BIC Magazine recently visited with Bennett to learn more about the importance of having an “outsider’s perspective,” the importance of getting hands-on experience and how her team is creating a culture that reflects WMP’s mission: reliable quality, partnership attitude and attention to detail.
Q: What led to your position at WMP?
A: My career journey didn’t start out at WMP, but I’m glad I ended up here. My path alternated between global public relations agencies and corporations, where I specialized in business-to-business marketing, sales and related work. Over a decade ago, I ended up making the switch to sales and marketing at WMP to work within a very niche industry in the energy sector.
Now that I’m part of the WMP leadership team, overseeing not only marketing but also strategy, I’m the consultant on all matters related to the company’s future, from new workforce development to our management’s approach to our structure and more. Through all of this, I feel I’ve found my calling and carved out a role for myself, pulling from past experiences, as well as on-the-job learning.
Q: What is the most important part of your position?
A: Having an outsider’s perspective has been a really important part of my job. While I’ve never worked on a manufacturing shop floor or designed a reactor internal replacement part, when I joined WMP, I brought new ways of thinking to the table. After a lot of observation and listening, I started our marketing program from the ground up — launching the company’s first formal advertising strategy, putting us on the tradeshow circuit, creating updated brochures, launching a sales-focused website, etc.
All of this contributed to WMP’s establishment as a formal player in our industry, gaining the company more recognition and adding to our credibility. These wins came about because I brought a new perspective to the company, as I was the first team member with a formal background in public relations, sales and marketing. Since joining, I’ve helped build out our teams and expand these capabilities for the company.
Q: What should someone know before taking this type of position?
A: I’d encourage anyone starting out in marketing within a niche industry or company to take the opportunity to get some hands-on experience (or at least in-person observation time). Ask if you can shadow various team members to understand their craft and role better, especially if they’re on the manufacturing and fabrication side of the business. It’s hard to describe and “sell” something you haven’t seen. Try not to get too frustrated; stepping into a new industry can be daunting. Remember, you have a unique perspective from past experiences that you bring to the table that no one else has.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: Our team at WMP is fantastic. We work hard to create a culture of respect among our team that reflects our mission: reliable quality, partnership attitude and attention to detail. We even have team members who have worked with us for several decades, and for a company that started in 1967, that is truly incredible.
For my team specifically, in late October, we hosted our annual sales meeting, which is always such a nice refresher to align priorities and goals and strategize as a team. We work to make time to get together, discuss issues and plans, our targets and goals, and help each other reach those milestones.
Q: What is a “fun fact” about you people might not know?
A: Most people don’t know that I was a Division I collegiate basketball player at the University of Wyoming. Good leadership, teamwork, shared goals and working together toward a combined vision are all integral parts of a game and a good working environment. I see that daily at WMP, and I’m proud to be on such a cohesive team working toward a common goal.