembers how the past informs our future.” -Norma Guerra Gaier
I have been blessed over the past 24 years with Vector to learn from all different types of leaders both in Vector and the professional organizations I am a member! I am a constant student of learning from others.
What would one of my blogs be without photos. Here are some that I took while at EACE conference in Pittsburgh.
All photos are the property of Travel with Laughter. Can’t be used without the written consent of Helen Brown.
I met Sam at my first MAPA (EACE) Conference and we became instant friends. That was many years ago. Since that time Sam has been a mentor, a leader, and a confidante. But Sam is more than all of those admirable traits. Sam is family.
Tom- Thank you for your kind sentiments! Have a great week. -Helen