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20 Questions - Posted September 22, 2017 8:48 a.m.
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Photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions with… Ginger Nelson, Mayor of Amarillo

What is the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Whatever your area of expertise you don’t know all the answers, and you will never know all the answers. Be confident in saying “I don’t know but I’ll find out.”

How do you use social media to grow your network? By being intentional about communicating a positive, clear message. Weekly videos are a great tool to keep people informed and engaged.

How do you maintain balance? Start the day worshiping God. It puts everything in perspective and reminds me that my identity comes from belonging to God – not in what I get accomplished.

What has been your wisest investment? My husband and my family. I am the only wife and mother they have, and I cherish every moment I have put into those relationships.

How has your past work experience shaped you into a leader? As a probate lawyer, I counseled many families through tough times and transitions. I learned that listening and connecting to them was often more important than any answer I could give. By listening and connecting, you are drawn into wanting to help people, and then you find yourself in a leadership role.

What is the best part about your job? Amarillo people! I love being inspired by the people I meet who serve and live in our city.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and private life? Everyone needs someone to push them further than they think they can go, remind them they are loved even though they aren’t perfect, and demonstrate skills that can be improved. I’ve been blessed with many, many truth-speaking, encouraging mentors.

Which living person do you most admire and why? My husband. He is a leader to leaders, and is willing to stay behind them no matter the cost. A close second would be my parents and my in-laws. The four of them exemplify serving God with a strong work ethic and building family relationships.

Which over-used word or phrase makes you cringe? Any criticism or apology about our great city and its people.

What is your business philosophy? Honor God in every decision and work as if you are working for Him.

Which quality do you most value in an employee? Two: hard work and honesty.

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? Discipline. I’m a very intentional person, and discipline helps me stay focused and productive on the work that needs to be done.

Who is your favorite author? Are you kidding? I can’t pick just one! Diana Gabaldon, C.S. Lewis, Guy Gavriel Kay, Carol Dweck, Henry Cloud, J. K. Rowling, Jane Austen, Eric Metaxas, Donald Miller, George R. R. Martin, Nabeel Qureshi, Tim Keller, L. M. Montgomery.

What did you learn from your best boss? To be gracious when mistakes happen. (But get it right the next time!) Your worst? To toughen up and take criticism (even when it was unfair).

How can Amarillo improve its business environment? As consumers we can shop locally. Every time we buy online, we miss out on a chance to invest in our community, and we weaken not just our business environment, but eventually our choices as consumers.

Most important tech tool: Tie between my iPhone and Google calendar.

Best time management tool: Tie between Google calendar and the daily schedule journal that I make for myself.

I can’t live without my: family and plenty of chocolate.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: big skies and sunsets.

Most unusual job or task: I washed windows in college as a summer job, and many people are surprised to learn that I’m an artist. (That’s what I really want to be when I grow up!)

-- the AM Team

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