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Jo Ann Herold, Author of Living On A Smile: 16 Ways to Live a Big Life and Lead with Love, is a purpose-driven executive and brings more than 25 years of marketing experience. She has a long track record of delivering financial results and award-winning marketing programs that build sales and profitability for iconic brands in the B2B and B2C space.
She has served as the Chief Marketing Officer for The Honey Baked Ham Company, LLC twice. Prior to Honey Baked Ham, she was the Chief Marketing Officer for Interface, Inc., where she globalized the marketing team and brought forth a highly effective, integrated marketing approach resulting in five consecutive quarters of record financial performance. Prior to Interface, she was Vice President of Brand Marketing and Public Relations at Arby’s Restaurant Group resulting in a brand turnaround and 13 quarters of same sale growth. She also has owned her own marketing firm.
Jo Ann has an MBA in International Business from Mercer University in Atlanta, and an undergraduate degree in Communication from Mississippi State University. She is an adjunct professor at Mercer University and Georgia State University. A passionate community volunteer and served as Vice Chair of the Arby’s Foundation, whose mission is to end childhood hunger. She serves on the Executive Board of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and served as the Board Chair.
Her work has been lauded by industry and community groups including the National Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential women, two AMY Awards from the American Marketing Association. She was recently the recipient of the Atlanta AMA’s Lifetime Achievement award and the CMO Club’s President’s Circle Award.
Connect with Jo Ann on LinkedIn.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Woodstock, Georgia. Welcome to Women in Business, where we celebrate influential women making a difference in our community. Now here’s your host.
Stone Payton: [00:00:30] Welcome to another exciting and informative edition of Women in Business. Stone Payton here with you this afternoon. You guys are in for such a real treat. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast educator, executive and author of Living on a Smile. Ms.. Joanne Harold, how are you?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:00:51] I’m doing great. How are you?
Stone Payton: [00:00:53] Stone Oh, I am doing well. Really been looking forward to this conversation and diving in to some of the specifics around this book. But before we go there, how about a little bit of backstory? Tell us a little bit about your your path to to where you are now.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:01:11] So I never imagined when I started as a star at McDonald’s and a star is a store area representative, and I wore the Hamburglar costume and gave birthday parties at McDonald’s that that would lead into a lifelong career of marketing and working in restaurants and retail and for brands that that early job as a 16 year old would lead into such an awesome career.
Stone Payton: [00:01:48] Well, we are so delighted to have someone of your experience here. And you have you’ve contributed substantially to a couple of little companies some of us may recognize. I know one that leapt off of the page for me is honey baked ham, because there is a honey baked ham at every patent affair, whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, or just an excuse to get together. There’s going to be a honey bake tab there. And I know you’ve had an opportunity to do some stuff for for Arby’s. And I my my instincts are that you leaned on on some of that life experience in what you learned there as you began to commit some of these ideas to the paper and bring this book together. Yeah.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:02:35] Yeah. So, honey, Vietnam is awesome. I love the company, the brand, the values, the people. It’s a beloved brand that brings everybody together. So got the good fortune to work for them twice as their CMO. And before that was, you mentioned at Arby’s Restaurant Group where I got to lead brand marketing and also was the vice chairman of the our guest chairwoman of the Arby’s Foundation and then also served for a very purpose driven company called Interface, which is located here in Atlanta, but a global company that’s filled with purpose and sells beautiful, beautiful carpet tiles.
Stone Payton: [00:03:26] And do you find yourself in the classroom from time to time at a couple of different institutions, sharing some insights and facilitating those conversations as well. So you really are an educator, too? Yeah.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:03:38] Yeah. So I’m super excited. I’m doing work with Georgia State and love working with them. I’m co-leading or working with a partner. Dr. Dennis Shaw on the Georgia State Chief Marketing Officer Roundtable. But also I’m about to launch into teaching with them and teaching their executive MBAs. But I’ve three of the years I’ve been a teacher as an adjunct for almost 20 years, so super excited to work with Georgia State in this capacity.
Stone Payton: [00:04:16] All right. So let’s talk about this book. It’s living on a smile. 16 Ways to Live a Big Life and Lead With Love. First question, what compelled you was was there a catalytic event that said, okay, it’s time I got to put this thing to together? What was that that thing that nudged you to actually get it done, you think?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:04:39] So I’ve had the idea probably since I was seven years old, to write a book and have kept journals and notes. And but the catalyst was during the pandemic. I’ve got a really good friend who’s actually owns the publishing company. His name is Jeff Haislmaier, and he was about to write his fourth book and encourage me while he was writing his fourth book to for us to be collaboration partners. So I wrote my book while he was writing his fourth book, and we would every day text and how many words did you write? And so it was a great way to get the ideas onto paper and then get it written and then edited and then published and launched. So the writing, the book is one part of the marathon. And as you know, I know you’ve written a book also. It’s also the editing publishing. No marketing. So that’s other sprints of the marathon?
Stone Payton: [00:05:54] Absolutely. Okay. So 16 ways, can you share a few of them with us and maybe dive into one and give us some some context for some of this this info.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:06:04] So after each chapter it. I do have a field guide or a workbook, but it really is for the the reader a way to articulate your purpose, mission, values, goals, strengths, and also ways. So part of it’s autobiographical and talks about family and friends and experiences that have happened. But it gives the the reader ways and tips that I’ve learned from mentors and families and family and friends on ways to live a big life and lead with love.
Stone Payton: [00:06:54] Well, I’d like to dive into that one a little bit. It’s a big topic. It sounds like a noble pursuit. I don’t know that there’s anyone in a position of having responsibility for generating results with and through other people that wouldn’t want to be known as someone who would lead with love. But can you speak to that concept specifically a little bit?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:07:17] Absolutely. So as a marketer and a business person, everything that I did as a marketer would need to be executed through a field organization or a team. And so for me, in order to be successful and make sure the company was successful, I needed to to lead with love. And leading with love in that regard is making sure that any ideas and programs were vetted, that they were thought through from all areas, not only a marketing perspective, but supply chain operations, the field teams, so that it was easy to execute in the hospitality business. So much of it is when a guest comes into a store or buys the product, they’re coming for a happy occasion. So it’s it’s also making sure the programs and the culture embody what we’re trying to achieve. So and then another part is, is really just being kind and doing things for others and being service oriented and a servant leader, you know, with in business.
Stone Payton: [00:08:49] So. So when you were putting this thing together, were there parts of the book that just came together super easy and like, Yeah, I just got to get this out. I got, I got, I got to get this written down. And then other parts that you really struggled with and it took some time to get it like you wanted it.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:09:05] Yeah. I mean, I put together a good outline, I think. And some days the, the words would just flow and it was easy and 3 hours would go by. And I couldn’t believe how fast the time flew. And so that that’s around passion and purpose and vision. When I would get stuck, I would call my friend Jeff Hilmer, who I mentioned, and we would brainstorm for a minute, and then it helped in other ways, get the ideas onto paper and made it easier to flow. So. So there were definitely places where I get stuck. I tried to write every single day, and I still do write every single day. I’m not at this moment writing another book, but that just that practice made things a little bit easier.
Stone Payton: [00:10:11] So something like and these are my words, not yours, I don’t think. But like living into your purpose, identifying your purpose, trying to get that figured out. I mean, that can be real challenging for some of us, I think. Why do you think that that is so challenging or is that consistent with your experience? Do a lot of people find themselves challenged when they’re when they’re trying to really nail that and get it isolated?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:10:35] I think time is putting aside the time to do it. I think it’s having a good framework in order to do it. And in the book, I give a framework. It’s also iterative as far as for me, the the purpose and the missions stay the same, but my goals may change based on things I’ve learned and new ideas. So I’m always iterating and updating the goal part of the my purpose.
Stone Payton: [00:11:20] Yeah. I would think that that. And I wonder if from time to time when people are doing that as they should be, if they don’t sometimes get the sense that they’re that they’re getting off track. But that’s not really necessarily the case. It’s part of the process, right?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:11:36] It is. I a couple of years ago, I decided I want it to be just a great tennis player, even though I’ve never played. And I took lessons and I wasn’t so great. So. So now I’m. I’m back taking lessons, and I want to learn how to play tennis. I don’t think I’ll ever be a great tennis player, but I’m also thinking maybe pickleball might be more my speed.
Stone Payton: [00:12:06] There you go. So the whole sales and marketing, I guess, are the right words. What is that been like trying to because the book’s not been out that long, right. As we speak today. How long has it been out?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:12:19] It’s been out about three weeks.
Stone Payton: [00:12:20] Yeah. So it’s just now getting out there. So, yeah, you’ve put a lot of energy, I’m sure. Time and time and energy and blood and sweat is. What’s that been like for you? Promoting the book and trying to get it into the hands of people.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:12:35] That has been fun. I. And this is one where I have to thank my friend groups circle people in the posse who have helped me along the way. The book has done really well. It’s I think it was a number one bestseller in a couple categories. And it’s it’s still doing really well. So and that’s because of. The people in my circle.
Stone Payton: [00:13:15] Well, that is fantastic. Okay. So let’s take advantage of the fact that we’ve got you the author right here with us live. And let’s say I have a copy of the book in front of me. I’m excited about it. And thank goodness I know Joanne. So I write her up and I say, okay, Joanne, I’m about to sit down with this thing. Help me out with some some pro tips or some pointers on how to get the most out of the book so that it has some genuine and lasting impact for me. What’s the best way to approach the book mindset activities? Yeah, like that.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:13:50] Yeah. I mentioned it really was designed to be reflective and for the reader to have the opportunity to take a pause. So after each chapter, there’s ways that the reader can can write their own purpose, mission, values. And so I would recommend and I wrote it for that purpose so that the reader would walk away with their own kind of guide book as far as. Leading a big life and leading with love.
Stone Payton: [00:14:32] Okay. So let’s let’s talk about me a little bit. You know, it’s my show. So I got I have an opportunity to lead a few folks in our organization, the Business Radio Network, and I’m part of a mastermind. Is this the kind of book? Because it certainly sounds like maybe it is that that we could in each of those contexts that we might be able to utilize the book, maybe do some individual work, come together and and have some some pointed and focused conversation on some different aspects of of the work. Is that a viable way?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:15:10] That is exactly what it was designed for.
Stone Payton: [00:15:14] Okay. Yeah. I mean that would that would be fantastic to. So if you’ve got if you’ve got a team and do a little bit of individual work, then come back. Talk it through. And I think you said early in the conversation you have some sort of like a workbook or field guide that accompanies this to to help facilitate that.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:15:34] Yeah. It’s after each chapter, there is a way that the the reader can take the examples and translate it into their own self.
Stone Payton: [00:15:48] I love it. And the the vision. Speaking of purpose and vision, do you envision leveraging this book and the work around it into doing things in in other formats like, I don’t know, events, workshops, supporting different ecosystems in communities? Do you do you think you might go in that direction with this? Yes.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:16:18] Absolutely. I as I was writing it, the person I had in mind was a 30 to 40 year old exec. And in any field who’s juggling a busy life, who wants a life that’s filled with purpose and passion, and ultimately I’d love to teach and coach and use this in workshops, and that’s been working out so far. I had a lot of people who bought it and read it who are giving it to their daughters, which to me is the highest compliment I could receive.
Stone Payton: [00:17:08] Absolutely. Well, I can I kind of come from the training and consulting world. And I got to tell you, my instincts are just based on on this conversation and some of the topics that you’ve touched on. I think this is this is marvelous content that can be used as a catalyst for learning to challenge people’s thinking to to have them, you know, have some genuine dialog around this and make some decisions about, you know, maybe some shifts that they may want to make and goals or habits. And then in that group environment, you know, perhaps there’s some real value and what’s the right thing like holding each other a little bit of accountable for what they say they’re going to do. This this just it strikes me as incredibly rewarding work.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:17:55] It? It is. And my favorite part of being a leader is. The team and watching the team grow. And so the book was. Really a gift to the people who helped me along the way and to thank them, but also hopefully a gift to people who are coming up and growing their career and family and just, you know, again, just trying to live a happy and positive, productive and purposeful life.
Stone Payton: [00:18:34] In just a moment. Before we wrap, I’m going to make sure that folks know how to get their hands on the book and know how to reach out to to you or someone on your team if they want to possibly engage you, you know, to do you know, to do some speaking work or workshop work. But in the space between someone hearing this conversation and taking one of those steps, I’d love to leave them if we could with, I don’t know, a pro tip or two just things. We if this is something that really does interest us and we think we want to begin exploring some of these topics, you know, a pro tip, an actionable kind of thing that maybe we ought to try to do today or this afternoon or not do. Could we leave them with an idea or two just to start, stimulate their thinking and inform future conversations and kind of get them warmed up and prepped to get the most out of the book?
Jo Ann Herold: [00:19:30] Yeah. Something I do every day. I wake up and I think about the best possible outcome and. You know, it’s it’s easy sometimes to start thinking, oh, gosh, I’ve got to do this or that. So I’ve trained my brain to just be positive and to make it a great day. So that would be. My tip and then going back to to my purpose, which is to lead with love and try to do something kind. Every day.
Stone Payton: [00:20:09] I love it. All right, so where can we get our hands on this book? Let’s make sure we make that easy for our folks to do. And then let’s do leave them with some sort of point of contact, whatever you think is appropriate, whether it’s a LinkedIn or an email or a website or what have you. I just want to make sure that people can stay connected and and pursue this to their heart’s desire.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:20:33] So thanks. The book is available on Amazon and it’s Living on a Smile. And I’m Joanne Harrold so it’s and I’ll next LinkedIn is the best way it’s tied right to my email but if you want to email me directly, it’s Joanne Harrold and it’s Joanne in HDR old 1107 at gmail.com.
Stone Payton: [00:21:04] Well, Joanne, it has been an absolute delight having you on the show this afternoon. You are doing such important work. I appreciate you. I know our listeners appreciate you. Please keep it up and don’t be a stranger. You know, maybe there’s some wisdom in us sort of circling back around periodically and following your story. It might even be fun to speak with with you and an inspired reader sometime or an inspired workshop participant. So this has been fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us.
Jo Ann Herold: [00:21:36] Oh, thank you so much. It’s been such a privilege and a pleasure to be here today. Thank you.
Stone Payton: [00:21:42] All right. This is Stone Payton for our guest today, Joanne Harrold, author of Living on a Smile and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying, we’ll see you next time on Women in Business.