Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Debbie Bates-Schrott. Photography for the series is by award-winning Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.
Debbie, please provide us a short bio.
I’m a CEO, a designer, a marketer, a runner and a mom. I love connecting people and being a part of a team that takes on challenges in our every day and for our clients. I look at life through a creative lens and use that perspective to solve any problem. Currently, I lead a team of about 20 strategic and creative-thinkers who do amazing things for our clients. Our work ranges from digging deep into research through workshops to creating authentic brand frameworks to designing, developing, and writing all the elements that play into a memorable brand experience that inspires audiences to take action. I’ve worked with clients such as ExxonMobil, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Smithsonian and Adobe.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
I’ve acted as the Chief Creative Officer on the board of AMADC for the past three years. I’ve been starting to work with AMA Baltimore and am excited about that, too. I’m also on the hunt for a non-profit to get involved with, so if you have any recommendations, send them my way! I previously served as an Association Media & Publishing and IABC DC chapter board member.
What are the things you are most proud of?
I’m extremely proud of my family. They always support me and bring so much joy to my life, which makes all the hustle and hard work worth it. Seriously, juggling the roles of being “mom” and “boss” never make for a dull day! On the “boss” side of things, I’m committed to the growth of Bates Creative, and am so proud of what we’ve become. I truly do have an amazing team who’ve put a lot of work and energy into the past 16 years of Bates Creative, and the new chapter of the agency coming soon!
Who are your personal role models?
Many people have inspired me throughout my life. I’m most inspired by women leaders who have created change as well as have shown others how to never give up.
My mom is 75 years old and is so strong. She still works, is full of energy, and just keeps moving forward to every new day. Up until last year, she spent her whole life in a very small town in Pennsylvania. I’m happy to say she has since moved to Maryland, found a new job, a new home and new friends! That is serious grit, and should inspire everyone to live a life motivated by positive energy and joy.
There are many women I’ve met or worked with who’ve shown tremendous strength and drive to compete in this world. From running marathons to becoming the CEO of a major boy’s club, these are the women who inspire me.
Did these role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
Stay focused. Stay driven. With these two things, you can do anything you set your mind to and live a life full of greatness. It’s so important to set aside time for yourself to reflect and be healthy.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Never give up. Always try to look ahead to see what might be coming next that’s will impact your career. Take risks and keep learning. You can never know it all—what’s the fun in that anyway?
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
I have a very eclectic mix with a strong country slant: Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Alabama Shakes, The Chain Smokers, George Ezra, Imagine Dragons, and Rudimental.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Two Fools and a Bull in Aruba.