For Angie Burlison, leadership is reflected throughout her career.
In July 2013, the Springfield-based Retail Confectioners International named Burlison executive director.
Instead of coming in and making a bunch of changes, she asked the small staff to show her the ropes. As a team, they then made adjustments where they made sense.
“Taking on the role of executive director, I wanted to create a culture of teamwork and collaboration. I often set up times for team brainstorming to walk through a process or even take an event from concept to execution,” Burlison says. “Changing the work from being defined by position and opening up the dialogue really improved the overall morale and communication within the office.”
Burlison, wife of Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, feels a patient approach was called for and appreciated to lead the trade association for retail candy makers and industry suppliers.
“I truly feel taking this time to ease into the position, understand the association and its members, as well as the employees, made the transition that much sweeter,” she says.
Before taking on her current executive role, Burlison worked for 10 years in various marketing positions for vacuum and blower-systems manufacturer Tuthill Corp. Between 2008 and 2013, Burlison served the company as marketing communications manager, overseeing a $500,000 annual marketing budget and a three-member team.
One of her proudest professional accomplishments came in 2012 when she was named Employee of the Year at Tuthill.
“Being a leader oftentimes is about more than just a task. It is about care for others and creating an environment that supports that,” she says, adding that team building often took the form of charitable efforts outside the workplace. “In addition to participating on the employee activities committee, I organized a bowling team for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and created several fundraisers for our team. I put together a food-delivery list when a co-worker’s daughter had a preemie in the hospital for several months.”
Burlison, who is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 27 and is an active member of the Junior League of Springfield, says she is a big supporter of pursuing opportunities for professional growth.
“I am always looking for ways to continue to learn through reading, online webinars, conferences, etc., and I encourage my employees to do the same,” she says. “Recently, my event planning manager wanted to pursue her certified meeting planner certification. I encouraged her to spend a portion of her time during the day to work toward this goal and celebrated with her when she recently passed the test.”[[In-content Ad]]