Summer Martin believes everyone has a story to share. It’s one of the reasons she wanted to go back to “her first love — communications,” which started in high school with a communications office internship for a public school system in Kentucky.
Today, Martin is the marketing and events coordinator for the Pasco Economic Development Council. She has three main goals: to let people know where Pasco is, to communicate positive stories on how Pasco is growing, and to attract businesses to the area.
Every Monday, Martin puts together the “Monday Cup O’ News,” a simple link-based email that aggregates positive stories in Pasco County. The email goes out to 1,500 recipients, including CEOs, community leaders, government officials, education leaders and business leaders interested in the Tampa Bay area. Martin has doubled the list and increased the council’s social media presence. She grew Twitter followers from 40 to more than 3,000 and Facebook likes from zero to more than 600 over the last couple years.
Martin is especially excited about Penny for Pasco, the first time the state has dedicated resources to economic development in the county, with more than $45 million in funding projected over the next five years.
Martin says her goal is to continue to spread the good news about Pasco County and Tampa Bay. All of her hard work is to put Pasco County on the map.
— Traci McMillan Beach
City of residence: Trinity
Twitter handle: @PascoEDC, @TBMama
Birthplace: Danville, Ky.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 15
Marital status/children: Married, with one 9-year-old daughter
Alma mater: Lee University, Cleveland, Tenn.
Best place to network: Everywhere can be a great networking opportunity, if you make it one. That being said, Pasco EDC’s Annual Industry Awards Banquet and Trade Show is by far one of the best events in Tampa Bay for power packed networking with decision makers around Pasco County and the region.
Coolest business experience: Prior to economic development I worked as the marketing director for a large wine retailer called B-21. The coolest experience I had was taking a trip to Spain and visiting the Rioja region. As we stood on top of a mountainside in century-old vineyards next to a 15th century church and I looked out upon the horizon, I realized at that moment how awesome our world is and each one of us makes up a small part of it. From the man in the vineyards tilling with his mule, to the winemaker blending the grapes, to the marketing director at a retail store, to the consumer purchasing the wine, each person plays an integral part in creating our economy, and I felt fortunate to play a small role in that.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Never underestimate the power of storytelling. One example of this, was when I was working on a press release about a microloan that Pasco EDC gave to a urodynamics company. Not an overly exciting story at first sight. However, come to find out the business owner first heard about the microloan from his dog. As he was walking his dog, the pup began tearing up his neighbor’s newspaper. The article in the dog’s mouth was about the Pasco EDC microloan. The new headline read, “Dog leads entrepreneur to microloan,” and of course the puppy made the news!
One website that makes your job easier: Google. I have specific Google Alerts set up on every city and many companies within our County and region, filtering to one folder in my email box. It helps me aggregate all of the business headlines related to our County and repackage the stories to send out in our Monday Cup o’ News email.
One community group you’re most involved with: I have really enjoyed being a part of Leadership Pasco. It taught me so much about the history of Pasco and the Tampa Bay region as a whole. Also love volunteering to speak to marketing and communications classes at Saint Leo University.
Favorite off-hours activity: Spending time with my family whether at the beach or simply having dinner.
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: I would love to sit down and break bread with Jesus Christ. I am not sure I’d need to have dinner with anyone else after that.
Best award you ever received: Every award is fantastic but this year was incredibly special because I helped Pasco EDC earn three awards from the Florida Economic Development Council recognizing our organization’s marketing efforts, and it is great to know that people are recognizing the outstanding things happening within Pasco County.
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to live a pretty adventurous life thus far. Having grown up overseas as a missionary kid and lived in Costa Rica and Venezuela sounds like an adventure to many, but to me it was life as usual. One of the coolest experiences I had was on a business trip to Argentina in 2010 when the group I was with went horseback riding up the Andes Mountains on the border of Argentina and Chile.
What’s at the top of your bucket list: I would love to take a trip to Italy and Greece one day.
What new skill would you like to learn: I would love to learn Portuguese and French.
Who would play you in a movie about your life: I would like to say Angelina Jolie, but have always thought my life was a comedy so it would probably be Melissa McCarthy as a hysterically funny, yet savvy business woman.
If I had a magic wand I’d: …create a new kind of Google Glass that when you wear them you can see the good inside of people.