We had the good fortune of connecting with Pamela Chanin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pamela, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Becoming the Marketing Coordinator of a shopping center in the midst of a pandemic is the epitome of taking a risk! In a world with so much fear, what could be more challenging than attracting customers to businesses that were closed for nearly 2 months? I was laid off from my previous position at the end of January 2020 and was offered the Marketing Coordinator position for The Avenue East Cobb, an outdoor lifestyle center, in early May.
The Marketing Coordinator position was already a big step out of my comfort zone and required much more responsibility than I was accustomed to. However, it was a great opportunity to get more involved in my community and had enormous potential to help people ease out of their quarantine in a safe way. I felt certain that I would be able to apply my talents, but also knew that I would have to learn many new skills. Though this task seemed daunting, I reminded myself of a mantra from my past “Fear only robs you of your strength”. There were many days filled with doubt, but I trusted that I could move forward if I simply focused on the one task at hand at any given moment, rather than getting bogged down by the bigger picture.
Under such unusual circumstances, I knew that the challenges I would face would be extraordinary. Not only was I learning new skills every day, but I also needed to plan an event that would be safe, fun, and that would draw customers back to our property. Three weeks later, I hosted the first post- quarantine drive-in movie in Georgia, and the first event for any of POAG’s 12 properties across the country. Though I initially had doubts about attendance, turn-out was even better than expected. In fact, we sold out! Additionally, I was able to drive sales to our property restaurants by encouraging them to deliver meals to the vehicles before and during the film.
Guests were grateful to have something new and different to do, where they also felt safe. I had never planned this type of event before, much less pulled it all together 3 weeks after starting the job! A few months later, the success of the drive-in movie and our other events earned us a ranking on Chain Store Age’s Top 10 Comeback Retail Center Experiences. https://chainstoreage.com/2020s-top-10-comeback-retail-center-experiences-nos-1-thru-5
It is hard to believe that I am about to celebrate my one-year anniversary as Marketing Coordinator of The Avenue East Cobb. In addition to the continued success of the drive-in movies, I took another chance and held our first-ever drive-in concert in September using FM transmitters which guests still rave about. The success of our events, large and small, have been well-received by our community. As our community’s fears are subsiding, my fears related to my position here at The Avenue have also taken a back seat to my strengths. My experiences over the past year remind me of one of my favorite quotes: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Everyone’s journey is unique to their situations and life circumstances. But for me, I have found purpose to each step. The constant is the ability to transition. Growing up close to the beach, I am reminded of the tides. They are constant, sometimes turbulent and other times calm. It is exhausting to try to fight them. You have to learn to move with them. With a career in Marketing, I have been faced with numerous, unexpected lay-offs. Each one felt devastating at the time. And if I heard one more person tell me “when one door closes, another opens” I could scream. You still have to put in the time, energy and effort to find those doors. It’s about understanding each opportunity and deciding if your passions and talents align with the offer, without letting doubt and fear keep you from moving forward.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think of Atlanta as the City of Seasons. Growing up in Miami, I didn’t have this! Whenever friends or family come to visit, especially in Fall or Spring, there is always plenty of hiking! Kennesaw Mountain and the battlefield trails are my favorite, but a trip up Red Top Mountain or Stone Mountain provide gorgeous views, as well as any trail along the Chattahoochee River. For dining and hanging out, I am a huge fan of downtown Roswell. With breweries, delicious, unique and local restaurants and shops, it’s a must on my agenda. I could say the same for downtown Marietta, with the added addition of the Farmers Market! No trip to the ATL is complete without strolling down the Beltline, visiting Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I feel very fortunate to have had several influential mentors in my previous positions, encouraging me and teaching me. The constant, however, has been the unending support of my husband and my family. Sometimes when you doubt yourself and your abilities, you need to listen to those who know you best and trust their perspective of situations, not just your own.
Joe Thompson https://www.cupojoemedia.com/