Member Spotlight: Whitney Heber

President, 2018-2019 AMA MN Board of Directors

Tell us about yourself - your professional background, experience and area of expertise.
I manage the desserts portfolio for Schwan’s Consumer Brands. In this role I manage the day to day business of our two dessert brands – Edwards and Mrs. Smiths, as well as core business strategy and growth, campaign planning, and agency relationship. I’ve been in this role for about two months and prior to this I managed our small format and limited assortment channels business and our snacks brand, Pagoda. Prior to Schwan’s I led events in higher education and the non-profit sector. I have my MBA and my undergraduate degrees from the University of Minnesota.

How long have you been an AMA MN member? Why did you decide to join?
About 7 years. I joined when I was an MBA student The Carlson School of Management because I was preparing to be a career switcher. I wanted to get out in the marketing world and expand my network and knowledge base.

What has been your favorite AMA MN event and why? 
I usually say my favorite event is our annual Ad Bowl – this event has been perennially awesome. However, I’ve recently realized how impactful our career development events are for members. Understanding how to be hired or promoted in this market is crucial for many of our members. We always have a full house and receive great feedback after the event. I’m surprised at how much I take away from these events.

What do you value most about your AMA MN membership? What motivates you to remain a member of the AMA MN community? 
The people I get to meet. While serving on the board in the VP Membership role and now as President, I meet people who are just starting out in their careers, people who have 40 years of experience and everyone in between. I’ve met people who work in video production and people who work for pest control companies. How cool is that? I am amazed by the marketing community here in Minnesota and the US and the passion our members have for honing their craft. I remain a member because while I know I receive great benefits, I want to ensure this organization continues to live on and benefit our field. Without members supporting the organization, the AMA wouldn’t be here.

What do you wish others knew about the AMA MN? What makes it unique?
I love the diversity of experience of our members. It really speaks to the vibrancy of marketing in Minnesota. One thing we’re working on as a chapter is to build better relationships with our colleges and universities here. Minnesota has strong institutions of higher education. I wish current university students knew more about this organization and our professional members and I wish our members had more opportunity to connect more closely with the students in the state. I’m excited for us to make those connections stronger as we move forward.

A focus of the AMA MN’s mission, “Connect. Learn. Grow.”, is to create a ripple effect among its community of members where networking, education and professional growth can lead to new connections, in-demand marketing skills insights and career advancement. As an AMA MN member, tell us about a time you’ve experienced this ripple effect.
Two things come to mind. 1.) I had an in at Schwan’s because of a connection I made through volunteering with AMA Minnesota. Landing an initial interview can be the hardest part about finding a new job, particularly as a career switcher. Having that connection made it much easier for me. 2.) Serving in a leadership role on the board has built my skills and challenged me in ways I wouldn’t get in my day to day. Learning how to influence people you don’t directly manage is tough work. It’s nice to have a place to practice outside of my job.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working or volunteering?
I like to read, run, swim, ballroom dance, cook and recently I’ve taken up making bread by hand.

What is a fun fact about you?
I recently just started learning how to play the piano. I am no Mozart but I’m noticing improvement in my month of playing!

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