LeadAR Class 19 Spotlight: Stacey Gorman
The LeadAR Class 19 spotlights turns to Stacey Gorman. Gorman works as director of communications for The Cotton Board. Gorman joined The Cotton Board's staff in 2008 after graduating from the University of Central Arkansas with degrees in public relations and writing.
Gorman leads the ongoing efforts of The Cotton Board’s Communications Department to keep America’s cotton producers informed of the activities stemming from the cotton research and promotion program. She leads advertising, public relations, social media, digital marketing, and producer-outreach efforts. Gorman also works to support cotton importers from major brands and retailers such as Macy's, Target, Gildan, and Levi Strauss Co. to bridge the gap between cotton on the farm and the cotton they need to bring their products to consumers.
Gorman’s work has resulted in myriad honors and awards, including Overall Grand Champion for the “Renew Your Faith in Cotton” advertising campaign at the 2016 National Agricultural Marketing Association awards.
Gorman, a native to Southeast Arkansas, currently resides in Warren with her husband Brandon, son Grayson, and daughter Landry. She is active in the community of Warren and is a co-founder of the Bradley County Animal Rescue Coalition, and past board president of the Donald W. Reynolds YMCA of Warren and Bradley County.
Why did you apply to the LeadAR program? What motivated you?
Having worked in the cotton industry for over 12 years now, I feel like my knowledgebase of agricultural issues and practices is a bit narrow. I hope to gain a broader perspective of issues facing other industries, commodities, and communities. Also, my work with The Cotton Board prohibits lobbying and involvement in policy issues since we are a quasi-governmental agency. I am looking forward to deepening my understanding of the political structures, practices, and processes that affect Arkansas.
What leadership quality do you admire most in others? Why?
In my experience, the best leaders build up their team. Leaders should support team members in their respective roles with encouragement, trust, and gratitude for a job well done. My current CEO is a great example of this type of leader. He manages people’s strengths for the benefit of the entire organization. In my case, he has fairly evaluated me, given me increasingly difficult assignments, and trusted me to manage those assignments, thus empowering me to become a more skilled and experienced professional.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? Why is this surprising?
People may be surprised to know that since 2018, I have fostered over 20 shelter dogs and gotten them socialized and ready to move on to their forever families. People have the impression that it would be "too hard to let go" of these foster dogs after letting them into your home for an extended amount of time - and while that is definitely true, people would be surprised to know how rewarding it feels to play an important role in these dog's journey from being locked in a shelter to their new wonderful life as a family's pet.
What are your top three ingredients necessary for success?
- Strong work ethic
- Willingness to keep learning (know you aren't the smartest person in the room)
- A great team
What are your top three ingredients necessary for happiness?
....oh wait, I was listing the ingredients for margaritas, which is kind of the same thing as happiness right?! Seriously, though…
- A sense of humor
- A strong support system
Describe your personal leadership style.
I would describe myself as a servant leader. I channel my energy into finding ways to help others. I strive to elevate and develop the people around me, by working alongside them to understand the challenges and opportunities in each situation. I like to take the time and effort needed to deeply understand a problem, but then move beyond understanding and into action by devising and implementing a path forward to solve it.
What is something you hope to gain from your LeadAR experience?
I am hopeful that involvement in this program will help me to identify areas of leadership in which I could potentially serve my community and accelerate my path to leadership within my professional career.
How can effective leadership help move the state of Arkansas forward?
Effective leadership in Arkansas could help our communities buy-in to the fact that Arkansas NEEDS to move forward.
You are stranded on a desert island. What are your three MUST HAVE items?
- The complete Harry Potter book series.
- Beach bag, fully stocked with snacks, sunscreen, beach towel, drinks, etc.
- A satellite phone so I can call to be rescued when I run out of the aforementioned essentials.
LeadAR, now in its 37th year, is a program designed to help Arkansans broaden their understanding of issues and opportunities facing our state and strengthen their ability to make a difference. For more information about LeadAR visit the website or contact Julie Robinson, email@example.com or Lisa Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org.