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On the Job with Pamela Jackson

Pamela Green Jackson is a public affairs/community relations specialist at MCLB-Albany.

Pamela Green Jackson is a public affairs/community relations specialist at MCLB-Albany.

Pamela Green Jackson says she absolutely loves her work at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.

However, she also has a couple of other scenarios that she would enjoy just as much.

One would be administering her nonprofit organization that targets childhood obesity. If finances were not an issue, she would be happy devoting all her time to that calling.

Also, once work is over, she says she can see herself relaxing in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the native country of her mother.

Q. What was your first job?

A. My first job was babysitting. I grew up in rural Baker County, and some of our neighbors asked me to watch their children. I was about 15 years old.

Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first-ever paycheck?

A. Clothes, of course — like most girls. I bought a brand new outfit to wear to school.

Q. What’s the single most effective technique you’ve found over the past two years for keeping employees motivated?

A. To be motivated myself. I never ask someone else to do what I’m not willing to do myself, and to show appreciation for all things, even the small ones.

Q. What led you to your current position? Why did you want to operate your own business?

A. I always liked communications and interacting with the community. As a veteran, it was a great opportunity to come back and serve my country as a civilian. I love the public relations-type of environment. I’ve been here almost five years and have loved every minute of it.

Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?

A. I try to model Jesus Christ himself, as a Christian, but I also look up to my pastor, my uncle and my dad, who is no longer with me.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?

A. That in time everything will turn itself around. Just try to do less with more and motivate your people and eventually things will change. We’ve been here before.

Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology – examples email, automated phone systems, cellphones, PDAs, etc. – what would you most like to see go away?

A. I absolutely deplore automated phones. You press this button to get to this person or that person. I’m a personable person, and I love interacting with people. I don’t like pressing a bunch of buttons to get where I need to get to.

Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?

A. It would have to be my laptop. It’s portable, because I’m out in the community a lot and I do a lot of research for my writing.

Q. What is your favorite tradition?

A. For family I love Christmas. It’s always been my favorite holiday. Not only does it celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it gives me a chance to spend time with my family. On the business side, I look forward to just anything interacting with my community. I love my job.

Q. What was the last book you read? Do you have things you read daily or regularly?

A. Of course, I’m a regular reader of the Bible. But I’ve been in school getting my certification so I’ve read a lot of public affairs, public relations, leadership-type books. I read “Gung Ho” by Ken Blanchard about motivating others around you.

Q. I’m up and going by? And what is your morning routine?

A. On a good day, starting about 5:30, I try to get up and walk before having my coffee and letting the dogs out. On most days, it’s about 6. I get up, have my coffee, let the dogs out and get my granddaughter ready for camp. I head in to work by 8.

Q. What famous person would you like to meet and why?

A. I have seen first lady Michelle Obama from a distance and would love to have 30 minutes to sit down and pick her brain about life in general. I just admire her and how she became first lady of the United States. She does it with such class and grace.

Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?

A. Outside work I’m spending time with my granddaughter. I love my two dogs, and I love to travel. Jamaica is one of my favorite places. That’s where my mom is from. I just love seeing new places.

Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?

A. Probably not vetting people who I’ve worked with closely to accomplish a task or project. You have to really know your people. You have to know what they’re about and what their traits are. Just spending more time getting the right person.

Q. Best thing about your job?

A. The community — and because I administer community relations and community engagement programs for the Command — it gives me a chance to spend time with the regular everyday people in the community. Not just the business leaders, but the people as a whole. I’m responsible for making sure that the Marines and the leadership here interact with the public, and I also get a chance to tell the Marine Corps’ story.

Q. Worst thing about your job?

A. Not being able to provide the resources I need or to meet the customers’ needs because of lack of resources or lack of time.

Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?

A. It would have to be Communications. I spend a lot of time taking with people, talking on the phone. I’m interviewing people — talking, just communicating with others. It’s served me well over the years.

Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?

A. To be wealthy enough to be able give back to others. I hate seeing people in need, especially children and the elderly. I have a nonprofit organization where I target childhood obesity because I lost my brother to obesity. I would love to work that job without pay. Any job you can enjoy where you’re giving back to others and not get paid for it is the best job in the world, I think.

Q. Finish this thought: On the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself …

A. In a villa in Montego Bay Jamaica, doing nothing but relaxing, enjoying the sun and enjoying my family.

Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?

A. Besides integrity, which is a given, I would have to say dependability. In my line of work, dealing with the public, dealing with the military, I have to able to be depended on. The Command, my family, the community have to be able to rely to me and be sure that I’m there when I need to be.

Q. Crystal ball time: What’s your call on when the economic recovery for our area will be in full swing?

A. I think we’re beginning to see some of the fruits of our labor of the last couple of years. I think we’re on an upswing. We went through a depression close to the Great Depression. I think we’ll a see a real difference within the next five years.

Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?

A. I love all genres. You will find some R&B. You will find a lot of gospel. You will find country. You will find hip-hop, some classical and some jazz. I love it all. I’m a music lover.

Q. What was the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Why?

A. I’d have to say it was Canada. I took my mom and my girls and went to spend time with my uncle and family there. It was a great opportunity to bond with them and to visit a country I hadn’t been to yet. It was several years ago in August in their peak festival time, and we look forward to going back again.

Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?

A. With the defense budget cuts, I think we’re having to be more creative, think outside the box and still get the job done with less resources. We have to get those creative juices flowing and keep moving toward the goals of the Marine Corps.