Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
I'm Beth Pettler Johnson, Director of Marketing for RiverFront Investment Group. RiverFront is a global asset manager with uncommon transparency. My current focus is rebranding the firm to better reflect our evolution of strategy, people, and products. Also, I am developing relatable, relevant, and inclusive communications for financial advisors and their wide array of clients.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I became a member of Ellevate after hearing Sallie Krawcheck speak at an investment conference several years ago. Historically, there are not a lot of role models for women in financial services. So, when I was lucky enough for our paths to cross, I decided right then that I wanted to take every opportunity to support her, increase my visibility as a role model myself, and connect with interesting ladies from various industries.
What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?
As chair of my firm's newly-launched Charitable Giving Committee, I developed and implemented a juried selection process for an annual partner to whom we could donate - not only monetarily, but also with our time - to make an impact in our community in Richmond, VA.
We kicked-off this initiative with 75% of our firm committing as counselors, cooks, song-leaders, or bonfire-builders over a weekend for Comfort Zone Camp, which is a bereavement organization that transforms the lives of children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. While we've had partners since, memories from this inaugural project still give me chills of pride.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I was placed by a temp agency in a financial services role not long after college. I loved the fast pace and the personalities of the people who seemed to be drawn to the industry - competitive, team-oriented, and results-driven. Over the years, I worked in various positions at the firm, learning which aspects I liked best and which I excelled at (not by chance, they were often the same).
I determined that finding and clearly communicating solutions for clients was what motivated me. Getting to pair this with my passions for creativity and problem-solving has brought me success and led to my current role.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Receiving feedback from clients that our people and products helped them reach specific goals (peace of mind, college, retirement, weddings, a boat, etc.) is easily the most rewarding part of my job. I am proud to share our story so that people can determine if we may fill a need for them. Even if they ultimately decide not to work with us, I still feel very satisfied that we communicated effectively and helped them make the best decision for their family at that time.
What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
Financial services firms' personas are often those of male-dominated, stuffy environments with boilerplate images and messages on their websites and marketing materials that are geared toward "the man of the house." My goal is to challenge that convention and introduce fresh, diverse, interactive ways to present our company, while navigating the ever-changing regulatory rules and new opportunities that technology affords.
I want to look back and know that we were able to appeal to and help clients who may never have been exposed to our industry and the solutions and advice we provide.
What is your favorite social media site? Why?
Twitter, with Pinterest as a close second. With Twitter, I like the ability to get snippets of news, ideas, and inspiration from an immensely diversified crowd of folks, which often leads to virtual introductions that are multi-layered. So, you can wind up on a journey of information that you didn't know you didn't know.
And I consider Pinterest a virtual rolodex of new ways to do old things. Goodbye, Steak; Hello, Moroccan Beef Noodle Bowl!
What would you say your personal superpower is?
Laughter. Seriously, I'm able to inject it into a multitude of situations, and it truly can save the day!
What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?
When you begin at a company, volunteer for every committee possible, even if it isn't in your official area of expertise. This will expose you to people with whom you may not interact daily and expand your knowledge and network.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
As a single mother with a full-time career, my biggest advice is to ask for help! Sounds simple, but it did not come naturally to me. I am a pleaser and a fixer. So, exposing that I was stressed or asking others to solve, "How do I get three kids home from three different schools at three different times?" or "What's for dinner?" felt like personal failures.
What I learned when I began to ask for help is that we are stronger as a community. And that my children benefit from time with lots of different people. Most importantly, I realized it isn't a MOMpetition to see who can do it all herself the fastest, prettiest, and most on-time.
So, ask for the help!