by Amy K. Lavender

Few people can say that by the time they were in high school they knew what they wanted to do for the rest of their life. University of West Georgia alumnus Adam Waid ‘04 can say that. In fact, by the time he was a senior, he was already enthusiastic about marketing.

Adam WaidThat year, his class was tasked with creating a restaurant and marketing it, but Waid didn’t just create a poster and call it a day. Instead, he arrived at school early, put up cafe lights, posted signs, displayed an artist’s rendering of his establishment, wrote a jingle and event printed out menus.

“So when my classmates arrived at school, I was already there, welcoming them to my restaurant,” Waid laughed. “I knew right then I wanted to be in marketing.”

And from that time on, Waid has striven to learn all facets of the marketing world—campaigns, content, social strategy, you name it.

“Marketing has always been my passion,” Waid said, “and learning all these different aspects of the field has really helped me in my career.”

Waid is currently the global director of marketing and customer adoption for SalesForce. He was promoted to this position after leading the customer success team for three years. Previous to this, he spent about a decade in the Atlanta marketing community leading marketing teams of various sizes. In recent years, Waid has racked up awards as the Atlanta Marketer of the Year and as one of the Top 100 Customer Success Strategists in the Nation.

But before he was a successful marketing mogul on the rise, he was a student studying business administration at the Richards College of Business. He particularly remembers professor Mimi Rickard and Center for Student Involvement (CSI) Director Chris Geiger.

“Professor Rickard really challenged my marketing skills—her feedback really encouraged me,” Waid recalled. “And I had so many opportunities to learn hands-on and hone those skills with Chris Geiger as I incorporated them into my duties at CSI.”
Waid’s other on-campus jobs and activities also helped him develop his public speaking skills, which was a personal goal of his.

“I was petrified of speaking in front of people, but I knew I needed to do that well in my profession,” Waid said. “Working with the SGA (Student Government Association) and speaking to groups during visitation days really helped me with that.”

He also set himself the personal goals of speaking in public at least four times a year and improving his writing through blogging. His hard work has paid off. Now, Waid travels the world and speaks to groups as large as 5,000, and he is a thought leader in his field.

Of course, while it’s fun to look back on his education at UWG, Waid said his favorite memory is of how he met his wife. The two were both students in the Richards College of Business and had accounting together.

“We were taking this test; I was sure I had failed it,” Waid recalled. “I was so nervous that I was chewing on my pen, but I was chewing so hard that I bit into it and my pen exploded all over my face. She was sitting a few rows in front of me. When she turned back to look at me, I had this ink all over my face. I felt so embarrassed and ridiculous,” he laughed. “It was love at first sight.”

Posted on November 22, 2017