Caitlin Childs of Santa Rosa’s Social Advocates for Youth wins an 11th annual Forty Under 40 award from North Bay Business Journal.
Responsibilities with your company: As the communications and marketing manager for SAY I have stewarded the SAY brand through a full design face lift. I planned and executed communications for SAY’s $10 million capital campaign for the SAY Dream Center. I lead the marketing and design for SAY’s sold out annual fundraising event, helping bring in over $393,000 in unrestricted donations.
In supporting SAY’s fund development efforts I have achieved a 10% year over year fundraising increase and expanded our donor base significantly. I oversee the photography, design and production of SAY marketing materials, manage agency websites, and coordinate social media for the agency and our programs.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
I’m a creative thinker. I bring a sense of whimsy and fun to my work, and I’m never afraid to take on a big project.
Years with company: 7.5
Length of time in current position: 4 years
Number of employees who report to you: 1
Greatest professional accomplishment: The SAY Dream Center project has been a huge accomplishment for myself and our entire team at SAY. As communications manager, I came up with the name for the Dream Center, led the marketing strategy for our $9.8 million capital campaign, and also led the design efforts for the signage for our new campus. Seeing three years of work come together, and seeing youth moving into the apartments has been a huge thrill.
Greatest professional challenge: The SAY Dream Center project was also a major challenge for me. It was the first major capital campaign I had ever worked on, and the first project that generated some controversy. Managing our communications during that time, and learning on the job made each day a new challenge. Our team was incredible throughout the project though and the skills I gained will stay with me.
Best advice received: The best advice I’ve received has really been to take the time to decompress and find ways to practice self-care. The work we do impacts so many vulnerable young people, and we’ve grown an incredible amount in the time I’ve been with the agency. It would be easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out, so I consciously schedule time off throughout the year to travel, something I love doing. Over the past few years I’ve been to Ireland, Italy, France, Costa Rica and Honduras and Guatemala, New York City, Chicago, Washington DC and Disneyland. Taking time off to explore a new place really allows me to recharge and come back to work with enthusiasm and a fresh perspective.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: I had surgery to get a hearing aid implanted in July of 2016, and had to take over a month off to heal and recover. Not working for that time was so challenging, since I’m used to being so connected, and I’ve never taken that much time off in my entire career.
I had to prepare well for my leave and trust that my team would keep things going in my absence. It was a significant challenge, and I realized again how important teamwork is and how lucky I am to work in a supportive environment. I’ve been deaf in my right ear for my entire life, and I knew that ultimately, my decision to have surgery would open up new opportunities, and would allow me to be a better communicator. It’s been a joy to be able to experience the world in a new way since then.
Communications and Marketing Manager
Social Advocates for Youth
2447 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa, 9540