Lynnette Hunter is SVP, account director at AbelsonTaylor.
What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?
I can’t imagine myself in another field. All my life – getting Red Cross certified and working as a lifeguard at 15, taking premed science studies in college, and pursuing the career I have today – I’ve always wanted to help other people live healthier lives. Even when I retire, I picture myself doing some kind of volunteer work in healthcare.
Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.
We recently won a new piece of business for a truly innovative and important new therapy for type 2 diabetes. We worked really hard to earn the business, drawing on our wide-ranging expertise and deep experience in the category to develop a powerful and creative brand strategy. I can’t wait to get to work on it.
When was the last time you endured an “agony of defeat” moment? What did you learn from it?
Every day I experience defeats, from making it out the door on time with two kids ready for school to missing an important client deadline. But rather than agonizing and dwelling on the defeats, I like to ask myself what’s a solution to the challenge or how can I change the outcome next time.
How long ago was the last time you took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
I love spending time with my husband and two daughters. In February, we took a few days off and went skiing in Wisconsin. The girls are a perfect age for family getaways, we all love skiing and the outdoors, and the time we spent together was a boost for all of us.
What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?
We’ve niched ourselves too much. I hate when a good idea is shot down by the words “but we’re healthcare.” Yes, there are regulations and legal issues to observe, but I think some of the limitations we operate under are self-imposed. Why not approach medical products the same way we approach consumer goods? I think we can break out of the “but we’re healthcare” box while still complying with legal and regulatory requirements.
To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will…
Continue to honor the women around me who are doing amazing things and make sure they’re recognized and lifted up within the agency and rewarded for their achievements.
What are your words to live by?
Don’t wait to be told. Be proactive in offering ideas and solutions. Do what you think is right. “No” doesn’t always mean “stop” – often, it means “find another way.”
What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?
The sky is the limit when you do good work, speak up, and keep pushing forward. I started at AbelsonTaylor as a traffic coordinator, spending much of my time making and delivering photocopies. But I learned the business from the ground up, took the initiative in looking for ways to do things better and made my ambitions known. I learned that when you use your voice, you can be heard. And as I rose through the ranks and took on increasing responsibilities, I learned that when you take your place at the table and speak your thoughts, you show that women’s voices are valued and women’s perspectives and opinions matter. So whether at the beginning of your career or in a leadership position, do good work, speak up, and always know you’re setting an example for other women.
Classic margarita, on the rocks, salted rim.
What three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?
Michelle Obama intrigues me. I followed her during her years in the White House and now follow her on her digital channels. She plays so many roles in life and is exemplary in all of them. She’s accomplished and inspiring, but also warm and relatable. She’s complex, but accessible. She goes from one success to another, but is open about her shortcomings and disappointments. And, like me, she’s a Chicagoan with two daughters. She’s such a huge personality – can I count her as three people?