Deidra Riggs, Ameritas

I grew up all over. I was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. when I was two. I’ve moved 23 times, but spent most of my growing-up years in Michigan. I graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and Sciences.

How long have you been an AMA member?
I just joined AMA in October, 2016. I’m looking forward to learning more about the organization and lending my time to help grow the organization.

What are your job responsibilities?
I support the sales team in the Group Division at Ameritas. My current projects include helping to develop marketing strategies and tool kits, and working to grow our business with specific industries, including municipalities, healthcare, and education.

What have you enjoyed most/found to be the most beneficial aspects about being an AMA member?
I’ve enjoyed the workshops and online learning opportunities. I also participated in the book club which was a fun event for meeting a few people with similar interests.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I am an author and national speaker. My first book released in October, 2015, and my next book will release this April. I travel to different events across the country to talk about building collaborative efforts that cross cultural, socio-economic, racial, and religious lines with the goal of fostering unity in a divided world.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
In 2016, I was chosen by the Lincoln Journal-Star as one of the thirty most influential women in Lincoln. I also try to do at least one cartwheel a day.

What is your best career advice for your fellow marketers?
Be yourself. A lot of the time, we wish ourselves away, because we’re trying to emulate someone else. When that happens, the space we’ve been given to occupy is empty because we’re not there, and neither is the person we’re hoping to be like. There is only ever going to be one you and the world needs exactly what you have to offer. Be you.

Do you have any favorite marketing blogs, books or podcasts?

Most of what I read and listen to is related to writing. My favorite podcasts include: Hope*Writers and Ann Kroeker: Writing Coach. Among my favorite blogs I’d recommend amylynnandrews.com. The local AMA book club just read “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg, and I’d also recommend “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, “Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living,” edited by Manjula Martin, and “Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” by Greg McKeown.

What is your favorite local restaurant, local clothing/gift shop, and local place to go for fun (e.g., a brewery, art studio, theater, etc.)?

Restaurants: Bread & Cup, The Hub, Cultiva, The Oven, Blue Orchid, Blessings Thai Restaurant Clothing/Gift Shop: Loft and Craft, Home and Closet, Indigo Bridge, Francie and Fitch Fun: I’m a sucker for disco, so I loved Skate Zone. I’m sad that it’s closing. My husband and I hosted our 25th anniversary party there. But, mainly I’m an outdoors person, and I love to ride my bike along the trails; Lincoln has a great trail system!