If you haven’t noticed already, we’re pretty proud of The Source Advisory Panel. Each of these individuals is outstanding in her field and still somehow finds time to invest in our network for women.

One particular panel member has dominated an industry and skill that most shy away from: public speaking. Mandi Stanley is a Certified Public Speaker who travels the world teaching others the gift she has turned into a career. We know you’ll find her as fascinating as we do.

Where did you grow up?

MS: Amory, Mississippi.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a Certified Public Speaker?

MS: After college graduation, a move to Dallas, Texas, led to a full-time position as a technical proposal writer for Horizon Healthcare Group. While living in Kansas City, I joined the faculty of the American Management Association and traveled on their five-cities-in-five-days seminar circuit for six years. When we moved back to Mississippi, I launched Mandi Stanley Seminars and currently present five professional development topics.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

MS: I was the “Teens about Town” columnist for The Amory Advertiser, our weekly local newspaper, during my 10th-12th grade years. I was paid by the column inch, so I would camp out at the Sonic Drive-In on Friday nights and write down the names of everyone I saw out “cruising the loop.” The more people I listed, the more I was paid! But we inevitably sold more papers because everyone wanted to see if they were mentioned in “Teens about Town.” The lasting lesson for me continues to be the importance of recognizing everyone involved in a certain endeavor and not forgetting anyone.

What’s your trick to managing personal life vs. work life?

 MS: Ha! I’m glad this question doesn’t read “balancing personal life vs. work life” because I don’t know if that’s even real! I’m going to give the simplest shallow answer to this complex and deep question: a color-coded calendar. First, I still rely on a monthly paper calendar rather than an electronic one. I like to see the week and month at a glance. Each family member is a different color, and my volunteer and service obligations are a different color from my work responsibilities. My parents are three hours away, so we don’t have grandparents in town to help with the boys. Therefore, Bob and I really have to communicate our travel schedules and ascertain we don’t overlap our trips. One of us needs to be in town at all times, and as you can imagine, that is much easier said than done!

What is your proudest moment in your career?

MS: Receiving my CSP in 2003. Becoming a Certified Speaking Professional involves a five-year qualification process comprising seven criteria. I earned my CSP in January 2003–and had my first baby three weeks later. But I knew if I didn’t become certified before starting my family, I probably never would, so I definitely was motivated to complete the process. Becoming certified was a huge game changer in the progression of my career, and I was the first person in Mississippi to receive this designation through the National Speakers Association.

How do you stay motivated?

MS: Honestly, my motivation ebbs and flows, but one way I recharge my batteries is in the kitchen. I love to cook for my family, and I like to find cookbooks with photos in an attempt to make my dish look exactly like the one in the book. Most of the time, however, they end up as Pinterest fails!

Why did you agree to be a founding Advisory Panel Member for The Source?

MS: I’m one of those oddball people who always comes up with a word for the year and a theme for the year. My 2017 word to live by is “relationships,” and my theme is “Each One Can Reach One.” Serving as an advisor for The Source is an ideal way to live out both of those concepts.