VYP Q&A: Ciara Franklin, 100 Club of Arizona

December 11th, 2012
Ciara Franklin is a world traveler who is totally grounded.

Get to know your fellow VYPers through our recurring series of Q&A sessions with some of the Valley’s top young professionals. This month, meet Ciara Franklin, whose family background in public safety suits her perfectly for her job at the 100 Club of Arizona

Q. What does your job entail?
My job encompasses all marketing and media relations, designing all of our marketing materials, newsletters, communications and event materials and member communications. I also manage all of our social media outlets and coordinate all of our media appearances. I'm also Executive Assistant to Sharon Knutson-Felix, our Executive Director. 

Q. What makes your job rewarding?
Being I come from a public safety family - my grandfather, my dad and my brother are all Phoenix firefighters, I would say the most rewarding part is just knowing that we're making a difference in the lives of our public safety workers - police and firefighters - throughout the whole state of Arizona. These brave men and women are out there, responding to our call for help immediately, and it's our mission, when tragedy strikes for them, that we're there to answer their call for help. It feels good knowing that we're who they can come to.

Q. Has your family been a big inspiration for you?
Oh, definitely. Growing up, I always knew that my dad was helping people, and because he worked in Maryvale most of the time, he was helping people who were less fortunate than us and who needed someone to rely on. It's kind of come full circle, because the 100 Club provided a scholarship for me when I was in college, and then when I graduated, I was able to get a job here and give back. 

Q. What makes the Valley Young Professionals a rewarding experience for you? 
It's always good to grow more and learn more and meet more people, so the opportunities that VYP offers allow me to do that. I think growth and continuing education should be an everyday occurrence for people. 

Q. What would your fellow VYPers be most surprised to learn about you?
Travel is my first love. I actually studied tourism at ASU. I've been fortunate enough to travel to 20 different countries worldwide. I would say Italy or the Czech Republic were my favorites. My mom's family is from the Czech Republic, and Prague is one of my favorite cities. 

Q. What is the best career advice you ever received?
Actually, it was recently at the VYP Mentor Breakfast. Peter Hayes from SRP told us to 'open your own path.' His story of perseverance and determination, which helped him get where he is, was really inspirational.

Q.  What life accomplishment gives you the greatest sense of pride?
I'm always early. I'm early to everything. I graduated high school when I was 17, graduated from college at 20 and I bought my first house at 21. And I think I was even born a few weeks early.

Q. If you were a mentor to an up-and-coming Valley professional, what would your best advice be?
I would say, 'Create a brand for yourself.' Stick to that brand and live by that brand, and then you'll stand out. 

Q. What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind?
Besides traveling when I can, it's spending time with my two dogs. I love dogs. I have a German shepherd named Leia and a black lab mix, who is a rescue dog, named Jackson. 

Q. First thing in the morning – coffee or emails?
I don't drink coffee, so I guess it would be emails, after a good morning smooch from my dogs.


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100 Club of Arizona

This interview is part of the Chamber's monthly Valley Young Professionals email newsletter. To sign up for any or all of the Chamber's email communications, click here. For more information on joining the VYP, click here.

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