The next Woman Who Wows is Betsi Roach, who I have known for many years when she was the executive director of the Legal Marketing Association. Betsi led the LMA with grace, collaboration and humility.
She understood members’ unique challenges, developing policy and advocacy campaigns to address these challenges, and worked with volunteers to create educational programs and content to meet member needs
Betsi is now the executive director of CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium), the world’s leading association for legal operations professionals.
Learn more about Betsi and why she’s a woman who wows.
Why did you choose your profession?
I actually think my profession chose me! Meaning I absolutely fell into being an association management professional.
I started out my career post-undergrad in the insurance and securities industry. It became clear to me that I wanted more interaction with people than working with numbers all day.
Plus, I wanted to combine two of my passions – sports and international – and get into international sports marketing.
I went to graduate school to “career-transition” and my first job out of grad school was with an association of aerobic instructors and personal trainers.
I was successful at the sports and international transition and the business model happened to be an association, versus corporate as I had thought.
What do you love most about what you do?
From a business model perspective in working for an association, I get to set the foundation for someone’s professional and personal development. It is incredibly fulfilling and the perfect place for my interests and skillset.
From a role/responsibility perspective, I love the role of Executive Director. I get to lead the Board of Directors on the strategy of the organization – helping them to set the course for where the organization is heading.
I then get to turn and work with the staff and volunteer members on the tactics to fulfill on the strategy.
I’m a middle child, and one of the typical traits is that we see both perspectives. So it’s a perfect role for that! I also love building a staff team, creating a culture of empowerment and excellence, and being a ‘connector of dots’ to help the staff function more effectively as a team.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
“When we say, ‘Lights out at 10pm,’ we mean ‘Lights out at 10pm.’” The feedback was given during my performance review during my first year as a camp counselor in high school (which, to this day, is still my best job ever!).
It was clear that I wanted to be liked by all the campers and was susceptible to being swayed by those I liked to let them stay up later if we got along.
Included in the feedback was, “Not everyone is going to like you when you are a leader.” To this day, I hear those words and remember that feedback when facing a tough decision.
How has the pandemic changed you?
For one, it’s allowed me to have more grace – for myself and others. Those who know me well, know the high expectations I have – for myself and those around me.
While I still have those high standards, the pandemic has brought me increased willingness to hear others out and be patient. I’m not always successful at the patience part, but I’m conscious of slowing my typical rush to judgement and increased openness to hearing others out.