EMERGE STEERING COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT

Throughout the beginning of 2021, we will be introducing you to the leadership of EMERGE. This month, we are spotlighting the chair and vice chair of EMERGE’s Steering Committee.


MEET SARAH BETZER, EMERGE STEERING COMMITTEE CHAIR

Name: Sarah Betzer

Years with EMERGE: 4


Current role in EMERGE: EMERGE Steering Committee Chair


1. How and why did you get involved with EMERGE Lakeland?

I wanted to join for years but finally joined 4 years ago. I wanted to meet other young professionals, attend professional development events and I wanted to volunteer more in the community.


2. Are you originally from this area? If so, why have you stayed in Lakeland? If not, what brought you to Lakeland?

I moved to Lakeland to attend college at Southeastern University. I stayed in Lakeland because it became home to me. I love the community and all the local gems like Lake Hollingsworth and other small businesses that provide excellent customer service.


3. What is your current occupation? Employer?

I am the VP/HR Director at Bank of Central Florida.


4. Are you part of any other organizations in the community?

Mid-Florida Society of Human Resource Management, Polk Wellness Professionals, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Lakeland Runners Club.


5. Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Running, going to the beach, traveling, photography and reading.


6. If someone sees you at an EMERGE event, what are some topics they should ask you about to get the conversation going?

Ask me about running.


7. What’s the best professional advice you have ever been given?

“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” Paul Noris. Sometimes you need to slow down and look at other perspectives.


8. Do you have any favorite podcasts or periodicals that you go to for professional development?

Audible to read more books.


9. What would be your superpower and why? Fly, I could travel the world easily and visit family more often.


10. What did you want to be when you grew up? Missionary.

11. What is your most unusual talent? I can make balloon animals and do magic tricks.



Meet Megan Ruscello, Emerge Steering Committee Vice Chair.




Name: Megan Ruscello


Years with EMERGE: 3 years


Current role in EMERGE: Vice Chair


1. How and why did you get involved with EMERGE Lakeland?

When I moved to Lakeland in early 2018, I only knew my boss and one other person. It was a big career move, but rather daunting to start over in a new town. At my boss’s suggestion, I started attending EMERGE events. Through continued involvement, I met some of my now closest friends in town, found a network of like-minded professionals, and got to know this strange place I get to call home.


2. Are you originally from this area? If so, why have you stayed in Lakeland? If not, what brought you to Lakeland?

Although I’m originally from Minnesota, I called Winter Garden and Clermont area home (so not too far!). I moved to Lakeland after starting with Saddle Creek, and I can’t believe I lived so close and knew so little about such a fun place!


3. What is your current occupation? Employer?

I am an attorney, the Manager of Legal Services for Saddle Creek Logistics Services based here in Lakeland. Saddle Creek is a national third-party logistics company, and, alongside our Sr. Director of Legal, Jim Sidou, we handle most of the contracts and internal legal questions for the company.


4. Are you part of any other organizations in the community?

Yes! I am an alumnus of the YMCA Youth in Government program, a high school program which has a chapter here in Lakeland I love to volunteer with when I can. And since having the pleasure of serving as an Ambassador with United Way, I am lucky to continually find ways to stay involved, whether through the Young Leaders Society, continued work as an Ambassador, or most recently, through involvement with their Community Investment Team.


5. Do you have any hobbies or interests?

I love travelling (when it is safe to do so again), and travelling to see family especially. I am also an avid reader, tv-watcher, and movie fanatic. On warmer days, I love taking my dog, Lilo, for Starbucks trips and walks around downtown.


6. If someone sees you at an EMERGE event, what are some topics they should ask you about to get the conversation going?

Anyone who knows me knows I could talk forever about TV, their pets, or cool travel locations. Bring on all the puppy pictures and cool travel stories!


7. What’s the best professional advice you have ever been given?

I’ve been lucky to have a number of incredible professional mentors already, but the best advice still probably comes from my sister: “Work hard, keep as many doors open for opportunities as possible, and when the time is right, walk through the best one for you.”


8. Do you have any favorite podcasts or periodicals that you go to for professional development?

I’ll admit I’m more of a fan of audiobooks than podcasts. I’m a huge fan of Brene Brown’s work, and she has a number of books (along with a podcast) that are transformational. I’ve also loved Grit by Angela Duckworth, and the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, both of which have helped me understand people in a new way that has helped in all environments, not just work.


9. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?

“World’s Best Sidekick.” It sounds silly, but I’m the youngest of five children; I come from a big family. I was always the little sister, or the young one, and providing comic relief or support to my siblings, always along for the ride. Now, as a “grown-up,” I still really enjoy supporting the people around me and finding ways to leverage other people’s superpowers and strengths from behind the scenes to get done whatever we’re working on. I think the role of back-up quarterback, sidekick, second in command, etc., are all wildly undervalued, and they are some of the role types I most enjoy filling.


10. How would you explain what you do to a five-year-old?

How do you explain contracts so easily? It would probably go something like this: “I make changes to all the tiny print and words people use to record the pinky promises we make to each other. And I try to keep my team out of trouble when the come close to breaking a promise.”

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