Cheryl Congdon entered into the working world with a newspaper route at the age of 11. Media has grown and changed from the simplicity of the newspaper days to the complexity of the digital age and all the aspects of social media, content, and targeting capabilities that exist today. Cheryl has stayed involved and up-to-date through all of these changes. In doing so, she worked her way up to become a senior level media and advertising sales executive with more than 20+ years of experience as an industry expert for national, regional, and local travel and entertainment advertisers. Cheryl networks a lot relating to her media career. She attends conferences and functions. Through it all, she has honed her creative instincts to advise clients on the best options to generate brand awareness and sales utilizing digital tactics, events, print, and unique activations.
Always looking for a way to expand her areas of expertise and take advantage of unique opportunities, Cheryl has recently decided to become a SAVVI brand partner. SAVVI is a brand new clothing company providing fitness and leisure wear for women.
Cheryl Congdon studied Communications and Advertising at The University of Nevada (UNLV). Always skilled in networking, she was also the President of the Advertising Federation Student Chapter during her time at UNLV.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
I was looking for an opportunity to grow and thrive with an incredible brand while in its pre-launch phase. Becoming a brand partner with SAVVI gives me the opportunity to integrate several things that I love; dance, yoga, fitness, and fashion. SAVVI provides outfits with simplicity and gorgeous aesthetics that focus on comfort and everyday movement. They have styles that are perfect for all kinds of events, from dance practice to business meetings to shopping to lunch with a friend. These are clothes that fit with today’s busy lifestyles. I have wanted an opportunity to create my own business, and since I am an amateur salsa dancer, I have contact with many dancers and other women that are natural markets for the SAVVI brand.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I have always loved quality and fine details. SAAVI provides a lot of colors, different textures, and fabrics that function well, perform, and make me look and feel incredible from the inside out. Now I am a part of a movement to share SAVVI with the world.
What does a typical day consist of for you?
I typically start with an espresso, then meditation and yoga. I will go for a short walk with my two boxers Miley and Max, and then I disappear into the day. I stay busy talking to clients, connecting the dots, and inspiring others to be their best and do their best personally and professionally. I always listen to audiobooks from Audible, usually on topics like manifesting, law of attraction, and drawing power from within. In the evening, I’m typically at salsa dancing practice for one of my teams.
What keeps you motivated?
Striving to be truly helpful to others keeps me motivated.
How do you motivate others?
I aspire to always be a good listener and pay attention to the needs of others around me. I want to inspire with positive action that motivates others, and I always want to lead by example.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from others. I surround myself with people I can teach, learn from, and prosper with. I like to surround myself with smart people. I also listen to books by incredible authors on Audible almost daily.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I model myself after my mother because she had grit. She used her intuition to guide her, and she was the strongest woman I ever knew. She was a true inspiration and still is to this day. My mother was born blind and never let anyone or anything tell her that she couldn’t do something. I have the same tenacity, and I try to hold true to the amazing character traits that she exemplified.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I maintain that balance by taking breaks to walk my dogs, stretch, and do some yoga. I make sure to spend time outside in the backyard and absorb some sunlight. I listen to people that inspire me on Audible constantly, and I dance a lot—about six or seven days a week. I have also learned to take a vacation when my schedule permits, even if it’s just a simple trip camping over the weekend.
What traits do you possess that make a successful leader?
I have become a leader in my industry because I have accumulated enough experience that I now have an instinct for sales and marketing. I’ve been trained in many facets of those two disciplines, at this point. I love it. It finds me, it’s attracted to me, and I’m attracted to it. On top of that, I was born with an innate grit and drive to succeed.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
I would suggest to someone starting out in my industry to network. Find a niche with people or things that interests you. Surround yourself with it. Submerge yourself in it until it becomes the fabric of your being and your way of life. Make it become a dominant part of your life.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
Losing my mother. Nothing was more difficult than that.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Spend time with people you can teach, learn from, and prosper with. Don’t be so concerned with worrying about the details of negative situations. Consider that everything that happens in your life, whether good or bad, might truly be for your highest good. I learned some of those ideas from A Course in Miracles and it provides a lot of reassurance to me. I believe that everything that happens to me is for my highest good, even when it may seem to be really bad. Had I learned that earlier in my life, it would have saved me a lot of heartache and worry.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Graduating from college and buying my first home were big accomplishments for me.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
Don’t take yourself so seriously. Find a way to take your stress levels way down and do whatever you can to keep it that way.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
One big life lesson I learned is that saving money is incredibly important. Invest in yourself and your future. Don’t squander precious dollars once you’ve earned them. Also, helping others is simply the right thing to do— to the extent that you’re able, of course.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I am passionate. I love my family and friends. I love to dance, travel, and spend time with people who laugh and inspire. I love to grow spiritually. I have life goals to publish two books I have written that are memoirs about growing up in a family where several people were blind. My grandfather, grandmother, an aunt, my mother and brother were all born blind, and they were all tenacious people that did amazing things. They did not allow themselves to be held back from accomplishing important things. The life lessons I learned from growing up in my family have defined me as a person in the most incredible way. I found that I have an innate passion for telling stories because I grew up reading aloud to people in my family instead of watching TV due to the fact that so many of my family members were blind since birth. I truly love to communicate with people. I think I have a gift for it.
What trends in your industry excite you?
I love new and innovative marketing initiatives and I love to learn about new trends.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
With regard to SAVVI, I intend to be at the top level of our organization. I intend to utilize my years of advertising and marketing expertise to grow my business and be engaged with our founders to take SAVVI global. I love that I have the chance to be on the brand side of a business where I will be able to impact the growth of the company, not just the marketing aspect. It’s incredible to be a part of.
With regard to working in the media/marketing/advertising industry, there is always a new social or digital advertising and marketing tool to be on the lookout for, as well as ways to share and grow content. Perhaps in my next role I’ll have the opportunity to lead a team or be in an executive position at the client or brand level.
Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
I have always been proud of the day I joined What’s On magazine. I found my love for advertising there and it was a great start for me. The day I decided to take my future into my own hands and become a brand partner with SAVVI was also very momentous for me.