03 Oct AMA Member Profile: Meet Blaise Bryant of Consumer Directed Choices
Executive Vice President (EVP) of Programming for the American Marketing Association New York Capital Region Chapter, Will Trevor, met up with the chapter’s latest member, Blaise Bryant, to find out more about him and to see how the AMA helps marketers like Blaise as they develop their careers in marketing.
Trevor: Who are you and what do you do?
Bryant: I’m Blaise Bryant; Communications and Outreach Associate at Consumer Directed Choices. My job is to increase education and awareness of Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services (CDPAS), which is a Medicaid-funded form of home and personal care, enabling seniors and people with disabilities to be in charge of their care. Consumer Directed Choices is a Fiscal Intermediary which basically means we process the payroll for the Consumers and Personal Assistants. We have over 900 Consumers that employ over 2,000 Personal Assistants and growing!
Trevor: What do you enjoy most about your current role?
Bryant: This is a great question! My favorite aspect is being out in the community, attending events and meetings to promote Consumer Directed Choices. I’m someone that thrives on being around others, which helps both promote our mission and expands upon my network. I have a Seeing Eye Dog Flash who’s instrumental in my independence in attending these events, which is crucial both personally and professionally because we tend to stand out. At the end of the day for us marketers, the bottom line is: How can we stand out?
Trevor: Why is being up-to-date with the latest marketing thinking so important in your current position?
Bryant: Regardless of what you do for work, being updated on the latest marketing techniques is essential for success. Non-profits tend to focus so much on providing service that Social Media and e-mail campaigns get overlooked. As a Communications and Outreach Associate, I’m fully aware that the technology is ever-changing, and having a willingness to keep up is crucial because our competition (other Fiscal Intermediaries) are looking at what we do just like we’re looking at what they do. As someone who’s new to marketing, I liken this concept to Chess: What is going to be my best counter move? Staying updated on the latest marketing trends not only sets up that counter move; it also sets up your first move.
Trevor: What was the best piece of business advice that anyone ever gave you?
Bryant: I’ve been lucky to grow up in a family of small businesses; my grandparents have owned a lumber yard since ’63 and my mom owned a hair salon for 30 years. The best business advice: Be likeable, honest, open-minded, and an active listener. People in general, myself included, don’t like when someone is trying to sell you something the very first word out of their mouth. I like to know: Who you are, what you do, and why you’re here; sometimes how did you get to where you are?
Trevor: How long have you been a member and why did you join the American Marketing Association?
Bryant: I’m probably one of the newest members on the books; my membership was approved this month. I decided to join because a key component to outreach is marketing. I’ve never really had a great skill set for marketing; I studied journalism at The College of Saint Rose and my definition was always to write the best story with an intriguing headline. That line of thinking won’t totally bring success because there’s not really a consistency in branding with regards to journalism…especially given the media climate today.
Trevor: How do you feel that membership will benefit you personally and professionally?
Bryant: In order to turn a weakness into a strength, you need to surround yourself with people whom your weakness is their niche. I need to learn from people whom marketing is their “bread and butter” because they can tell me what I’m doing well and what needs work.
Trevor: Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time in terms of your marketing career?
Bryant: Hmmmmm…Having the skills and expertise to help others that want to learn and improve on their marketing skills.
If you would like to find out more about the American Marketing Association and becoming a member, then check out the AMA website at: https://www.ama.org/ Or contact the local chapter at: http://nymarketing.org/