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Although Sally Pace may not enjoy all the perks of the real Commander in Chief, she is living a pretty charmed life. Not only is she the President of the Junior League of Memphis, which is standing strong at 1600 women, but she is also the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at FTN Financial. Born and raised in Memphis, Sally Pace is a woman who thrives when her plate is full. However, her most important job to date will happen in about 6 months when she will become a first time mom. A true mover and shaker and a total class act in our eyes, we are thrilled to have this charismatic and gracious woman join us for today’s FACES of Memphis.

Standing proud for the Junior League of Memphis

Tell us a little bit about your job at FTN Financial?

As Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications for FTN Financial, I oversee the team responsible for our branding, our publications, our events and our internal training.

You are a woman who wears many hats. I’m sure our readers would love to know how you juggle family responsibilities, a professional career and volunteer commitments.

I’m not sure my friends would ever categorize me as sane, but I do have some rules I live by to keep things in order. A friend of mine told me a few years ago that if I didn’t start exercising in the morning, I never would keep it up because of my lifestyle. I try to start most mornings either at yoga or Pilates classes or swimming laps. It truly does help me have a clear mind for the day ahead. I also plan all of my outfits for the week on Sunday, and then line them up in my closet – jewelry and all! I value my sleep and my time, and by planning ahead, this is one less thing I have to do each morning. Once I start my day, I have a numbered list in hand of what I need to accomplish – and it never has more than 10 items on it. I know that I can’t physically do more than that in a day. And, finally, I keep in mind that as soon as I think I have it down pat, life will definitely throw you a curve ball. For example, I now am getting to experience the strangely overpowering effects of morning sickness, so I have to build in extra time to allow for it to come and go!

Speaking of your role as the President of the Junior League…what are your responsibilities?

The Junior League of Memphis is a body of volunteers 1600 strong, and I essentially get to wear the CEO hat for one year. I run the board, which in turn runs the operations for our mission. There are three parts to the mission – promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community. We’ve got groups dedicated to each of those three tenets, and I primarily serve as the conductor, making sure we are all working in tandem to the best interest of our nonprofit partners. That part is fairly easy, because I get to work with some of the most talented women in this town who manage careers and families by day, and then set off to change our city by nights and weekends.

It’s all in a day’s work

Has your experience at FTN helped you as Junior League president?

Surprisingly, it’s actually the other way around. I’ve been a member of the JLM for a decade, and early on in my volunteer experience, I was given the opportunity to manage a larger “staff” of people and a bigger budget than I would have been given in my paid job. Learning how to motivate volunteers teaches you a tremendous amount about how to motivate and manage people in general. For every employer in our city who has a member in the JLM, they can rest assured that if that woman is promoted to a leadership role, she will be given the skills necessary to run a meeting like clockwork, review a P&L statement and collaborate with others to impact massive and systematic change.

What are your personal  goals for the Junior League for 2012-2013?

We are currently celebrating our 90 years of service to the Memphis community. As we move toward our next 90 years of service, I want to challenge our members to find ways to stay connected and plugged in. But also to find ways to continue to advance themselves and take the skills that they are learning within our organization and use them outside of the walls of the Community Resource Center. After all, we promise that we will improve this community – and it’s my goal to ensure that we do.

The Junior League is an extraordinary organization that helps our city in so many ways. What do you see as the League’s biggest strengths?

Our greatest strength is our members. Through them, we’ve helped build some of the city’s most beloved institutions – Hope House, Church Health Center, WKNO, the Children’s Museum. And, today, we’re working with the families that use the Lester Community Center through a program called G.R.O.W., which stands for Giving, Readiness, Opportunities, and Wellness.

Discussing the in’s and out’s of the Junior League

What are some of the challenges Junior League faces as an organization?

Memphis has more nonprofits per capita than almost any other city in our nation, so our biggest challenge is making sure we provide a meaningful experience for our volunteers. If we don’t, someone else will.

What is the greatest piece of advice you have been given?

My mom, Nina Sprott, has told me my entire life, “You can have anything and be anything you want, just make certain you’re willing to put in the hard work to get there.” It’s so true. Some of the most rewarding roles I’ve gotten to play have come from hard work and determination.

What makes your proud to be a Memphian?

We’re a funky, soulful and quirky city filled with some of the most genuine and friendly people I know. I travel all the time for work and for fun, and am proud to proclaim my roots. Today, I feel a groundswell unlike any other time in my life of people who are stepping up and taking ownership of the direction that Memphis is headed, and that makes me extremely proud. We’re a city that allows people access to leadership and the ability to step forward and lead.

Any favorite Memphis haunts?

How long do you have?! Any restaurant in Cooper Young, Riverside Drive, Victorian Village, the Greenline, Grizzlies Games, Beale Street (in small doses!), Las Tortugas, the Junior League Community Resource Center, Overton Park, Brooks Museum and the Levitt Shell. I can already tell that I’ll be able to add our new Overton Square to this list too!

Making the Junior League better with every step she takes

Describe your personality in three words:

Collaborative, determined and bossy (but in a nice way!)

What would surprise people most about you?

My grandfather was a Golden Gloves champ who fought in Madison Square Garden. He taught me how to throw a left hook and how to bop and weave, so you don’t really want to come up against me in a dark alley!

What is your “must-have” purchase for summer 2012?

Sea bands, because I’m in my first trimester and have had a touch of morning sickness! And to offset those stylish things, I can’t live without my Safia necklaces that I purchased in Santa Barbara earlier this summer.

Favorite vacation spot?

It’s a tie between Napa and New York – we try to go to both each year.

Her home away from home: The Community Resource Center for the Junior League

What playlist would you pull out at for a party?

Much to my husband’s chagrin, I have very eclectic taste in music. If you are in my home, you’ll hear everything from Ike and Tina and Cowboy Junkies to Dizzy Gillespie, and U2 to Snoop.

What books can be found on your bedside table?

This month’s Harvard Business Review, The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller, and The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.

Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God):

My iPhone, La Michoacana paletas to ward off the Memphis heat during my pregnancy, and an hour of “alone time” each week. When I’m in that zone, my friends and family know to just give me my space and let me recharge. Then, I’m good as new and ready to take on the world again.

Thanks, Sally! To learn more about the Junior League of Memphis, visit their website by clicking this address: www.jlmemphis.org

The lovely shots of Sally today were captured by the talented Christen (Jones) Morrison. See more of Christen’s work at her website: www.christenjones.com.

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