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Amanda Kuda, 28
Marketing and Public Relations Manager at
The Great Game of Business
ï¡¿ï¡¿As the primary communicator for The Great Game of Business, Amanda Kuda works with hundreds of companies across the nation to help them introduce and implement the open-book, employee-empowering vision of Great Game and Springfield Re-Manufacturing Corp. founder Jack Stack.
Her work—first in events and now as the head of all marketing and communications—has led her to meet heroes like New Belgium Brewing’s Ken Jordan and 1-800-GOT-JUNK’S Brian Scudamore, but it’s the message itself that is most rewarding. “[The Great Game] isn’t a product, it’s something that helps people every day,” Kuda says. “It’s great to always be learning, and getting to see how it impacts our client businesses.”
Kuda—who is also a course instructor at Missouri State University—has a stake on SRC’s Community Relations Committee and recently brought the OneSolePurpose project to the group’s attention. The result: Not only a financial donation to the group, but a chance for SRC employees to get out in the community and help needy kids get fitted for brand new socks and shoes. “I was impressed by how many employees volunteered to come and help. It’s great to get out and meet the kids.”
Marketing & PR Manager at The Great Game of Business, Inc.
Adjunct Faculty member at Missouri State University.
Education: Bachelor of science in Technical Writing and master of arts in Communication from Missouri State University
1. How did you end up at your current job/profession?
I started at The Great Game of Business (a division of SRC) as an unpaid summer intern during my master’s program. It’s funny because I didn’t think it would turn into a full-time job; there were no open positions, and there’s something about “unpaid intern” that doesn’t scream job security. However, I worked hard and fell into several opportunities to take on extra responsibility. Through a series of fortunate events, that internship turned into a part-time position and shortly after, a full-time gig. Now they’re stuck with me!
2. Where do you find passion to do what you do?
I love the psychological side of marketing; I’ve always been intrigued by the reasons people communicate and interpret messages the way they do. I’m fortunate to work for a company that has a great service to market and a mission that I truly believe in. I don’t know if I’d be as passionate if I had to market something boring.
3. Tell us about your family.
I’m single with two adorable dogs serving as my kiddos. I am, however, a big fan of “rent-a-kid”, that’s where you borrow your friend’s cute kids and give them back before they get grouchy.
4. What are your hobbies (when you’re not working)?
I love working out and am currently a big fan of hot yoga. I am also a very curious person, so I often end up on mini-research missions; I like to have all my facts straight before I start a project, buy something or go somewhere. I’ll tell you what isn’t now and never will be my hobby: gardening. I’m awful at that. I’d probably kill a cactus.
5. Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
I’m a member of the Community Relations Committee at SRC. We handle the company’s charitable contributions and get to help and interact with several organizations each year, with a specific focus on charities that benefit children. My favorite organization to work with has been OneSolePurpose, which provides new shoes for Springfield children in Title-1 elementary schools. One of my most memorable experiences was helping to deliver shoes to one of the schools. There’s really nothing that can top doing something kind for a child and getting to see their reaction.
6. Are you a member of any professional organizations?
I’m a member of The Network currently, which is great for young professionals. I’ve put a big focus on work in the past and have set a personal goal this year to get more involved in some of the other organizations I’ve been interested in.
7. How would you define the secret to success?
I think the secret to success is building genuine relationships and being a team player. Sure, lots of people have had success from “looking out for number one,” but no one likes the person who is always out for themselves. I never want to be that person.
8. What's your favorite thing about your career?
Some people might be shocked, but I’m kind of a type-A personality. Okay, no one would really be shocked, my friends and co-workers refer to my type-A alter-ego as “Miss Kuda.” Miss Kuda is the get down to business and take charge side. Working at Great Game is a good outlet for that. If you don’t know much about the culture at SRC companies, we’re known for our open-book management style; we educate our employees about business and empower them to use that knowledge to drive company results. Because of that, I have been given more opportunities than most at my age to see how business works and have been given responsibilities that have helped me grow far beyond my role in marketing. It’s a great environment for someone who likes to learn and be in-the-know.
9. What's your favorite thing about working in 417-land?
I have a lot of favorites; there are too many ways to answer this question! I grew up in a small town, so Springfield seemed like a metropolis when I moved here for college, but it still a community feel. Cliché (yet true) answer aside, I like people so it’s nice to see a familiar face almost everywhere you go. Unless I’m trying to sneak through the grocery store after the gym, so if you see me, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen.
10. If you could go back and give the high school version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
There’s a quote that I wrote down recently, “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.” Everything, good or bad, was such a big deal in high school. If I could give the high school version of me advice I’d say, “Self, chill out; there is so much more to life beyond the drama in high school. The things that seem life altering now are relatively insignificant to your overall life, the good times only get better and you turn out to be a pretty awesome adult.”
11. What was your “dream job” at age 5?
At 5 I wanted to be a dancer; I used to use laundry baskets as my “stage”…I learned the hard way that laundry baskets aren’t made to support the weight of a small child. Luckily, my parents let me take dance class, so my dream was partially fulfilled.
12. List three traits that define a successful career:
One of the great things about my job is being able to interact with successful entrepreneurs. There are several that I admire and would consider mentors. If I had to pinpoint three traits they all share, they would be: humility, integrity and a genuine interest in people.
13. Why are you a 20 under 30?
Whatever the reason, I’m honored to be recognized with the others in this group. I’ve always been ambitious and put a lot of thought and effort into everything I do. It’s a great feeling to be recognized for that hard work.
14. What projects do you have on the horizon at your job that you’re excited about?
We host an annual conference for our clients in St. Louis every September. Even though it happens every year, it’s always different and exciting and one of the only opportunities I get to be around some of my favorite clients. It’s kind of like a whirlwind family reunion; I love it.
15. What completed project are you most proud of?
A few years back, we took a film crew to interview SRC employees about working at the company. One really stuck with me, a 65 year old production worker from Armenia. I don’t remember the question, but his answer was so honest and powerful. He said, “I am proud that people respect me here. I get to work with young people, sometimes I feel as though I am young. As long as my physical abilities will allow, I will work…because I need them.” I still get a little teary-eyed when I watch the video. It’s not the project itself that I’m proud of, but the fact that I work somewhere where people feel appreciated and needed like that.
Fill in the following blanks with five words or less:
Laughing until you cry makes life worth living.
A day at work wouldn't be complete without a bad joke or impersonation.
Ten years from now, I hope I'm as ambitious as I look on Pinterest.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would go to Vegas for a little show I’ve been wanting to see.
The best part about being a 20 under 30 is definitely the free cupcakes…there are free cupcakes, right?