Alumni Spotlight: Barbie Romero

NON-PROFIT – This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni working in the non-profit sector.

Barbie Romero (THF ‘13) (THF ‘14)

Please describe your role.

As Senior Manager in the Committees and Conferences team at the Association of National Advertisers I help my team program content for our committee meetings and conferences. I currently help manage the Digital & Social committees as well as various 1-Day conferences and several national conferences. I also help manage the webinar program directed to our members.

What do you enjoy most about your company?

I enjoy getting to know our members as well as seeing their marketing campaign presentations during our committee meetings and conferences. Our membership has some of the largest advertisers in the world including P&G, Unilever, SAP, Lego, Domino’s, Coca-Cola. It’s pretty exciting to get an inside look at how they create their marketing campaigns. Pre-COVID, I also enjoyed traveling for our meetings and conferences held across the US.

In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?

I enjoy my role since it combines two things which I am passionate about: marketing and event planning. In my role I am able to coordinate multiple events but also use my understanding of marketing to know what case studies marketers look for in conferences.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. I was always passionate about managing events. When I was at FIT, I volunteered during New York Fashion Week and got internships through T. Howard Foundation which allowed me to volunteer at HBO and Viacom events.  My first job out of college was at ZenithOptimedia as a Business Development Associate. That job taught me how to be well organized and coordinate multiple projects with short deadlines.

How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?

T. Howard Foundation helped me secure internships at HBO and Viacom. This helped advance my career as I was able to learn about the media industry as well as meet executives in these companies. T. Howard Foundation also taught me how to be confident in the skills I developed through these internships.

What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?

My personal attributes include being proactive, honest, responsible, caring, curious, trustworthy, organized, and having a positive attitude.

If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?

Be proactive. I would tell students to always be proactive and think one step ahead when managing their projects during their internship or first job out of college. Try to anticipate what is needed next so that way you can become an essential member of the team.

  1. Get to know your teammates so that you can develop a relationship with them and get to know them better.
  2. Think of ways to improve processes in your department and don’t be afraid to let your manager know if there is a way to improve things. Sometimes having an outside perspective can help inspire innovation.
  3. Always be humble and always be open to learning from others.
  4. Most importantly, be yourself and let others get to know you. You may have perspectives others may not have in your company that could help drive change.

In one sentence please describe what work/life balance means to you.

When it’s your day off or you are on vacation it’s knowing how to relax and stop checking emails if you promise yourself you will not check email.

Use one word to describe how you practice self-care.


Are you an early bird or a night owl? How does this show up in your working habits?

I am an early bird when it comes to my working habits. I will try to tackle the toughest task first to finish it sooner than later.