February Board Member Spotlight – MaryJane Mudd

Where do you work, and what does you company or organization do?

I am the Director of Global Communications for Bristow Group Inc., the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry. We have major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as well as most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Russia and Trinidad. In addition to providing helicopter transport services for energy companies and others, Bristow is a leader in search and rescue (SAR) services. Specially outfitted SAR helicopters operated by highly trained Bristow pilots have rescued more than 7,000 people in the U.K. alone. Search and rescue helicopter service is currently provided in the Netherlands, Norway, Trinidad, Australia, Russia and Brazil. Overall, Bristow operates a fleet of over 550 aircraft and has 3,300 employees in 20 countries, and in a typical week runs 6,235 flights and carries around 37,000 passengers.

Briefly describe your job.

I’m responsible for the creation and implementation of Bristow’s global marketing, PR, internal and external communications programs designed to build and strengthen our reputation in the industry. This includes internal and external branding, crisis communications and proactive media relations.

If you weren’t at your current job, what would you want to be doing instead?

I only joined Bristow in January 2012, so I’m having great fun getting my arms around a new industry (aviation) and learning the difference between, for example, a Bell Eurocopter EC225 and a Sikorsky S-76-A. For that reason, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else! If pushed for my dream, however, I would write a book—something humorous and moving about special needs parenting. My oldest daughter has special needs, and life with her, as well as the rest of the family, is always eventful. Everyone tells me I need to stop talking about it, and just do it. Perhaps my public admission here will get me moving!

What is your all-time favorite marketing campaign or brand?

Just one? First, MD Anderson’s “Making Cancer History” campaign has, for many years now, offered a message of hope that is both powerful and compelling. Every time I see that red line cross out yet another devastating form of cancer, I am moved. One of my favorite AMA Houston luncheons last year featured MD Anderson’s Vice President of Branding who explained how her team incorporated the ad campaign into the hospital’s logo, with that red line. Brilliance! Second, having worked my entire life for industrial corporations whose employees are committed to safety and the communities where they live and work, I value campaigns such as Chevron’s “We Agree” and Dow Chemical’s “The Human Element.” It’s important that an effort is made to educate and inform people about the good things these companies do for the economy and society as a whole.

What’s your favorite food or drink?

Nothing beats just about any form of pasta—especially lasagna—preferably the way my mother used make it. Favorite drink? A Starbucks nonfat café latte in the morning and an occasional glass of Cabernet at night.

How long have you been an AMA Houston member?

I joined AMA Houston for networking purposes shortly after starting my own business in 2007. The organization welcomed me with open arms and gave me tremendous volunteer opportunities, eventually resulting in a role on the Board of Directors. Then, I had the honor of serving as the chapter’s President from 2010 – 2011.

What’s your favorite thing about AMA Houston?

As a past President, I know first-hand how hard our volunteers work to provide a number of essential offerings that are important to anyone’s career: rich programming, great networking and some of the most spectacular special events in the city—like the Crystal Awards. However, when I look back on the past few years and consider my future with the chapter, I think of the depth and breadth of relationships I’ve developed. People I can call in a heartbeat if I need something or want advice on a marketing initiative. People who have become friends. One of those people was Richard Laurence Baron, an AMA Houston volunteer and trusted advisor whom we lost just a few weeks ago. If I weren’t a part of the chapter, I never would have come to know this spirited, brilliant man who taught me so much about volunteerism, mentoring and the pursuit of excellence in all things marketing. I will always credit AMA Houston for that.