The Art of Opportunity & other advice from ATB’s Chief of Brand : The Advertising Club of Edmonton

“I never would have imagined ending up where I am today. I’ve never had a career plan or goals in the way you’re always taught you should. I’ve always just followed opportunities as they’ve come and learned to be open to anything.”

Peggy Garritty started her career working in government, where she first discovered her knack for writing. “I don’t think I actually knew I was good at communications until that point; I really just thought everyone was a good writer. It wasn’t until later when I learned this was actually a very marketable skill.”

Throughout her years working in various sectors of government, Peggy always knew she wanted to start her own business. When she finally took the leap, Peggy recalls a piece of advice she received that set the stage for her success. “All you need to start with is one good client,” she explains.

“When you’re in business, you learn quickly that you don’t get a lot of second chances. There’s a lot of people out there just like you, so to deliver your absolute best every time, without second chances, is really important advice to remember.”

After 15 years of being her own boss, Peggy received a call, asking her to consider a position at ATB. She remembers laughing over the phone. Why would she leave her perfectly thriving business to go work for someone? That was 10 years ago.

“I started at the end of January, on the coldest day of the year, and I thought, ‘what am I doing, leaving my warm home office and cozy fireplace?’ But I’ve been here ever since, and I love it to this day.”

When Peggy started there was a separation of the marketing and communication teams but she found a way to bring them together and 10 years later, she describes the two as almost completely indistinguishable. “At the heart of it all is great content. If you have great content, it doesn’t matter who you’re selling to. It’s all about driving the customer experience.”

In the end she circles back to what got her to where she is.

“I think a lot of being a successful marketer comes from never allowing yourself to get stale,” she advises. “Everything is changing so fast, and that means you need to keep being an observer and participate in the things going on around you. Anything that comes close to touching the world we live in, you have to be open to all of it.”


Words: Jamie Bay

Photo: Aminah Syed

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