1. I had no idea you were at a middle school! How exciting?! What is your work environment culture like right now?
- “Right now it’s bizarre!” However, because she’s had so many crises in her life, it has provided her with experiences that have helped keep everything in perspective. “I’ve been able to be a calming person to teachers and kids. Having had 7 miscarriages, being robbed, stocked, and having held an elected office, I’ve been more of a calm person.
2. You worked at MSUM and organized 20 years of MSUM celebrations as a volunteer, but you attended NDSU for undergraduate and graduate courses. What do you reflect on those experiences?
- “During my undergraduate studies, I attended and lived at NDSU all four years. However, they didn’t have my major at that time, so I went through the Tri-college system and graduated from MSUM. I feel blessed to be an alumni of both NDSU and MSUM.”
3. Tell me more about being the Director of the Governor’s Division for Women.
- After helping found a bank in Arizona, they were purchased by another bank, so Tammy was open to other opportunities. After a brief stint at Lund Cadillac, the current governor at the time, Jane Hull approached her. She asked Tammy to come work for her. From there, Tammy started the first statewide Character Education Program in the US and set up a public/private partnership to fund it. Then, Governor Hull asked her to hold an additional position in her administration: Director of the Governor’s Division for Women. “I loved leading both efforts! With the Governor’s Division for Women, we applied for and received multiple grants to fund outreach in all communities. We wrote and distributed the first ever comprehensive listing of all services for women and children’s health. With the character education initiative, I trained over 10,000 teachers and parents on how to instil the “six pillars” of character in Arizona’s youth and distributed almost one million training materials, too.”
4. What was it like working for Lund Cadillac Company?
- Lund was the bank’s client, so Tammy was the on air personality. She was the marketing director, and it was “the longest year of her life.” After being sexually harassed, being paid less than a man, starting a new customer department, and more, the bright light at the end of the tunnel came. That was when she was approached by Governor Hull. Tammy says, “I felt free! I did like driving the Cadillacs.” Her experience gained her opportunities to write commercials, edit them, and produce them.
6. What was Tammy Linn and Company?
- She worked as the Marketing Director with Eide Bailey, along with 2 other jobs to support her family. She became a noted trainer and speaker nationally in the area of service business marketing and customer service. Tammy would host training seminars, give keynotes, and much more. While at Eide, other companies approached her to consult with them. Tammy says, “One thing to keep in mind is that when you’re good at something and work hard, you can be successful.” She launched her own consulting business for accounting firms and law firms to do strategic planning, marketing planning, training, and facilitation services.
8. What have been your biggest mistakes and how have they impacted your success?
- Her biggest mistake has been trying too hard at everything I do. “Sometimes people don’t want to get too close to you because either they’re intimidated or judgemental of how I work.” She has had to deal with change constantly with every move that she’s made for her family. “You can look at everything in a filter. Pick yourself up and say this too shall pass and we will get through this.”
9. Do you have tips for someone managing a social media platform?
- “Never put something on social media that you wouldn’t want your grandmother or parent to read. Never put things political or bad about anyone. Be careful what you say, don’t show disrespect.”
10. What is it like being a volunteer grant writer?
- “For every grant I’ve written, I’ve gotten the funds. Total, I’ve received around $360k in funding.” Tammy has been on both sides of the process. From taking and reading proposals, to writing argumentatively to obtain a grant. She enjoys grant writing because it allows her to blend her writing and high critical thinking skills together.
11. Who inspires you?
- She has never had a role model, which was hard. People that do inspire her are, “People that give to their community and people that will accept the giving. We need to give and get.” Judy Lee (state senator) has been a strong female figure to her — Judy helped her when doing research about political issues. “Judy is hard-working, intelligent, honest, and trustworthy. That’s what I aspire to be every day!”
12. Have you ever considered being president?
- “Yes.” She wouldn’t mind that at all. “What happens is that you have to be able to commit the amount of time. You have to be a huge fundraiser, too. I am honest and hard-working. Sometimes being too honest is not good for a political career. I will do what has to be done, even when it may make people mad or uncomfortable.”
15. Has being a female ever restricted your confidence when leading board meetings? Or just in general?
- “Yes and no. You have to fight past the fact that most of the people I’ve worked with are men. I’ve had to understand how to work with men. I relate well to men and feel respected because of the fact that I am objective in whatever I do; work hard; and will be a team player.” Tammy says that having three boys has given her more insight into working with all.