Communications and Marketing Specialist
Communications and Marketing Department
What are the top job elements you focus on the most (your primary responsibilities)?
When I joined APTA, I was an administrative assistant for the Communications and Marketing Department, helping Jack Gonzalez and Virginia Miller. When the position overseeing Passenger Transport classified advertising and subscriptions became available, I looked into combining that position with my job.
So, while I continue to support the department, I also have responsibility for classifieds and subscriptions.
Because my Passenger Transport duties mostly relate to customer service, I interact a lot with APTA members. I collect the classified ads for each issue, process them, and send them to be typeset, then take care of invoicing and billing—while also answering general subscription questions.
It’s mostly about troubleshooting. For example, people may call to find out why they are not currently receiving the paper, or to say they are receiving the print edition but not the online version.
I also produce media advisories for the major APTA conferences (Legislative, Bus & Paratransit, Rail, Annual Meeting). I provide support to the APTA Awards Program: receiving and processing nominations, making sure they’re categorized properly, creating binders with information for committee members, and assisting with the logistics of their deliberation meeting.
After the committee completes the selection process, I stay in touch with the award recipients to get information for the awards brochure and ceremony at the Annual Meeting.
It's a four-month process from start to finish, but all of the hard work pays off in the end when I get to see the finished product.
In EXPO years, I also attend the meeting and work on site with the winners and the Awards Committee.
Do you have direct contact with APTA members? If so, please talk about the two most recent times you’ve helped out a member.
One APTA member called me looking for a report that was mentioned at the APTA Rail Conference; the caller couldn’t find it online. I did a search, found it, and sent the entire report to the member.
Another member needed to place a classified ad in Passenger Transport and was concerned about the cost of the ad, so I reworded the ad for the member to help cut down on the cost.
What initiatives, projects, or programs have you worked on at APTA that you have taken particular pride in completing?
I’d have to say I’m proudest of my work with the APTA awards program. I’ve been involved with the awards process since I joined APTA in August 2007. Each year since then, I’ve been part of the process from start to finish.
Working on the Awards Program gives me the opportunity to work very closely with members and learn about all they do and have done to make a difference in our industry. And it's always nice to meet them at EXPO.
How did you “land” at APTA? How long have you worked here?
I originally came to APTA as a temp working for Karen Harvey, Human Resources, while her regular assistant was on maternity leave. When she returned, I took a temporary position in the Communications and Marketing Department. It was a good fit, so I decided to apply for a permanent job.
Have you held other jobs in the public transportation industry (besides working at APTA)?
No, but I did work for the other APTA—the American Physical Therapy Association.
Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?
Cooking is my passion and two years ago I started culinary school at the Art Institute of Washington. I only have four classes left before I graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in Culinary Arts. My ultimate goal is to open my own restaurant for my 40th birthday, which is only five years away. Investors are welcome!
Make sure you see Erin Cartwright’s video, now that you've read this!