In 2020, Whitney Hansen was dealt quite the hand as president of the AMA Lincoln chapter. It was a world where in-person events and networking were off the table and relationships were built on Zoom calls and funny GIFs sent in Slack. Not exactly ideal circumstances. And yet, she took each challenge in stride, overseeing the board, supporting virtual event efforts and launching an effort that led to Lincoln adopting a brand-new city flag. As if all of that wasn’t enough, she’s back again to serve as co-president in 2024. We can’t wait to see what she’s got in store. (But if you want a sneak peek, read her interview answers below.)
Tell us a little about your full-time job. What do you do? What kinds of people do you work with? What do you enjoy about it?
I’m a senior account manager at Swanson Russell and I’m in my sixth year as an AMA board member. At Swanson Russell, I’m so thankful to work on our outdoor recreation team serving clients in the fishing, hunting, and shooting industries. Right now, I’m spending a lot of time in the fishing space. I’ve helped plan a drone show at the Bassmaster Classic (more on that below), been a part of numerous photo and video shoots, and helped one of our clients with their largest product launch in history.
I grew up camping, fishing, and hunting. Outdoor rec, like advertising, is an industry that’s still pretty dominated by men — as a small-town gal who grew up using the products I’m now marketing, it’s super rewarding to bring my perspective to the job. I get to work with an integrated team of marketing and advertising pros, both with our clients and the team at Swanson Russell. The creative, experience, media, and PR teams I’ve worked with have made me so much better at my job. Right now, I’m also collaborating with another agency that works with my clients, so it’s been fun to meld minds and see how an international agency plans and executes strategy as well.
What do you do in your free time? Any hobbies you enjoy? Things you do to decompress?
Hanging out with my two-year old sealed boxer, Nox! Love all things outdoors and all things football. Camping AND watching football under the stars — that’s my jam.
How does your perfect morning start?
Sitting in my backyard watching Nox play — with a cup of coffee, my Bible, and my journal. Especially if that morning’s temperature is above 70.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
Helping coordinate and execute a 10-minute live drone show with 300 choreographed drones in a city I’d never been to for a client at the Bassmaster Classic (the largest consumer fishing event in the country). From concept to execution in less than 30 days, it was a sprint and such a team effort. Seeing our idea come to life in front of tens of thousands was amazing!
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Two years ago, I bought a house with a big backyard. It’s been a dream for a long time and took a village to get me there, but my dog and I couldn’t love it any more.
What advice do you have for young professionals in the area?
Get out there and meet people. It’s easy to put your head down and work 50+ hours a week in your own world. Take someone for coffee, put work down for an hour, go to an AMA Lincoln event. You won’t miss the work you didn’t get done, but you’ll definitely miss the chance you had to connect with someone.
What’s your favorite part about Lincoln and why?
I love that Lincoln feels like a big small town. When I’m out and about and wearing my hometown gear, I always meet someone that knows someone from near home.