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An Interview with Sally Williamson (ABJ ’83)

Sally Williamson

Sally Williamson, Founder and CEO of Sally Williamson & Associates

Sally Williamson (ABJ ’83) has made a name for herself in the communication business.

With 30 years of experience to her name, Sally is the founder and president of the Atlanta-based Sally Williamson & Associates. Focusing on the spoken side of communication, the company is approaching 20 years of executive coaching, consulting, workshops and more to create effective workplace communicators.

The company has published three books that detail her practices’ beliefs: The Hidden Factor: Executive Presence, Leading Executive Conversations, and Storylines and Storytelling: What They Remember and Repeat.  The group has also started a podcast that features female leaders across the business world, with stories from executives at companies like Delta and TD Bank.

Alumni Association: How would you describe your business to someone who is unfamiliar with it?

Sally Williamson: We’re a communication consulting group that helps people influence and impact others through effective communication practices.

AA: How did you get into consulting like this?

SW: I was a journalism school graduate. I was intrigued by messaging in business and thought that I would start out on a public relations track. Instead, I got closer to the communicators and learned the foundational skills of personal delivery and presence.  That’s oversimplifying it, but eventually I brought the two concepts together in executive coaching.

AA: What inspired you to create your own business?

SW: I worked in the training field and saw both the strengths and limitations of a set curriculum.  I was always more intrigued by how people used skills once they left a training program versus how well they did in a workshop. And, I learned that most training formats were weak on the application of skills. I saw an opportunity to blend training with coaching and ensure that skills are applicable in any business setting.

And, that’s what my firm is known for: the customization of training, the added coaching elements and the expertise to understand and solve for the expectations of listeners.

AA: What inspired the start of your podcast?

Sally Williamson

What’s Your Story with Sally Williamson is a podcast that centers on leadership and storytelling.

SW: Two years ago, we released our third book which is called “Storylines and Storytelling: What They Remember and Repeat.” For two years, I did research on how stories are used in business and the skills of a good storyteller. I coined the phrase “the master storyteller” and developed the tools to help anyone become one.

The podcast was a natural outgrowth of that. It’s called “What’s Your Story,” and people who come on the podcast talk about stories in business and how they use stories to make points memorable and repeatable.

AA: Any favorite episodes?

SW: All of them! Don’t want to play favorites. What I love about it is that when we send people an outline for the podcast, they think they’re going to talk about their stories in their business and how they’ve leveraged storytelling to motivate a team, promote a product or position a brand. Ultimately, they reveal themselves as storytellers. And, that’s fun to explore. We’re asking leaders to talk about stories, but they actually illustrate their skills as storyteller.

AA: How do you think your time at UGA impacted your career?

SW: I’m sure my early days relied on technical skills to learn writing disciplines and headlines. But the more long-term impact has been the connection back to the school as a professional. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Bulldog 100 program for small businesses, and love the opportunities to go back on campus to support programs around professional development.

AA: What advice would you give to a student looking for their first job in the communications field?

SW: Make sure that what you tackle first is experience more than stature. Don’t worry so much about the prestige of the brand you go to work for, or the starting title or role they give you. Put yourself in a position where you can get as much experience as you can and a frontline view of what is really happening around you. It’s the experience you get in the first job that gets you to the second or the third one. I think that’s especially true in public relations and communications – if you can show that you’ve done the work, rather than just been around the work, it makes a huge difference in what you have an opportunity to do next. People in public relations and communications get hired based on experience. What have you done? What do you know how to do?

AA: What are you most proud of, or what has your greatest success been?

SW: There have been many just as there have been many challenges. Success to me is based on how the business has evolved. We’ve been able to take what started as my thoughts and beliefs and grow it into a shared set of tools and skills that a team leverages. I’m proud of that, and that SW&A has become a place where others have developed an expertise and deliver great work. In the last three years, my son has joined the business and that suggests that our product and our work will outlive me.

Chip Caray: Family Ties

This story was written by Eric Rangus and was originally posted to UGA Today on August 30, 2018. We’re sharing it today in recognition of National Radio Day.

If you are a baseball play-by-play guy and your last name is Caray, it can be a lot to live up to. Preceded in the booth by his legendary grandfather Harry and father, Skip, Chip Caray learned long ago how to navigate the complications of his name.

In 1997, after seven years as the voice of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Caray was hired to work alongside Harry, the much-beloved Hall-of-Fame voice of the Cubs. Caray was excited about the role for many reasons, not the least of which was the opportunity to close a familial loop with his famous grandfather, whom he did not know well.

Sadly, the pairing wasn’t meant to be as Harry died just before Spring Training in 1998. That meant Chip, who had a decent amount of experience (albeit in basketball, not baseball), was stepping into the shoes of a man who was arguably the most famous person who’d ever done the job, in a new city with an unfamiliar (and passionate) fan base, almost cold.

“My first game, I’m sitting behind Harry’s desk, with his microphone, his producer, his director, his partner, his fan base, and his last name trying to make my own name for myself in a business that’s very personality driven. That was hard. Really hard,” Caray says with understatement. “My dad said later, ‘You know, in hindsight, there were only two people in the world who could have done that job: you or me. And you did a helluva job.’”

Chip Caray recalling May 13, 1991, the day he, Harry, and Skip broadcast a Cubs-Braves game together, becoming the first (and only) three-generation booth in MLB history: “It was the first time Harry, who was an orphan, understood that there was a living, breathing lineage here. I look at the pictures now and think about how meaningful that had to have been for my grandfather.”

That acknowledgment from his father has long meant a great deal to Caray. The familial loop he was unable to close with his grandfather was made whole after Chip moved to Atlanta in 2004 to broadcast Braves games with his dad, with whom he remained close until Skip died in 2008. Since that time, Chip has made the Braves job his own.

The way he’s done it also doubles as advice he’d give to any young broadcasters just starting out: Be yourself.

“There are so many people who want to sound like Vin Scully or Gary Thorne or Skip Caray that their soul and personality gets ripped out of the broadcast,” he says.

“I sound like me, warts and all. Have the confidence to put yourself out there in a medium where you being you is going to generate a lot of love and sometimes a lot of not-so love. Have the strength and character to be able to withstand that.”

Caray, fortunately, doesn’t have to withstand it alone. Since Scully’s retirement in 2016, every MLB booth contains at least two people. For FOX Sports South, Caray’s partner for the last 10 years has been former major league outfielder Joe Simpson. Over that time, Caray’s energetic delivery has blended nicely with Simpson’s been-there-done-that straightforwardness to create an easy chemistry that wasn’t necessarily easy at the start.

“Chemistry is different with different people,” Caray says. “I’m hyper. I’m fired up every day. I got that from my grandfather. Joe is more like my dad. ‘OK, this is exciting, but calm down, son.’ Our relationship has evolved the last couple years and it’s turned into a tremendous partnership.”

UGA alumna wins second Peabody Award

This evening, the 74th annual Peabody Awards will be presented in New York City. Coordinated by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Peabody Awards recognize great storytelling in electronic media.

This year, Lauren Ezell Kinlaw (ABJ ’08, AB ’08) will earn her second Peabody Award.  Last year, the alumna won for her work as an associate producer for “Frontline” and this year, she takes home her second Peabody for her role with “United States of Secrets.” Read an interview with Lauren on Grady’s blog.

Follow along with this evening’s festivities via the following social media outlets – it’s going to be a wonderful event!

Peabody Awards accounts
Instagram – http://instagram.com/PeabodyAwards
Tumblr – http://peabodyawards.tumblr.com
Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/PeabodyAwards
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PeabodyAwards
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/peabodyawards
Grady College accounts
Twitter – https://twitter.com/UGAGrady
Instagram – https://instagram.com/ugagrady

UGA Grady College announces recipients of 2015 Alumni Awards

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has honored four outstanding graduates with 2015 Alumni Awards.

“Recipients of Grady’s annual Alumni Awards serve as a vivid reminder of the excellence of our graduates, and of the varied paths they take upon graduation,” said Charles Davis (MA ’92), dean of the Grady College. “From the boardroom to the classroom, Grady graduates lead. This year’s winners embody the fine work being done by Grady alums far and wide, and serve as a point of pride for all of us.”

Joel Babbit, a 1976 Grady College graduate, received the John Holliman Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award; Michael Giarrusso, a 1992 Grady College graduate, was honored with the Henry W. Grady Mid-Career Alumni Award; Dawn Brun, a 2004 Grady College graduate, is awarded the John E. Drewry Young Alumni Award; and Denise E. DeLorme received the Distinguished Alumni Scholar Award. DeLorme has three degrees from Grady College: a Bachelor of Arts in advertising in 1989, a master’s in journalism in 1991 and a doctorate in mass communication in 1995. They will be recognized during the college’s Centennial Gala on April 18 at the Classic Center.

Learn more about these outstanding alumni.

UGA unveils 2015 Bulldog 100 rankings; Kabbage Inc. tops list

On February 7, the UGA Alumni Association recognized the 100 fastest-growing companies owned or operated by UGA alumni at the sixth annual Bulldog 100 Celebration.

The 2015 fastest-growing business was Kabbage Inc., an Atlanta-based firm co-founded by 1995 UGA graduate Marc Gorlin. Kabbage pioneered the first financial services data and technology platform to provide small businesses with financing. The company uses data, such as shipping history, business volume, and social media activity to extend short-term cash advances to small- and medium-sizes businesses online. Since Kabbage was founded in 2009, it has raised more than $100 million in venture capital. It offers more than $3 million in loans each day and employs more than 80 individuals and serves more than 20,000 customers. Gorlin is the first Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate to lead the fastest-growing business since the Bulldog 100 program began in 2010.

Left to right: Executive Director of Alumni Relations Meredith G. Johnson (BSFCS ’00), Marc Gorlin (ABJ ’95) and UGA Alumni Association President Tim Keadle (BBA ’78)

“Journalists are natural storytellers,” Gorlin said. “I credit Grady with a lot of my early abilities to communicate and tell stories. When you are starting a company—whether it’s an accounting firm, a pool-cleaning business, a digital agency or a financial services firm—you’re telling a story to your customers; you’re solving a problem for them. The more effectively you tell that story, the better you’re going to do.”

This year’s Bulldog 100 top ten was dominated by Georgia-based businesses:

1. Kabbage Inc., Atlanta
2. Onward Reserve, Atlanta
3. Kevin Aycock Homes, Atlanta
4. The Ansley Group, Atlanta
5. Agora, Athens
6. Palmer & Cay LLC, Atlanta
7. EvoShield, Athens
8. One Love Organics Inc., St. Simons Island
9. Social Empowerment Center, Lawrenceville
10. Networked Insights, Chicago

Visit www.alumni.uga.edu/b100 to view the complete ranked list.

Nominations for the 2016 Bulldog 100 are open until Monday, June 1.

Alumna Spotlight: Keysha Lee (ABJ ’97)

Keysha Lee (ABJ ’97) is an award-winning broadcast video production instructer, former 40 Under 40 honoree and proud Bulldog. Since earning her degree from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Keysha’s career has led her to places she never imagined, including covering the story of a dying man whose last wish was to take his wife to the Masters Tournament, reporting live from the Greensboro Airport following the September 11th attacks and interviewng living legends at the reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March. After working in three television markets, Keysha made the transition to teaching, a job that combines her two passions: broadcasting and working with students to help them realize their dreams.

With assistance from an all-student production crew, Keysha stars in her own television show, “Lessons with Mrs. Lee.” She interviews exceptional guests who share life lessons and career tips. Her first guest was Connie Seacrest, mother of media mogul, American Idol host and former UGA student Ryan Seacrest. Other notable guests have included:

— Judge Glenda Hatchett of the Emmy-nominated show Judge Hatchett

— IronE Singleton (AB ’98) from AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead

— Artist/musician Eshe from the 90’s group Arrested Development

The show’s audience is students in grades 6-12, parents, teachers and community leaders. It gives students an opportunity to gain production skills, practice interviewing techniques, and experience a professional work environment. Watch past episodes of the show.

When not teaching, Keysha shares her broadcasting expertise across the Southeast at a variety of teaching and speaking engagements.

Alumna Spotlight: Amy Robach (ABJ ’95) receives Distinguished Achievement Award from UGA

Amy RobachJournalist Amy Robach received the Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting and Cable Award from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s national broadcast society, DiGamma Kappa.

The award was presented on January 23 at DiGamma Kappa’s annual awards banquet at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.

Robach, a 1995 Grady graduate, serves as the news anchor for “Good Morning America” on ABC.

“Amy follows an American and Grady tradition of news anchors who are also great journalists, who care about what they report and how their stories influence audiences,” said David Hazinski, an associate professor in the Grady College and one of Robach’s instructors when she was in school. “They insist that information is factual and balanced. We’re proud to have her as an influential graduate.”

Since joining ABC News in 2012, Robach has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news events ranging from the campaign to free captive school girls in Africa and reporting on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, to covering the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. She has also anchored “ABC News” and “20/20” on multiple occasions.

Prior to joining ABC, Robach worked at NBC News as the co-anchor of Saturday TODAY and an NBC national news correspondent. She was an anchor for MSNBC from 2003 to 2007 following her start at local news stations WTTG in Washington, D.C., and WCBD in Charleston, South Carolina.

Robach was last in Athens in October when she was the featured speaker for the Suits and Sneakers fundraiser, which generates awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society, a cause of special significance since she fought her own battle with breast cancer in 2013.

The Distinguished Achievement in Broadcasting and Cable Award is presented by DiGamma Kappa and co-sponsored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters and Grady. Previous winners include Steve Koonin (M ’79), Gale Anne Hurd and Monica Pearson (MA ’14).

View more photos from the awards banquet.

Source

Alumna Spotlight: Brooke Anderson (ABJ ’00)

Brooke AndersonInterviewing celebrities on the red carpet, attending prestigious award ceremonies and covering movie premieres – it’s all in a day’s work for Bulldog Brooke Anderson (ABJ ’00), who is a correspondant for “Entertainment Tonight.” After studying Broadcast Journalism at UGA, Brooke worked her way up the ranks at CNN, eventually becoming co-anchor of HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight,” before heading to “The Insider” and eventually landing her current position at “Entertainment Tonight.”

Brooke describes her professional journey:

I had no intention of working in front of the camera at CNN. My goal was to become the best writer and producer I could be. I really enjoy the creativity inherent in those aspects of the job. I worked in general news and hard news initially and worked my way from VJ to production assistant to associate producer to associate writer to writer. I was deeply affected by 9/11 and the death and heartache associated with that tragedy. Soon after, I pursued something lighter—the entertainment side of news! I have always been a fan of film, TV, music, and theater, so I thought it was be a good fit! I worked as an entertainment writer/producer/booker and one day the president of the network asked me to fill in for the correspondent I produced for because she was sick. After she took a job at E!, I was offered the position of correspondent while initially writing, producing, and booking for myself, and ultimately I also became co-anchor of HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight”.

An award winning journalist, mother, full time correspondent and avid blogger, Anderson provdes hard work and Bulldog Spirit can take you anywhere in life.

Source: The Every Girl

UGA alumna explores success of minorities in media

Tracie-PowellAfter earning her degree from UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tracie Powell (ABJ ’93) spent years working in newspaper ad sales and circulation, including a stint in Detroit during the 1995 Detroit Newspaper Strike. Eventually, Tracie realized she belonged in the newsroom, not out on the street pushing ad sales.

She launched All Digitocracy in 2013. The site delivers national and international news and information on technology, policy and politics and how communities access information.

Currently, All Digitocracy is trying to raise money to produce a series of video interviews titled “How’d You Get That (Media) Job?” It will focus on women and journalists of color explaining how they got to where they are in their careers.

During an interview with Poynter, Tracie said “One of the things I hear constantly from journalists of color is they don’t understand how you get from Point A to Point B.” Hopefully, this new video series will help solve this problem.

Powell was inspired to create the series after interning with Cox Media’s Washington bureau, where she witnessed the career success of TV One host Roland S. Martin, the series’ first subject.

“I saw how he took off in his career, and others don’t have the benefit of that knowledge,” said Powell. She hopes the interview series will help to share such knowledge with a larger audience.

The UGA Alumni Association wishes Tracie the best of luck on her newest endeavor!

Click here to learn more about “How’d You Get That (Media) Job?” and watch the first video.