NEA Women in Business: Margaret Holloway

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Class of 2019 Women in Business Margaret Holloway Vice President, Community Relations E. Ritter and Company, Jonesboro

Residence: Jonesboro
Education: Business degree, Arkansas State University
Professional background: Holloway’s background is in public relations and sales.

What was your dream job as kid and why? Travel agent. I wanted to see the world. I wanted to see, feel, do, touch and experience everything I could.

What inspired you to pursue the career you are in? As luck would have it, I was introduced to sales many years ago. Truthfully, I am average at best at selling, but if you are selling something folks want, it is really, really easy to make a sale. I think it makes most people happy when they buy something so … I loved helping make people happy. From that, I acquired a zest for wanting to please people.

What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry? You have to have passion for helping others. Understand the telecommunication world is not an 8-5 career. Be prepared, and enjoy having a 24/7/365 career.

What is the best advice you’ve ever given or received? One, never ask someone to do something that you are not willing to do. Two, if it involves helping others, do it even if you don’t want to. Three, choose to be kind over being right. Four, a quote my parents always told me, “When a job is once begun, never stop until it’s done; be the labor great or small, do it right or not at all.”

What’s the next big personal or career challenge you plan to take on? Preparing my mindset and adjust to the thought that “young” does not last forever. Believe me, it is very humbling. I’ve been working on it for a while. Probably the hardest adjustment that I have yet to overcome.

What are three words you would use to describe yourself? Impatient, responsive, compassionate.

What qualities do you feel are most important in a company leader? Have empathy, humility and show it. Possess the ability to make every employee feel value and make sure that value is recognized. Be willing to pass off the credit, even if it is yours. Be willing to take blame, even if it is not yours.

What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far? Too many moments to actually define. I am grateful for most every moment. Simple as it is, my day can be made if someone gives me one uplifting word or compliments something I’ve done. That can make a bad day suddenly turn into the best day I have ever had. I say a prayer of gratitude everyday on my way home for many small things, mostly my blessings, my happiness and all my moments.

How do you spend your time away from work — if there is such a thing? What are your hobbies? If I am not traveling, one would probably find me outside. I love warm days, sunshine, and everything green. I might also be at the shop trying to give my unwanted opinion on one of [husband] Bob’s woodworking projects.

What’s the first thing you do at the office each morning? Walk through and say hi to folks.

Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential and why? Eddie Way, because he had integrity, he was smart, he could relate to everybody, he was kind, he had community spirit and a love for Jonesboro. He was a great Christian guy, loved Jesus, and he understood what the value of having good relationships meant. He was what I wish I were.

What is something unique people would be surprised to know about you? I would love to be an actress! I do not like being the center of attention.