BABE #187: AMBER FULTON, Director, Marketing, PGA TOUR
When Amber first started working for the PGA TOUR, she was an intern. Fast forward a bit, and today she’s the Director of Marketing for the company’s new ventures and partners. Since the start of her PGA TOUR journey, she hasbeen instrumental in the development and execution of countless endeavors (with bonus points from us as many of them have been women-focused). Amber led the PGA TOUR's Women’s Executive Day and, after seeing a need that wasn’t being met, created the now-successful Family Suite where fellow mamas can comfortably breastfeed and relax with their kiddos. It’s no secret that the world of golf (and sports in general) is dominated by men, but Amber gives us hope as a prime example that there are plenty of babes making moves toward a more even playing field.
Hometown: Stockbridge, Georgia
Current city: Ponte Vedra, Florida
Alma mater: Valdosta State University
Degree: BFA, Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations
Very first job: Affairs by Pinehurst - Catering Server
Hustle: Director, Marketing - New Ventures, PGA TOUR
Babe you admire and why?
I admire Molly Fletcher, a former sports agent-turned-motivational speaker who inspires game-changers. I admire her not only for her brains, but for teaching me to be intentional with my time (when you are at work, be at work; when you are home with your family, be at home with your family). She travels all over the country to speak to companies large and small, but at the end of the day she’s rushing home to be with her number-one priority—her family. Molly made me realize you can inspire change, be really good at what you do, but also never lose sight of what’s really important.
How do you spend your free time?
Chasing my 2.5- and 3.5-year-olds around. But I do love a good glass of wine in complete silence sometimes, too.
Go-to coffee order?
Tall skinny vanilla latte. I’m so basic.
Go-to power anthem?
“Alone,” - Heart. Who doesn’t love belting that one out?! I also jam out to old-school rap as soon as I drop my kids off at school. (So don’t be alarmed when I roll into the office on two wheels with Tupac or Lil’ Wayne on.)
What would you eat for your very last meal?
A Big Mac. Am I fired from this interview yet? I love them so much.
What is something you want to learn or master?
Calligraphy. Not to brag, but I have really good penmanship—but I cannot master the art of calligraphy. Let me edit that. I do not have the patience to teach myself. This is on my 2018/2019 list. Stay tuned.
What’s something most don't know about you?
My dream job is actually to be a professional DJ.
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Tell us about your hustle.
I started as an intern at the PGA TOUR in May of 2007. On the day before my internship ended, I was offered a job in golf course marketing. After a short run there, I moved into a role supporting marketing for our World Golf Championship events and Presidents Cup, then into event management on a program that is near and dear to my heart. For six years I led Executive Women’s Day, a program created to celebrate the women of corporate America in our local tournament markets. The day-long forum focused on bringing together hundreds of local business leaders and innovators for a day of corporate dialogue, networking, idea-sharing and career development. I met the most amazing women over the years, including Molly Fletcher, Carla Harris, Lisa Murray and countless others. I then had my first baby and took a role in business development with our tournament activation and outreach department (which is where the Family Care Suite was born—more to come on that). My focus was our military outreach efforts, Executive Women’s Day and creating fan enhancements for our tournaments. Then I had another baby... literally 12 months later. (I don’t recommend that, ladies.) Fast-forward, and I now reside in our marketing department focused on marketing and cross promoting our new ventures and partners.
What does your typical workday look like?
My day starts with Orangetheory Fitness (three days a week,) then getting my two little ones up, fed and out the door for “school" (which is basically equivalent to running a full marathon before you actually send one email.) I then start my day catching up on emails and making a to-do list, typing it up so I can share with others on my team when needed. In my new role I find it easier to be strategic as opposed to being reactive (in the events world), and I try daily to think of new ways we can incorporate our partners into current marketing and content efforts, or develop a new way to tell the story. I crank out as much as I can because I close up shop right at 5:00 p.m. to pick up my babies -- my family is first. I may need to send a few emails or catch up once they are down for the night, but I get three hours with them in the evening and that time is precious. For those who are just starting their careers or those who have life changes coming up, don’t ever forget what’s important to you and make sure you always prioritize being the best you.
What inspired you to create The Family Suite?
After having babies back-to-back, I was on the road pumping in the most random places (rental cars, bathrooms, vacant rooms in clubhouses, locker rooms, you name it). At an event in Napa, a woman came out of the stall next to me with her breastpump bag and I asked her how often she was on the road. She respond, “32 weeks.” For thirty-two weeks she was in a bathroom stall or finding a private place to pump. I was then at a tournament and overheard a woman tell her husband, “remind me to go pump in an hour.” I asked her where she planned to go. She was going to walk to the shuttle, shuttle back to her car, pump, then shuttle back to meet back up with her husband and friends. That was truly my “a-ha moment.” From then on, I worked with my team to develop a product that made sense for our events. It wasn’t a new concept, but it was new to the PGA TOUR and so important to us to create a comfortable setting for families to care for their infants and toddlers at our tournaments. I worked with Marci Doyle, the COO of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, to bring the very first Family Care Suite to life. Marci and the team literally made all of my dreams come true. I walked into the suite and cried seeing one mom pumping and another nursing her 6-month-old baby. They said the suite was the reason they felt comfortable enough to come to the event with their pump bag and infant. It changed their whole experience. At that exact moment, I realized what it felt like to win for others—and that’s a good feeling.
How have your past academic and professional experiences prepared you for the work you do today?
The experience of starting as an intern definitely solidified my desire to work in the golf industry. I talked to a lot of people during that time, and now recommend all interns take full advantage of internships. It’s the one time you’re inside the walls of a company and have access to so many different people to learn from. Do it! Over my time at the TOUR I have been able to touch marketing, events, business development, client and sponsor management, tournament activation, our women’s leadership group and various special projects. All of those roles have molded me for my current position, which can easily touch across all of my past roles.
How has being a woman affected your professional experience?
I truly try not to think about being a woman or unequal. I try to go into any situation and be the best I can be, even if I’m the only woman in the boardroom. I’ve also had some wonderful experiences as a woman, such as leading our Advancing Women in Leadership employee You Group the inaugural year and being able to surround myself with other hardworking, badass women who teach me daily.
What motivates and inspires you?
My family. My 2-year-old, strong-willed, sassy (slightly terrifying) daughter inspires me daily to continue to uplift the women around me to make way for the next wave of game-changers.
What is your philosophy on work-life balance?
This goes back to what I learned from Molly Fletcher: be intentional. My family is always first, but I also want to be a very valuable asset to the PGA TOUR. So, when I am at work, I give it 110 percent, but the second I get home with my babies and husband is my time to soak in my favorites and refuel my tank. Never lose sight of what refuels you.
What advice would you give to a babe trying to break into your industry?
Network, network, network! By network, I mean build a relationship. Seek out the men and women you want to learn from, reach out, set up time and use that time very intentionally. Have questions ready and a clear objective of what you want to accomplish. Then, ask that person to recommend one more person that they think you should connect with. To date, I haven’t turned away one person who has reached out on LinkedIn or social media to chat with me about the PGA TOUR or any of my roles.