On a continuous basis, IABC Nashville spotlights one of its diverse members through a Q&A feature. We are pleased to showcase Lynn Yates, Marketing Manager, Yates Construction.
IABC: What is your background?
- YATES: B.S. Media Management MTSU
- Voice-Over Professional (1992-Present)
- Professional Spokesperson for a variety of corporations (1999 – Present)
- Host of TriStar Health’s TV health commercial HealthBreak (1999-2012)
- Nearly 12 years in corporate communications at HCA/HealthTrust Purchasing Group (1997-2008
- Freelance writer and media consultant (2008-2012)
IABC: How did you get started in this business?
YATES: I grew up in a family of writers … for as long as I can remember, I have always loved to read and write. So, majoring in communications was a perfect discipline for me, a single mom who attended classes and worked a couple of jobs and an internship throughout my journey toward earning a degree … clearly, one of my proudest moments.
Following college, corporate communications was a natural fit; I was very fortunate to work for a company like HCA that allowed me to do all the things I did best and loved most as I honed my corporate skills. A few years after joining the company, I was asked by a former HCA marketing employee to audition for the spokesperson role for HealthBreak, the Company’s two minute health-related television commercial airing in about 30 markets at the time. From there, I sort of fell into additional voice-over work. My training ground for professional VO work was extremely grassroots … I was the kid who loved to read out loud in class, which gave me lots of opportunities to practice not having a southern accent. Having been born and raised in East Tennessee, I was determined to lose any hint of a Tennessee twang, though I am very proud of my southern heritage. I enjoyed voicing everything from radio commercials and call-in talk shows to corporate videos, television commercials and university talk shows. My current full time position doesn’t allow quite as much time for VO work although I still have a few corporate clients who call on my for various projects.
IABC: What is your current position and business affiliation? How long have your been in this role?
YATES: I made the decision to leave HCA in 2008 when both of my sons graduated college. If I was going to spread my freelance creative wings, that was the perfect time. I enjoyed writing, voice-overs, and occasional acting work in the local market until I realized in 2011 that I actually missed being part of a team. I joined Yates Construction in January 2012 as Marketing Manager … a position that has challenged my creative skills in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
IABC: What makes your business/organization stand out?
YATES: Yates Construction is a 50 year old family-owned and privately-held business headquartered in Philadelphia, Miss. The company is practically a household name along the Gulf Coast, yet relatively unknown in other areas such as Nashville. As Yates sought ways to enhance its name in healthcare construction, the company hired a team of seasoned healthcare veterans to open an office in Nashville, the mecca of corporate healthcare. I work with a fantastic group of professionals who offer me opportunities each day to color way outside the lines to define ways to promote our company along with our vast product and services offering.
IABC: If you could describe yourself in three (3) words, what would it be?
YATES: Resourceful, tenacious, loyal
IABC: Tell something about yourself people would be surprised to learn.
YATES: Though most people think of me as outgoing, I am actually fairly shy.
IABC: What lesson(s) have your learned along the way that you believe has made you a better communications professional?
YATES: Good communications professionals start with being great listeners.
IABC: What makes an effective communications leader?
YATES: An effective communications leader knows his/her audience, listens intently and reads between the lines. She draws from the collective strengths of those she leads, invites new ideas and innovative tools, and isn’t afraid to change what isn’t working or could be improved.
IABC: What do you feel is the greatest benefit of IABC?
YATES: IABC provides amazing resources and networking opportunities to communications professionals. The organization has been one of the most influential and empowering forces in my career development.
IABC: What prompted you to join IABC?
YATES: Several years ago, a friend who now lives in Seattle invited me to an IABC meeting. And the rest, you know.