Meet Sara McNamara, MultiAd’s newest Account Manager for Recas! She’s been working with us since November 2011, where she began as an intern. Now, she enjoys her new position by getting to know new people and helping make a difference with clients. Sara loves to keep herself busy outside of work through crafting activities and volunteering. In fact, recently, she just returned from Vancouver! Learn more about Sara, her work and her travels in this week’s Spotlight!
You’ve been recently promoted, congratulations! What is your new role at MultiAd?
Thank you very much! I have recently moved from Recas Project Manager to Account Manager. Essentially now I get to work directly with our clients instead of just doing projects for them. It has been great to finally put voices to names and not just see our clients as a media but as humans with various interests and passions.
In just the short amount of time I have been in this role, I have already met some incredible people around the country! It has been really benefited me to start as an intern and work my way up. I know Recas quite well at this point and now I get to help our clients work through their questions and navigate around the new site. As an intern, I was never really shown how our information gets used and now I see it truly makes a difference in business and in people’s lives. Every day I continue to learn new things and better ways to present this information, I never really know who I will help that day.
What’s a typical day like for you?
That is an excellent question, and honestly I can’t answer that yet. I am still learning what is the best way to manage my time. I have a lot of freedom in this position and my sole focus is always helping our clients out the best way I can. I respond to inbound requests and questions via email and phone calls. I also make outbound phone calls to check in with our clients to make sure they understand the product and the process of co-op. We pride ourselves in service and I want to make sure they know they can reach out to us with any of their needs. The transition to our new site has been a gradual process so I can help walk our clients through that as well. The next adventure of this new position I have been preparing for is leading monthly webinars. So to recap, my day is focused on helping all our clients as best I can in the time allotted. It has been a transition from my last position for sure, but one I gladly accept.
What’s your favorite part about your job? Do you have a fun story to tell?
Right now, I think my favorite part about my job is knowing I make a difference in people’s lives. I graciously accept people’s thank yous. I try to be a patient, supportive voice for our clients. I understand they are rushed and that environment isn’t always supportive. It is also exciting to meet people all over the country. I am impressed with how open some people are about sharing their lives with me. It makes coming to work more enjoyable.
As far as fun stories, I am not sure I can pinpoint just one.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
That would be my pleasure, I am a simple girl. I grew up in a small town with a population of 2,500 about an hour from Peoria and two hours from Chicago. This is a farming community so it was not uncommon to hear conversations about how the crops are doing, how the weather keeps changing, or how everyone some how knows everyone. Growing up in a place like that was wonderful, but I don’t go home as much as I used to.
Peoria has been my current address since I went to Bradley University for Communications. Growing up I remember thinking Peoria was a massive city, but now that I live here for several years, I see it really isn’t that big. It is certainly not Chicago, by any means. The small town feel is where I feel the most comfortable so I won’t be able to handle living in a city much bigger than Peoria.
Also, my co-workers can’t seem to keep tabs on me outside of work, where I am off to next or who I am hanging out with. Living in the same area I went to school has certainly help keep me busy. I have quite a few friends that are in the area still or come back and visit periodically. My volunteer work keeps me on the go as well. The church has helped my social life being in multiple small groups and helping in the nursery and apart of a charity organization. With the assistance of a few co-workers we have started a craft group and we meet once a month during our lunch hour. Needless to say I like doing different things but starting to wonder how much longer I can keep up this pace.
What’s your family like? Do you have any pets?
My mom has worked for the school district back home my whole life. My dad retired from CAT a few years back and works odd jobs helping out people and driving a bus for the school district. My parents are still living in the house I grew up in and I hope to inherit one day. They have two dogs, an eight year old dachshund/terrier mix and a two year old dalmatian/pointer mix. They keep my parents quite busy. Since I moved out of the house, my parent have picked up golfing as their exercise and social activity. To be honest, I don’t think I will ever understand the concept of that game.
My sister is four years older than me and one of the smartest people I know. She was the type of child that grew up watching TLC, Discovery, and the History Channel when it was still educational. She is currently getting her Doctorate in Psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. New Zealand is where she is setting out to move as soon as she gets a job there. So the annual trip out to visit my sister will make Vancouver feel like a hop, skip and a jump compared to the trip to New Zealand.
I still have a lot of extended family in the area, and it was great to grow up with family so close together. I was spoiled that’s for sure.
Regarding your question about pets, sadly, I don’t have any pets of my own currently for a few reasons, I don’t make enough money to take care of them long term, my life is not stable enough to own pets, plus it’s not allowed in my lease. It is not uncommon to leave for work in the morning and not come back to my apartment until 10:00 at night. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to own pets, but I am enjoying my freedom too much right now.
What are some personal and/or professional goals that you have for this year?
Oh, another great question. I have declared 2015 the year of “ME” I have been investing more time, energy, and money into myself then I ever have before. It is exciting that I am going through so many changes right now and sure glad I am single amidst all of it.
Health goals: I hope to achieve a healthy weight by completely changing my lifestyle to a healthy way to live, think, and act for the rest of my life and not over extending myself passed my limits. I have joined Curves and started seeing a counselor and I am happy to report I have almost hit the halfway mark! I have not only changed what I eat, but how I think and how active I am. Living a healthy lifestyle mind, body, and soul is the way I hope to continue to live until I die.
Professional: To be able to be comfortable and confident in this new role and face any challenge that presents itself in this industry.
This is definitely an exciting time in my life.
So you’ve recently returned from a trip to Vancouver, what was it like? What was your favorite part about the trip?
Ah yes, normally my parents and I go up there in April, which is their rainy season. By going in July everything was completely different, it barely rained the whole time we were up there, and it got to about 87 degrees which is really hot for them. Similarly to the West Coast States right now, they are experiencing a drought. It is abnormally dry up there and we heard reports everyday about all the fires in the area. They are in a water ban so the yards were all brown because they were not allowed to use sprinklers since water supplies are at such low levels. Besides that issue, it was a great trip. Vancouver is a great city; after four visits, we still find new things to do. I must first say the food is unbelievable there! There are sushi and coffee shops on every block; I promise I am not kidding. In the winter it rains a lot, therefore, people will not want to walk far to get their coffee to help them get through the dreary day and not sure if you knew this but it is easier to become a Canadian citizen then a US citizen so they have a major Asian population in the BC area.
Back to your question, I suppose I had three main highlights.
Vancouver recently just opened The Dark Table, which is a dinning experience in a completely pitch black room. All servers are either blind or visually impaired, which was a neat thing to know about. To set the scene, order before you go in. Walk in with hands on the shoulder of the person that will be sitting next to. Next, be physically placed and shown with our hands where everything was. Last, grab food from the waiter, but never be told what it is. I will say it is hard to have a normal conversation because we all ended up narrating what we were doing or tasting. My sister’s best friend joined us, and she was very entertaining. It was great fun, I didn’t make too much of a mess, and I was still using utensils by the end.
Next highlight has to be the new attraction at Canada Place, cruise ship port, called “Fly Over Canada.” The experience didn’t last long enough, in my opinion; it only lasted about 10 minutes. We were on a ride that would sway back and forth in front of this massive screen. We flew from east to west so flew over places like Niagara Falls, fireworks in Toronto, running with horses in the Prairies, up in the Rockies, and then ended in Vancouver. It was incredible!! It was a great practice for what we did last this trip.
We took a harbour tour before going to Fly Over Canada and we saw a wind tower on the top of a mountain. So that wind tower is on the top of Grouse Mountain which is north of the city of North Vancouver. Grouse Mountain has three main levels. To get from the bottom to the main level there are two ways, take a tram, SkyRide, or hike up the trail called, “The Grind” that consists of over 2,800 steps. My sister did it in a little over an hour. My parents and I took the tram up and walked around exploring the food, shops, a nature theater, two grizzly bears, bee hives and a lumber jack show. After lunch, we took a ski lift ride up to the top and from there an elevator up the wind tower. This is the only wind tower the public can go up in and see from the top in North America. The views from up there were just incredible!!
I know that was a lot to talk about, but it was all new for me and very exciting!!!
What other destinations would you enjoy visiting?
I have the approach I want to go to olympic cities. So I have been to London and Vancouver. Next on my list are Sydney and Rome.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I think the greatest power would be invisibility. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this but I enjoy people watching and trying to read them. It would be like I was a fly on the wall with out the threat of getting swatted at. Since I enjoy experiencing new places but don’t like being away from home for too long at a time. I would want the perks of being able to move quickly from place to place. I could see more places and visit family and friends more.
Who is your hero?
There are a lot influential people in my life, but the one I will have to say is my mom. To see how she has grown up and continues to make a difference in peoples lives when I know she had a hard upbringing is pretty powerful stuff. Also, she is always there supporting me when I cry and cheering me on when I am excited. I dread the day I lose her.
If you had to have the same meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I have always said pizza because as long as it is a little different you can make it a breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, or dessert. Although, I know now pizza is one of the most unhealthy foods you can eat. Lucky for me, I do love all foods pretty much now, but pizza is just so versatile. I would have to stick to my answer being pizza as long as I could change up the crust, sauce, and toppings from time to time.