Welcome to Sweeney Mae’s World!
I’ve been in love with Marketing since 2004 when I decided to major in it while I was attending the School of Business at Washington State University.
I fell deeper in love with it after taking Consumer Behavior classes. There is something about the psychology and practice of marketing that is so magnetic to me. I have always been curious about how brands can excite consumers to choose their product over another brand.
Besides the practical application of marketing at my job and with my personal projects, I really enjoy teaching marketing workshops. I love giving people their aha moments as I explain and simplify the principles of marketing. I love sharing simple hacks that helps make marketing less daunting to small business owners and non-profit directors.
I believe that everything is marketable once you find your target audience and design a message that communicates how you’ll solve consumers’ problems or make their lives more efficient.
I also love telling stories through writing or videos, which is why I have kept this blog running and have (so far) written one book published on Amazon, “The 10 Step Guide to a Successful Event” and have collaborated with 41 other women in an Amazon best-seller compilation of short stories called Unscripted: How Women Thrive in Life, Business, and Relatioships: Real Life Advice from Women on Balancing Their Power.
A little more about me… To keep fit, I have been certified as a Zumba Instructor and I enjoy teaching a class once a week and during special events. I also love to hike and as a Pisces, I enjoy being near the ocean. I love to travel solo. In 2016, I traveled to London, Madrid, Rome, and Paris by myself and in 2017, I went to Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos (A friend of mine joined me in Santorini and Mykonos so I wasn’t alone there.)
I’m most proud of The Survivors Fashion Show, an annual fashion show to raise money for Cancer Research. My father passed away in 2008 due to Lung Cancer and ever since my first involvement with a fashion show featuring cancer survivors in 2007, I promised myself to produce a similar show in Los Angeles and I have accomplished it two years in a row.
I love giving back to my community, which is why I spend my time volunteering as a Board Member of the Women’s Business Council of the Long Beach Business Chamber; The Gardena-Carson YMCA; President of The Rotary Club; Member of The Lions Club, the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, Carson Forward Organization, and a Public Relations Commission for the City of Carson.
Sweeney Mae’s Professional Biography:
Sweeney Mae Montinola is a multi-award-winning Marketing Director for SouthBay Pavilion, a property located in Carson CA, with a broad range of experience in event and marketing management. Her expertise includes creative marketing solutions, community relations and social media marketing.
Active within the community, Sweeney Mae currently serves as a Public Relations Commissioner for the City of Carson and a Board Member for the Carson Gardena Rotary Club and The Carson Sheriff’s Station Support Foundation. She also is frequently requested to appear as guest lecturer and speaker at various organizations including CSUDH, local Chambers of Commerce, Non-Profit Partnership of Long Beach where she helped 75+ nonprofit organizations raise over $800,000 through her Social Media workshops and motivational lectures.
In the past, Sweeney Mae has served as VP of Marketing for the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce SouthBay and Los Angeles Area, Board Member of the LA South Chamber, President of the Carson Gardena Dominguez Rotary Club, VP of Communications for the Women’s Business Council of Long Beach, and Board Member of the Gardena Carson YMCA
Sweeney Mae has won several MAXI awards within the International Council of Shopping Centers including the U.S. Foundation Award in the Western Region that granted her a $5,000 to her nonprofit of choice. She has also served as one of the judges in the 2018 MAXI Awards. She has also received many other awards personally and locally for SouthBay Pavilion from the City of Carson, Carson Lions Club, and so much more!
Sweeney Mae holds a B.A. in Marketing from Washington State University and a CMD (Certified Marketing Director) designation from International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). She has worked for companies like Macy’s Northwest and Expedia, Inc. One of her missions in life is to simplify the marketing principles through her marketing and social media workshops and online courses to help businesses around the world understand the power of their brands.
What is Sweeney Mae’s Story???
Sweeney Mae grew up in the Philippines. Her first experience as a leader was in her kindergarten years when her teacher put her in charge as a cheerleader for a community parade. Sweeney Mae attended St. Scholastica’s Academy, an all-girls, private, Catholic school and in her childhood and young adolescent years, she discovered that she has always been business-minded. Although her parents were thousands of miles away (in the states), Sweeney Mae managed to be on the honor roll, raised her younger sister and manage the monthly allowance that her parents provided to take care of the house employees, bills, tuition, and other necessities. When she was just 14, her mother taught her how to use a ledger to account for debits and credits – amazing!
At 17, Sweeney Mae’s parents finally completed the petition process. Sweeney Mae and her younger sibling Nichole migrated to Seattle, WA. Sweeney Mae was, at first, upset that Foster High School decided to hold her back for two years regardless of her school credits and good grades. The reason was that she was only 17 and she was not ready for college.
In the Philippines, there weren’t 7th and 8th grade. After 6th grade, kids went straight to high school but the American school system was different and although Sweeney Mae was upset at first, she didn’t regret it. As always, she did her best and swept the “Student of the Month” awards in all of the classes she was in. She directed the school gala, was a part of the Year Book staff, was in the top percentile of the WASL test results, her artwork was always exhibited, was the Dance Squad captain, Prom Queen, and the list goes on.
Sweeney Mae received acceptance letters from the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU). She decided to become more independent by choosing to go to WSU, which was a six-hour drive from home. At WSU, Sweeney Mae was a Multicultural Student Mentor, Business Ambassador, Fitness Instructor, and she started Eclectic Dance Group, a well sought after group for live performances. She was an Achiever Scholar and accepted other scholarships that helped her finance her college costs.
In her Junior year, she accepted an internship opportunity with Macy’s Northwest, who offered her a position in the company after she graduated. Sweeney Mae decided to continue working for Macy’s as an Executive Trainee and was placed in a second level Assistant Buying Position with the Fashion Jewelry Department.
After one year of working as the Assistant Buyer for Fashion Jewelry, Sweeney Mae was ready to conquer the next step of becoming an Associate Buyer but unfortunately, due to the recession, Macy’s closed the Seattle Corporate office. Sweeney Mae was offered a position in Macy’s Atlanta, GA but she turned it down.
A few months later, Expedia Inc. contracted Sweeney Mae as the Associate Merchandising Manager. She worked with clients like Sam’s Club, AARP and more! Sweeney Mae adjusted to her new position fast. Her supervisors were very impressed with the quality of her work and although her manager fought to hire her full-time, the recession eventually forced Expedia Inc. to acquiesce to the “laying off” trend.
These series of events encouraged Sweeney Mae and her closest friends to start an Event Planning Company called Events in the City, LLC. Right away, their company worked with wedding clients. Sweeney focused more on fundraising events, fashion shows, and red carpet shows. Sweeney Mae was able to produce, coordinate and choreograph a stage play for a non-profit organization. She was also secured the Gilda’s Club account, which was a dinner gala for 800 people. Sweeney Mae worked with the Seattle Fashion Week team and their company grew as more clients recommended their services.
In 2009, Sweeney Mae decided to move to California. Right away, Sweeney got involved in multiple projects with the Multicultural Motion Pictures Association, helping them coordinate the Diversity Awards and Celebrity Toy Drive; Abstraction Media Production, helping coordinate comedy shows at The Comedy Store and other venues; The Social Arts Foundation, coordinated their first fashion show. She also wrote the first draft to the Becoming a Man movie script.
In 2010, Sweeney Mae accepted an employment offer to be the Marketing Coordinator for a shopping center in Southern California. In 2011, Sweeney Mae was promoted to a Marketing Manager level and a few months later, she was assigned another mall to manage. Another year later, she was promoted to a Marketing Director position after she won her first ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) MAXI award for marketing excellence in 2014. Sweeney Mae took home another prestigious award in 2015 – U.S. Community Support Award in the West Region, a corporate MAXI award (first ever for her corporate) in 2016 and 2017.