Meet Marilyn Beaver - The Newest Member of Our TMC Family
By TMC Digital Media / team tmc / 0 Comments
Chocolate. Wine (red or white). Coffee. Netflix binge-watching. These are just a few of her favorite things. Meet Marilyn Beaver - the newest member of our TMC fam!
So, Marilyn, how did you initially get into the foodservice business?
I don’t think I can count the three weeks that I worked as a server while in high school, right? Kudos to the men and women with the patience, grace, and wit required to serve in a restaurant. It was not something I was cut out for.
Fast forward 15 years later and the words “Marketing Manager for a Hospitality Company” appeared in one of my job search queries.
Those five words started my career with foodservice as a marketing manager for a tabletop company. Until then, I had never thought about how tabletop products were sourced. I said to my boss on my first day, “A plate is a plate, right?” I thought he would pass out - he was probably wondering if he’d made the right choice in hiring me.
Needless to say, my work there opened my eyes to how dynamic this world is. How every detail molds the experience every time you step foot into a restaurant. My husband also works in the industry, so it’s all around me!
When we first met you, you were on the other side of the agency fence as a client. How do you think that will help your position here at TMC?
Having worked on the client side, I can appreciate the benefits of working with an agency while also being aware of some of the challenges that come along with it. Marketing teams are so busy, often juggling goals that span their own department, sales, and overall business operations. And all those memes about marketing teams and fires - they’re all true on some level. I’ve spent years managing the workflow of marketing production, including in-house and third-party agency deliverables. I expect that this experience will allow me to better anticipate client priorities and adapt as needed to make sure I can bring the best service to my clients.
What do you think are one or two key things that help enhance the agency/client relationship?
Trust - there has to be a level of trust on both sides to have a successful agency/client relationship. The client is turning over a lot to its agency - strategy, competitors, brand story - and the client has to trust that the agency will produce deliverables that meet its expectations. The agency has to trust that the client will communicate openly and honestly about its deliverables.
Communication - communication is the building block of trust. There has to be constant communication between the agency and its client. What’s working, and what’s not? What’s new? On the client side, that means sharing updated brand guidelines or any sort of new marketing goals as quickly as possible. On the agency side, that means educating the client on new tactics, technologies, and marketing trends - how can these help the client? One thing that makes this industry (both foodservice and marketing) so exciting is change, and just like any good relationship, the client and the agency have to grow together.
Where do you see the foodservice industry heading in the next couple of years?
The industry has had to make a lot of changes in the last few years to adapt to the pandemic. So much of that was so reactionary and really, we’re still seeing some of the results of that. I think we’ll see restaurants, hotels, schools, and even consumers continue to evaluate which of these necessary changes are working and which ones need to be tweaked or reversed now that we’re closer to a new era of normal.
In particular, I’m interested in watching how automation plays a role in foodservice, especially in terms of efficiency of costs and time. We also saw a huge shift in consumer trends and the foodservice labor force, which I’m sure will have lasting impacts on how the industry moves forward.
How do you see your role at TMC helping the foodservice industry and the reps, dealers, and factories we work directly with?
I’m just starting to dive into client calls and meet some of the fabulous teams that TMC works with. I hope that I can be seen as a trusted advisor and team member for any of the reps, dealers, and factories that I get the chance to work with. Their success is our success and vice versa. We’ll celebrate the victories together and work through the challenges just as diligently.
You live in North Carolina and went to UNC-Chapel Hill. So the most important question would be, would you rather take a beach trip to Cape Hatteras or a mountain trip to Asheville?
I’m a beach girl. I grew up spending time at the coast and can never resist sunshine and sand. But the great thing about NC is that you’re not far from either, so when the crisp mornings and colors of fall call to me, there’s always a weekend of hiking and good beer available right there in Asheville.
The team here loves to talk about food and drinks. Do you have a favorite menu item or drink you get every time you head out to eat?
As someone who loves the experience of eating out AND doesn’t exactly love to cook, I could probably go out to eat every day. A few of my favorite things:
Every Sunday, my family heads out to a local coffee shop for breakfast. They make their own chai (my favorite!), so I have to get a chai tea latte every time. My 4-year-old daughter is a coffee fan (decaf only!), and my son has just started stealing all of the bites of my morning muffin. I feel for the people who are in this coffee shop for a quiet morning because my husband and I are constantly juggling hot drinks, pastries, and kiddos, but I love this little hour or so that we all have together as a family.
When my husband and I have some time to eat out together by ourselves, I love to pick from the appetizer or small plates menu. You can try a variety of foods and pair with different drinks and make the most of the experience. I also love to savor these times, as they happen few and far between these days!
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love to travel. Everything about it brings me joy - a new place to explore or an old haunt that holds great memories. Hotels and restaurants to try. That feeling of being suspended in time where you don’t really have any daily obligations except the itinerary that you build.
I’m also a reader, although I would classify myself as an escapist. Easy beach reads and crime mysteries are my go-tos. I could spend an entire day in a library or bookstore. Every year I tell myself that I’m going to expand my selection and read at least one biography or historical fiction or non-fiction. Maybe 2023 will finally be the year that resolution comes to pass!
Most importantly, and closest to my heart - I’m very passionate about medical advocacy. My oldest was born with complex medical needs, and although we’ve been very fortunate with family support and the level of medical care that we’ve received, it can be an overwhelming, lonely, and scary world to navigate. I’ve found a lot of clarity and healing in the family communities that I’ve become a part of, which includes sharing some of my own family’s story. I just hope I can be a resource or comfort to someone who is also navigating this winding path.
Several of the TMC team also love to travel! What's your favorite place you've visited and what's a place that's on your list to visit one day?
My favorite place that I've visited is Prague, I think because it was just so unexpectedly beautiful and interesting. I spontaneously joined a friend who was going for a study abroad trip. She went two weeks ahead of her start date and wanted some friends to travel with her. I knew nothing about it and just went along for the ride. It was one of those trips that everyone tells you to take before you have kids "because you'll never get to do it again." Hopefully I'll get back one day!
My husband and I also go to Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, New York regularly for Halloween. One of his favorite authors is Washington Irving, and we visited for the first time 6 years ago. Now we alternate between Sleepy Hollow and a new Halloween destination every year. I know locals probably hate the seasonal tourists that flock there around that time, but it's a stunning area of New York that meets my fall checklist - crisp mornings, stunning colors, cozy nights by the fire and definitely a good pub or two.
One day, I hope to make it to Greece. That's definitely on my bucket list.
We’re excited to have you join the team, Marilyn! Is there anything else about you that you’d like to share?
I don’t follow UNC basketball as closely as I used to, but I still loathe Duke with a fire that will burn in me forever. My fun little tradition every year is to buy a team t-shirt for whichever team beats them in the NCAA tournament. This year, I’m a proud new owner of a Tennessee Volunteers shirt!