Putting Family First at Home and Work Joyce Wilburn January 27, 2014 Cover Features Amanda McBride is a woman of firm convictions. The Operations and Marketing Manager at the Danville Mall on Piedmont Drive and Liberty Fair Mall in Martinsville is a self-described woman of faith, always puts family first, and never gives less than 100% to any task. Setting those priorities early in her career has provided balance to what would otherwise be a crazy schedule and a hectic lifestyle. “It feels like the Mall is my world sometimes,” says the Martinsville native without complaint and then explains, “It’s a 24/7 job, but I try to keep a balance and stay focused on what’s important.” What’s important includes her husband of ten years and their beautiful daughter, Haylee, the first baby born in Martinsville in 2007. She explains that the Mall tenants are also like family, “I know them and their children and care about my relationship with them.” Her association with store personnel began shortly after graduating from Averett University in 2006. With a bachelor’s degree in business administration on her resume, she quickly garnered the position of administrative assistant at Piedmont Mall. “I started on Monday, November 18, 2008,” she says with obvious delight. To say she has seen a lot of changes in the last five years would be an understatement. During her tenure, Boscov’s closed and the company that owned Piedmont Mall filed for bankruptcy. “In September 2010, I became the associate property manager and in April 2011 we transitioned to being managed by a third party company and owned by a lender. It was a tough time,” she admits. But brighter days were just around the corner. In March 2012, Hull Storey Gibson Companies purchased theproperty, changed its name to Danville Mall and began renovation. “We went from the mall being almost gutted with no ceiling and walking on concrete surfaces to this beautiful transformation,” she says looking around the upper level at the classic white columns, pendant lighting and sound-muffling carpet. “I wasn’t too sure about the carpeting,” she confesses, “but when I saw it the morning after it was laid, it took my breath away it was so beautiful.” Another improvement that Hull Storey Gibson made that complements one of Amanda’s guiding principles is the Family First Program. “My favorite thing that they have done here is the introduction of a policy on Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. It states that minors 18 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. That means come to the Mall and come with your family. It’s a wonderful shopping environment and experience now,” she says, noting that the program had a smooth implementation. “The community respected that decision,” she adds. Handling a job that can be chaotic and stressful requires a good support system and Amanda has that covered. “God is with me and gets me through the little trials and problems and helps me work it out daily. I am very blessed,” she says. Listed among her blessings is husband Eric. “He is a voluntold,” she jokes playing on the word volunteer. “He’s a good man and is supportive of whatever I do. Also, I couldn’t function without my parents who babysit our daughter most of the time. God, my husband, my family, my staff, my tenants –I’m surrounded by a wonderful support system,” she notes, while waving to the morning walkers whom she refers to as her buddies and then adds, “It’s hard to balance career and family, but it helps to stay focused on my priorities: God first, family next, and then everything else.” Amanda has put family at the heart of her life which is a nice coincidence because at her home-away-from-home, Danville Mall, families have also been placed first in the order of priorities. • For more information visit Danville Mall, or visit Hull Storey Gibson . • Danville Mall, 325 Piedmont Drive, is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and Sunday noon until 6:00 p.m.