Meet Sabrina: Green Bay Packers Fan and Associations Expert
Sabrina Kidwai loves history, culture and above all sports. For the past 17 years, Sabrina has been elevating associations across the U.S. and leading the communications industry through PRSA. From USA TODAY, to the Today Show, Sabrina has been able to show people the power of associations, explain why technical education is important and bring awareness to important causes. Sabrina loves sports and has been missing them during COVID-19. Learn more about how Sabrina led her impressive career, has been handling stress during quarantine and what advice she has for others.
Q: What’s your story? What do you currently do? Where were you before?
PRSA has been a big part of my 17-year PR career. I’ve been a member for 13 years and was president of our chapter for nearly two years. After a brief time in a South Carolina agency, I shifted towards the association space. I moved to Washington, D.C. back in 2006 in order to be more ingrained with the world of associations. I am currently the Membership and Marketing Director for the National Association of Bond Lawyers. I oversee our member database, recruitment and retaining new members and marketing our conferences, products and services.
Q: What made you decide to move to D.C.? How long have you been here?
I got my Master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina in 2006, and I always wanted to move to D.C. A lot of my extended family also live in the area, so moving here for both my career and family was the perfect combination.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in D.C.?
I’m a big fan of museums. I like to explore history, art, different cultures, and love the diversity of D.C.
Q: What made you decide to join PRSA NCC?
When I moved up to the D.C. area, my job allowed me to join an organization and I wanted to grow my network, give back to the community and enhance my skills. PRSA provides all three. I joined in 2007 (new professional group), and became co-chair. I joined the board in 2010 and ran the 2014 PRSA International conference in D.C.
What I value about PRSA is the network you build and the friendships you gain. The education is fantastic, but the network I can reach out to is invaluable. By volunteering, you’ll build that network to help you throughout your career.
Q: What’s your proudest professional achievement?
When I was at ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, I increased the visibility of associations beyond their publications. I arranged a meeting with USA TODAY, and it turned into a front-page story on the business section in 2011, right before Thanksgiving, talking about the influence of associations. Also, at the Association for Career and Technical Education, I was able to increase the awareness of and change perceptions about career and technical education. The TODAY Show reached out to us to be on a news segment about career/technical education. We were able to get our Executive Director to fly up and talk about career and technical education. We were really excited to get our message out there on such a huge national platform and we celebrated with a staff watch party.
Q: What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
A former supervisor told me to always communicate with your boss about what’s happening even if it’s a minor situation. You always want to make your boss understand what is happening. It’s better for them to be kept in the loop rather than find out about a mishap when it’s too late to fix anything.
Q: What do you do during your free time? What are your hobbies?
I can often be seen wrapped up in crosswords or a good book! I finished reading Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, by Peter Guralnick, and Yes No Maybe So, by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed.
Watching sports has also been a favorite activity for me. My favorite team is the Green Bay Packers, along with the various sports teams of the universities I attended: University of Missouri and the University of South Carolina. Other activities I enjoyed prior to the pandemic included traveling and exploring new coffee shops and restaurants.
Q: What are you passionate about beyond communications?
My biggest passion outside of communications is sports. My favorite types of sports to watch are football, basketball, baseball and tennis. Back in my college days, I even did sports communications for women’s basketball.
Q: Can you recommend a movie/show or book you are currently excited about?
I’m currently wrapped up in watching Prodigal Son on Fox. The main character is a profiler in New York City who solves crimes. The twist is that his father is a serial killer in jail who helps him solve cases. I’m also tuning into the new reboot of MacGyver.
Q: What have you been doing to pass time during COVID-19?
Besides working, every day I try to work out every morning. I’ve also been rotating between going out for walks, catching up on TV shows and reading. One thing I look forward to are FaceTime and phone calls with friends and family. It’s been interesting because I have been doing more calls with my extended family in comparison to before the pandemic. We had a call with family across the world. Outside of all of that, I bought a new house earlier this year and have been using free time to spruce it up and make it feel like a true home.
Q: If you’re comfortable, could you share how you are dealing with the stress of COVID-19?
The first few weeks of working from home were definitely stressful. I had more desserts than I usually do but then realized I can’t do that the entire time so I started to work out. I subscribed to Beachbody on Demand and saw great results in the first month. However, I try not to put so much pressure on myself to have a perfect diet and routine, so I give myself the freedom to enjoy the occasional dessert.
I have also been regularly writing in a journal. I have this book called 642 Things to Write About. Each “thing” is a small prompt for which you write short stories and other types of writing. I do it every few days, which helps me deal with what is going on and handle the stressors in my life. On Instagram I’ve been listening to DJ D-nice on Club Quarantine. Sometimes, I’ll read or dance while I listen to his mix.
Something I have enjoyed listening to is Patrick Stewart reading aloud Shakespearean sonnets.
I try to use different rooms in the house for different purposes, so I’m not stuck in one place all day. I’ll even switch where I am working to get a new perspective on what I am working on.
Most importantly, you have to give yourself permission to let some things go. Give yourself permission to indulge. Set a time limit for when you need to deal with the uncertainty and stress. I’ve cut down the amount of time I watch the news. Be selective in how much news you consume so that you can stay informed without feeling overwhelmed.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the interviewed members. “Meet the Members” is a PRSA-NCC initiative whose goal is to spotlight our members, their thoughts and ambitions by connecting and introducing them to more members of the PRSA NCC community.
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