This week, our Lytle Light features ACU staff and COBA alumnus, Emerald Cassidy. Emerald is the director of digital content and community relations at ACU. She promotes the university through collaboration with on-campus departments and other marketing teams in the development and enhancement of strategies across the university website, digital and social media, marketing, etc. In addition to digital content, Emerald champions the university’s brand and reputation by building positive relationships with key stakeholders in the community. She is a recipient of the university’s F.M. “Doc” Churchill Leadership Award – an award recognizing steadfast commitment to expanding the university’s growth through strong relationships with campus partners.

A native of Abilene, Emerald graduated from Abilene Christian University in 2008 with a B.B.A. in marketing. She earned her M.A. in communications in 2011 from ACU. Emerald was a member of the servant-leadership group, LYNAY; local women’s sorority, Delta Theta; and other student organizations.

Emerald began her career at Abilene’s Grace Museum working in marketing and community engagement. Her work has included developing marketing strategies, producing awareness campaigns, establishing a brand reputation, cultivating media relations, and more.

She serves on the board of directors for the Abilene Education Foundation, Hendrick Medical Center Foundation, Junior League of Abilene, Laura W. Bush Institute, National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, and other nonprofit organizations. To say that she is involved and invested in the Abilene and ACU community is an understatement. She truly is an irreplaceable leader. Continue reading to learn the wisdom and perspective on leadership she shared with us.

What has your career journey looked like after leaving COBA?

  • After graduate school, I began my first full-time marketing position. As a marketing team of one, I was exposed to so many opportunities that expanded my skill set. It was a truly rewarding experience and one that introduced me to contacts that led me to my work at ACU. Nurturing relationships with mentors and business leaders continues to build the path forward in my career.

What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned in your life/career thus far?

  • What has resonated with me throughout this unprecedented time is the need for leaders to act with genuine empathy. When you can “wear your customer’s shoes,” you have a better understanding of what’s important to them. As a business, you are the most successful when you can hone in on the heart of the matter.

How has your faith impacted your life and career?

  • My faith defines my personal values and drives my goals. I’m blessed to be at ACU working in this Christ-centered community. In my work, it would not be unusual for someone to open a meeting in prayer or request that teammates turn to God for discernment and wisdom during times of crisis. There’s power in our faith and it manifests into something truly exceptional in our lives and among our teams.

Thank you Emerald for not only your participation but your dedication and service to our community! Your commitment to your work and community is a beautiful example of a servant’s heart.