Celebrating Women at ACE: Tina, Director of Marketing

Women in Power: Tina, Director of Marketing

Tina V. Director of Marketing

This March, we’re honoring Women’s History Month by celebrating female firsts and spotlighting our female leaders.

For this post, we’re sharing Tina’s story. Tina has been with the ACE Cash Express organization for six years, serving as Director of Marketing for two years. She shared the importance of using her voice, breaking the mold in her traditional family, and being the first woman in her family to graduate college and build a career.

Q: Can you talk about your journey and how you got to this level of leadership?

I worked for a company that I loved for 8 years. Tirelessly. I was pursing my MBA and had a newborn at home. I missed many days at the park and sporting events. I would take calls and answer emails after hours and on the weekends. I knew I was smart and talented. I knew I had the ability to see four steps ahead and was able to paint a picture that others wanted to be part of. But, I could never get to the top. I always remained in the [same] position. I was young and a bit naïve to the “glass ceiling”. I started reading books [like] “Managing Up” by Mary Abbajay, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. I quickly learned that my inability to get to the top had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with [the previous] company I was working for.

I tested this theory when I started [here]. I worked just as hard and had just as much responsibility, but this time I was being heard, encouraged and empowered. I believe I got to this level of leadership by working really, really hard, believing in myself, and [not being] afraid to take advantage of opportunities that came to me.

Q: Looking back at your journey so far, is there a story or a moment that’s impacted you that you could share?

My family is very traditional. Not many women in my family work. I’ve seen [that way of life, and I wanted something different.

As a little girl, I never read Vogue or bridal magazines or dreamed about my wedding day. I would read business books and study until midnight to get a 100 on an exam. Seeing the fruits of your labor is an indescribable feeling. I think that’s important, and I want that for my son. I want him to see me and know me as a woman who works. I want to set that example for him.

Q: To you, what does it mean to be a leader?

Being a leader to me, is the ability to look at everyone as if they have an opportunity to teach me something. Because they do. To be a successful leader, I believe you must be able to understand people’s motivations and [find ways to marry those motivations with the overall interest of the company].

Q: What does being a female leader mean to you?

Empowering. Every day, I work with women who are smart, competitive, strong and have the game-changing ability to say “yes” or “no” to something. 15+ years ago, this [may not] have been true. There would only be, maybe, a few women who could say “yes” or “no”. It did not seem like the norm for women to both run a household and lead a team at work at the same time. It’s an honor to be part of such a progressive generation and company.

Q: What advice would you give a young woman with aspirations to get where you are?

A: Be brave. Be worthy. Be confident. Take every opportunity that comes to you, even if it doesn’t fit your vision. And every single time you get the chance, stand up in front of people. Let them see you. Speak. Be heard. And don’t forget to help others.

Q: Who is a woman in your life who has influenced you?

A: All the women before me who [have fought] tirelessly for me to get this opportunity, such as Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sheryl Sandberg – to name a few.

Q: This year, we’re excited to see our country’s first female Vice President in office. Can you share an impactful first for you in your work life?

A: I will never forget the time I landed my first salaried job. Being the first female in my family to ever graduate college and have a career, it was a memorable moment. I remember jumping around my 500 sq. ft. apartment, telling myself “I made it”. HAHA. To think I had only scratched the surface.

Want more true stories? Here are a few we think you’ll love:

Women in Power: Melanie, Chief Marketing Officer

True Story: Confessions of an Extreme Couponer

Women in Power: Janet, SVP of Store Operations

True Story: I Budget with Three Accounts