Meet Beth Ann Hilton – Contribution: Promoting Volunteerism and inspiring the largest commitment of pro bono service in the Reconstruction of Haiti.
Prior to founding The B Company Beth headed up the Strategic Promotions department for Warner Music Group, Inc., where she was responsible for creating corporate partnerships and integrated strategic promotions for the company’s Atlantic, Elektra,Lava, Maverick, Warner Bros./Reprise, Warner Nashville, WEA Latina, and Rhino Record labels, as well as, its AOLTW sister companies.
During her six years at WMG, Beth gained a reputation for making synergy viable and producing successful integrated marketing campaigns for clients. She was responsible for managing all music aspects of the multi-million dollar alliance with General Motors and for developing corporate relationships with other automotive and Fortune 500 companies including Philips, Mitsubishi, Nestle, and Revlon, among others. In addition, she managed music on PopStars! the first Reality TV music project featuring Nicole Scherzinger.
As president of The B Company, she has produced results for record companies, managers, and indie artists in the areas of promotional partnerships and public relations. Nettwerk Records, MovieTunes, SHOUT! Factory, Orange Peal Records and Shadowside Music LLC are just some of the clients Beth has paired with partners such as MySpace.com, NASCAR, IMAX, YouthAIDS, TVDesktop and AOL.com. In 2006, The B Company expanded to include a broader scope of entertainment marketing writing, public relations, and online publishing services.
What motivated you to become the pro-bono public relation volunteer with HavServe?
I was introduced to founder Carline Brice through another pro-bono client. Her strong integrity and gentle determination to help Haiti help itself in the face of great challenge really moved me, so I looked for a way to help that would dovetail with my busy life as a public relations person and mother.
What was most frustrating or challenging to you during your pro bono volunteering placement?
The most challenging is the financial hopelessness and general apathy that people feel in the U.S. It is frustrating that so many people believe they have nothing to give because they are out of work, or don’t have an overflow of cash. The beauty of HavServe is in the name: if you have, you serve. What you “have” can be time, a skill, ideas, contacts, equipment, or even the ability to shop garage sales to gather inexpensive school supplies, soccer gear and equipment for the children in the village of Lebrun. I wish more people would look at what they can do with what they have and know, rather than at what they don’t have “right now.” When people take steps to make a difference and make our world a better place, their life is often changed for the better in unexpected ways.
From what you observed during your experience, what are the three most important characteristics of a successful pro-bono or online volunteer activity for Haiti?
I believe that a successful activity results from a mix of planning, action, and flexibility to adapt to changes and opportunities. Most important is not to be derailed, even if it means taking a break to reorganize and energize! This is done with:
- Good planning paired with openness to creative inspiration and opportunity.
- Willingness to take the first step, even when you can’t see the end of the road.
- Belief that education can beat poverty and create sustainable change in our world.
- Empowerment through education by providing knowledge and skills so that people can create the needed change in their communities, countries and the world.
- Have a clear vision and faith to continue working on a mission of empowerment, slow and steady removal of a system of charity. You WILL make a difference!
What kind of impact are you having as Team HavServe in Haiti?
I am bringing valuable awareness and strong partners to support HavServe’s many programs. Presenting Team HavServe’s mission, vision, and good work and progress in press releases to the public is important in overriding the generally negative press we see about the slow progress in the reconstruction of Haiti.
How do you perceive the role of skills-based volunteer services?
I think skills-based volunteering is simply brilliant because we strongly believe that access to education and life-skills is a key component of everyone dream. It enables people to make a difference through an activity that makes sense within their busy daily lives. With this approach, we can all be change makers, no longer delegating the “work of poverty alleviations and international security” for missionaries, philanthropists and non-governmental organizations. I believe this deep level of involvement creates a stronger sense of unity and humanity throughout the world. I know I am going to devote as many hours possible to help promote volunteerism in Haiti while looking forward to visiting the Lebrun village with my family when my son is older; we feel a strong sense of oneness with Carline and her team.
What did you learn about yourself during your experience with HavServe?
Looking forward to helping ALL children in the Lebrun village have access to primary education because poor education is a national and international security risk and it is up to all of us to do our part to make our world more peaceful and secured. I’ve learned that I always have a little left to give, even if it means an hour or two less sleep. I live a middle class lifestyle, working hard, hoping to overcome debt and doubt, just like so many others. But, when I think of all the children struggling to have access to primary education in Haiti, it fuels me to push on to the next effort for the HavServe 8 goals for 2015. I’ve also learned that $20 can go a long way in materials for school supplies drive for Haiti when you shop at yard sales, and that the nice UPS guy might cut $25 off your shipping costs to Team HavServe if you tell him about their great work in Haiti!
Beth Ann Hilton is an example of how the business community can use its skills, passion, and goodwill spirit to help in the reconstruction of Haiti. HavServe is pleased to spotlight Beth Ann Hilton and The B Company for their willingness to help change lives in Haiti. HavServe and the people of Haiti thank you!