AMA Philadelphia is rich with people from many backgrounds and journeys that are truly awe-inspiring. This couldn’t be more true for February’s AMA Volunteer Spotlight, Sherry Lee, Social Media Manager!
Sherry grew up and attended school in The Peach State (some call it Georgia) earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s in English Literature, but then traveled across the pond working for trusted media outlets and global brands like The Wall Street Journal and PwC. Having then ventured to Brazil working at an orphanage, Sherry has explored parts of the world that many only dream of doing. Now back in the Philly area, Sherry offers her additional time managing AMA Philadelphia’s social channels—and she’s quite the expert!
Sherry exemplifies everything a volunteer should be: positive, collaborative, encouraging, and hardworking. Congratulations Sherry! This is a well-deserved honor indeed.
Read on about Sherry’s background, successes, and interests outside of her craft!
AMA Philadelphia: What is your favorite book and why?
Sherry: I was a literature major, so I love many books. For instance, I think Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is the best novel ever written. But I have a special relationship with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. My fourth grade teacher started reading it to us, but my family moved during the school year. I didn’t remember the title so that I could read it on my own, and I never knew how the story ended. Then, I saw it in a glass case in the English Department of Georgia State University when I was studying for my Masters Degree. As it turns out, one of the professors there was a C.S. Lewis scholar, and I wound up writing my thesis on C.S. Lewis and mythology. The Chronicles of Narnia were the first books I bought my sons.
AMA: What is your favorite movie and why?
S: I like suspense movies and quirky movies, so I really liked “Parasite”–except for the bloody ending. But the movie I have to see once a year is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I suppose that’s because it’s a Christmas movie, and I love good Christmas movies. But I’m a romantic at heart, and it’s such a timeless theme. Everything we do in life really does make a difference.
AMA: What is your all time favorite food?
S: That’s an easy one. Mexican. I’m particularly fond of quesadillas.
AMA: What are some of your hobbies?
S: I love to sing and play the piano. I only play for my own enjoyment, but I sing in our church choir. When I lived in Rio de Janeiro, I sang in a Beatles choir with a bunch of Brazilians. That was great fun. I also love to travel. I’ve traveled extensively in Europe and South America.
AMA: What is your alma mater?
S: My undergrad degree is from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. I got my graduate degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta.
AMA: Do you have a professional role model? If so, who and why?
S: My role models aren’t celebrities and influencers. They are everyday people facing the same challenges I face. My professional role model would be Laurie Young. He was my boss when I worked for PwC in Hungary and London. He was the global marketing head for the Corporate Finance practice. He had an excellent background in marketing and really professionalized our marketing team. He insisted that the entire team be certified by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the UK equivalent to the American Marketing Association. He wanted to ensure that we were considered professionals and had a seat at the table in a company dominated by tax lawyers and accountants with a bunch of letters after their names. But most of all, Laurie was a mentor. You could go to him when you were in over your head or just needed some advice on office politics. He stood up for me when I faced a major political battle in the workplace and was responsible for my promotion to Global Communications Manager for Corporate Finance at PwC. Laurie passed away a few years ago from an unexpected heart attack. I’m not generally a crier, but I cried like a baby when I heard the news.
AMA: What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
S: My proudest professional moment is not what you might expect. I worked abroad for 25 years, first as a journalist for “The Wall Street Journal” and then as a marketing communications professional. But my proudest accomplishment was helping direct an AIDs orphanage in Fortaleza, Brazil. I served as Vice President of the Board, assistant director, finance director, marketing guru and even stand-in house mom when necessary. I was most proud of introducing a volunteer to the orphanage who ended up adopting twin girls from the home.
AMA: As the AMA’s Social Media Manager, what social campaigns have you seen that are most effective?
S: My job as Social Media Manager is to post thought leadership articles, primarily on LinkedIn and Twitter. I thought the more educational posts would be most interesting to AMA Philly members. I’m always looking for articles to educate myself on the latest trends in marketing and expect that’s what our members are interested in as well. Those posts do seem to be appreciated, but funnily enough it seems our followers are most interested in quirky ads and faux pas made in the marketing industry. I guess we all need a good laugh sometimes. So I try to post something a little lighter on Friday’s Facebook post. I keep LinkedIn posts a little more professional.
AMA: What does this AMA recognition mean to you?
S: This AMA recognition is very important to me. I respect the organization and am honored to be recognized by it. I lived in Europe for many years, and when I switched from journalism to marketing I relied on the UK’s marketing association (The Chartered Institute of Marketing) to round out my education. I saw that certification with such an institution gave me more credibility in the workplace. So when I returned to the States, I sought out the American Marketing Association (AMA).
AMA: What interested you to join the AMA Philadelphia Chapter?
S: I actually live in Wilmington, Delaware, so the Philly chapter of the AMA is the closest to me. I really wanted to expand my professional network beyond Wilmington, and AMA Philly helped me to do that. The chapter was especially important as a resource when I was first looking for a new position in the Philly area. Ironically, I found a job in my home state of Georgia and am working remotely. But AMA is helpful now to keep ties with the local marketing community.
AMA: Tell us your favorite story with your involvement in AMA.
S: I don’t really have a favorite story related to my involvement with AMA, but I would say that working with Chelsea Bronstein and Christine Telling has been the highlight of my time at AMA Philadelphia. It’s great to work with volunteers who take their role seriously. Despite their busy schedules, both have been there to help me out and to hash out new ideas. Chelsea was especially helpful during the Super Bowl Smackdown when I stepped in to promote the event on social media for Christine, who decided to plan a wedding during our busy time (congratulations, Christine!). I had trouble accessing Hootsuite, and Chelsea worked with me for an evening and a morning to sort it out. That was a nightmare, but Chelsea never lost her patience and found a solution.
AMA: Why would you recommend someone to join their local AMA chapter?
S: I joined AMA to network here when I moved from Georgia to Delaware. It was critical for me to meet marketing professionals who could orient me to the local market. Meeting marketing professionals at AMA helped me sort out which industries to target in the area. Joining the local chapter also gives me access to seasoned marketing professionals as well as young people just getting started in marketing. Both have proven beneficial to me. I can connect with people who have had similar experiences to mine, and I can learn from younger professionals who tend to be more digitally savvy. We all have something to learn from each other.
Thanks Sherry! Great meeting you and congratulations on being this month’s AMA Volunteer Spotlight!