2021 Women in Print and Promo: Brittany David, SnugZ USA
BRITTANY DAVID, MAS
Chief Revenue Officer
SnugZ USA, West Jordan, Utah
Brittany David has packed a lot into her 15-year promo career. Her creativity is inspiring, her energy is contagious and her positivity is everlasting. She believes in this industry and the brilliant people behind it. David recently completed a five-year term on the PPAI board of directors, and was promoted to chief revenue officer of top supplier SnugZ USA in January. In addition to overseeing sales, marketing and product development, David now gets to focus on business strategy and growth, including the acquisition side of things.
David found her way to promo thanks to a leap of faith. DSL engineering was the first stop on her professional path, but she quickly shifted gears to the hospitality industry after realizing “1s and 0s were not very invigorating” for her. She worked for two large convention hotels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area: The Gaylord Texas and then the Hilton Anatole. Promo software company SAGE held its MAPPS trade show at the Gaylord and was looking for someone to help coordinate their events and trade shows. David’s boss recommended her for the position, so she interviewed.
“I wasn’t unhappy where I was, but as luck would have it, I took a risk and jumped into this crazy industry,” she said. “As if our industry isn’t hard enough to explain, try explaining a software company that is kind of like Google, but only for this hidden industry that people don’t know about and no, I don’t sell pens. It was a leap of faith but I am sure glad I jumped.”
David took another risk when her friend Sydra Newell, then vice president of sales for SnugZ USA, asked her to join the team. SnugZ was growing, and they wanted David to grow with them. “At first, I thought it was laughable to pick up my life in Dallas and move out to Utah, but once I started to think about it, I figured why not?” she recalled.
Newell hired David as the national accounts manager with the intent that David would replace her when she moved on. That happened a few years later after Newell had a baby and opted for a different strategic role within the company. David has been making power moves ever since.
What Brings Her Joy Professionally and Personally
Work—the people. I get to work with some really incredible people—within my company, customers, vendors and others in our industry. They inspire me, make me laugh, they challenge me.
Life overall—the people. I have pretty awesome friends and an awesome family. They are my biggest cheerleaders, and they definitely keep me humble. They make life good.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
I am proud that I got elected to the PPAI board at the age of 32 and was able to serve as chairperson in 2019. It was an incredible experience and a great opportunity to serve and give back to the industry.
On Working in a Traditionally Male-Dominated Industry
I’ve been very fortunate. Maybe I’ve been naïve and maybe I still am, but if I don’t like my situation, I change the scenery. Sometimes I have felt like I had to work a little harder—whether it was because I was young, blonde, female I can’t be sure, but I am always up for a challenge and I sure don’t mind working hard. There is a lot of satisfaction when someone has underestimated you and you come out on top. I like being under the radar. My advice to others would be if you feel like you’re at a dead end, keep on pushing or change the path. If you don’t feel respected or heard, the first place you should look is at yourself. The second is at others. We all have free will and sometimes we just need to be brave and embrace the uncertainty and have faith that something better lies ahead.
Her Job Advice to Women
There is plenty of opportunity to pave your own way and lots of room to be creative. We have so many people—men and women—who are happy to share successes, failures and things to consider as you find your stride. I’ve never seen so many friendly competitors and people at all levels of all sizes of companies willing to offer their advice and make time for others.
Who Inspires Her
Tracy Rone has been a huge inspiration to me. She and her husband are pure gold. She is always making time for others, whether it is being super mom, super wife, being a rockstar at ASI, helping her elderly neighbors, hosting her kids’ friends who randomly pass through and crash or making time to help anyone who needs it. She is selfless and caring. My brother recently found out he has cancer, and she has been checking on his progress weekly, if not daily. She and Steve (Rone) put together a care package for him and she hasn’t even ever met him. She is so kind and so selfless, and I really admire that.
How She Motivates Team Members
Give people an opportunity to shine—a stretch assignment, a new challenge and project that normally wouldn’t fall under their daily work. Be clear on the result you [want], but let them create the path. Be there for guidance, but challenge them to come up with the solution. Most of the time, they can figure out a better way to do it than you would and when they are finished, they will feel the sense of accomplishment and ownership and deserve the credit. Genuine praise and appreciation and faith in others goes a long way.
What She Learned About Herself in 2020
Holy cow, I am strong and resilient. I have always known that, but 2020 put that to the test. There were so many occasions to fail or get defeated or crack under pressure, but that’s the easy way out. Every day seemed to bring a new challenge, but with that came a new opportunity and a new series of decisions. Most of the time you get to choose. You can choose your attitude and you can choose your reaction. Even though so much was out of our control last year and the outcomes weren’t always the ones we wanted, when you get knocked down you get to choose if and when you want to get back up.
Her Upcoming Goals
Professionally, I want to help my team grow and challenge them. I want them to be happy and fulfilled and have work/life balance and feel accomplished. I want it to be fun and I want to succeed together.
Personally, I just want to be happy and surrounded by good people. One of my friends/customers brought up a song lyric, “The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, well, I have really good days.” Those words ring so true.
What She Wants People to Know About Her
I’m loyal and I value integrity above all else. Doing the right thing goes a very long way with me.
How She Recharges
I got into a Heated Flow Yoga class at Lifetime Fitness a few years ago, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much of an impact it has had on me mentally and physically. It’s a great workout and has made stressful situations much less stressful. I used to think that people who spoke about your breath and mindfulness were a little wacky until I really put it into practice. Now it has become a part of my lifestyle and routine.
Her Favorite Entertainment
Book—I am just getting into “The Food Lab” by Kenji. I know it sounds super nerdy, but it’s kind of like a cookbook based on science.
Podcast—I am in a true crime wormhole and can’t stop listening to “Sword and Scale.”
Show—I keep rewatching Schitt’s Creek. It has such a special charm to it.
Go through life with grace—grace for yourself and grace for others. No one is perfect and we are often our own worst critics. Coming from a place of understanding and giving people the benefit of the doubt makes frustrating situations a lot easier to deal with. If you hold on to expectations of others that they don’t even know you have, you will likely be disappointed.