The next woman to impress is Betsi Gardon, whom I have known for many years when she was executive director of the Legal Marketing Association. Betsi led the LMA with grace, collaboration and humility.
She understood the unique challenges of members, developing policies and advocacy campaigns to address those challenges, and worked with volunteers to create educational programs and content to meet members’ needs.
Betsi is now the executive director of CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium), the leading global association of legal operations professionals.
Learn more about Betsi and why she’s a woman to impress.
Why did you choose your profession?
I actually think my profession chose me! Which means that I have become a professional association manager.
I started my career after undergrad in the insurance and securities industry. It became clear to me that I wanted more interaction with people than working with numbers all day.
Furthermore, I wanted to combine two of my passions – sport and international – and get into international sports marketing.
I went to graduate school for “career transition” and my first job after graduate school was with an association of aerobics instructors and personal trainers.
I succeeded in the sporting and international transition and the business model turned out to be associative, versus corporate as I thought.
What do you like most about what you do?
From a business model perspective, by working for an association, I can lay the foundation for someone’s professional and personal development. It’s incredibly rewarding and the perfect place for my interests and skills.
From a role/responsibility perspective, I love the role of Executive Director. I lead the board on strategy for the organization – helping them define the direction in which the organization is heading.
I can then turn around and work with staff and volunteer members on tactics to implement on strategy.
I’m a middle child, and one of the typical traits is that we see both perspectives. So it’s a perfect role for that! I also enjoy building a team of staff, creating a culture of empowerment and excellence, and being a “dots connector” to help staff function more effectively as a team.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
“When we say, ‘Lights out at 10 p.m.’, we mean ‘Lights out at 10 p.m.’.” my best work!).
It was clear that I wanted to be loved by all the campers and was likely to be influenced by those I loved to let them stay up late if we got along well.
Included in the comments, “Not everyone is going to like you when you’re a leader.” To this day, I hear those words and remember those comments when faced with a difficult decision.
How has the pandemic changed you?
On the one hand, it allowed me to have more grace – for myself and for others. Those who know me well know the high expectations I have – for myself and for those around me.
Although I still have those high standards, the pandemic has caused me to be more willing to listen to others and be patient. I don’t always succeed on the patience side, but I am aware of slowing down my usual judgmental rush and increasing my openness to listening to others.
Connect with Betsi on LinkedIn.
Find out more about CLOC.
Copyright © 2022, Stefanie M. Marrone. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 14