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Three Empowered Women of VT Marketing- Anne Love, Christina Daves, and Artemis Berry are Unstoppable

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are celebrating three incredible members of Virginia Tech’s Marketing Advisory Board who truly embody the meaning of “girl power.” 

Artemis Berry (pictured on the left) is an expert in marketing communications and is currently the VP of Member Relations and Strategic Partnerships at the National Retail Federation. 

Christina Daves (pictured in the middle) is a professional speaker, trainer, PR strategist, and author. She is also the president and CEO of both CastMedic Designs and PR for Anyone®. 

Anne Love (pictured on the right) specializes in B2B Sales and Marketing along with many other abilities, and she is currently working in NY as the Director of Marketing for American Express. 

Read on to be enlightened and inspired by the stories and advice that Artemis, Christina, and Anne have to offer.

Artemis Berry

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the marketing field and how have you overcome them?

I have been very lucky in my career. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked really hard, but I’ve been lucky to have some great bosses, mentors, colleagues and roles.

But there are always challenges or bumps on the road, right?

Early on I ran into people that had a hard time with my age. I was a manager early in my career, so there was ageism to work around. It’s hard sometimes to be the youngest person in a meeting. But you can’t let any slights get to you. And you have to work harder sometimes and show respect to those with more experience than you. Before you know it the people that may have judged you for being the youngest may be your biggest advocate.

The first few years of my life I also tended to focus more on the work than on relationships. I’d work through lunch hour, happy hours, heads down at my desk. But my career took off when I combined my work ethic with good relationships and strong communication skills. It means everything and those relationships create better products and stronger teams.

Who is a woman in your life that inspired or helped you in your marketing career journey

My mom: She taught me everything I know about working hard. My aunts, grandmother, dad, brother, husband, and cousins have also been a huge part of my success.

Vicki Cantrell: She was my manager for five years. She promoted me to be one of the youngest Vice Presidents ever at our organization. She was the one who taught me how to be a better communicator. And the moment I got back from my first maternity leave she did things to get me to pick up right where I left off even when I didn’t know I had it in me. I will never forget it.

My team and colleagues: I had team members that made me better every day. They supported me, trusted me, and have been some of my biggest champions. Sara Greene, Lakisha Armstrong, Jessica Hibbard, Kerry Pakula, Ellen Davis, and Margaret Little just to name a few.

The men: Some former bosses and colleagues raised me up - some twenty years ago even. Larry Joseloff, Scott Silverman, Dave Shuman, Shawn Dolley, Kevin McCurdy, Jason Hoolsema, Aaron Herrington, Tom Litchford, to name a few. We can do a lot with women raising up other women, but it’s important to have men doing this too or we’ll only get 50% of the way there.

My network: When I was lucky enough to transition to being a working mom there were some members of my professional network who made it all so much easier to juggle the madness. Sarah Wallis, Fiona Swerdlow, April Anderson, Jill Dvorak, Sucharita Kodali, Donna W, and my girlfriends from VT that still are my best friends - rock stars and some of the most authentic women I know.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women marketers?

Never stop learning. Virginia Tech gave me an amazing foundation of knowledge and a network. But I take every class I can - web development, writing, leadership. You learn a lot on the job, but take advantage of formal learning opportunities any chance you get.

Christina Daves

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the PR/Marketing field and how have you overcome them?

I speak on PR/Marketing topics and that’s where I see challenges. The speaking industry is still an older, white male industry and they command higher prices for speaking engagements, even if the woman is a better speaker. There is no “overcoming” it really other than staying firm on my pricing and showing that I am a valuable asset to an event and their attendees and I bring real world experience with me that many of the male speakers don’t have.

Who is a woman in your life that inspired or helped you in your PR/Marketing career journey?

I really taught myself everything I do now in PR and marketing. It was trial and error making things happen for a product I invented and now I teach people how to do what I did. Years later, when I hosted the event for Virginia Tech with Hoda Kotb, she really gave me confidence in being someone who interviews people and does more of my own television segments. She kept telling me how good I was and that I should pursue this further. I took classes, hired coaches, and have done more hosting, speaking, and even some television commercials.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women entering the PR/Marketing world?

Connect with everyone you can in this space including people in the media. With social media, there are no excuses not to build relationships with industry professionals and journalists. Always provide value first. Ask later.

Anne Love

What changes have you seen in the workplace in relation to women over the course of your life? 

I think one of the biggest changes I've seen is a bit of a race to the top to retain parents - through more time for parental leave but most importantly equal leave to cover both parents. Even in companies that have equal parental leave, it still takes a bit of a shift to ensure fathers also take the time, but we all need to support them to do it. It's one way we can help equal the playing field for working moms. 

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the marketing field and how have you overcome them?

In my experience marketing has been a field that has been a bit more welcoming to women, where we can find mentors and examples of women leaders earlier in our career vs. say, traditional finance - though that's certainly changing. That said, it's a challenge as we progress. Still, many women opt out to care for older family members, children, all made worse by the pandemic. I think one challenge I've faced that I hope we will see fade, is bringing the holistic experience of women into our view of the customer and ensuring we continue to have a voice in the room where the decisions are made.

Who is a woman in your life that inspired or helped you in your marketing career journey

I've been fortunate enough to work for a number of incredible women in my career. One that I will always cite is Shara Mendelson (founder of Plum Benefits, which was sold to telecharge) she taught me everything I know about sales and client management. It was one of the best lessons in marketing I didn't know I needed. Cold calling, pitching, meeting with clients day in and day out - and to see the direct impact of that was something that I still think about almost every day. Selling is directly measurable, while so much of what we do as marketers is difficult to gauge: How do we actually change someone's mind? Get them to consider doing something they wouldn't otherwise? Selling is a direct way to experience your impact.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women marketers?

Speak up and take your seat at the table. Hokie women are smart, educated, and have so much to offer. Take your opportunities and make the most of them. Remember Ut Prosim - find ways to serve and bring others along in your career journey.